When Shinsou first started to work in the Aquarium, he thought it would be fun, that he would play with penguins or whatever. What he didn’t think though was that working in the Aquarium was more about feeding animals than playing with them. Also, working the night shift in the Aquarium means that the biggest part of the cute and fun animals are sleeping. Not that Shinsou cares to be almost all alone in the Aquarium, since his insomnia prefers this way, but at the same time, Shinsou really expected to have something more exciting about working in Japan’s best Aquarium.
“Oi, Shinshou.”, one of his coworkers, Juzo, calls and Shinsou stops poking the starfish in the touching pool to look up at him. “The boss wanna talk to you.”
Shinzou sighs and nods, stretching after getting up to walk to his boss’s office. Ishiyama-san is a cool but really stern man, and Shinsou is sure he had never seen the man smiling in the four months he had been working at the Aquarium.
“Sir?”, Shinsou asks as he knocks at the door.
“Come in, Shinsou.”, Ishiyama-san asks, and Shinsou enters the office.
Ishiyama-san isn’t alone, he’s with a black haired woman and a man with light brown hair. Shinsou had never seen those two around, but since he works at the night shift, there’s a chance that they work in the Aquarium during the day. The only thing that Shinsou can hope as he awkwardly stands in the middle of the room, is that they won’t change him to the day shift, because Shinsou can’t handle crowds really well.
“Shinsou, these are Dr. Kayama and Dr. Maijima, they work here in the Aquarium in the labs.”, Ishiyama-san introduces and Shinsou bows awkwardly at them. “We have a job offer for you. Please, take a sit.”
For the next half an hour, Ishiyama-san explain to Shinsou about the new species of shark they had discovered half a year ago. An extremely rare and dangerous species that could help them to understand the origins of humans. For the past six months they have been running tests on the shark, but due to its aggressive nature, they haven’t been able to do much since it’s almost impossible to them to collect samples and they don’t know how the shark would react to tranquilizers.
“I’m not a scientist, sir…”, Shinsou says after Ishiyama-san had explained about what they call ‘Origin Project’, “What exactly do you want me to do?”
“We need a new caretaker for the shark.”, Dr. Kayama says. “Someone to feed it and make sure no one enters the lab during the night.”
“You want me to take care of a rare new shark?”, Shinsou asks surprised, because he supposes this is a really important job to do and there’s nothing in him that is special.
“Yes.”, Ishiyama-san nods. “It’s a really dangerous job, Shinsou. We had four caretakers before you, two of which ended up dead and the other two had lost some part of their bodies. That’s why we pay so much for this job.”
“What… What happened to them?”, Shinsou asks, surprised.
“They fell into the tank.”, Dr. Maijima answers. “This shark is so fast that once you hit the water, you’re mostly dead before someone can do something.”
“Oh…”, Shinsou blinks slowly. It’s too dangerous, he knows it, but at the same time, he was the one complaining about how boring his job is, right?, “So I just need to not fall into the water?”
“Well, yes.”, Ishiyama-san nods. “You can have some days to think before answering.”
“No.”, Shinsou shakes his head. “I want the job.”
Whatever Shinsou was thinking the lab would be like, it certainly wasn’t like this.
The Origin Project Lab is nothing more than a ridiculously big room with an even more ridiculously tall metal tank in the middle. The tank is round and probably more than 10 meters tall, it has glass windows spread around its circumference, but the water inside is so dark that there’s no way a person can see whatever the hell is inside it. There’s a bridge crossing the top of the tank and a platform at one side, connecting the tank to the staircase. The “lab part” is at floor level. There are lab things that Shinsou doesn’t understand and a handful of chairs. There are also archive cabinets occupying almost one whole wall.
“He needs to be fed four time four times per night.”, Dr. Kayama says, pointing to a gray door in one side of the lab room. “There you’ll find the fishes and the instructions. The fishes must be alive when you throw them at the water.”
“Alright…”, Shinsou nods, looking around still trying to understand the place.
“You have night free to do whatever you want, as long as you don’t leave the lab for more than twenty minutes.”, Dr. Maijima tells him, walking around the tank with him. “You can use the internet on that black computer over there and also use the television.”, he says, pointing to the part of the lab that resembles a living room.
“There are also food in the refrigerator and you can use the microwave.”, Dr. Kayama explains, opening the refrigerator to show how well stocked it was. “Don’t worry, we refill it every day. Any doubts?”
“Why does this job seems too good to be truth?”, Shinsou asks out loud before he could stop his own mouth.
“Two people died before you and there’s a chance you will too.”, Dr. Kayama says. “We are covering the minimum.”
