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Chapter 70: Easter Morning
“Shhh…” Comes a low tone in the night, “I think he’s asleep…”
There came a pause, before Arnaav turns in the couch, groaning cutely in the big, fluffy blanket.
“Ok, he’s fine…” Whispered someone else, “He’s usually a deep sleeper.”
“Alright, careful…” Rustling sounds of plastic can be heard as they creep around in the dark.
“AH-” Someone moans and whines loudly in pain in a very strained effort to keep quiet.
“Fuckin stubbed my toe, dammit!” Someone moaned with furious agony.
“Walk it off before you wake him.”
“I can’t walk it off, mah foot’s fuckin crushed!”
“And me the box of Faberge eggs.” She whispered a small, bright light clicked on.
“Mmm…” Arnaav stirs in his sleep, slowing coming too as he can make out the morning light in the dwelling. He lets go of his big mochi plush doll, and rustles in his blanket. It’s been almost a week now since he’s first come here. He feels fine right now, but he can tell he’s getting more sluggish in the mornings.
The boy sniffs the air as he detects several appetizing scents. His tummy growls as he rubs his eyes and peers out.
Arnaav gasps as he sees the house decorated all around! Strings of bright color are hung and drapped around the corners of the room, colors of pink, yellow, blue, and green. Shiny spirals with big thin flowers attached are nailed up on the ceiling. Adorable, happy knick-knacks of long-eared animals and small, fuzzy yellow birds are perched where other possessions were put, as well as many elaborate, beautiful, elegant jeweled eggs strategically placed around the house.
He pushes out of the bedding, and sees several large objects placed on the table – five baskets wrapped in whimsical shapes and plastic, arranged in alignment on the coffee table.
Arnaav picks up the large shirt on the floor, and slips it on before climbing off of the couch, to walks to the kitchen to see the female human, and the dark-skinned human creating food in there, as well as tanner human placing utensils and large discs onto the big round table, and Merrick is opening a couple of cans of food for a patient dog and cat.
“What’s going on?” The boy asked up. Yuri looks and smiles at him.
“Oh, good morning, Arnaav!” She greets warmly.
“Happy Easter, lil man!” Jamal says with a plateful of bacon, and ruffling the kid’s hair.
“Happy… Wha??” Arnaav asks, once again confused out of his little mind. How did the house change so much in so little time?
“Humans have a lot of festivals and celebrations, see” Adam answered, “Called ‘Holidays’. This one is called Easter. This is where we’re celebrating the beginning of the warmer times of the world – where plants get bright and bloom all over and as they get ready for another year for new hopes!” Adam says, but feels awkward when all is met is an estranged look from the kid.
“Yeah, you don’t have to get it,” Merrick says as he gets up while Sally glomps on her bowl and Roxas starts deftly licking his fancy feast, “Humans just like to throw a lot of gatherings and givings.”
“Ooooook?” Arnaav is still confused, but if Merrick says it’s fine…
“Come on up, Kiddo,” Adam takes him, and helps him up on one of the chairs, “Breakfast is just about ready.” Yuri comes in with the waffles and a gravy boat full of strawberry marmalade.
As Arnaav looks about the table loaded with food, and everyone coming up to the table, he really takes notice and how alien the human world is. It doesn’t necessarily scare him, but compared to life as merfolk, humans in comparison seem so… Busy. So much developed, lifestyles so intricate, even how they feed has been made into such a complicated system instead of just hunting prey and eating it on the spot.
They even put items and things all over the dwelling in a sort of imaginative array to feel different, that they’d be capable of having so much to own and set-up at all. Just like in that strange visual story these humans showed him about a partially humanized mermaid with long red hair in her hiding spot filled with human items.
Everything just entices him and leaves him starving for more views. Arnaav growls with hunger as a large, circular, grid-like yellow mat is put onto his plate, with a glob of strawberry chunk-sauce lathered on it before a loud hushing sound tops a frill of white cream, and a few strips of what he suspects is meat on the side, and a couple of white pads with bright yellow globes in the middle.
Looking at everything here, and everything he has seen in the society on the docks, merfolk can gain so much more. If they only knew what they can have, to indulge, if just once, to take one moment to have more joy than the ocean would ever allow.
As soon as he was served, Arnaav sinks his teeth into the waffle. “HANGH! Anngghh, hanngghh!” He slurps with abandon as he devours his meal ravenously.
“We have GOT to teach him how canlı bahis şirketleri to use forks…” Yuri commented as the boy tucks in, honestly feeling a little disgusted.
“Gnng, gnng, gnng…” Arnaav tips the glass to his mouth as the milk washes down his throat before he drains the glass, “Ahhhh!”
“Ah gawd, I’m full.” Jamal groans as he kicks back, and sitting up when Sally props her paws on his lap, “Here you go girl,” He moves a half eaten sausage to the golden retriever, which is snatched right up in a second.
