Kaldur hardly believed this "vacation" was necessary. King Orin was a wise leader, but not even he was above faults. When Batman came into Kaldur's room (with a bruised lip that drew Kaldur's curiosity) he had scowled and told the young Atlantean not to draw too much attention to himself.
"Yes sir," Kaldur said.
King Orin had decided that Kaldur'ahm would spend his "vacation" at a hotel right by the pier. That way, he would never be far from the ocean, and still be able to maintain some semblance of relaxation. Still, Kaldur always found himself out on the mainland, staring out into the ocean. His thoughts on his team. Was Robin holding up well as a leader? Were Artemis and Wally fighting again? Was Ma'gann working through her feelings for Connor? How was Connor adjusting? And, regardless of his king's order, Kaldur could not aim to quiet his thoughts. His mind was too erratic to properly enjoy his "vacation".
"Ya' know, I see you out here every day."
Kaldur'ahm's ears perked at the intruder's voice. It was a soft baritone that seemed to harmonize with the crash of the waves. Kaldur turned his face to see a young man (about his own age) standing behind him.
"Oh," Kaldur said, "Hello."
The young man stood a full three centimeters taller than Kaldur'ahm. His hair was shaved into a close buzz. On the surface world, that hairstyle was called a "fade". Something the Team had always recommended Kaldur look into. The stranger's skin was deep and dark like the ocean's mysteries. His nose sat large and proud like a king on a throne, and his lips were fuller than a shark's pride.
He was beautiful.
The stranger walked over and sat down by Kaldur's side, "You must really like this pier."
Kaldur just shrugged, "I-I really enjoy being near the water." Kaldur'ahm had been told that his manner of speaking was...rather formal. He couldn't exactly help it, though his father, Calvin Durham was surface dweller, Kaldur took after his mother's manner of speech. Whenever Kaldur's father tried to teach his son "Surface speak" Kaldur always felt like he was doing it wrong. Well...hopefully his father's teachings would be useful.
"Yo," Kaldur said, "You just…" he paused, what was that phrase his father used? "...chillin?"
How could surface dwellers talk like this? Kaldur was beginning to sound like Wally.
The young man laughed, "I take it you're not from around here?"
Kaldur shook his head, "No. I'm afraid I am not."
The young man shrugged, "That's cool man, ain't nobody gonna run you out the place." He took a seat, "I'm Jack."
Kaldur'ahm smiled, "I'm...Kal," he said. From what Kaldur's father had told him, the name "Cal" was far more common a name on the surface world than "Kaldur" was. Robin had always said that making a good first impression was an important part of. "Kal Durham."
And, it wasn't exactly a lie. He was named after his father. So...what was the harm in pronouncing his own name a little differently?
Jack smiled, gently punched Kaldur in the shoulder (the way Roy always did when he wanted to make Kaldur laugh) And the two sat on the pier and watched the waves roll onto the shore.
Perhaps a little time off wouldn't be so bad.