“Oh…”, Shinsou nods, because looking through this optic, it does makes sense.
“Your shift begins at 10pm and lasts until 6am.”, Dr. Maijima says as they walk back to the entrance. “Any question?”
“Huh… Where’s the toilet?”, Shinsou asks and both scientists point out to another gray door close to the living room space.
“Anything else?”, Dr. Kayama asks and Shinsou shakes his head. “Alright. We’re going to be back at 6am. Until there… Stay away from the water.”, she says as they walk out of the room, leaving Shinsou alone.
“Well… Alright…”, Shinsou says to the empty space, turning around to look at the tank, slowly walking around the 20 meters circumference. “I guess it’s only you and me now, buddy.”, he says to one of the glass windows and for a moment he feels as if someone is staring right back at him.
Contrary of what Shinsou first thought, working with a dangerous rare shark isn't fun. Oh no. It's actually super boring and although he does have a lot of things to entertain himself, it isn't enough to fill his insomniac night.
After almost a month working in the lab, Shinsou has so little to do that he is starting to think if his predecessors hadn't jumped into the dark tank out of free will. He wouldn't exactly judge them if that was the case.
Talking about the tank, part of Shinsou also thinks that it's actually empty, since he doesn't see any movement inside the waters. But he does his job, walking up the stairs with a bucket full of fishes four times a night to feed the mysterious shark the he had never seen, not even a single fin.
“You know…?”, he asks to the dark waters one day after he had fed the animal, “Maybe they are making me fill this tank with fishes… Maybe this is some sort of social experiment to see how long I can endure this without going insane.”, he says as he starts to walk back to the stairs.
But he stops when he hears a sound in the water and when he looks back at the tank, there's a fish flopping around in the platform.
“What?”, Shinsou frowns, walking back to the platform and staring at the fish. “How did you jump out of the water?”, he asks the fish, grabbing it and throwing back at the water.
That's when he sees, for the first time in a month, a pitch black fin cutting the water in the direction of the platform. It's so fast that Shinsou flight-or-fight instinct knock in and as he tries to retreat, he stumbles on his own feet and fall sitting on the wet platform.
“Holy shit.”, he breathes out, watching as the black fin disappears into the water. “You’re real.”
From that day where the shark made its first appearance, Shinsou developed a new routine: every time he walks up the stairs to feed the shark, he’ll also spare twenty or more minutes to talk to the mysterious fish.
Being a person with literally no friends, Shinsou is happy to talk to someone, or something. It seems strange, but at the same time the scientists had said that he could entertain himself as he pleased.
“So, my mom wants me to go back to Tokyo in the end of the year…”, Shinsou tells to the dark water, laying down in the middle of the bridge that cross the tank. “But I like here. I mean, I don’t have friends or a boyfriend or a perspective of future… But I like here.”, he says, scrolling down his social media. “Besides, she wants me to go back to go to law school. Can you imagine me as a lawyer? Can you see me as…?”, he’s interrupted by a hiccup, the loose grip he has on his phone being enough to it to fall into the water.
Shinsou rolls over, looking at the water, at the light of the phone slowly fading. “Oh no…”, he cries out, bumping his forehead against the metal bridge. “And I haven’t even finished paying it yet…”, he mumbles, closing his eyes.
There’s a soft splash and a small noise of something hitting the bridge and when Shinsou looks up, he sees his phone a couple of meters away. “OH MY GOD!”, he yells, quickly crawling to where his phone is. Thankful to technology, his phone is waterproof and it’s still working.
“You brought my phone back?”, he whispers to the water, his eyes wide. “Are they sure you’re a shark and not a dolphin?”
As if said shark had understood him, a wave of water comes Shinsou’s way, soaking him from head to toe. “HEY!”, he complains to the water, “Fuckin asshole.”
That morning, when he left, Shinsou felt eyes staring at him again.
“Would you eat me if I fall into the water?”, Shinsou asks, his fingertips almost touching the water surface. “I don’t think I would taste good, with all the coffee and cigarettes I consume, but I wonder if you would…”
In the three months working as a caretaker in the lab, Shinsou had developed an almost emotional bond to the shark. He had never seen more of the animal than its fin, but it feels as if the shark is already his friend.
“I was reading about you in the files…”, he tells the shark, rolling over to stare at the ceiling. “They named you after the guy who found you, but I don’t think ‘Bakugou’ is a good name… So I wonder if you would mind if I renamed you…”, he says, closing his eyes.
Of course he doesn’t receive any answer. The only sounds besides his own voice are the air conditioner and the soft waves of the tank, indicating that the shark is somewhere close to the surface of the water. Shinsou thinks that maybe the shark can feel that there’s something above the water and is waiting for it to fall, like it happens to the fishes.