“Oh lord,” Yuri rolls her eyes, “You two eat the same, I swear, and now Arnaav too.”
“Hm?” Arnaav looks up curiously.
“Aight, shuddup, Yuri!”
“Adam, does Yuri hate Jamal?” Arnaav asked as Merrick picked up his dish, “They seem to fight a lot.”
“Haha, trust me,” Adam said as he scoots his chair back, “THAT is not fighting. And no, she doesn’t hate him, she just doesn’t care for the dog.”
“The dog?” Arnaav turns as he watches the gold-colored canine chomps on the scraps on the floor, “Why not?”
“Well, Yuri’s had some bad experience with dogs, for starters,” Adam indicated, “And like me and Merrick, she’s more of a cat person. Up until a year or so ago, she would not let Jamal have a dog.”
“On Jamal’s birthday one time, his boyfriend… Uh, mate, I mean, got him a puppy – that’s what we call a baby dog.”
“Yeah.” Yuri said as she picks up a discarded dish on the table, “Yuri was NOT pleased with that.” She leered before returning to the kitchen.
“Yeah, and Jamal’s mate didn’t know about Yuri’s policy. But the puppy was a gift, he couldn’t just take a living animal back to the store. And besides that, Cats and Dogs are usually two kinds of animals that get very violent when they’re near each other.”
“Violent?” Arnaav looks to Sally, who is now licking the plate clean, and then to Roxas, who is grooming himself under the sunlight of the window, “They don’t look so angry to me.”
“When puppies are around cats, they tend to mellow out around them. Thing is…” Adam leaned in to whisper in Arnaav’s ear, “Yuri has always disagreed with that, and she’s bitter about it because she was wrong.”
“Damare, imaimashi baka!” Yuri calls as a leftover slice of toast comes spinning across the dinning area, and hits Adam’s head.
“Gah, dang it,” Adam takes the toast, and puts it on the table, shaking his head, “So yeah, bitter grapes on that department.”
They clean up the rest of the dishes, and gather to the living room, “So, what are these?” Arnaav asked as they came to the couch.
“Easter Baskets.” Yuri answered, “Depending on what holiday we’re celebrating, we get each other gifts. Nothing too much, just something amusing and fun.”
“Wait…” Arnaav looks up with a remorseful look, “I didn’t know anything about this… I didn’t get you anything… W-What happens now??”
“Yes you did,” Merrick said, “Remember when we went to… It’s ok, they’ll find out.” Merrick helps Arnaav sit onto the couch, and sets one of the baskets onto his lap. The boy looks in awe at the bright wrapping, and looks to see Merrick’s fingers untie the top of the basket, until it was loose and good to open.
“Then we just dig in,” Adam said, before pausing as the basket on his lap shifted, “Um… Mine is moving.”
Merrick grinned, “Open it then.” Adam unties his basket, and pulls out at the wrap, and then hearing a high-pitched squeal.
“Oh no you didn’t!” Adam smiles as he yanks at the plastic, and then gasps as he sees a beaming white, fuzzy critter crawling in the midst of trinkets and candy, “Ohhh my God!!”
“Eeeerr” The tiny kitten mews as its sky-blue eyes look at Adam as he tenderly picked it up.
“Oh my gosh, he’s so adorable~!” Adam coos as he holds the little feline as it practically rattles as he rubs his fingers into its soft fur.
“His name’s Skyler,” Merrick said as he came beside him, “I snuck him into your basket when you went to the bathroom. He’s a Flame-Point cat. See the orangish-gold coloration on his ears, face, and tail?”
“Hi, Sky-Sky~” Adam says to the cute kitten, giddy with happiness as Skyler puts both his tiny paws around Adam’s finger and nips a little on him. Sally comes up, and sniffs at the fuzzball in Adam’s hand.
“Saaalls,” Jamal calls firmly, “You be nice, girl.”
“It’s ok, I can tell her to back off if she gets any ideas.” Merrick said.
“Thank you babe!” Adam hugs his boyfriend with one arm while placing Skyler back onto the basket. The little kitty climbs out, and starts to traverse the house, “Oh, damn, there he goes-“
“It’s ok, I got this,” Merrick said. He sent a few strange noises, that catches the attention of Roxas from the dining area, before the feline stands up, and stares at Merrick. After a pause, Roxas trots over to the kitten, and watches over him. Merrick then shifted his focus to Sally, and performed a few strategic clicks and sonic-like growls, before the dog lost interest in the canlı kaçak iddaa kitten.
“Oooooh…” Arnaav’s eyes beam and twinkle as he sees an array of sparkling, colorful crystals in his basket, all of them emanating a sweet aroma.
“Have I ever told you how awesome it is that you can talk to animals?” Yuri said as the boy’s head and shoulders disappear into his basket.
