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 out of place, ft. suibhne
years old 62 posts PM
PLAYED BY asiotus
the ocean was particularly chilly this time of year, but that only helped to deter any pesky humans from exploring the beach and chasing off any wildlife. luckily for roam, she could study wildlife up close and personal without drawing too much attention in a wide number of shapes.

aquatic life was still something relatively new to roam. fins and gills? pretty complicated. it took a while to even learn how to shape bird wings correctly, she had no clue where to even begin learning how to shape functioning gills. lucky for roam, common seals were a pretty frequent occurrence along the quieter parts of the bay. after doing some real life and online studying, roam finally felt comfortable enough to try shifting into one.

it was still an uncomfortable shape to be in and swimming and especially land travel would take some practice. but that was why she was here, to study how the locals did it. the seals looked at her curiously as she swam not-so-gracefully through the water. she watched back, marveling at their effortless agility, like silver bullets darting through the water.

suibhne hope this is okay!
years old 37 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey

The seals weren’t the only ones taking advantage of this quieter part of the bay today. Below the playful herd, a siren picked his way over the sea floor, gathering up various mollusks for later meals. A bag of woven seaweed, half-filled with his findings already, bumped lightly at his side as he moved, drifting here and there.

Every now and then, one or two of the seals ventured his way, curious or seeking a new playmate for the moment, but it wasn’t until the whole herd started reacting to something that Suibhne really paused to watch them.

Even without his familiarity with this group, it wouldn’t have been hard to pick out the new presence in their midst. The other seals darted by, watching the newcomer with interest. For a moment, Siv thought she might have been injured in some way, given how awkwardly this one swam, but he didn’t see any obvious wounds, and a sick seal would have been far less active, he imagined.

Curious now, the siren swam upward with a flick of his tail, approaching slowly so as not to startle the strange seal off.

roam willis
Just fine! Sorry mine's not great
years old 62 posts PM
PLAYED BY asiotus
the seals watched her with as much curiosity as she watched them. their spines flexed in smooth waves, and off they shot. it was so different from what she was used to, propelling oneself forward rather than using the sheer force of limbs on earth. she copied the movement, fanning out her flippers for extra push, and suddenly she was moving.

one of the seals swam up to her, fish in mouth. the animal offered it to her, letting go and nudging it towards her. it must think she needed help. how kind. roam took the gift—it seemed rude to decline—and swallowed it down. she surfaced for air then attempted to follow.

she hadn't gotten far when a different face surfaced from below. she turned her head, jerking in surprise at the human-like face. her eyes slid downward, seeing the fish tail. a mermaid, roam assumed. or perhaps a siren? she didn't know the physical differences between the two, if there were any.

she returned to her practicing, keeping a wary eye fixed on the creature. it would certainly be nice to get some tips from him, if he proved to be agreeable...



suibhne
years old 37 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey

An apology was already forming on Suibhne’s lips as the seal flinched away from him— a knee-jerk reaction despite knowing that such a thing would likely not be understood. The phrase died, however, as the out of place seal swam off, apparently disinterested after the initial shock. At least he could probably rule out illness, as she seemed to have accepted the fish offered to her without much hesitation.

Well aware of the wary gaze still fixed on him, the siren followed after the odd seal at a slower pace, trying his best to balance keeping his distance with getting close enough for a proper inspection. After a while, Suibhne gave up entirely on staying away, moving to coast alongside the seal, circling around her curiously.

roam willis
I'm sorry this took as long as it did. orz
years old 62 posts PM
PLAYED BY asiotus
feeling all too aware of the creature following her, roam made sure to send many glances his way, making sure to get the point across that if he wanted to attack her, it wasn't going to be by surprise. no matter how vulnerable she felt right now, she was going to face any danger head on for the sake of her own ego.

if she could just readjust her vocal chords to something a little more human... maybe she'll be able talk to him. that was a fairly intricate process and roam found herself floating in place while she focused on moving things around. one of the seals nudged her face curiously, probably thinking she had died suddenly. she gave it a glance of reassurance before looking to the siren, jerking her head to the surface once she caught his attention.

roam swam upward, her nostrils spurting out old air as they reached oxygen. she waited for the creature to follow suit, examining his face for a moment. "what's so interesting, bub? if you want a picture, you can just ask."


suibhne
years old 37 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey

The out-of-place seal kept a watchful eye on him, more so than the others around it, but that was to be expected. He had been following her for a while now, after all, and being a creature the seal probably didn’t encounter every day was sure to draw at least a little curiosity. She hadn’t tried to flee, though, and to Suibhne that was the important part. Concerned as he was, he would have hated to scare her off.

