Disclaimer: I don't own Marlin, Nemo, or any of the characters of Finding Nemo. Why? Well, I live with a bunch of morons in Kentucky and honestly, nobody else loves them enough to help me kidnap them. Not that Kentucky is full of morons, just Boyd County.
It's early. Something has been weighing on my mind, keeping me awake. I think I have an idea what it is. I always seem to do this, bringing up the past when I start to forget. Or at least, I think I start to forget. I never will, really, although I expect he might.
I sighed to myself and turned to look at him, huddled amidst the delicate tendrils of our anemone. He sleeps so easily, so unafraid. My Nemo. It hasn't been long since we returned from our "adventure". I nearly lost him...thought for a time that I truly had. I hate to tell him this now. He's so happy, perhaps it's better that I don't. No, he needs to know.
"Nemo..." he would be up soon for school, but I shook him gently anyway. He murmured softly, stretching his tail fin out lazily and curling it back towards his body. I shook him again, a little harder this time. It can wait. I told myself, but I knew it couldn't.
"Meh." Nemo opened his eyes blearily and straightened himself out, looking up at me a little annoyed at his early awakening. "Dad, what?"
"I know it's early, son, but we need to talk."
"Is something wrong?" he asked, waking fully and scanning the interior of the anemone as if checking for any sign of trouble. Seeing none he grew more worried. "Is Dory okay?"
"Dory's fine." He immediately looked relieved. "Just follow me." I took his fin in mine and pulled him alongside me. We passed through the reef; not another soul was in sight. Following along its edge, we soon came to open sea. "Over here." Nemo looked confused, but followed me along the edge of the drop-off and up to a large, beautiful anemone on the very edge of the reef.
I stopped and stared, taking in the sight. I thought back to our last day together. We were so happy, especially Coral. Starting our new life we thought that we'd always be together, free to live our lives without a care in the world. How suddenly things can change...
"You okay?" Nemo waved a fin in my face and I was wrenched away from my memories to realize my eyes were brimming with tears. "Dad?"
"You've never been here, have you Nemo?"
"No." he looked behind us at the open ocean impatiently, not realizing where we were.
"I used to live here." he looked at me blankly. "Your mother and myself, I mean. Before you hatched." I swam into the think tendrils of our old home and he followed curiously. The anemone appeared to have been empty for some time, and I couldn't help but smile as old memories flooded back to me. "Everything was perfect. We had our eggs-"
"My egg too?" Nemo interrupted, his eyes wide.
"Yes, you're egg. And three hundred ninety-nine others as well. We had a beautiful home, and most of all we had each other. We had plans for ourselves, Nemo. Big plans and no one was going to stop us. But plans don't always work out..."
I paused and swam through the tendrils, images coming unbidden to my eyes, both good and bad. Nemo didn't follow. He drifted, waiting. "It was our first day here. We were...just goofing off. I was teasing her about when we had first met and chasing her. I followed her outside." At this point I pushed my way back through the anemone to the drop-off outside, drifting to the edge as I spoke. The sun was beginning to rise, giving the surface water an orange-ish glow.
"I found Coral here, staring out at a...at a b-barracuda." I was fighting back tears, stuttering slightly with the effort. I lift a fin to point away from us a little ways. "It was no m-more than three or four feet away. Right about there. She just stayed there, staring at it. I told her to run for it, to get into the house, but she wouldn't listen.
"I tried to save her, I-I really did, Nemo! But she went for the eggs, tried to save them." My voice was shaky with my withheld tears. Nemo cocked his head worriedly. "She thought she could get to them...I wanted...I tried to, but..." the words weren't coming as they had before. I fell into silence, staring out into the open sea. I felt Nemo move next to me, smiling encouragingly. "The barracuda knocked me away. I must've bumped my head, because the next thing I knew it was after dark." I dipped down to the tiny alcove in the rocks were I had spent that night, finally letting my tears go.
"Coral was...gone. There wasn't a trace of her. Or the eggs. I thought I had lost everything. Everyone I cared for was gone. I had nothing left." Nemo swam past me, turning this way and that to take in the tiny space. "But then I noticed that one egg had been overlooked. I guess it had fallen apart from the others when...I picked it up carefully, I could hardly believe there was one left. But it was cracked." I looked at Nemo as he floated in front of me, one fin waving gently, the other beating frantically.
"It was cracked? So then, that's why my fin..."
"Yes, your lucky fin." I smiled sadly, pulling him to me in a hug. "You're very lucky, Nemo."
"Don't cry, Dad. You've still got me. And Dory too!"
"I do, huh? But you know what?"
"I promised then that I would never let anything happen to you. But Dory changed my mind. If I never let anything happen to you, nothing would ever happen to you. It would be so boring!" I laughed, forcing cheerfulness into my voice. Nemo brightened instantly, sorrow was not a lasting thing in Nemo's heart.
"That WOULD be boring!" he giggled, stopping suddenly. "Dad! I'll be late for school!"
"Go on, I'm right behind you." He swam away, slowly until he was away from the alcove and the anemone, as if it would be disrespectful to hurry. I followed, stopping to gaze at our once happy home.
"I'm sorry, Coral. For not saving you, for...everything." The tendrils waved gracefully as if in response. "I've done the best I can. I hope you're as proud of him as I am of you." I left reluctantly, not able to bring myself to a more definite goodbye. It seemed like the farther I got from the anemone the warmer I felt. It wasn't the water, it was always warm. This was different. And also there was a sense of joy. I still can't explain it, even now.
I caught sight of Nemo up ahead, darting here and there as well as he could. I knew as certainly as if she had just told me, Coral was proud of him, lucky fin or no. And as I left, I couldn't help but feel that wherever she was, Coral was proud of me too. She was watching out for us, and I knew that for a fact.
One last thing, in the movie, it doesn't really specify whether or not Marlin was still living in the anemone he picked for Coral. Since he was so afraid of the open ocean after that, it seemed very reasonable that he would've moved farther into the reef. Then again, maybe he stayed there, since it was where they were going to live together. Who knows? Thanks for reading!