Roxas was staring at the other boy, his eyes switching back and forth between his face and the wristband. The other boy was doing the same motions, as he couldn't believe what he was seeing either.
"Are you… real?" Roxas uttered out with a shaky breath.
"Course I'm real! Why wouldn't I be?" the boy almost sounded offended by the statement.
"But you… you have…" Roxas cleared his throat. "You have a tail."
"And you have legs… so this is weird for the both of us. But it's even weirder about that," the boy pointed to the wristband that Roxas wore. "Where did you get that?"
"I… I've always had it."
The boy looked far more curious than before. "I've always had mine too…" He hummed as he glanced over to the shore. "Okay you are going to come back here tomorrow after sundown okay? We gotta talk this out but when no one else is around, got it?"
"Wait! Hold on I can't just-"
The boy already went back into the water and was gone before Roxas could even finish his sentence. Only a faint ripple was left where he was before, but nothing after that. Roxas assumed that he must live deeper in the ocean, if the boy was what he thought he was.
"I didn't even get a chance to catch your name…" Roxas mumbled out before slowly starting to stand up.
He stared out at the ocean again with a longing glance. "Maybe I'll have to ask Luna about it the next time I see her."
"Ask her about what?" Sora's voice came from behind.
Roxas almost fell into the water, his brother's sudden words surprising him. He hadn't even realized that his brother was done with the bathroom, or that he had walked up behind him. He must have been more focused on that random boy than he thought.
"Woah what's the matter with you? You okay?" Sora asked as he helped to steady Roxas.
"Sorry about that, you just startled me. I-I'm fine."
"Hmm… well if you say so. So what were you thinking about?"
"Just… things. Stuff about magic. So, it'd be better if I ask Luna about it."
"I guess you're right. After all, I don't know anything about it…" Sora tapered off. "Well, you wanna head back? It's almost night time now."
"Sure thing, that sounds like a good idea," Roxas replied, his mind only half focused on what his brother was saying.
He just couldn't stop thinking about the boy with the tail. The boy that looked like him. The boy that sounded like him. The boy that had a wristband just like him. And then he felt that strange feeling again, like there was some sort of… force there. He became too lost in thought to focus on anything else the entire walk home.
When the following evening came, he headed out of the house. It wasn't entirely super late as the sun had just set, so he was thankful he didn't have to sneak around. He did let his dad know though that he was just going for a walk. He just hoped his dad would believe him and not question it.
He brought a flashlight with him since the beach was not properly lit, but even then he wasn't sure where he had to be looking. Sighing, he just kept walking forward.
"Did I really see him? A merman who looks just like me?"
Now that he had a day to think it over, he at least realized it had to be a merman that he saw. He had read about them before, but he thought that they were just legends overall. After all, it was only a few years ago that he learned there was magic in the world in which they lived. So it wasn't outside of the realm of possibility that a magical creature such as that could exist as well. Despite that fact, it still seemed rather odd to Roxas.
But that still left him to wonder… Why did a merman share his appearance? He still couldn't wrap his head around it at all. He assumed it just had to be an odd coincidence. Right?
He kept walking and thinking until he was at the shoreline again. He started looking around at the water for any signs of activity, but there was none. It was a low tide tonight, so the water was quite calm. Though, it was only at that moment that Roxas realized something: they had never really settled on an exact time to meet. Would he have been expected before dark, or maybe after he was here now? He knew he was overthinking, but his mind couldn't stop processing.
Seconds turned to minutes, and the minutes felt like they dragged on for an eternity as he waited. Luckily, he had his cell phone with him, so he took a seat on a nearby rock, and started playing his favorite mobile game: Nobody's Cause. It was an easy enough game to get hooked on, especially since it was based around his favorite animated show about the Organization.
After a while longer, he checked the time on his phone and was surprised. "It's already been a half hour?!"
Maybe the boy just wasn't going to show up after all. Why had Roxas gotten his hopes up anyways about it? He was curious of course, but maybe he was hallucinating after all the work he put in yesterday. In fact, that's what he was starting to believe now. Waiting just wouldn't do, and he didn't want to be out there all night by himself.
"Well, guess I'll just leave," Roxas mumbled to himself as he stood up from the rock he was sitting on.
Just as he was ready to head off he heard a splash from behind. "Hey wait!" The lighter sound of his voice called out. "Don't leave! I'm here okay?"
Roxas turned around and saw the look-alike boy sitting himself up on the rock, his tail swaying back and forth in the water. If confirmation was what he was hoping for, it was now staring him directly in the face. Looks like he wasn't crazy after all.
"Well, I guess you are real then," Roxas breathed out, trying to hold his cool composure.
"Of course I'm real! You saw me the last time remember? Just yesterday," the other boy protested.
"Yeah, but… well this is all weird to me," the non-tailed boy rebutled.
"Same to me! Like how was I supposed to know there was a human who looked just like me!"