However, when she fell still, he did draw closer, worried that something might have happened. Before he could drum up the courage to reach out, though, the seal seemed to have recovered, rising to the surface with a jerk of her head that seemed oddly human in nature. As if he was being told to follow.

And follow he did, surfacing shortly after the seal. Now, under a careful eye, the siren did reach out, tentative and nervous, only to recoil as though he’d been slapped when a decidedly human voice emerged from the creature’s maw.

Eventually, once his heart stopped racing, Suibhne was able to connect the dots. This was not a seal, but… some sort of shapeshifter, if he had to guess. One who was probably less than pleased that he’d been following her so doggedly. “I’m sorry,” he squeaked, dropping his eye as he shifted away. “I didn’t— didn’t mean to— … sorry.”

roam willis
years old 62 posts PM
PLAYED BY asiotus
she couldn't help but revel at the creature's reaction to her sudden ability to speak. how satisfying. maybe it had been her growing impatience for his constant eye on her, but his jerk of surprise was worth it all. she couldn't help but let out an airy chuckle.

"not a problem. i was just a sick looking seal to you only a second ago." roam suddenly felt a little bad as the siren shrunk away from her in embarrassment. "i'm getting used to not having any legs; you'll have to pardon my clumsiness. actually, i'm glad i found some sort of sea life that knows how to talk."

the seal cocked her head at him in interest, hoping she hadn't spooked him too much for him to consider fleeing. "i've been looking into studying aquatic life, but i find learning with a hands on approach a lot easier than reading in text books. it'd be nice to have an experienced teacher as well,
if i'm being frank with you."



suibhne
years old 37 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey

Maybe it would be better to go now, to retreat from the laughter, and go hide somewhere, and not bother this person again. That she insisted things were okay only put the idea on hold for the moment. Still, Suibhne listened carefully as the not-seal explained her situation, watching with a nervous, wide eye.

“That… that makes sense,” he mumbled eventually, giving a short nod. Hands-on learning was best for things like this, in his experience. Truth be told, how any sort of reading could have helped was beyond him… but maybe it was better not to mention that. “I-if it makes you feel better… I wasn’t much better when I was learning to walk,” he offered instead, a nervous smile twitching across his features.

Glancing out over the water, Suibhne thought for a few moments before adding, “I don’t… I don’t really know of any other, ah, shapeshifters around here that could help, but…” He glanced back her way, nibbling at his lip. “I could… um, try to— to teach you a little…” With any luck, doing so might make up for his stalking her earlier.

roam willis
years old 62 posts PM
PLAYED BY asiotus
wow, roam always got the impression that sea life was a little more timid, but perhaps she expected something a little more from this siren. she was glad that he was making an attempt, however, despite how he seemed ready to dart away at any moment.

she barked out a laugh at his comment. "i suppose it does make me feel a little better, actually. learning how to fly was a bitch and a half too. took me weeks." how a water creature could relate to learning how to fly was beyond her—she didn't expect him to unless he turned out to somehow be a shifter himself—but she hoped amicably sharing her own flubs helped set him at ease.

she did her best impression of a shrug. that was a little hard when you had no visible shoulders. it sort of ended up being an upwards flipper flip."i don't know any shifters either, aside from my mom. and who knows when i saw her last. that doesn't matter anyway. i can take some simple tips and i can be out of your hair."

suibhne
years old 37 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey
The battle not to flinch at the sudden bark of laughter took more effort than Suibhne would care to admit, even to himself. Still, a tiny, twitch of a smile managed to make an appearance. Maybe it had taken a while, but flying sounded far more impressive to him than walking. “S-so you can… you can turn into a lot of different things…?” he ventured, already worrying about what he would do if it turned out this shifter minded being asked. She seemed friendly enough, now that they’d spoken a little, but…

Another comment, about his own distinct lack of a mother, began to form on his lips, but was quickly banished before it could meet the air. She wouldn’t care. It wasn’t important— not like helping her learn to swim.