“I guess you wouldn’t mind, huh?”, Shinsou murmurs. “Maybe I could call you ‘Izuku’, but this is the name of my ex-boyfriend and I don’t want to talk to him…”, he frowns thoughtful. “Well… I like ‘Katsuki’. Yeah. Katsuki is a good name.”
Shinsou rolls over again, somehow already used to the width of the bridge, enough to move freely. “So, Katsuki… Have I ever told you about the time I tried to hike the Mt. Fuji and broke my leg rolling down the hillside?”
“What kind of shark is he?”, Shinsou asks to Dr. Kayama one day before leaving the lab.
“We’re still trying to determine.”, she says, sinking her hands on the pockets of her lab coat.
“Is he big?”, Shinsou asks again, placing his hand on the glass window.
“Really big.”, Dr. Kayama nods. “And murderous. He injured one of our scientists yesterday.”
“Oh…”, Shinsou nods, patting the window. “See you tomorrow, Katsuki.”
“Katsuki?”, Dr. Kayama asks confused.
“It’s the name I gave to him…”, Shinsou explains. “‘Bakugou’ seems too formal.”
If there’s a thing in the world that Shinsou hates, is the fact that he can’t sleep well. He had been like this all his life, never sleeping much, sometimes going up to three days without sleeping. His insomnia is a problem that Shinsou can’t find a solution and sometimes it drives him insane.
Shinsou is walking up the stairs with the bucket full of fishes for the last feeding of the night when he realizes that he desperately needs to sleep. The downstairs couch seems comfortable enough to him to take at least a nap.
“Katsuki, would you mind if I take a nap downstairs?”, Shinsou asks to the dark waters, walking to the middle of the bridge to throw the fishes to the shark. “I haven’t sleep in more than 48 hours… I really need a nap.”
Being as sleepy as Shinsou currently is, it’s not a surprise that his moves are slow and uncertain, his body already in that phase of sleep deprivation where you feel as if floating. Shinsou is walking back to the stairs, his feet dragging on the floor, when a wave of dizziness hits him and he loses his equilibrium, stumbling backwards and stepping out of the platform.
He can feel himself falling as if in slow motion, sleep leaving his body at once when panic fills him completely. The thermal shock of the extremely cold water sends Shinsou into a wave of pure fear before his mind accepts his death.
Except that he doesn’t die.
Almost as quick as he falls into the dark deep waters, Shinsou is back at the platform, the only thing indicating that he had, in fact, fallen into the tank being his soaking wet clothes. Shinsou crawls to away from the water, adrenaline giving him enough agility to run down the stairs without falling.
He falls on his knees once he gets to the floor, his heart pounding against his ribcage, his whole body trembling. He touches his own body, everywhere, trying to find something missing. He should be dead. But somehow he is not.
Since the events of the night before, Shinsou can’t stop thinking about the tank, about falling on the water and about being out of it before he could even process the whole thing. But even more, Shinsou can’t stop thinking about the fact that right before he was thrown out of the waters, he fet hands on his back.
He knows it doesn’t make any sense, but the whole thing doesn’t make sense either. He fell into a tank with an extremely dangerous shark that had killed not only one, but two other caretakers and injured at least three people. But somehow, somehow, Shinshou is still well alive.
“What the fuck happened yesterday?”, Shinsou asks to the tank, walking from side to side on the platform. “Katsuki, I know you’re there! Stop hiding! What the actual fuck it happened yesterday?”, he asks, his voice high-pitched.
Shinsou knows he’s being completely ridiculous, yelling at a shark. But he needs answers. He needs things to come back on making sense again.
“Well.”, he says, walking back to the stairs. “If you ain’t gonna answer me… I’m gonna jump.”, he threatens, his heart racing on his chest. He is stupid, he knows that. “Well. You asked for it.”, Shinsou accuses before running to the tank, jumping right into the water.
He feels himself sinking in the cold water like on the night before, being surrounded by the water pressure that makes his ears buzz. That’s until something holds him firmly by the waist and soon he was with his chest out of the water.
“Can you fuckin stop?”, a husky and rough voice startles him and when Shinsou leans away he sees the face of a man, a really pretty blonde man.
Of course that his first logical reaction is to yell. He yells right on the man’s face, his eyes wide and although he is still holding the man’s shoulders, Shinsou is also leaning as far away from the man’s possible. He yells for what seems like ages before his voice finally breaks and he stops to catch his breath.
“Are you done?”, the man asks and, of course, Shinsou starts yelling again. The man rolls his eyes, letting Shinsou’s waist go and allowing him to sink again.
