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Thalassophile

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The German sighed, pulling his cardigan closer to his chest and shoulders out of instinct as a chill ran down his spine, raindrops falling around the sprawling landscape of rugged cliffs and rocky shores. He shifted in his seat, pushing the mounds of paperwork out of his makeshift lap-desk and removed his smudged glasses in an attempt to rid himself of the headache slowly attacking his brain. He glanced out the water-splattered window, watching the ever-changing scenery with his forehead pressed firmly against the glass, his eyebrows furrowing as he fought off the looming threat of sleep caused by the soothing white noise of rain mixing with the train-lag- the dismal weather only adding growing air of drapetomania flooding the doctor's tired mind.

"Gottverdammt..." he rubbed at the bridge of his nose in frustration, his hands coming up to slide through his slicked back hair as his phone began to ring, cutting through the car's silence. "Hello?"
"Bonjour connard! À quelle distance es-tu?"
Henrik chuckled, his brother's voice giving some type of familiar comfort from the empty loneliness following his person like the plague. "Guten Morgen auch, Dick. To answer your question, I believe I'm about... an hour and thirty minutes out? Why, did you think I wasn't going through with this?"
"Ha! I've known you for most of my teenage years, I totally believe when you say 'hey, I'm uprooting my entire successful life to live in a little, sleepy town in the middle of nowhere' that you mean it," the French-accented voice said with a laugh.
"Jacques, you are an insufferable little-"
"Coming from you, I'll take that as a compliment! Dépêche-toi déjà ici, j'ai des choses à faire."
"Ich glaube nicht, dass Shawn als "Dinge tun" gilt, aber in Ordnung."
"Henrik!”
"I'm joking! God, relax! Listen, I'll call you back when I'm at the station, alright?"
"You better! Shoot me a text or something - now go, tu me fatigues!"

Henrik smiled as he hung up his cell, placing it securely into one of his old messenger bag pockets, closing his ocean blue eyes to get at least a few minutes of rest.

Hell, maybe moving to Delheim Point was a good idea after all...


It had been another typical night in Brighton. Despite how it might have seemed the hospital throughout the day was relatively quiet, he physician even had enough of a break mid-day to swing by the cafeteria with some of his colleagues for a least a cup of lukewarm coffee and a protein bar while he pretended to not see the exasperation in his friend's faces. The drive home itself was quiet as well, partially due to how late it was and the local weather, rain falling onto the city like water dripping from the tap, the lights blurring through fogged car windows and storefront glass. A crappy but admittedly catchy pop song was playing on most of the radio channels, Henrik humming along to the base melody to pass the quiet drive back home. He sighed though, knowing that Clara would most likely already be in bed with how late it currently was...

God did he hate having to work so late, only to slip back home to reheated dinner and his wife’s growing animosity towards his very being, living in a home that seemed on edge every time he stepped through the doorway.

It was around ten twenty-five when he parked in the driveway to the family’s two-story home, soft lighting from his daughter's room and the main living area standing out against the darkness of the night as he sat in the driver's seat of his ford escape. Henrik could practically see Marie waiting for him, sitting on their loveseat as if it were a throne, ready in a heartbeat to dole out her harsh judgments the moment he stepped through their front door.

”Ah, I see the good doctor has finally decided to grace us with his presence,” Marie barked, venom clear in her tone as she spoke from the living room doorway, arms crossed with bright, blood red nails tapping against her toned forearm. Marie moved with dangerous grace across the room like a predator stalking its prey, her husband clearly hearing the clacking of heels against the hardwood floors which sent a chill down his spine. “You’re late... again..”
“Clara?”
“She’s already upstairs, waiting for over an hour dear,” the blonde remarked, taking a moment to adjust her appearance. “This is getting ridiculous Henrik, it’s the third night this week you’ve been-”
“M, I can’t help what schedule the hospital assigns me.”
“Ehrlich gesagt, sieht es so aus, als würde es mich interessieren?” She sneered as Henrik sighed, slipping out of his thin jacket and placing it on the coat stand behind. “Listen, I’ve tried to get my schedule switched-”
“Well try harder! Ugh, just… just say goodnight to your daughter, I’ll reheat you some leftovers or something…”