“Oh, I don’t talk to animals,” Merrick responded as he shook his head, “I just signal them. I send sounds that suggest something I want them to do, and if it’s not too much trouble, they help me. Mermaids do the same thing with water and wind using their singing.”
“Ohhh,” Jamal nodded, “Like Aquaman, right?” Merrick gives him a strange look.
“What in the world is an ‘Aquaman’?”
“He’s a superhero that talks to fish,” Adam said before he glances to his basket, “Oh my gosh, these cat toys are so cute~!” He says as he shifts through the various, feathered items, “Ooh, sweet!” He said as he pulls up at a few neat knick-knacks.
“Hahah, dayum!” Jamal said as he picks up a chocolate bunny filled with peanut butter. “Aw, cool!” He says as he sees a pair of very potent sporting equipment. “OOOOOOh, here we go!” Jamal says as he plucks out a couple of gift cards, “Now THAT’S what I’m talkin bout!” The cards are for Lovers, Big 5, and several other establishments, since he’s so hard to shop for other than elaborate sex toys.
“Seriously, though,” Yuri remarked to Jamal, “Would it kill you to make a wishlist? I keep wanting to get you something “
“C’mon, girl. You know I don’t like guessing games, I rather get mah own shit, ya know?” He takes the gift cards together in a single stack.
“It just feels so lazy and cheap!” Yuri responds.
“How do you think I like it~?” Jamal smirks.
“Ugh, you’re sick!” Yuri throws a pillow right at him, before digging into her basket, “Oh my God!” Yuri said as she pulls out a rectangular box with chibi Fairy Tail spirits on it, “Fairy Tail?! Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God, what is it??” She opens the flap, and gasps as she sees a set of 12 golden keys designed symmetrically, with the symbol for the Western Zodiac on each one, “The Celestial Gate Keys?!”
“Yeah,” Adam said with a grin, “And those are the authentic replicas – not the inaccurate copies you’d usually find anywhere.”
“Oh my God, this is awesome!” Yuri picks up one of the keys, and stands up, holding the key outward; “I call upon thee, in the world of the Celestial Spirits!” She turns herself towards Merrick “I beckon you to my side at once!” She raises the key straight up, “Pass through the gate!”
“Huh?” Merrick quirks his head
“Open, Gate of the Water Bearer!” She brandishes the gold key in a swipe, and points it directly at the merman, “Aquarius!”
“Uhhh…” He turns to Adam and Jamal, “Is she placing a human curse on me or something?”
“Ahahaha, no, man!” Jamal laughs, “Yuri, you such a nerd!”
“Shut up, Taurus!” Yuri shouted as she points another golden key at him, one with an axe blade on one end, and a bull skull on the other end.
“It’s from that anime we watched last time,” Adam said, “Fairy Tail, remember? One of the characters uses magic keys to call these whacky spirits. Aquarius happens to be a mermaid in that show. You know, the bitchy blue one with a fancy urn that makes powerful waves of water.”
“Correct, Libra.” Yuri said pleasantly as she now holds up the key with a heavenly cloud design at the top, and a horseshoe at the end of it.
“Oh, pfff!” Merrick smirks as he looks at Yuri, “Well thanks a lot! I wear a dress ONE time, and all of a sudden I’m a female!”
“Oh, please,” Yuri snickers as she puts the key back into the case, “You’re more feminine than ME sometimes!”
“Pssssh!” Merrick flourishes his spine a little, and waves his hand to a limp-wrist, “Bitch, please~! I am like, manly as shit, betch~!” Yuri snickers at him as his voice gets all effeminate, “I am like, soooo man-like, that I wear all pink on Saturday nights while I jump and like the pole like a sugar dust fairy~”
Arnaav’s head rises up as his teeth chews on a rubber ball on a rubber string, “Hahaha, Arnaav, here,” Merrick says as he comes over, and takes the ball out of his mouth, “Not everything in the basket is edible. Some of these are toys, see?” Merrick takes the paddle, and starts bouncing the ball about.
“Ohhhh, ok!” Arnaav takes the paddle, and giggles as he pounds it skillfully.
“Ok, so lets see…” Merrick shifts through his basket, and pulls out a few long, light-colored satin sashes from his bundle of goodies, “Ooh, soft~!” He commented as he feels at them, and then realizes that he can slip his hand through a loop within the fabric, “Oh, cool.”
“Oh brother,” Yuri rolled her eyes.
“I’ll…” Adam chuckles as he paws at Merrick’s shoulder, “Explain tonight, babe~” Adam leans in to kiss Merrick’s cheek.
Jamal looks further into his basket, and raises his brow as he picks up a three-pronged knuckle canlı kaçak bahis object made of at least five spiral horn shells, painted in metallic red and adorned with red and gold glitter, “Aw tight! This is fancy,” He remarks as he turns it around and puts his fingers through the holes.
