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Title: The Tale of the Fisherman and the Girl from the Sea
Fandom: Original
Author: kira
Rating: PG
Character(s): A girl, Ronan (a fisherman)
Genre: slice of life
Warnings: none
Words: 1700
Beta: kat
Summary: Ronan finds a girl washed up upon the beach…
Author’s notes: Special thanks to Kat for pinking this for me and all her help. Please also note that this was written for the 12 days of ficmas and faerie wish13.

She had washed up on the rocky shore, laying half in the sea and half on land. Soaked to the skin, her only clothes a seal fur cloak, the girl could barely shiver, never mind move. Ronan found her when he came back from fishing, spotting her, as he carried his boat over the rocky shore.

After setting his boat down, he walked over to her. Thinking she was a dead seal washed up upon the shore, he was surprised to find a girl. Leaving his boat behind, he picked her up and carried her back to his home. Once there, he quickly got her out of her wet cloak, before tucking her into his bed. Ronan stoked the fire, set her cloak to dry above it, and got his dogs to watch over her. He had the day’s fish to catch.

Ronan returned several hours later with a basket full of fish. Inside his home, the dogs were barking and when he went inside, Ronan was surprised to see the girl was awake. Unabashed in her nudity, the girl was frantically going through his things, no doubt in search of her clothes.

Setting the basket down, Ronan walked over to her. “Your cloak is wet; I hung it up to dry. As for the rest of your clothes…” He trailed off, blushing. Looking away, he said, “If you’re cold, I can give you something of mine to wear.”

The girl shook her head at him. She had no idea what he was saying, but she was hopeful he would return her seal skin. When he stepped away and returned with a strange looking garment, she started to cry. It was as her mother had warned her; those that lived mostly on land would take her as a bride if she was careless enough to lose her skin.

“Don’t cry…” Ronan said as he awkwardly tried to dress her. “I’ll give back your cloak when it’s dry; I swear it! Please don’t cry. Are you hungry?”

The girl shook her head and shrugged. The clothes she was given felt rough against her skin. Quietly accepting her fate, the girl looked around the room. Her eyes lit up when she spotted the basket of fish.

Ronan smiled. “Are you hungry? I’ll make us some grilled fish, okay? It’ll take a bit, can you wait…?” He frowned when she went over to the basket, and picking up a gutted fish, she bit into it. “No! Wait! I’ll cook it!”

But the girl refused to wait. Instead, she hungrily ate the raw fish along with another one. Ronan somehow managed to grab two, which he spitted and put in the fireplace place to cook. While the girl was busy devouring another fish, Ronan grabbed the basket. He wrapped the fish in paper and put them in the ice chest for another day.

The girl had gone over to the fire and sat down on the floor in front of it. Ronan came over and sat in the chair. He could not help thinking the girl was as strange as she was beautiful. Her hair reminded him of the fog that rolled in off the sea and her large dark eyes were like the limpid eyes of seals. She still had not uttered a single word, although she did bark back at his dogs. He wondered who she was and where she came from. The only other person that he knew like her was the old light keeper’s wife and he claimed she was a selkie from the lands of always snow beyond the great sea. But she could not be a selkie, right? It was not like he had seen her dancing naked in the moonlight or heard her song of the sea.

When it became time to go to bed, Ronan got up and put another log in the fire. He walked over to the girl and held out his hand to her. She took his hand and he pulled her up. They walked over to his bed and the girl got in. She watched as Ronan got undressed, before pulling a similar garment to the one she wore over his head. When he got into bed, she snuggled up next to him.

The girl had heard stories, from others of her kind, about mating with those who lived solely on land. Curious, she let her hands wander Ronan’s body, much to his surprise. It was not long before her curiosity was satisfied. The experience had been scary, yet enjoyable, and she did her best to get him to mount her again and again. Finally sated, they slept entwined in each other’s arms.