~

"...Clara? Maus, I know you're still up- oof!" "Pops!" the young girl launched her scrawny self from her lilac sheets, pouncing onto her father as he grabbed her mid-air and swinging her carefully around the girl's bedroom. "You're finally back! Mom said you'd be out for," she thought for a moment before shaking her head, moving on to the next topic for discussion as Henrik tucked her back into bed, a soft smile on his face as Clara snuggled further into the warmth of her sheets. "Mr. Rick was here earlier, momma told me not to say anything though. She said you'd get mad..." "Oh maus," he ruffled her dirty blonde hair, pressing a kiss to her forehead before continuing. "I could never be mad at you, ok? Please don't listen to mother when she says silly things like that... Alright, how about I read you a story! I'm thinking, hm, how about...."

~

"Rick was here this afternoon?"

Marie sighed, turning around from the sink to face her clearly tired husband to stare him in the face, contempt explicit in her icy gaze. "Like it concerns you." "You may not like it, but we're still married, Marie." He held up his wedding ring-clad hand, watching in both frustration and desperation as she grabbed her leather jacket off the dining room table, slipping into her curved frame and fixing her bright red lipstick in the mirror. "I'm going out... dinner is warming in the oven. Don't wait up for me." "Marie... Marie! God damn it..."


“May I have your attention, please. We are currently approaching our station in Delheim Point, if this is your stop, please begin to collect your belongings. This is also a safety announcement. Due to today’s weather, please take extra care when departing the train and on the station. Surfaces may be slippery.”

“...Excuse me?” Henrik looked up from where he was absentmindedly packing up his things, seeing a young woman nervously standing by the empty seat next to him. “Uh, hi…? Sorry, this is kinda weird but my family is giving me a huge headache, and I was wondering, just for the next few minutes, if I could maybe…” Henrik thought for the moment, stacking and shuffling his papers before nonchalantly stuffing them back into the folder peeking out from his worn leather messenger bag as the woman continued to stand in place, almost falling over herself from the roughness of the rails before steadying with the use of one of the many seat backs. “Feel free to sit down,” he said with a soft, friendly smile, “I understand the pain of dealing with siblings and overbearing families.” “Thanks, thank you so much. God little brothers drive me insane.” “Believe me, I know the feeling,” he said with a chuckle, not realizing till she sat how young the girl was in all actuality, studying up close her young yet sharp feminine features and seemingly anxious attitude. The doctor couldn’t help but see his own daughter in her, the woman looking so much like Clara with her curly dirty blonde mane of hair and bright blue eyes, freckles covering every inch of her nose and cheeks.

“So you’re traveling to Delheim? This might sound kinda stupid, but like, why? There's like, nothing in town.” Henrik blinked, his face almost unreadable until his lips shifted into a small frown. “It’s a long story… And why do you ask?”
“It’s just, I don’t know, I’ve lived most of my life in Delheim, and there’s nothing really to write home about. Sure, it’s becoming kinda… Ugh, what’s the word, hipsterish? Is that even a word?” “My brother moved a few years ago from Paris, he said I would appreciate the quiet.”
“Well, there’s plenty of it. Oh! Has he told you any of the rumors? Those are like, the only interesting thing Delheim’s got to offer.” She continued when Henrik shook his head no, hands going into overdrive as her confidence increased while rambling on about softly glowing lights in the waters off the coast, remains of sunken ships being washed up onto the shore in pristine condition, sightings of creatures science couldn’t explain... Henrik just scoffed, but in all reality, he couldn’t help but be intrigued by the fantasy of the teenager’s stories.

They continued talking till the train pulled into the station, parting as she returned to her family and Henrik began the search for his ride. Despite being only half-siblings, he and Jacques were surprisingly alike, both loving to watch life from a distance- the Frenchman was tucked into the corner of the waiting area, light golden brown hair a mess and clothing rumpled due to dozing off while waiting for his brother’s arrival. The German smiled wickedly, sneaking behind the other’s sleeping form to whisper into his ear in an attempt to wake him up.
“Guten Tag, Schlafmütze…”
“Ahh! Henri, tu baises! I thought I told you to text me when you were close!”
“Check your phone… You didn’t tell me about Delheim’s local mythology! And right off of that series of cliffs close to the house! You’ll have to tell me later when you’re helping me unpack.”
“Like you would let me help you unpack Mr. Control freak,” Jacques said, picking up Henrik’s suitcase and slapping his brother on the back. “More as I entertain you with the local gossip. Now, race you to the car, old man?”
“Jacques? Jacques, slow the fuck down!”

