Warning: This is the only time I will write this because it stands to reason that if you read chapters two and above you've strolled past this chapter and therefore have no excuse to complain. This story is a romance centering around two male characters. If you don't like that, please stop reading now and don't send me any comments about it. Of course, you are free to continue reading, for whatever reason that may be, but do so at your own risk and do not complain to me about it. Nothing explicit will happen in this story, but still, you have been warned.

Chapter 00: Summer Days

Waves crashed against the rocks and broke into hundreds of shining droplets raining back down into the sea while the young boy on the shore watched with gray-blue eyes, the wind rustling his messy black hair.

He trudged through the sand with a bucket full of shells that he thought looked nice and would make good souvenirs. His father probably wouldn't like him taking them into the house, would probably think them dirty and useless, but Kyle liked them well enough. They weren't things he would find in the city, at least, not as pretty as the ones he had found, and he didn't know when he would return to their Summer home.

And so, he continued on his way, dragging his small red pail with sea shells and a few smooth rocks he had found. The sun wouldn't go down for a while longer, and he wanted to find a few more. Before him there was a rocky area, the stones sharp and slippery and he was wary of going there, but he figured he could probably search around the edges for more shells. Just as he set his pail down to begin his search, he heard a sound, like sobbing, coming from nearby.

Kyle stood and looked around for the source, but could see no one nearby, so he resolved that it must have been the sea making strange sounds and turned back to his search for shells. Again, there came a sob, accompanied by sniffling, and Kyle was sure it wasn't the sea this time.

"Hello?" he called, looking around.

There was a quiet splashing from amongst the rocks, and Kyle clambered up onto the rounder stones to look. He could see someone's head, a child's, younger than him. It was quite easy to see the boy, due to the brightness of his red hair. The little boy turned, having heard Kyle, and looked at the older boy in panic, before ducking out of sight. Confused by this reaction, Kyle wandered closer, mindful of the sharp rocks.

"Are you okay?" he asked as he got closer.

"I heard you crying, are you lost?"

He climbed up onto the stones nearest where the other boy was and stopped in his tracks at the sight that met him, because it was one he had only seen in storybooks.

Sitting amongst the rocks, and half submerged in the water, was a mermaid, because there was no way the boy could be anything but that. Not with the bright red tail, with scales that shimmered in the sunlight, that tapered down only to fan out in delicate looking translucent fins. It would have been a nicer sight, if there hadn't been blood staining the scales a darker red. The little mermaid boy was trying to drag himself towards the water, but it was clear the he was in pain. Kyle climbed down from the rock he had been on, intending to help, though the other boy drew back, afraid.

"I'm not going to hurt you," Kyle said, with all the honesty of a child.

He pointed at the boy's tail, blood still seeping out of the gash on it.

"Let me help you with that," he said.

The boy sniffled, eyes teary, and looked at Kyle. His face was rather red and splotchy from crying, as were his eyes, which were a very bright blue in color. Beneath all the tears and the patches of red color were a myriad of freckles, speckling his pale skin. Now closer, Kyle noticed that the boy's hands were webbed between his fingers and there were what looked to be gills on his neck.

After a moment of consideration, the boy seemed to make up his mind and took on a look of concentration. To Kyle's amazement, the bright red tail changed to a pair of pale legs and the gills and webbing seemed to disappear. A rather nasty gash was on the boy's left thigh, and he sniffled once more as he tried to stand. Pushing back his amazement, Kyle moved forward and helped the boy stand, but quickly realized that he wouldn't be able to walk.

Fortunately, he was rather small, and Kyle was able to hoist him up onto the rocks and help him back out onto the sand where his bucket of shells was still resting. Kyle figured he could come back for it the next day and told the boy to climb onto his back, because it was easier to carry him that way. Reluctantly, the boy did so, grabbing on tightly, and Kyle set off back to his house.

He was very glad that it wasn't too long a walk, even though he still had to stop twice along the way to rest. He was also very lucky that the mermaid boy wasn't very heavy and that there weren't any people along the way. It was a good thing, he thought, that their Summer home was in a more secluded part of the beach, because he was sure it he made a strange sight with a naked and injured toddler on his back. At least the bleeding had stopped.

It wasn't very hard to sneak the boy inside, once Kyle reached his home. The maids were busy in the kitchen and the side door was very close to the staircase leading to his room. No one saw him enter the house, and his father wasn't home so his room on the second floor was empty. Even so, he did his best to thread quietly, and it seemed the other boy understood their situation because he stopped sniffling and buried his face on Kyle's back.

Once in his room, Kyle took the boy into his bathroom and sat him on the side of the tub before starting to fill it with water. The sudden sound of the water seemed to startle the boy, but he looked on with interest as the tub filled, leaning over to dip his hand inside while Kyle went to lock his door. When he returned, the boy was no longer crying, seemingly interested in the strange new surroundings. Kyle supposed that would make it easier to help him.