Shinsou’s reflex makes him hold onto the man as soon as he swallow the first gulp of water, hugging him while coughing and desperately trying to catch some air. The man holds him by the waist again, giving him some support to remain out of the water. He looks around, his eyes still wide, his heart starting to race again.
“Where’s the shark?!”, he asks to the man, clearly in despair.
“I’m the shark.”, the man simply answers and when Shinsou opens his mouth to start yelling again, he covers Shinsou’s mouth with one of his hands. “Shut up.”, he hisses. His hand is rough and cold and it gives Shinsou a weird sensation. “Can you stop screaming so I can let go of your mouth?”, he asks and Shinsou nods quickly, his eyes still wide open. “Good.”, the man says, pulling his hand away from Shinsou’s face.
“Katsuki?”, Shinsou asks, looking at the man, still shocked.
“Well, I didn’t agree with this stupid name, but yes.”, the man, Katsuki, rolls his eyes again.
“What the fuck are you?”, Shinsou asks, his voice high-pitched again.
“I don’t know the word in your language.”, Katsuki says thoughtful.
“You sure the shark isn’t here?”, Shinsou asks again, looking around, his heart still racing on his chest.
Katsuki grabs his hand, pulling it underwater, sliding it down his chest until his navel where the smooth skin turns into a rough one, like sandpaper. Shinsou widens his eyes again, patting whatever he is touching. He even sinks a bit in the water as his hand slides to the back side of Katsuki’s body where he finds a fin.
“YOU’RE A MERMAID?!”, Shinsou yells, pulling away from Katsuki.
“Do you really need to yell for everything?”, Katsuki rolls his eyes, letting him go.
Shinsou swims back to the platform, yelping when Katsuki holds him by the waist to help him up again. But instead, Shinsou turns around to look at him, holding onto Katsuki’s shoulders and looking right into his almost totally black eyes.
“Your eyes are creepy.”, Shinsou mutters, sinking a bit more in the water until it touches his chin.
“Hm…”, Katsuki hums thoughtful, closing his eyes and frowning. When he opens his eyes again they look almost human, the black part not taking the entire cornea anymore. “Better?”
“Hmhm.”, Shinsou nods, looking at him. “You didn’t kill me… Why?”, he asks, his voice still low.
“I guess you’re not as annoying as the others.”, Katsuki says thoughtful.
“But you didn’t answer me either.”, Shinsou accuses, now hurt because he have been talking alone for ages now.
“The others are trying to make me talk since they locked me here. They keep poking me with sharp things and drawing my blood. It’s not as if I like your species.”, Katsuki grunts, placing one of his hands on the platform to keep both of them above the water and Shinsou holds on his arm.
“But you didn’t kill me.”, Shinsou remembers him.
“I could kill you now, you know?”, Katsuki says annoyed.
“But you won’t…”, Shinshou guesses and Katsuki grunts in response. “I can’t believe you’re a fuckin mermaid.”
“Your kind should decide if I’m a shark or a mermaid or whatever.”
“How’re you called by your people?”, Shinsou asks curious and Katsuki emits a sound that Shinsou can’t explain or reproduce. “Ok, that won’t do.”, he snorts a laugh.
“Now, why the fuck did you jump in the water?!”, Katsuki frowns. “I’ve killed two of you already and you simply jump here?! Are you stupid?”
“How do you speak my language?”, Shinsou asks, completely ignoring Katsuki’s words.
“You’ve been talking to me it has I don’t know how long and I’m not fuckin stupid.”, Katsuki answered, half leaning half pulling away when Shinsou touches his chin.
“That explains your potty mouth…”, Shinsou chuckles, caressing the sharp line of Katsuki’s maxilar with his knuckles.
“Why do you keep touching me?”, Katsuki frowns, but he doesn’t make anything to force Shinsou to stop touching him.
“Because you’re a real-life mermaid and this is awesome.”, Shinsou answers as if it was obvious.
“You’re ridiculous…”, Katsuki rolls his eyes and Shinsou wonders if he had learned it from someone.
“I’m also cold.”, Shinsou whispers, because the water is pretty cold and now that the adrenaline had faded, he’s left only with the low temperature of the tank.
“Humans are so weak.”, Katsuki sighs, grabbing Shinsou by his waist and lifting him up to the platform.
“I’m gonna change my clothes.”, Shinsou says, getting up. “Don’t go anywhere!”, he says as he starts to walk back the stairs.
“I’m literally trapped here, you idiot.”
“So, I was thinking...”, Shinsou starts, rolling around to lay on his belly on the platform to look at Katsuki. “Can you turn into human?”
