(Hello readers! Here is a little idea that I extracted after role-playing a similar idea a few times with people ~ Mousegirl and Mastercherry thanks guys! This is dedicated to you two. ^^ ~ I hope you all enjoy it. Please do review. I thrive on it and it helps me continue to write if you guys tell me what is good and what is bad. I entertain you, you tell me how to make it more exciting ^.~ I find that a good trade. Also I apologize for taking ages to actually update anything. I feel really bad about that. But look! I am alive! I am kicking, screaming, and updating! I'll try harder to update my Times Sacrifice and now this story as well. Also, for your pleasure, I am working on a short story/new story besides this one, so at least I have been busy! I shall be putting updates up and posting the new stories soon. ^^ Please bear with me! And I strive on comments so ppplease show me the lovin. If I don't get reviews, I get a sad face and I go on starving. Check out Times Sacrifice if you haven't, and Deceptive Perceptions that I have coauthored with the talented Mousegirl. It is on her page lovelies! Also, additional thanks to Mousegirl and Blackmoondaze for being my wonderful betas. ^^)

In the Name of Love

Aqari was doing his best to protect the new batch of eggs he had laid a few weeks ago. This was the fifth batch so far and he hadn't been able to protect a single one. The damned human that had put him here kept taking his precious children away from him and tortured them. He was determined to at least save one child from the horrors of the life here. His dark violet tail curled around the eighty eggs he had laid. The little blue jewels contrasted sharply against the dark scales their father carried. The lighter colored veiltail spread over the little eggs to protect them from view. Aquari's dark eyes told the story of despair, frustration, burning rage, and exhaustion. He was tired of everything; tired of life, being bred like an animal, and constantly losing his children to his 'breeder'. This was no life to live. He knew what the human wanted from them and it hurt his heart. He wouldn't cry. Couldn't cry. He wouldn't willingly provide the human with a tear.

The merman's dark hair moved with the current of the water in his tank. Light violet strands littered the dark hair and shaded his face. The brooding father curled tighter around his babies in the shallow cave that had been placed for this very purpose. Aqari's dark gaze lifted and he looked out through the glass of his prison. Across from him in another tank was the mother of this batch. Almost every batch had been with a different maiden. Her gold eyes were just as sad as his as she watched the eggs. It was a surprise that Aqari had been allowed to keep his children this long. Their breeder usually took them away from the exhausted father right after they were laid. It was the easiest time to snatch the eggs. Aqari was too weak after a long laying. His newest jewels would hatch soon. He could hear their hearts beating. Not all of the eggs were filled with the gentle and fragile beats of life however. Out of eighty eggs he could only hear ten little hearts calling to his own.

The door opened then and the human he despised walked into the room. Aqari's lips curled back in a snarl and he bared his fangs. When the man went to his current mate, Aqari was quick to grab one of the eggs that held a frantic heart and put it into his mouth. At least there he could hide it. He tried to grab another but the man was upon him. He hissed as best he could without alerting the human of the hidden egg.

"You know you won't win, Aqari. One would think a creature such as yourself would figure out by now that no matter how you fight, you will always lose. Why must you always make this hard? Do you want me to rip their pearls out when they hatch? I'll make you watch it again," the human grinned.

Aqari tensed and he growled as pain welled up in his heart at the memory of his last batch. The monster had taken one by one and rested his hatchlings on the table and made him listen to the screaming helpless children as the human opened their small quivering chest and ripped the precious little pearls out of their bleeding hearts. He gave a muffled cry and looked down at his precious children. He didn't want them to go through that. His own pearl was breaking. There were only two options he had here. Either let the man take them and do whatever he did to his children, or end their lives before they had to go through the torture. Two tears fell from the corners of his eyes and crystallized as they dropped down his face. He looked away and he heard the man laugh above him.

"So the distant merman can cry after all. First time I've seen your tears, Siren. What an added bonus. Give me the eggs and the tears, nice and easy."

Aqari's heart ached. He turned away for a moment and let the egg he held in his mouth drop into a little hole which he then covered with his body before he let out a mournful cry and let his tail roll onto the rest of his children. He felt the hearts stop beating and his whole body trembled at the deed. More tears slid down his face and he heard the human cry out in surprise. He heard his mate let out a shriek in the background. His hands curled into the sand as the pain in his heart amplified. His heart pearl was cracking. He didn't have time to wallow in his pain as the human grabbed him and hauled him out of the brooding tank and slammed the merman against the cold tile.

"You fucking snake!" the man hissed. "I needed those eggs! Now I have to wait for next year unless your friend can produce some eggs soon."

The man wrapped his hands on the merman's gills and wind pipe. Aqari struggled against him but he didn't have the energy. He watched the human with desperate eyes as the man grabbed something off a table and yanked at a few of his scales. Aqari cried out in pain and his tail whipped beneath him but the human wouldn't let him move.

"Boss!" someone yelled.

The man looked up with a glare. "What do you want?" he spat.

"Stop… so far he is the best egg producer we have. The other one doesn't produce as many." Of course the man wasn't going to say the boss's treatment of the other is what caused the fewer egg productions.

The man growled before he put the tweezers away and looked down at the bleeding and shivering tail. "You've lost the right to brood your eggs," he hissed and with the help of his servant, hauled Aqari back into the tank. The shaking merman went back to his nest and curled around his surviving egg and kissed it lightly. Stea was coming back tonight. He would beg him to take the child away from here.

That night, a young man snuck into the facility and headed straight for the marine chamber. The man's golden eyes matched his short hair. He was a young thing; not quite a man yet. He was a child in his own right, though he never did have a childhood. The young man looked at the tanks, many of which were currently empty. Aqari heard the boy and lifted his tired eyes. His heart jumped a little at the sight of him. A small sad smile touched his lips.

"Stea," he called out softly.

The boy looked over at him and hurried over. "Aqari! Are you okay? You look so sad… sadder than before."

"I'll be fine, little star. I have a favor to ask of you," he said and opened his arms to reveal the tiny egg. "Take it. Take it far away from here. Show my pearl the world I cannot."

Stea gave him a nod and was quick to find a jar and threw it up and over the tank wall. Aqari took the jar and scooped up the little egg and watched it drop to the bottom. He nuzzled the jar a moment before he swam to the top of the tank and waited for Stea to clamber up the steps to take it.

"Aqari, where's my mom and dad?" the little thing asked.

"I don't know. I haven't seen your father in a long time. Go. Don't come back. I would never forgive myself if the human caught you and brought you back to this life. Take care of my egg."

Aqari leaned out of the tank and kissed Stea's forehead and transferred whatever magic he had left in his leaking pearl to the boy. "Take care, young one."

Stea sniffled a little but didn't let his tears fall. "I'll find a way to get you all out!" the boy said before he started to run away no matter how his heart ached at the sound of Aqari's sad siren call. Through the beach he ran. He could hear the humans chasing after him. He tripped and the jar fell from his hands. He watched horrified as the egg tumbled free and rested in a puddle. He tried to reach for it, but the humans were practically upon him. He'd get caught if he stayed. He picked himself up and jumped into the water and let the change take place. The legs were quick to glue together and form a golden tail. Fins sprouted on his arms and gills began to pump the water that surrounded his strong tail, he swam away from the humans. He would come back for the egg in the morning. It would be safe in the puddle till then.