"Hey… I have a name you know…" Roxas said as he walked closer to the merboy. "It's Roxas."
"Well it's nice to meet you then! I'm Ventus."
Roxas had to blink a few times, reminding himself why he was there. "Yeah... yeah okay. Ventus. So you wanted to talk right?"
"Yeah, I did. It's just that this is all so weird. So I thought we'd talk. Though...you're the first human I've ever talked to," he said casually as he flapped his tail in the water.
"Wait really? What were you doing up by the surface then? Just watching?"
Ventus tilted his head up for a moment, as if he was going to say something. He opened his mouth, but then paused for only a couple seconds.
"I'm just...curious. But usually shy. Something just kinda, drew me to you I guess. I don't know..."
"Well..." Roxas lifted up his wrist. "We both have this wristband. That's a start I guess."
Ventus nodded. "Yeah, that's right. But why would we both have one? I always assumed it came from the human world but I never expected to find someone else wearing one."
Roxas shrugged his shoulders. "Beats me. I'm not sure where it came from. I only know that I can't take it off. Is… yours the same?" he questioned with widening eyes.
There was another nod. "I can't take it off at all! I've tried and so have my friends… it didn't really go well. But I can bend it back a bit and I can see some writing on it!"
"Does it have your name and a date on it then? I'm willing to bet it does!" Roxas exclaimed as he pulled his wristband back to reveal what was on his.
"Whoa wait seriously?" Ventus gawked. His eyes widened as he saw the writing on Roxas's wrist band. "That's… That's the same date that's on mine." Ventus slowly peeled back the wrist band to reveal the truth of what he said. The names were different yes, but the date on the wrist bands were exactly the same.
A large gasp emanated from Roxas's mouth. He tried to speak, but stumbled over his words, only creating silent muffles before finally catching himself. "The… same? And, we look the same too. Do you think that means?"
"How should I know! Unless there is some weird thing about a Mer and a human being born on the same day I wouldn't know. It's so weird though. I can't figure out why else we would look alike."
"Well, we're definitely not the same race or anything like that. I don't know. Surely it can't be a coincidence…" Roxas trailed off as he grunted and stood up, pacing around the shore area in a constant circle.
"Well what could it be? Maybe there is something you can look into? I know there are some books of old magic and stuff that I could read. I don't know if it would help though," Ventus suggested.
"Wait, so you all actually have books down there too?" Roxas couldn't help but ask as his curiosity piqued.
"Yeah? Why wouldn't we?" Ventus asked as he titled his head to the side. "Everyone has books after all."
Roxas shifted his feet slightly, feeling embarrassed at what he had said. 'Stupid, you should have known that,' he spoke internally. 'Maybe they just got some magic waterproof books or something.'
"Um, yeah, I uh, guess you're right about that…"
"It's okay! I guess you would have a lot of questions if you never met a Mer before."
"Sure, I guess so. Hey! Speaking of that I have another question."
Before he could continue, a loud ringing noise started emitting from his person. He patted his front pocket until he reached in and pulled out his cell phone. Looking at the screen told him who it was. His eyes rolled as he slid the button over to answer.
"Yeah, hey what's up dad?" He asked calmly.
"Checking in. It's starting to get dark, you heading home soon?" his father asked from the other end.
"Yea, I will be. Didn't realize how late it had really gotten."
"Well get back here soon, okay?"
"Yeah, I know I know. I'll be back there soon then okay?"
"Good. See you then," his father replied before the call ended.
Roxas put the phone back into his pocket and turned to face his doppelgänger. "Guess we'll have to do this another time. It's late and I'll have to be home soon."
"Aww okay, but we are getting somewhere! Can feel it! We just need to figure out more cause like I really want to understand this. Especially the wristbands."
"Yeah, me too…" Roxas tapered off. "Well, uh, do we want to like, plan for another time then? Say maybe… four days from now? I'm free that evening."
Ventus nodded. "That can work! So yeah! Let's see what we can find out about the wristbands. There's gotta be something out there after all, right? And maybe about us looking alike too."
"Okay. Well, I'll see you then. I gotta run, literally," Roxas said quickly as he darted off.
As he jogged, he threw one glance back towards the water where he just was. His lookalike waved and then slowly dove back into the water, a tail flapping up at the very end. Roxas averted his gaze back in front of him and tried to get back to the house as soon as he could.
'Wow, okay, that really just happened. Wait til I tell dad! Well maybe not, he might think I'm crazy. Then I wouldn't be able to go out anymore. Ugh, I want to tell someone though… maybe I can figure it out later."
Meanwhile, Ventus was swimming down deeper into the waters. His thoughts were racing a mile a minute, and he could barely contain his excitement. Today had truly been an exciting day and he found himself glad that he actually chose to go and visit the surface.
"Oh man! I can't wait to get to the bottom of this! Can't wait to tell the others too! They will totally freak when they hear about this!"
Interesting things are happening now. We hope that you all enjoyed this chapter quite a lot. Until the next time!