“Normally, yes.”, Katsuki nods. Katsuki has both of his arms crossed over the platform and his cheek placed against his forearm, and Shinsou can see the faint shadow of his massive tail waving from side to side underwater.
“Why not now?”, Shinsou asks curious, stretching his hand to touch Katsuki’s hair. Katsuki’s hair has a weird watery texture that Shinsou found out he likes a lot.
“The others put something in my blood that keep me weak.”
“What do they do to you?”
Katsuki closes his eyes, frowning, “They keep poking me with sharp things that sink in my skin, and collecting my blood. They tried to cut my skin, but I bit his hand off.”
“They’re trying to figure out what you are…”, Shinsou says thoughtful.
“They already know what I am.”, Katsuki frowns. “A mermaid.”
“They want to learn about you.”
“They want to find out from where I am and hunt the rest of my people.”, Katsuki says and Shinsou can’t disagree.
It has a week since Shinsou found out about Katsuki and he hadn’t told anyone about it, not the scientist, not his boss, not even his mother. He keeps Katsuki to himself, a friend whom he can talk to through the nights. There’s also a part of him that possessively doesn’t want other people to interact with Katsuki.
“Do you have a boyfriend?”, Shinsou asks out of the blue.
“Have you ever had sex?”
“We don’t have sex like you humans do…”, Katsuki frowns. “We use it as a reproduction factor and I’m still too young.”
“How long do you live?”
“I don’t understand the human time concept…”
“Do you wanna go back to the sea?”
Ok, things can be getting a little out of hand, Shinsou thinks one day as he watches Katsuki lazily swimming around the tank circumference. It has around a month since they started talking and Shinsou is sad to announce that he has a crush. In a mermaid.
The fact is that Katsuki is easy to talk to and since he doesn’t know how society works, he doesn’t have high expectations and demands results. Katsuki is fine only hearing about Shinsou’s day and he seems truly curious when asking things. In the end, Katsuki is adorable, mermaid or not, and Shinsou couldn’t help but develop a huge crush on him.
“Hey, wake up.”, Katsuki calls, slapping his tail down onto the water and sending a wave over Shinsou, getting him all wet.
“What the fuck?!”, Shinsou yelps, frowning when Katsuki starts to laugh at his face. “Are you such a dick because you have two of it?”, he frowns, stripping down his down soaking wet hoodie.
“How many dicks does humans have?”, Katsuki asks curious, swimming to the bridge where Shinsou is.
“One.”, Shinsou answers, “And it’s nothing like yours.”
“Really?”, Katsuki tilts his head to the side. “Can I see it?”
“What?! No!”, Shinsou exclaims, closing his legs and blushing.
“What? Why not?”, Katsuki asks, placing his hands on the bridge.
“Because it’s weird!”
“Your dick is weird?”
“What? No!”, Shinsou widens his eyes. “It’s weird to show it for you.”
“I don’t understand…”, Katsuki frowns confused.
Shinsou sighs, scratching his forehead. “Because humans are different. We don’t show our dicks to people we don’t like.”
“But you like me.”, Katsuki stats and Shinsou blushes. “You said so a long time ago.”
“It’s not the same…”, Shinsou groans, but he soon yelps as Katsuki pulls him down to the water by his ankle. “What the hell?!”
“Let me see.”, Katsuki asks again, his face way too close and Shinsou shivers. Damn crush.
“I-I… Shit, ok… Alright… Whatever…”, he mumbles, his face so hot that it feels uncomfortable against the cold water.
Katsuki puts him up on the bridge again, looking at him expectantly. Shinsou groans, unfastening his belt and unbuckling his jeans, pulling it down together with his underwear. He looks at Katsuki, at his curious puppy-like eyes, and sighs. Well, everyone has its weakness, it’s ok if his is a ridiculously pretty mermaid.
“Oh.”, Katsuki whispers, reaching out to brush his fingers over Shinsou’s dick.
“Shit…”, Shinsou sucks up his breath, shivering because of the cold touch of Katsuki’s fingertips.
“How does it works?”, he asks curious and Shinsou groans because he is still touching.
“It gets hard so it can get into the other person.”, Shinsou murmurs, closing his eyes.
“If you keep touching it, you’ll find out…”, Shinsou groans again, feeling himself shivering more frequently.
But everything ends suddenly when Katsuki pulls him into the water again. It’s so quick that when Shinsou breaths again, they are under the bridge, Shinsou’s back against the tank wall and Katsuki holding them up just enough to Shinsou to be able to breath.
“Shinsou?”, Dr. Maijima’s voice can be heard echoing in the lab. “Shinsou?”
