Chapter 42: Bob
This is going to be fairly short but I felt I ought to have finished this "one shot's" story.
Bob woke up with a smile on his face, the first one in quite a while.
He was currently resting in the home of Anne, the sea-bishop who had granted him the ability to breathe underwater. For a few months Anne found herself fighting with herself over her actions of abandoning him to that terrible Scylla she decided to act.
She had snuck into that dark cave and had taken Bob with her while his abuser had gone out looking for something to feed him. She took him to Lionsville, one of the first sea mamono settlements on Earth.
In the months following the world's discovery of mamono the issue of sea-based Mamono became an issue. The fortunate thing was that without Poseiden's sea storms assisting them in catching their "prey" sea mamono were significantly less dangerous; especially so with their numbers much lower on Earth than back in their homeworld. However there were a few issues that were needed to be resolved.
One of these issues was the location of sea based settlements. Ultimately sea Mamono were to be incentivised to settle down into settlements. Mostly along the shallow areas of the ocean as opposed to the more traditional sites for homes back in their lands. But it worked out well so far. Humans could visit and transport supplies to the settlements and vice versa. A few mamono were lucky enough to meet their significant others this way.
Thus Anne had found a place to call home in the form of Lionsville, named after the invasive species of fish known as the lionfish. As part of the deals with the American government the mamono of the eastern seaboard, specifically in the southern half, were tasked with helping stop the spread of invasive species that threatened native ocean life. A task many were happy to do, it helped their relationship with the humans and gave the settlements a steady supply of food for themselves and their husbands.
So when she had worked up the courage she rescued the man who she had helped incarcerate in the first place and brought him to her home. He wasn't too happy with this result either, but it was a much better alternative compared to his previous predicament.
But Anne had slowly begun to grow on him as time wore on. He began to go out with her on the town, helped her at the local sea-bishop chapel and other social activities. That raised rumors that the lonely sea-bishop had finally found a husband, rumors that were quickly debunked by the pair. Anne didn't want to make the already unsettled and traumatised Bob even more so with such talk. For him, the amount of talk about marriage he had endured was more than enough for him. Still he improved, he soon reached a point in his relationship with Anne that could be described as a friendship. That was when she decided to give him a choice.
Saving Bob wasn't exclusively a selfless act for Anne, but selfish reasons as well. She had grown an infatuation for him and wanted him for herself. After seeing the disastrous results of his previous relationship, she felt she could be a better lover. But she knew he couldn't hold him here in Lionsville, that would make her just a replacement for his previous jailer.
Bob swam into the kitchen of Anne's home after getting dressed. He saw Anne quietly sitting in the kitchen, looking nervous and contemplative.
"Good morning Anne, is something on your mind?" He quietly asked her as he grabbed some breakfast. She finally had noticed him with a squeak as she swam to where he was, taking care to not get too close.
"There is actually dear, er, Bob," she quietly muttered "I was thinking, how do you feel about going back to the surface, back to your home?"
Bob stopped suddenly, a look of surprise adorning his face. He turned towards Anne with a ray of hope within his eyes.
"You serious?!" He asked, joy barely hidden in his voice. She nodded hesitantly before continuing.
"You can leave tomorrow, but I would like for you to at least consider visiting me," she began. But she never had the chance to finish as he wrapped his arms around her human torso and hugged her.
"You saved me when you didn't have to and I appreciate that. But it will take me a long time to heal, I don't think I will be able to visit you for a while. But I promise you Anne, I WILL see you again. I cannot thank you enough."
Anne didn't know what to say, but she did know what to do. She quickly returned the hug, she had a feeling it would turn out this way, but she was glad still. He wanted to come see her again someday, if she had to wait for him, then she would.
The next day at the "docks" they swam out to where scuba divers would drop down from the surface with pallets of goods, along with the occasional guest. Bob and Anne gave each other goodbyes before he swam over to the nearest diver and began to converse with him.
Within the hour Bob was on his way back up. He turned to face Anne one last time, he smiled and waved, but he had a feeling he would see her again soon.