With a small nod, Siv answered, “Right, well, um…” Where to begin…? “All of your flippers are good for momentum, but the front ones are important when you want to change, directions, too. Especially with sharp turns. And the back ones you can either alternate using, or bring together in a sort of side-to-side motion when you want to move. I’m sure you saw a bit of that earlier…”

Already, the siren was quite convinced he was doing a horrible job.

roam willis
years old 62 posts PM
PLAYED BY asiotus
"i've got a growing collection of forms, yeah. you could say it's one of my hobbies. i'd offer to give an example but it already took me long enough to get into this form to begin with. maybe later if you want, though."

she was finding some amount of amusement watching the features of his face shift and change in thought. she considered telling him to spit whatever was on his mind out—she liked to humor people at the very least, but too quickly did he redirect back to the subject at hand.

she listened attentively, connecting what he was saying to what she was previously observing in the other seals. made enough sense. in some ways it almost seemed similar to flying, now that she was thinking about it. the function of forelimbs and tail were reversed, but she was sure she could apply some of the same concepts.

after working over the movements in her mind, she gave him a nod. "let me give it a try."

she let herself sink beneath the waves and maneuvered to propel herself forward. while still lacking some grace, roam managed to swim a short distance with relative ease. success! looking down she spotted the dark shapes of some of the seals as they slunk along the sand below, some still looking up at them with mild curiosity. moving forward another brief distance, she swiveled her flippers to make a sharp turn, facing her new teacher again, searching for a sign of approval.

suibhne
years old 37 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey

The shifter’s offer was an exciting one, to say the least— enough so that the usually meek siren brightened considerably, if only for a moment. Not wanting to impose, however, he only offered, “That’s… really amazing,” in a quiet, almost awed reply. To become something you weren’t… He could only imagine how freeing that must be. Difficult at times, maybe, but still far superior in Suibhne’s mind to anything he was capable of himself.

For a few moments, it helped distract him from thoughts of inadequacy, too, until his new ‘student’ was ready to try putting his explanation into practice. With a small nod and an attempt at an encouraging smile, Siv followed her back beneath the waves, keeping a bit of distance so she had plenty of room to maneuver.

While still a little awkward, this latest attempt at swimming looked to be going much better than before. With further practice, she’d probably have the hang of it in no time. Almost wearing a proper grin now, Suibhne flashed her a double thumbs-up.

“That was good!”

roam willis
years old 62 posts PM
PLAYED BY asiotus
his smile was encouraging. she would get the hang of this in no time, surely. the movements themselves weren't so hard once she realized what provided the most propulsion but remembering to fan out her rear fins took some extra thought. everything about it felt backwards.

heading back to her impromptu instructor, she attempted a speedier approach this time. powering herself forward, she had to swerve to avoid accidentally crashing into him, turning towards the surface although her lungs weren't actually burning from lack of oxygen yet. it must be out of habit. roam didn't go swimming all too often and never really in a form equipped to handle remaining submerged for long periods. she sucked in a fresh gulp of air anyway before sinking below again.

her eyes turned towards the seals swimming deeper below them. with her most recent realization, she was feeling brave enough now to attempt venturing farther from the surface. roam approached the nearest seal and it turned its eyes on her. it was the one who offered her the fish, she noticed. she had no idea how to read its wide-eyed face but seeing it didn't seem overly concerned, she assumed it had gained some confidence in her own abilities as well.

suibhne
years old 37 posts PM
PLAYED BY Frey

A small yelp preceded Suibhne’s attempt to swerve out of the way himself as the shifter rocketed his way. It was only after his heart slowed a bit that he realized she too had done her best to avoid colliding with him, and a sheepish smile spread across his face. It was all in good fun, right?

Too slow on the uptake to tell her that she probably didn’t need to surface for air just yet, the siren remained where he was, watching from below until she dipped back beneath the waves. As with everything else, she’d probably learn about that quickly enough.

“If… if you need anything just… you know, signal me,” he said, following after her at a short distance. As she hadn’t seemed to have gotten sick of him yet, Suibhne thought he could linger a while longer. In the meantime, he’d resume his earlier task, plucking up mollusks he found along the seabed nearby.

roam willis
years old 62 posts PM
PLAYED BY asiotus
swimming was never one of her favorite things to do, but that was before she had a form she could do so properly with. this was actually pretty fun. in retrospect, she wasn't sure why she didn't try something like an otter to get her feet wet. pun intended. attempting something a little more... fishy had been an undertaking, probably even harder than things with hooves, something she was meaning to get around to learning.

habit insisted she open her nostrils and give the stone, sand and, algae a good sniff. how did these seals know something was good enough to eat without putting their mouth on it first? seems like a lot of commitment.

she spent several minutes nosing around the ocean floor and watching the other seals from this new vantage point. eventually she returned to her tutor, feeling a mischievous spark as she noticed him gathering mollusks nearby. gliding up to him slowly, she quickly snatched up the creature he was reaching for. she swam around him, showing off her prize triumphantly. some fingers were sticky even underwater.

suibhne
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