Chapter Text

He stood upon a ship's weathered bow, the picture of masculine poise looking out past the horizon towards a distant shore, regal blue waistcoat flowing against the German's form basking in the crisp, midnight breeze. Everything was just... too loud at the moment, the joyous ruckus coming from down below deck was too much for the young man to handle, walking closer to the starboard and calmness of the sea.

A creature, majestic and dangerous in its form, breached for air, pulling itself up to rest along the hand-railing, claws digging into old red oak, talons carefully tracing along the sailor's sharp jawline. Pressed up against the railing, the creature, so painfully slow and deliberate in its movements, cupped the other's face, pulling the other closer, tail and arms wrapping around the sailor's neck and thin torso. Large hands brushed strands of long hair back, eyes meeting for a split second before lips were pressed together, a soft hum filling the pregnant silence. He was being pulled over the edge, fangs sinking into the soft skin of his neck and collar before being dragged into the choppy current, water filling his lungs and fate sealed with one last smoking kiss...


It was early, golden morning rays filtering in through curtained windows and onto the now awake Henrik, the german's cheeks flushed bright pink and heart racing, pounding against his ribcage. He took a sharp breath, shifting from his cocoon of blankets and pillows but refusing to leave the warmth his bed supplied.

"Oh.. Oh fuck..." Henrik whispered, barely pressing his fingertips against his chapped lips out of reflex, the fictional taste of smoke and salt water coating the tip of his tongue. A hand ran through matted brown curls, another fumbling for a pair of glasses before stumbling out of bed towards the bathroom across cold tiles.

The mirror fogged as Henrik turned on the shower, stepping into the spray and letting the warmth of the water seep into his weary bones. He could almost still feel the pain of teeth sinking into the soft skin of his neck, the ghost of arms around his neck and phantom pressure around his waist…

The doctor continued sitting under the showerhead until the water turned cold, lost deep in thought at how quickly life seemed to be slipping through his fingers, how one simple- god, a simple dream seemed to have him so shook up. It took a moment to finally work up turning off the faucet, stepping out of the tub and into the steam, Henrik drying himself off and allowing his usually slicked back hair to curl as it naturally dried as he washed his face and changed. He shivered as he stepped out of the bathroom now dressed in a clean sweater and jeans, bare feet silently padding against the hardwood stairs.

He briefly passed by the kitchen on his way downstairs, noticing his usually well put together brother bustling around the kitchen, his pinstriped shirt a wrinkled mess and hair only comparable to a rats nest. He was opening various cabinets and drawers in search for something, aggravation clear through the curses being mumbled under the Frenchman's breath. Henrik sighed, ignoring his brother’s insistent morning ramblings, grabbing a blanket and slowing stalking over to the pair of large sliding glass doors, slipping out into the crisp sea atmosphere to decompress.

It had barely stopped raining since the doctor had arrived, the color of the sky a constant graphite haze looming over the small seaside town. Henrik shivered, pulling the flannel cloth closer over his lithe frame as he looked out over the sea below, waves crashing gently upon the weathered shore, the rain from last night mixed with the ocean giving the rocks scattered along the coastline a distracting shine. He found himself walking down from his deck to the sandy earth below during the drizzle, sitting along where the tides reached their farthest point. It was as if he was hypnotized by the always moving waters, creating an almost unearthly clarity allowing for the view of its most hidden content.


The shadow moved gracefully under the ocean’s waves, tail flicking between the extensive caverns and long winding rock formations like a moss-covered ghost, it’s scales gleaming unnaturally against the depths dark tint. Webbed fingers brushed over ancient carvings and old sunken artifacts, sharp nails digging deep into the sandy ocean bottom before breaching for air, throwing its bag to the side as it climbed onto the rocks above the surface. Calloused hands came up to push back moss-colored locks away from it’s freckle-covered face, breathing slowly as the first beams of light shown down onto the figure’s form.

