Hitoshi was dead. There was no doubt about it.
Denki wasn’t an eyewitness of his death, but he knew beyond doubt that Hitoshi, his best friend and boyfriend, had perished, his body lost at sea. Hitoshi had gone on a voyage oversea, and fallen prey to the raging ocean and unforgiving waves. Denki had realized a week after, when bits and pieces of Hitoshi’s wrecked ship floated onto shore, that his boyfriend had died. Denki could blurrily remember the harsh denial he felt, refusing to believe that his Hitoshi was gone forever. But he was gone forever. The wrecked boat and sudden disappearance proved it. It was as simple as that.
Hitoshi was dead, and Denki needed to move on.
But Denki couldn’t move on, he didn’t want to move on. Denki refused to let the memories of Hitoshi wash away to the sea that claimed his body. Everything reminded Denki of his boyfriend, more now than ever, from the the cats roaming the sleepy beach town that Hitoshi loved so much, to the lingering scent of jasmine flowers that Hitoshi always stopped to smell. Denki shut himself in his house, denying to face the cruel world that had stolen Hitoshi from him. Denki didn’t sleep or eat, he didn’t know how to go on without Hitoshi by his side, guiding his path.
Of course Denki’s friends tried to help him, but they couldn’t. They couldn’t begin to understand his suffering, his pain in waking up every day and realizing that Hitoshi was gone, and never coming back. They couldn’t fathom the emptiness he felt inside. They tried, though. Day after day, his friends, including Mina, Sero, Kirishima, and sometimes Bakugou, would attempt to pry Denki out of his room, but try as they might, Denki refused to budge.
Hitoshi gave him motivation, gave him purpose, and with him gone… Denki didn’t know what he was meant to do anymore.
The worst part was most definitely the fact that Denki had no body to bury. It had been claimed by the ocean, so Denki couldn’t even have a proper burial for his Hitoshi. Oh, how the world must have hated Denki Kaminari, to force so much suffering and pain upon him. The gods must have taken some sort of sick pleasure in Denki’s misfortunes, because the amount of trouble that befell him must of been the work of a deity who enjoyed his anguish. He was enjoying life too much, he supposed, and fate would not allow that. Fate would not allow someone to love Denki Kaminari, fate would not allow Denki to be happy. Fate decided to punish him. To not only suffer through losing his boyfriend, but also not be able to bury him was the punishment for Denki’s hopes and dreams.
Mina and Kirishima had insisted on having a funeral anyway, even with the absence of a body. Denki was too lost in his own despair to protest. Kirishima and Mina had both agreed upon having a simple memorial consisting of going to the shore and mourning Hitoshi. Which was bitterly ironic, the sea had taken Hitoshi from Denki, and grieving at the sea was another cruel joke. But Denki had no will left to argue with, so he simply agreed.
Kirishima, Mina, Sero, Bakugou, and of course, Denki himself, were going to the memorial. Denki couldn’t really call it a funeral, there was no body to bury, and it wasn’t official. It was only a couple friends going to the sea to mourn and remember.
Denki was dragged along to the quiet seaside by his friends. They were supposed to sit on the beach and silently grieve, but as it got darker, Kirishima ended up falling asleep on Bakugou’s shoulder, and Bakugou ended up taking him to his home. Denki was sometimes envious of their shared happiness, but the envy quickly left as he remembered that the two had done nothing but support him after Hitoshi’s death. Denki was grateful for his friends, he really was, but they just couldn’t understand the numbness he felt inside of himself.
Sero and Mina left soon after Bakugou and Kirishima, encouraging Denki to join them on the way home. But sitting on the quiet beach, under the moon and the stars, felt so nice . It felt so peaceful and serene to have his mind focused on the calming sounds of the ocean, the breeze softly rustling his hair. He felt calm for the first time since Hitoshi died, he felt like he could relax. He knew Hitoshi would want him to be happy, and being so close to the water, he felt like Hitoshi’s spirit was with him.
Denki sat on the beach, alone now, merely enjoying the scenery. He felt at ease, he felt sedated by the back and forth motions of the foamy waves, the twinkling of the pale moonlight across the tranquil ocean. Denki could barely believe this beautiful ocean had killed his boyfriend.
Suddenly, Denki saw something move out of the corner of his eye. He swiftly looked in that direction, seeing a figure in the distance. It looked strangely human, almost familiar. The mysterious figure swam closer to shore, allowing Denki to see the details of the person.
Pale skin. Tired eyes. Lavender hair. The figure looked a hell of a lot like Hitoshi. Same face, same hair, same body.
Denki let out a gasp. Was he dreaming? Was he hallucinating? There was no way Hitoshi was alive, but the person that was swimming closer to the shore looked exactly like Hitoshi. He had to be dreaming, he had to be. But everything felt so real. Denki lightly pinched himself, but nothing happened. He carefully walked closer to the water, trying to get a better look at the Hitoshi-like figure.
“Hitoshi?” Denki whispered. He had to be seeing things, he had to be going crazy. He had heard that people could go insane after losing someone they loved, maybe that was the situation.
