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brother of the sea

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"Brother," calls the sea king. "Welcome home."

Changer nods, becoming his first shape; his brother follows swiftly, and they float together, the oldest of all living things, wearing bodies that no one has seen in more millennia than humans can begin to comprehend.

"How is the child?" the sea king asks.

Changer smiles, answering, "She is stronger by the day. If she learns patience, she might one day rival us in age."

Laughing, the sea king dives. "No one shall ever rival us, brother!" he calls. Changer rushes in his wake and they race from one ocean to another, all of the king's subjects hurrying from their path.

Finally, they rest, tangled together and staring at the sky.

"Do you think someday we'll walk amongst the stars?" Changer asks. "Like the gods humanity once believed us to be?"

"You might," his brother replies quietly. "You left the water for the land. I suppose you might yet leave the land for the stars. But I will not, brother." Closing his eyes, the sea king listens to his realm, to the depths and the shallows, to the roar that echoes in his soul and responds to his wishes. "I am the ocean. Here I was born and here I shall die, if that day ever dawns."

Changer does not reply except to twine closer, listening to the call of the ocean his brother has never ignored.

He will return to land soon enough, to his daughter and the Accord. But for now he is simply brother and he is home.