Chaisie sighed, beginning to sort through his new finds- slit eyes dilating as he noticed smaller, more interesting details of scrawling text and intricate patterns, fingertips tracing over the carvings as his mind began to wander. Images of handsome ship captains sailing across the seven seas in search for hidden treasures, beautiful women hosting grand parties in stately homes, the tides pulling young girls to it’s bosom with the promise of freedom and rebellion danced through his conscious, crafting dreams of years gone by…

He looked across the stilled waves, past the rocky coastline towards the rugged cliffside and the house sat atop it, eyes widening as the siren noticed a figure standing in one of the doorways. Chaisie ducked down and out of view as the other began the walk down the shore, the creature’s eyes never leaving the other’s form. The figure looked like a mess, but an intriguing one- one that stole the siren’s focus away and left him breathless… He was, well, scruffy in his appearance- hair being blown about by the rolling winds, flannel blanket wrapped tightly around his shoulders and waist, dull eyes staring out towards the water and reflecting back a type of life that sent a shiver down Chaisie’s exposed spine. He flushed as the man stepped into the tide, humming a soft tune that haunted the siren in his core, scales across his body glowing the closer the man got to his perch, voice itching to finish the melody the other had begun…

His voice was rough from a combination of disuse and the early morning, but his tone was light- soft and careful before becoming stronger, more pulling and enticing than planned… more than just a call to pull the man to his watery death. Chaisie stalled when the man called out to him, taking a moment to just listen to the other’s rich voice acting as it’s own siren song, confusion flooding his mind before another voice called out towards the sea, its own tone angry with worrying undertones. The man began to retreat back, the other figure pulling Chaisie’s subject of interest out of the water and back towards the land, and with one final glance, the siren dived back into the depths, only one thing on his mind…

Henrik.

Chapter Text

He’s found himself lounging in one of the many caves littered around Delhiem’s rocky coast, the outcropping of scattered rocks providing short-term protection from the on slot of rain pouring onto the ocean’s surface, a distant rumble of thunder causing the creature to shudder against cool sand and granite. He’s pulling himself up onto a slick slab- one large enough to support his weight, exposed spine flush against the stone beneath, webbed fingers tracing meaningless patterns into coarse sand, mind wandering far from his temporary sanctuary, far from the storm raging outside crashing onto a battered shore.

To a house upon a hill and piercing blue eyes…

“Oh.. Well shit.”

A soft, barely audible groan passes through the siren’s salt-chapped lips, hands finding themselves clenched tightly around strands of moss-colored curls. It feels as if a match has been struck to kindle a fire in his bosom, his heart now an ever-fueled blaze that spreads a comfortable warmth across his freckle-covered cheeks.

Henrik.

Beautiful, alluring, tempting Henrik…

There’s a voice whispering in the dark, untouched corners of his mind: a voice strong in accent and content, but surprisingly soft in its delivery- God how beautiful his soft humming sounded once mixed with the constant white noise of crashing waves… He closes his eyes to the world, and even then the haunting presence of the man invades his senses. The phantom pressure of the strong and calloused, but delicate hands of a doctor worshiping his collar and jawline, fingers delicately running through the siren’s unruly curls. He feels an overwhelming spike of dopamine and adrenaline pipe through his body at the idea of Henrik, his Henrik: hair tousled and windswept, lips swollen and pink against pale skin, the immense need to fall further into the human’s temptations.

Some thoughts are so horribly domestic, so painfully wonderful in a way that burns away all feelings other than unusual contentment. It’s as if he’s a different person in these dreams, so satisfied with his lot in life, comfortably vulnerable around another living creature who thinks and feels with the same intensity and deposition. It's the closeness of their bodies while lounging upon the shore, limbs intertwined in a way that warms the depths of his ever-cold heart. The smallest brush of fingertips enough to send sparks through the siren’s entire being, the simplicity of a peck on the cheek or chaste kiss on the lips overwhelming...

The creature’s eyes open with a jolt, breath heavily and heart-pounding, guilt quickly taking the forefront of his psyche. He's weak, feeling trapped by the overbearing feeling of failure, the craving for companionship he could never acquire. He can’t do this- not again. Can’t reveal himself, can’t harm another innocent.

He can’t love Henrik.

And God does that hurt like hell…