The figure perked up at the sound of Denki’s voice, swimming closer to Denki. “Denki?” It chirped, its voice sounding eerily inhuman. Even though most of Hitoshi’s body was still submerged under the water, Denki could tell that the person was definitely Hitoshi.
Denki’s eyes started to water. “O-Oh my gods, Hitoshi… is that really you? I thought you were dead!” He sobbed.
“It’s really me, Denki… however I am not quite the same.” Hitoshi explained. His voice sounded like a hiss more than human. A violet tail abruptly popped out of the water next to Hitoshi. That had to be some sort of sea monster, but why was it so close to shore? Ah, right, two humans were there, so it was probably a prime opportunity to go in for a kill.
“Hitoshi! Something is next to you!” Denki said in a panic. He couldn’t let Hitoshi die, again , he had to save him from the sea monster. Denki tackled the fin, disregarding his own life, in order to protect his boyfriend. He pulled on the tail as hard as he could, and Hitoshi let out a loud yelp.
“K-Knock it off, Denks! That hurts!” Hitoshi yelled, and Denki immediately stopped tugging on the fin.
“That… hurts?” Denki questioned, raising an eyebrow. What was going on?
“It’s… a long story.” Hitoshi sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Basically, all you need to know is… I’m not human anymore. I’m a mer.”
Denki let out a laugh. Hitoshi had to be joking. “I’ve been spending the last couple of days thinking you were dead, and when you come back, you claim to be a mer? Are you trying to pull my leg? Do you think my feelings are a joke?” Denki inquired.
Hitoshi took Denki’s hand in his own. How Denki had missed holding his boyfriend’s hand. “I promise you, I would never lie to you. I love you too much for that. I am most definitely a mer.”
“So that’s your tail?” Denki said, poking the fin, which twitched in annoyance. “How did that happen?”
“Do you know how mers are made?” Hitoshi asked.
“When a mom mer and a dad mer love each other very much-” Denki started.
“No, I mean do you know how humans turn into mers?” Hitoshi sighed, although it sounded more like a growl, throwing his hands in the air.
“How would I know, ‘Toshi?” Denki grimaced. “This isn’t exactly the kind of stuff I would be taught.”
“Legend says, a human becomes a mer when the human dies at sea.” Hitoshi explained.
“You’re saying you died… and then became a mer?” Denki questioned.
“Exactly.” Hitoshi smiled. “I knew you’d get it, Denks.”
Denki smiled back at his boyfriend, he was overjoyed to have Hitoshi back, by his side. His life wouldn’t be so dreary anymore, he could feel good again. He couldn’t wait to tell his friends. Oh shit, his friends.
“What am I supposed to tell my friends?” Denki wondered aloud.
“Simple, you won’t tell them.” Hitoshi remarked.
“Huh? Why not?” Denki asked, confused.
“You think they’ll believe you?” Hitoshi snorted. “They’ll think you’ve gone crazy.”
“Yeah, I honestly thought I was going crazy, too.” Denki chuckled. “But seriously, man, they are my friends, they deserve to know. I can’t just hide… all this … from them.”
“ You’re not going to tell them .” Hitoshi commanded, his eyes glowing ominously.
“Right.” Denki nodded, his brain going all mushy, his desire to tell the others promptly leaving him. “You’re right.”
“Of course I am, Denks. I’m always right.” Hitoshi teased. Denki had missed the way Hitoshi teased him.
“How are we supposed to… figure this out?” Denki laughed nervously. “This whole… mer thing.”
“I was thinking that you could become a mer, too.” Hitoshi remarked, all too calm for what he was requesting.
“W-What?” Denki yelped. “Hitoshi, you realize that means I’d have to die. ”
Hitoshi nodded. “Sadly, you would. However, that is the only way we can be together.” Hitoshi smiled at Denki. “You do want to be together, right?”
“Of course!” Denki protested.
“So you have to sacrifice your human form and human life to be with me. It’s as simple as that.” Hitoshi said, much too serene.
“But my friends-” Denki began.
“What did I tell you? Don’t worry about your friends. You only need me.” Hitoshi hissed possessively, his eyes shining brighter yet again.
And yet again, Denki found his will to resist fleeting. His mind went nearly blank, his brain focused solely on Hitoshi. He didn’t need his friends. He only needed Hitoshi.
“You and me will be happy together, as mers, right? So just do what I tell you, okay, Denks?” Hitoshi cooed sweetly.
Denki nodded dumbly. “Yeah, ‘Toshi…”
“ Follow me into the ocean. ” Hitoshi ordered, and Denki felt his body moving on its own to comply.
“This might hurt a bit, but trust me, it will be worth it.” Hitoshi whispered. “ Don’t struggle, Denks. ”
Hitoshi pushed Denki under the water, and Denki obediently stayed submerged. He didn’t want to fight, after all, he would get to be with his boyfriend after he died. After a couple of minutes, Denki felt his mind go dark and his eyes flutter shut. His lungs screamed for oxygen, but Denki ignored the burning pain. Hitoshi had told him to stay still, so he would stay still.
“I love you.” Hitoshi murmured, still keeping Denki underneath the water, unable to breathe.
Denki wanted to respond, but his mind was shutting down fast.
The last thing on Denki’s mind before he blacked out and drowned was, I love you too.