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The moment of recognition came to the mother and son instantaneously, although the flood of memories came slower.

Like the trickle of water from an old dam, the past came slowly and then all at once, leaving the pair in a crying, crumpled heap.

Keith forgot his anger at her leaving, his sadness at the death of his father. In this moment, he could feel her love permeating through warm, strong arms. He didn't even think to question the rather strange circumstance as he felt he and his mother rocket to the surface. 

"Keith! I'm so sorry! Are you alright?" Came a concerned voice. "H-hey, wait- who the hell is that?!"

Lance's familiar tinny voice came from an exposed rock about 300 yards away. Even from a distance you could see the rapid rise and fall of his bare chest as he tried to gauge the threat level of his "assailant". 

"Get away from him!" Lance tumbled off the rock a little less than gracefully, completely exhausted from sprinting about the seafloor for the greater part of an hour. He had clambered up on the rock in an effort to get a better view and had been gazing intently into the turbid sea, hoping that by some miracle the human boy would be alive. By some miracle he was, and Lance didn't have time to wonder why now.

He pumped his aching tail up and down, speeding through the waves so fast he had to close his eyes. He arched his back forward slightly, his momentum sending him flying like a torpedo into the sand. At the last second, Lance pulled up and, praying he had timed this correctly, shot six feet out of the water and prepared to divebomb his friend's captor. 

"Wait, Lance!"

But it was too late. Keith's mother grabbed him and tore under the surface, narrowly missing what would have been a crushing blow by inches. 

"Mom, wait!" Keith screamed as he shook her slightly to gain her attention. He felt like a fussy baby. "That guy's my friend!"

The woman nodded silently as she rose back up to the surface, Keith in tow, to try and clarify the situation to the tan figure awaiting them.

Suddenly, the lithe form shot down towards them, most certainly as a means of attack. Thinking quickly, the waterlogged Kogane motioned to his mother, who understood, and released him briefly. Knowing that Lance was now going too fast for him to change his trajectory, Keith stuck his arms out and grabbed the merman's waist, bringing him to a screeching halt. Once the brunette could see that his friend was well and truly O.K, he grabbed his arm and pulled him to the surface, where the little rowboat somehow remained.

"Are you O.K?" Lance asked with great difficulty as he attempted to catch his breath.

"Yeah, I'm fine. No thanks to you," Keith chuckled before looking just above his friend's right shoulder. "Holy shit. Mom?"

Freed from the cumbersome darkness underwater, the two could finally get a good look at the mysterious maiden who'd "attacked" them. Her skin was a shade of iridescent purple in the sunlight, her tail a deep violet which gradually faded into a fluorescent blue. She gazed upon them with piercing eyes, yellow pupils framed by black sclerae as she smiled with tears in her eyes. She was beautiful.

Keith could barely suppress a sob as he dog-paddled over to his mother, cries of 'Mommy!' and stabler, yet still pained 'I love you's exchanged between the pair respectively. They stayed like this for a long while, holding each other close in silent fear of being separated again before Lance interrupted.

"Keith? I don't mean to interrupt, but..."

"What is it?" snapped Keith.

"You were under the water for a long time, and..."

"Get to the fucking point."

"Since when do you have gills?"

Keith froze and reached up to the sides of his neck, which suddenly began to throb painfully. His hand grazed the spot where his normally taut skin should have been, and gasped when met with three large slits.

His mother pulled him closer. 

"My son," she whispered quietly.

(A/N: Sorry about the long wait! School just started and I've been trying to get the hang of things. Now that its about a month in I've got a handle on my schedule I'll start uploading more regularly. Sorry for the long wait!)

Also hey, Krolia's a purple queen anthias

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Also hey, Krolia's a purple queen anthias.

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