When morning came, Ronan got up and got dressed. He started another fire in the fireplace to chase the chill away. While the girl slept, he made a pot of oats for them break their fast and checked to see if her cloak was dried. Seeing as it was dry, when the girl woke up he gave it to her.

She took it, confused. Those who lived solely on land never gave back the skins, preferring to make a wife out of the poor selkie, who was trapped in human form. This she knew to be true, having not only heard about it, but she had seen others living on land and raising pups with their land-locked mates. Did he not want her? Before he could change his mind, the girl took off her strange garment. She quickly put her seal-skin cloak around her shoulders. If she had completely wrapped herself in it, she would turn back into a seal and would be at a loss for how to get out of his house. Besides, he would find out there and then that she was a selkie, and then he would keep her as his wife. She would never dance in the moonlight or sing her song of the sea, or swim in its icy depths again. So she handed him back his garment and kissed his cheek.

His confusion was hard to bear and she left his home. The girl ran down the beach, Ronan and his dogs behind her. When she waded out far enough, the girl wrapped the cloak completely around herself. In the blink of an eye, she was gone.

Ronan frowned. Instead of a beautiful girl, a pretty seal gazed up at him, before disappearing under the waves. Had he imagined the girl? Or was she really a selkie and he foolishly let her go. Cursing himself soundly for being a fool, Ronan turned and went back to his house.

He could not forget girl and he wondered what had become of her. Whenever he was out fishing, a pretty grey swam alongside his boat. The seal was there in all sorts of weather and Ronan swore it chased the fish into his nets. Or maybe it was a gift from the sea, for returning the selkie to it. He did not know, nor did he really care aside from the fact his nets were full. But he always gave thanks to the seal, by tossing a fish its way, before rowing home.

Nearly a year later, when the sea was grey and winter storm tossed, and the seals came up on shore to birth their pups, he saw a girl wrapped in a seal fur cloak sitting on the beach. She was singing and her voice was so beautiful, Ronan had to get closer to see who was singing. Her back to him, it was only when he got close enough to face her that he saw that it was the same girl he rescued a year ago.

“You’re back!” Ronan grinned. He put his hand out and she took it. She nodded as he pulled her to her feet, her cloak slipping off her shoulder. Ronan bent to pick up her cloak and saw she clutched a small fur-wrapped bundle to her chest. It reminded him of a seal pup and he frowned as he set her cloak back on her shoulders.

The girl reached up with one hand and smiled as she caressed his cheek. She then moved part of the fur away, revealing a baby suckling at her breast. She smiled at Ronan again.

“Is that our child…?” Ronan pointed to the baby. “The baby. Who’s baby is it?”

The girl stared at him blankly.

He tried again. “Is it our baby?” he asked slowly, this time gesturing between them.

She seemed to consider this a moment, then smiled. She touched her hand to his chest briefly, before drawing it back.

Ronan looked away and back. He swallowed and took a deep breath, before asking her what he had been dying to know. “Are you… Are you a selkie?” At her confused look, he added, “One of the sea folk?”

She slowly nodded. She knew that word “selkie.” It was what those who walked on land called her people.

“Will you stay?”

The girl slipped the cloak from her shoulders and naked, she hurried towards his home. Ronan picked up her cloak and ran after her. He found her inside, sitting on his bed, with their baby in her arms. Ronan shook his head, and setting the girl’s cloak down, he found her something to wear.

It was if she had never left and the girl, who Ronan called Niamh, became his wife. The baby was called Rory. In time Niamh bore him several sons and two daughters. While the boys grew up to become fishermen like their father, the two girls took after their mother and the pull of the sea became too much for them. So they were given their seal skins and they headed out to the sea to live as selkies. Though they were missed by their family, on nights when the moon was full, Ronan and Niamh would go outside and listen to their daughter’s songs of the sea. Of their sons, only Rory took a selkie as a wife for he was the most like his father. As for Ronan and Niamh, they lived a long and happy life, surrounded by grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


the Duchess of Crack! and the Queen of Fluff

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