"So what's your name?" Kyle asked a while later, as he helped the boy clean up.

"Sam," the boy answered in a soft little voice.

He wasn't nearly as upset as before, though his leg still hurt him.

"Well, I'm Kyle," the boy said.

"How old are you Sam? And how come you're all alone?"

"I'm four," the younger boy said.

"And I was only playing, but there was a big wave and I got hurt on a rock," he explained, his words sounding funny to Kyle as he was too young to speak too clearly.

Kyle helped him out of the tub and wrapped a big towel around him before leading him back to his room. He set Sam down on a beanbag chair that he had always found rather comfortable.

"Stay here, okay?" he said, walking to the door.

Sam nodded and Kyle left in search of the things he'd need. First, he went to the attic, where he knew some of his old clothes were. They were easy to find thanks to his father's habit of labeling things and organizing everything. Next, he took a first aid kit from one of the guest rooms, knowing it wouldn't be missed, and headed back to his room. As he had said, Sam was still sitting on the beanbag chair, looking around Kyle's colorful room with interest. He looked up when the door opened, anxious, but seemed to relax when he saw it was Kyle.

"I'm gonna fix your leg, but it's gonna hurt a bit, okay?" he told Sam, as he sat on the floor and opened the first aid kit he had taken.

Sam seemed apprehensive, but gave a small nod, and Kyle got to work, carefully cleaning the wound and bandaging it. It was a good thing, he thought, that his father was a doctor, otherwise he probably wouldn't have known what to do. Of course, it also helped that he was always getting hurt. His father always told him he went through more first aid kits than was normal.

For his part, Sam had been a rather good patient, only flinching when he cleaned the wound. Kyle did notice that he was clutching something in his small hand, and asked him about it once the wound had been bandaged. Sam held out his hand and dropped a small sea shell onto Kyle's open hand. The older boy looked at the shell with wide eyes, impressed by it's red color. He looked up at Sam and grinned.

"It matches your hair," he said.

"And tail," Kyle added after a minute.

Sam giggled, and nodded.

"Found it on the rocks," he told Kyle.

"Is that what you were doing when you got hurt?"

Sam nodded, his cheeks growing red, and Kyle handed him his shell back.

"Well it's okay, I wasn't supposed to go near the rocks either, but that's where you find the best shells," he told Sam seriously.

Sam smiled brightly, and Kyle grinned before reaching over to the small pile of clothes next to him.

"Here, put these on," he said, handing Sam some of his old pajamas.

He helped Sam with the bottoms, and thought it was funny how strange the other boy found the clothes.

"Hey, won't your parents be worried about you?" Kyle asked, but Sam only shrugged.

"Can't swim," he said simply, and Kyle supposed that was true, given his injury.

"Well, you can stay here if you want," he offered.

Sam lit up at this.

"Really?" he asked.

Kyle nodded and Sam looked utterly excited about the prospect of spending time on land.

"But you have to hide, okay? 'Cause I don't think people are supposed to know about you," the older of the two said.

Sam looked very serious as he nodded in agreement.

"Promise," he said.

After that, Kyle managed to sneak some food back up to Sam and the two stayed in Kyle's room for the rest of the night. Sam was delighted with all the toys the older boy had, and Kyle was ecstatic at having someone to play with, because he had never had many friends. His father wasn't around very often, given he had a busy job, and even during vacation, he always had things to do.

But Sam didn't seem to be in any hurry to leave, and no one would look for him in Kyle's room, so he thought that maybe, it he was very careful, he would be able to keep Sam for a while longer. Of course, he didn't meant to keep him hidden forever, because he would have to return to the city with his dad eventually, and he didn't think he'd be able to hide Sam in his luggage or sneak him into the plane. For the time being though, he'd make the most of the situation.

That night Sam and Kyle curled up on the older boy's bed, Sam clutching at his new friend with one hand and holding the small red shell with the other. Kyle's father didn't get home until much later, and didn't bother to check on his son for fear of waking him. In the meantime, Kyle dreamed of sea shells and mermaids and new friends.

Hello everyone! This is the first story I post on this account, but not the first I've published online and certainly not the first I've written. However, it's my first time venturing into the "slash" territory. Also, it's my first story with mermaids! I love mermaids though, so it was a given I would write about them.

Anyways, about the story, I already have all of it outlined because I was lucky enough to be sitting at the computer when inspiration hit me on the head like a frying pan, so I wrote it down before I forgot. So yes, in theory, this story is complete, I just have to write it up. I promise it'll be interesting though, and while the romance won't be heavy and nothing explicit will happen, it's still slash, so if that isn't a your cup of tea, please stop reading and don't harass me about it.

If you've read this, please review, I'd love to get some reviews, they make my day. And if you do, you have my gratitude. Thank you for reading!