Part of Her World

A FanFic about Prince Eric and Ariel where Eric is a merman. =)

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1. Under the Sea

There are a lot of things about this world that I don’t understand. I only know the things my father deems appropriate and safe. I keep telling him that I am sixteen now, and I should not be treated as a child, but he doesn’t understand.

I can picture my father’s face as I swim quickly through the abandoned shipwrecks, he’d be so mad it’d probably be beet red. The only adventure I get is exploring the sorrowful bones of long sunken ships and discovering what wonderful treasure has been left behind.

“Hurry up, Flounder. If I’m caught out here I’m dead.”

“I’m swimming as fast as I can, Ariel…”

We reach the most recent ship, sent down to the depths by a tornado. I swim to the deck and start to scan for treasure.

“A-a-ariel, did you hear that?”

“Flounder, don’t be such a guppy. It was probably nothing.”

“But what if it’s a shark?!”

“Why don’t you go check, and I’ll keep looking for human things?”

“No way!”

I give him a look and go farther onto the ship. As I’m swimming toward the door to what I assume is the Capitan’s quarters, something crashes below me.

*CRASH*

“Flounder?! Was that you?”

I swim as fast as I can to the trap door leading below, only to find it completely empty down there. 

“Flounder…?”

Swimming as slowly as I can, I enter the small opening and hope I’m not being lead to my doom. It’s unbelievably dark below, but fortunately my mermaid eyes are made to see in extreme darkness. I glance around, trying to determine where the sound came from. My sisters always said my curious nature would be the death of me, I’m desperately hoping they weren’t right. All that seems to be in this place is barrels filled with Poseidon only knows what and fishing nets.

Then a shadow moves from behind one barrel to another. 

“Hello?” I sound much braver than I feel, and I’m proud of myself for that. “Who’s there?”

Of course whoever it was wouldn’t answer me, which would just be too easy.

“Flounder, if that is you, I will filet you myself.” Now I was getting angry. Who did this strange being think they were, trying to scare me? I wasn’t just going to float here and take it.

I dart over to the barrel and push it over.

“Huh..? Nothing…?”

My brows furrow in confusion. I swear there was something, or someone there. I glance side to side, trying to figure out where it could have gone. Distantly I hear Flounder calling me.

“Ariel? Ariel!”

But, being who I am, I was far too caught up in my new adventure to turn back now. And any sudden noises might cause whatever was there to attack. I just had to investigate.

I slowly swim to a taller stack of barrels and peek behind them. There, crouched in the corner, was what appeared for all intents and purposes to be a merman. Or I suppose ‘man’ might be too strong a word…He was not a child, but not quite a man either. And he looked terrified.

All I could do was float there and stare at him. Although he was mostly hidden by shadows, and cowering in the corner, I could tell he was considerably bigger than me. As I got my surprise under control, I realized I should say something to him.

“Uhh, hello there. Could you please tell me why you’re hiding in a shipwreck?” Sure it wasn’t the nicest thing I could have said, but I was thoroughly confused, not to mention irritated about how scared I’d been.

He dared a glance at me and as a shaft of light hit his face I was once again struck silent. His eyes were the brightest, clearest blue I had ever seen and was contrasted beautifully by his jet black hair, which fell endearingly into his eyes. He had a strong jaw and a square chin. The look on his face made him seem much older than what I had originally figured.

His eyes went up and down my body before it seemed he finally convinced himself I was no harm to him. As he straightened, my eyes widened. He was much taller than I’d thought, and his build much more muscular. He had a strange tattoo over his heart, swirling lines all connecting one way or another. At first I was afraid of this stranger who’s feeling of security I had clearly disrupted, then I saw something in his eyes. Although I was no threat to him, he was still frightened of me.

“It’s okay, I won’t hurt you.” I said it softly, in an attempt to get him speaking.

It worked too well.

“Of course you won’t.” He said with a smirk. “You probably couldn’t hurt a fly, if you wanted to.”

I blinked, surprised by his curtness. Then his words sunk in. I scowled.

“You have no idea what I could do. And what’s a fly?”

This time he blinked, as if realizing he had made some mistake.

“It’s an insect that is very small and completely harmless.” Then he looked away, noticing something behind me.

I turned to see Flounder there, floundering for words.

“Oh! Flounder! You could have said something. You almost scared me. Sorry I didn’t come when you were calling, but look! I found a mer…boy.” I turned and smirked at the stranger behind me. He narrowed his eyes at me and opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by Flounder.

“That’s just perfect. Are you planning on taking him back to Atlantica with us and all your precious human ‘treasures’? Because I’m sure your father would just love that.”

“Oh Flounder. I was just curious.” Then I turned to grumpy-pants. “If you want to come with us you’re perfectly welcome to. By the way, I don’t think I asked for your name.”

He arched an eyebrow. “No, I don’t believe you asked for my name.”

I heaved a sigh. Never had I ever been so aggravated by a merperson. 

“Fine. Could you please tell me your name? I’d hate to have to keep referring to you as the merboy who followed me home.”

He gave me the mother of all glares for that one.

“Eric. My name is Eric, okay?”

“Okay, Eric. My name is Ariel, and this is my best friend Flounder.”

Flounder gave a little wave of the fin in acknowledgement.

I clapped my hands and said, “Okay! Now we head back to Atlantica before my father finds out I’ve left and never lets me leave again. If that’s okay with you, Eric.”

Eric gave me a weird look and shrugged, apparently willing to follow us. I spun around and sped through the trap door, actually sort of glad to be back in the open ocean and out of that little room with no windows. I look back to see Eric following timidly, with Flounder encouraging him.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, clearly confused.

Eric looked mildly sick as he said, “I guess I haven’t swum in a while, I’m not used to it.”

I raised an eyebrow at that and swam down to see them.

“Okay, then. We’ll have to show you how it’s done, eh, Flounder?” I gave him a reassuring smile. “Watch closely.”

I made sure he was watching before I started moving my fin. Slowly at first, but gaining speed until I was weaving smoothly and quickly between the shipwrecks. I closed my eyes to enjoy the feeling of the water rushing around me. I really do love swimming. The speed, the tickle of seaweed on my skin…Wait.

Tickle of seaweed?

I opened my eyes to see Eric swimming right next to me, trailing his fingers along my arm. My eyes widened, and I noticed too late that I was headed to a seaweed bed.

“Ugh!” I cried as I got thoroughly tangled in seaweed. Fortunately for Eric he noticed and stopped just before crashing ungracefully into it, like I did.

“Do you need help?” Eric asked, with a concerned look.

No. I do not need your help.” I huffed as I untangled myself and ignored his outstretched hand. “Now that you know how to swim, let’s just get to Atlantica before I change my mind and leave you here.”

He chuckled at my expression and shrugged again. “Whatever you say, princess.”

I froze. I hadn’t told him I was princess, and he didn’t seem to recognize my name when I told it to him.

“What did you call me?” I asked, icily.

He looked surprised by my tone. “Princess? It was just because of how you were acting…I didn’t mean to offend you…”

I looked at him closely, just noticing the light stubble on his face, and deemed him sincere.

I sighed. “It’s okay. I just wasn't expecting it, that’s all.”

I was planning on telling him, just not now. What if he was an assassin or something? I had to be wary of this beautiful stranger.

And thus began our journey to Atlantica, city of the merfolk.

Of course, it was a pretty short journey, and I didn’t remember until I got back that I had a concert today with my sisters. 

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