Shinsou looks at Katsuki, nodding when Katsuki shakes his head. He’ll stay quiet, even though he’s freezing in the water and his pants are falling down his thighs.
“I think he’s not here.”, Dr. Maijima says and Shinsou can hear steps on the staircase.
“He smokes, doesn’t he?”, Dr. Kayama’s voice can be heard now. “Maybe he’s outside taking a break.”
“Or maybe he fell in the tank and Bakugou killed him.”, Dr. Maijima says thoughtful and they are close now.
“He’s smart. He hasn’t fallen until now. Maybe he’ll stay alive until the end of the project.”, Dr. Kayama says and now they’re on the platform just above them.
Shinsou sees the light of flashlights over the surface of the water and he can’t help but feel anxious. They are walking over the bridge now. They hit the bridge with something a couple of times.
“Oi, Bakugou.”, Dr. Maijima calls, hitting the bridge again. “Where’s this damn fish?”
Katsuki lifts his finger to his mouth and Shinsou nods. Katsuki slowly sinks deep in the water, swimming to away from Shinsou. He appears as far away of the bridge as possible, only his all-black shark eyes out of the water.
“There you are.”, Dr. Maijima says, leaning against the bridge guardrail.
“We came to tell you that you’re leaving next week.”, Dr. Kayama says, and Katsuki remains quietly looking at her.
“You were sold to an Aquarium in Norway. They gonna ship you there next week. They gonna put you up to exhibition there.”, Dr. Maijima tells him and Shinsou can hear the smile on his voice.
“Maybe if you’d helped us, we could have kept you here in Japan.”, Dr. Kayama says, “But now you’re theirs and we can’t guarantee your safety anymore.”
Katsuki seems to have had enough of them, simply sinking back into the water. Shinsou can feel Katsuki’s tail brushing his legs after a moment and can also feel Katsuki’s arms giving him support from under water.
“I hope they make sushi out of you.”, Dr. Maijima grumbly says, and the two scientist walk back to the platform and down the stairs.
Katsuki lets go of Shinsou, sinking even more into the water. He’s back after a minute or so, holding Shinsou in his arms. “I’m sorry for pulling you in like that.”
“That’s not important!”, Shinsou says, his eyes wide. “They sold you to another Aquarium!”
“Yes…”, Katsuki sighs, his shoulders dropping. “I guess there’s nothing I can do.”
“No.”, Shinsou shakes his head. “We gonna think in something.”
If you asked Shinsou a couple years ago what was his dreams for the future, stealing a shark mermaid from Japan’s greatest aquarium wasn’t one of them. That being said, it’s exactly what he’ll gonna do.
In a conversation with Ishiyama-san, Shinsou found out exactly when they would transfer Katsuki to Norway, and after that he put his plan into action. Shinsou started to feed Katsuki more since after a conversation Katsuki revealed that he couldn’t transform into human because he was being kept not only in drugs but in a diet. He also learned where it was and how he could change the security tape; Shinsou knows all the Aquarium employees habits, he knows when and where to move.
So in the middle of a wednesday night in february, Shinsou put his plan in action.
After deleting the footage of the day, Shinsou runs to the Origin Project Lab. He runs upstairs with a change of clothes in hands, walking up to the middle of the bridge.
“Katsuki?”, he calls, kneeling on the metal and looking at the deep dark water.
Katsuki appears a minute later and Shinsou helps him to get out of the water, gasping in surprise when he sees that the strong black tail is gone and now Katsuki has legs.
“Do you think you can walk?”
“Of course I can…”, Katsuki says and he seems so tired that Shinsou can’t fully believe in him.
“Ok, so let’s get you into these clothes.”, Shinsou says, helping Katsuki to put the baggy jeans, tank top and hoodie that he had brought.
It takes Katsuki a few attempts until he can finally stand, and he wobbles as he walks, but at least he is walking. Walking down the stairs is difficult, but they manage to get to the floor. Katsuki is trembling a bit and Shinsou hugs him better against his body, giving him enough support so they can walk out of the lab.
“Oi, Shinsou!”, Juzo calls and Shinsou freezes, holding Katsuki tighter against his body, hiding his face against his neck. “I thought today was your day off!”
“Yeah… I just… Well… You know…”, Shinsou smirks, pointing Katsuki with his chin, thanking god that Katsuki is smaller than him so it’s easier to keep him hidden.
“Huh? Oh!”, Juzo cracks a smile. “Dude, totally! Sorry for interrupt”
“Hey, could you not tell Ishiyama about this…?”, Shinsou asks and Juzo gives him two thumbs up.
“I haven’t seen you today, my dude, not even a single purple strand.”, he smiles.