“I made that!” Arnaav squeaked up, “Me and Merrick made a bunch of them a few suns ago.”
“Ah hey, I got one too,” Adam says as he picks up a sparkly green array of small scallop shells to form what looks like a leaf breeze. “Wow, these are neat.” He notes the string attached and worked along the shells, and so then works to equip the artistic amulet.
“Oh my gosh, this is darling!” Yuri says as she picks up a twinkling purple tiara of small shells and white fake diamonds.
“This is what I meant, see,” Merrick said to the boy, “I knew you don’t know how to buy things with human stuff, that’s why I took you to look for shells that time.”
“You said they were to be gifts for them,” Arnaav said, “I still don’t understand why we had to wait until now to give them.”
“Hahaha, I know, it’s complicated.”
“Huuh huuh! Huuh, huuh!” Jamal pretends to box as he punches the air with his dazzling red shell knuckles.
“And you call ME a freakin nerd,” Yuri snorts at Jamal, “You’re one of the biggest dorks I ever met. Literally.”
“Shut it, Yuri,” Jamal said without looking at her, “I’s in the zone. HUUH!”
“Hm…” Arnaav looks at himself after Merrick had dressed him, “These sails look different than the ones I wore before.”
“Yeah, humans tend to keep an array of different clothing on hand.” Merrick says as he pulls on a nice white and yellow polo shirt.
“Does this mean we’re going somewhere?” Arnaav asked.
“Yeah, we’re going to this place where other humans like to gather and hunt Easter Eggs.”
“Hunt eggs?” Arnaav quirked his head curiously, “Why would you want to hunt eggs? They don’t move or live, so where’s the use? We don’t even EAT eggs.”
Merrick snickered, “We did this morning.”
“Anyway,” Merrick continued, “These eggs in particular, are small ones. About this size,” Merrick held his thumb and index finger up to estimate a size, “And-”
“Merrick,” Adam looks in, knocking on the doorframe, “You two ready?”
“Yep, we’re good. Come on, I’ll explain more in the car.” Merrick takes Arnaav’s hand, and they strolled outside of the house, where they entered into Jamal’s car. Yuri clicks her seatbelt on the passenger’s seat, while Merrick sat the boy in the middle of the backseat, and Adam came in on the other side. Within a minute, the vehicle pulls out, and drives away.
“So anyway,” Merrick continued, “We’re not ‘Hunting’ eggs, per say. We just go out to find them, and collect as many as we can. And they’re all colorful and decorative, and they’re easy to find if you know how and where to look.”
“Sounds like fun!” Arnaav smiles as he bounces in his seat.
“Also, there’s two types of Easter Eggs,” Adam said, “Ones are solid, and a little heavy. And others are light and hallow. Those are the ones with money or small prizes inside.”
“Ook?” Arnaav blinks in awkward again.
“He’s not gonna need the money, Adam.” Merrick said.
“Well, you never know, he can teach him about what he can use it for.”
They drive for almost an hour to Winston Hill, where the Easter Extravaganza is to take place. They park on a grand, wide grassy field, and emerge. Arnaav looks in awe at the many humans running about, some with their faces colored and decorated, most of them carrying baskets similar to the ones they opened back at the house. He sees a rather large, white, long-eared, humanoid creature waving and strolling about, waving to the many random people while holding a basket full of jumbo-sized plastic eggs.
“Ah shyit.” Jamal said.
“They’s yo ex bo, Yuri.” He pointed out, seeing Ryo and his little sister walk about.
“Ugh. Really? Here, of all places?” Yuri grumbled.
“You two still haven’t made up?” Merrick asked.
“No, I told you, we’re done. He was just a childhood crush, but he turned out to be a needy, paranoid, worst-assuming jerk.” Yuri took the boy’s hand, and walked him away, “Lets just have fun, and pretend he’s not here.”
“Usually do.” Adam said as he held Merrick’s hand and walked with him and kissed him on the cheek.
“Wh-Wha?!” Arnaav takes a double look. He could’ve sworn… It’s not important. “Huh?” Now something catches his eye on the grass. He squats down, to see a small item – an amulet of small, colorful jewels. Three small jewels in the middle in an oval formation with two thin curved lines sprouting from the round part of the center jewels, and with four elegant, petal-like attachments on either side. Upon further inspection, Arnaav sees that there are long, teeth-like prongs underneath the pretty piece.
He looks up, and meeps as he sees the others ahead of him. Arnaav tucks the butterfly trinket into his pocket, and runs up to Yuri, taking her hand as they walk.
“Hey, where’s Nick, anyway?” Yuri asked Jamal, “I’m surprised he isn’t here running around with an Easter Egg thong, cottontail, and bunny ears.” She remarked with an attitude.
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