“Thank you, dude. I appreciate.”, Shinsou says honestly, watching as Juzo walks away from them. “Shit, that was close.”
“Yeah… I didn’t understand anything, though.”, Katsuki mumbles as they resume on walking, and little by little Shinsou notices that Katsuki is walking better.
“I implied that we were on a date.”, Shinsou explains, crossing the aquarium as fast as Katsuki’s legs allow them to.
“A date?”, Katsuki asks, looking up at him.
“Well, now he’s thinking that we’re gonna have sex…”, Shinsou chuckles, because the idea is ridiculous, but something inside him would really like this.
“I’m too young for this.”
“Not for human standards.”, Shinsou mumbles, opening the aquarium door.
Shinsou leads Katsuki to his car, opening the door and helping Katsuki to get in. Katsuki seems nervous with the car and Shinsou imagines that the last time he rode one it was to get into the lab, which was probably quite traumatizing. So Shinsou holds his hand while driving, caressing his cold knuckles with the pad of his thumb and trying to ease Katsuki’s heart a little bit.
The aquarium is close to the sea, but Shinsou prefers to drive a bit far away so Katsuki could have a clear route. Besides, now that he’s calm, Katsuki seems to be enjoying the views of the city, looking curiously through the window without letting Shinsou’s hand go.
The shore is quiet when they step into it, not a single person in the sand right now. It’s already past 3 in the morning, so Shinsou isn’t exactly surprised. Katsuki is almost buzzing when they get out of the car, and his legs almost give in when he steps on the uneven sand ground, but Shinsou is there to support his weight.
They get into the water, it’s cold but at this point in life, Shinsou is already used to be into cold water. Katsuki seems better than fine and Shinsou can feel excitement emanating from him. Shinsou helps him to take out the clothes once they get to a waist-level depth in the sea.
“Thank you.”, Katsuki says, and he’s still holding Shinsou’s hand.
“I’m just trying to be a better person.”, Shinsou chuckles and Katsuki shakes his head, snorting a soft laugh.
“Will you be ok? Because of the aquarium?”, Katsuki asks and Shinsou can feel his worry.
“As long as you’re far away from here.” Shinsou nods. “I’ll miss you.”
“I’ll miss you to.”, Katsuki says, biting down his own lip. “You should go, you know? To Tokyo. Not to be a lawyer, but to do more than babysit fishes.”
“Are you worried about my future?”, Shinsou chuckles and Katsuki rolls his eyes.
“I’m worried about you dying out of boredom without me here.”
“That could happen…”
They stare at each other for what seemed to be a long time, both of them knowing that it’s time to go, time to say goodbye, but after more than six months together it’s hard to part ways.
“Well… Bye, then…”, Katsuki says, taking a few steps backwards before Shinsou holds his hands.
“Wait. Just… Shit… Alright… Don’t bite my head off.”, Shinsou says.
“What…?”, Katsuki frowns confused.
Shinsou pulls Katsuki closer by his hands, chuckling when he hears him yelps. He hugs Katsuki by his waist with one of his arms, his free hand carefully holding Katsuki’s chin and tilting his face up so he could kiss his lips. Katsuki startles against Shinsou’s chest, holding onto his shirt in surprise. But being a fast learner, Katsuki matches Shinsou’s moves quickly, even though quite clumsy.
Their kiss is cold and slightly wet, sloppy and soft. Shinsou can’t help but thinks how cute Katsuki is while trying to keep up with the kiss. He tastes like salty water and Shinsou thinks it’s good even though it gives him a weird sensation at the tip of his tongue. Also, Katsuki’s soft sighs are a plus.
When they break the kiss, Katsuki chases after his mouth for more and as much as Shinsou knows it’s wrong, he gives in, so they kiss again. They keep kissing for who knows how long, only stopping when Shinsou is trembling because of the cold water.
“Don’t forget me.”, Shinsou asks, whispering against his lips.
“I won’t.”, Katsuki promises and they finally pull away.
Shinsou is brought back from sleep by loud bangs on his front door and he can’t help but feel extremely angry because of this. He was finally sleeping, FINALLY.
“I’m coming!”, he yells at the door, dressing up the first pair of pants he finds and walking to the front door. He isn’t surprised to see Ishiyama-san and the two scientist.
“Where is he?!”, Dr. Maijima growls, forcing his entry into Shinsou’s apartment.
“Who?”, Shinsou asks, pretending to be confused.
“You know who! Where’s Bakugou?”, Dr. Kayama grits out and she seems so angry that it’s endearing.
“In his tank?”, Shinsou asks innocently.
“You know damn well that he isn’t!”, Dr. Maijima growls again, slamming open every single door in Shinsou’s tiny apartment.
“You lost a shark?”, Shinsou scoffs, amused.
“He isn’t a shark!”, Dr. Maijima says, walking back to the living room.
“He is not?”, Shinsou frowns, looking at Dr. Maijima with his best innocent face. “What is he?”
“You know he’s a mermaid, you little shit. I know you know.”, Dr. Maijima growls really close to Shinsou face and Shinsou can’t help but laughs loudly at his face.
“A mermaid?”, Shinsou asks, still laughing. “Oh, Dr, I didn’t know you had talent for comedy. What would be his exhibition name? The little mermaid? Would you call him Ariel?”
“We know it was you, Shinsou.”, Ishiyama-san says seriously. “We’re going to call the police.”
“Oh yeah? And what you gonna tell them? That I stole a fuckin shark? Or even better, that I stole a mermaid!”, Shinsou laughs even louder. “Please, do. I really, really wanna see the cops’ reaction.”
The other three fall silence, analyzing the situation. It’s true that they can’t accuse him of anything, because the idea of a mermaid existing is so ridiculous that telling people isn’t even an option.
“I hope you know the crime you committed against the science.”, Dr. Kayama says and they start to walk out of the apartment.
“I set him free… I’m in peace with my demons.”, Shinsou says, not even flinching when Dr. Maijima knocks one of his books from a shelf.
Shinsou lost his job on the same day and in the next morning he travels back to Tokyo.
For eight years Shinsou studied. For eight years he completely dedicate himself to become what he is today. Eight years of almost inhaling textbooks and a thousand of fieldwork later, Shinsou finally became what he wanted to.
Dr. Shinsou Hitoshi, oceanographer, specialized in sharks.
Shinsou had been off in the sea for a month now, cataloging and collecting data of the shark population around the north part of the Hokkaido Island. Normally, Shinsou would have a full team with him, a bigger boat and better equipments, but from time to time he likes to do what he calls “review trips” where he sails alone in his old fishing boat for a month or two checking on the sharks they had already marked.
It’s a beautiful sunny spring day and Shinsou had just started working half an hour ago. There’s some old school rock music playing from inside the cabin and there’s a mug with steamy hot coffee over his small dining table. The sea is calm, soft waves moving the boat in that way that manages to lull Shinsou’s dream; his insomnia appears less when he’s off at the sea.
“Hey, mama. Look at me. I’m on my way to the promised land.”, Shinsou murmurs the lyrics, using his hunt knife to cut the fishes he’ll be using as bait today. “I’m on the highway to hell… High way to… OUCH!”, he yelps, letting his knife fall on the boat floor. “Fuckin shit”, he murmurs as he sees the cut right on his palm.
Mumbling curses under his breath, Shinsou walks around the boat searching for the first-aid kit. Of course it is in the last place he searches, which means that he had to walk up to the cabin roof to find it. Shinsou sighs, mumbling something about needing to be less messy. But as he leans to grab the kit the boat is hit by an unexpected strong wave, making Shinsou lose his equilibrium and fall from the roof to the sea.
He can feel himself sinking on the crystal clear cool water, the salt making his wound ache. Shinsou closes his eyes to enjoy the forced sea bath, only to shot them open again when he feels hands grabbing him by the waist and pulling him out of the water.
“Why the fuck you’re always falling in dangerous waters?”, a voice grunts, a well-known voice that Shinsou hadn’t heard in eight ears.
Shinsou looks up, his eyes widening as he sees Katsuki’s face eclipsing the sun. “KATSUKI!”
“Can’t you not yell every time you see me?”, Katsuki asks in fake annoyance, a smile taking place on the corner of his mouth.
“It’s really you.”, Shinsou whispers, lifting his hand to touch Katsuki’s chin.
“You’re bleeding.”, Katsuki sighs, holding Shinsou’s hand and liking the blood from Shinsou’s wrist to the palm of his hand. “You’re bleeding in a place full of sharks. And here I thought you would become smarter through the years.”
“Still a dick, I see.”, Shinsou grumbles, but he can’t even pretend to be mad.
“Still have two of it.”, Katsuki winks and Shinsou laughs loudly.
Shinsou tips his head up in a silent question and Katsuki doesn’t need more to take his lips in a kiss. Kissing Katsuki still tastes like sea water and it’s still weirdly cold, but Shinsou can’t help but feeling warm inside. Katsuki chases after him again and Shinsou gives in without thinking, kissing him again as long as he wants.
“Can I ask you to stay this time?”, Shinsou whispers his question against Katsuki’s lips, feeling the mermaid’s slips curling up in a smile.