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Sea-ing Double

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Daphne put her hair back in a simple ponytail, straightening her shirt in the mirror and catching her husband’s eyes in the reflection. She grinned in delight upon seeing his outfit. She had insisted they go full cringe and wear matching outfits for the day, to Joel’s extensive protest, but he seemed to have gone through with it anyways, the lovely man.

They both wore plain white t shirts with jean shorts, Daphne of course opting for shorter shorts while Joel chose a pair that ended further down his thighs, to his wife’s disappointment.

“Babe, why aren’t you wearing those ridiculous short shorts we just bought you?” Daphne turned around to lean against the bathroom counter and pouted. “Your legs look so good in them!”

“Daffy, my beautiful angel, fuck you.” They both cracked up. “No one aside from you wants to see my legs and half my ass hanging out of those ‘jean’ shorts.”

“C’mon, I’m wearing a super low-cut top, let me ogle you back!”

“Once we’re out on the water a few miles from shore, you can ogle me all you want.” He suggestively wiggled his eyebrows, making Daphne giggle.

“Fine, I’ll accept that condition.” She opened her arms in invitation and her husband needed no more prompting. He crossed the small hotel bathroom in two strides and wrapped his arms around her slender waist, hugging her tightly and leaning up into a kiss. They gently parted and leaned slightly apart, Joel still squeezing her tight and Daphne’s nails scritching at his scalp.

“We’re really not bringing any form of technology out on the water?” Joel asked in a near-whisper.

“Really, aside from the radio on-board the sailboat. We are taking a break from the Internet tonight.”

“You sure I can’t convince you on a motorboat?” He dropped his face down and buried it in her chest, hands coming up to cup her breasts as he... well... took a trip in a motorboat. Daphne laughed and shoved him away with a hand on his forehead.

“You’re disgusting, man! Why did I ever agree to marry you!” She teased, still laughing with a blush on her makeup-free face.

“Because you love how disgusting I am.” He cheekily grinned with the tip of his tongue caught in his teeth.

“Fair enough!” Daphne took a step forward, cupping her husbands face in her hands for a moment to plant a chaste kiss on his lips before walking out of the bathroom and towards the hotel room door where they had stashed all their shoes.

They put on their sandals, similarly matching in color and roughly in style, though Daphne’s had a bit of a wedge in the heel, and headed out the door, hands groping each other through their back pockets. The late afternoon sun was luckily to their backs as they strolled down the sidewalk to the docks.

They walked into the boat rental office, ringing the bell on the top of the door. The man at the desk glanced up from his book and immediately looked Daphne up and down, eyes tracing her long legs and the dip of her waist under her tight shirt. Joel made a show of curling his arm around her back, pulling her body tight to his and staring the clerk dead in the eyes when the man met them. The man at the counter lifted his hands a couple inches, showing his palms in surrender.

“How may I help you two today? He set his hands flat on the counter and rose, leaning forward with a crooked smile.

“We called a few weeks ago about renting a sailboat for the night,” Daphne started. “We’ve already paid and everything, were just here to get the keys, so to speak.”

“Ah, I remember your voice from the phone! Don’t hear an accent like yours often. Exotic. Let me see...” he pulled a binder out from underneath the countertop, flicking through and pointing at a name on the page. “You’re the... the Bear-gulls, right?”

“Berghult,” she corrected.

“That’s what I said. Anyways, here’s your keys,” He rummaged under the desk again and tossed a single key attached to a sailboat keychain at them, Joel snatching it out of the air, “Follow me, I’ll show you to your boat.”

The clerk, who’s name tag read Kevin, led them out the side door. He held it open for Daphne to walk through but as soon as she had cleared the threshold he let it close, nearly smacking into Joel’s face. Joel just rolled his eyes; Kevin’s routine didn’t surprise him. Ever since his wife transitioned, she’d been near constantly hit on, and he’d been ignored and left in the dust whenever the guy that was into her was an employee at whatever establishment they went to. This time, it just so happened to be the boat rental place guy.

Daphne looked back over her shoulder at her husband, a shared look of sympathy and exasperation passing between them. She turned back towards Kevin and just smiled and nodded at whatever story he was trying to impress her with. Something about seeing a mermaid?

They stopped next to a small sailboat. It was modern, made out of white fiberglass, and had wooden accents along the sides and deck. Best of all, though, was the padded area in the center, decorated with throw pillows like a bed. The couple met each other’s eyes again, this time smirking at one another.

“And just to confirm,” Joel gleefully cut off Kevin, “we can do whatever we want on the boat?” He pointedly jerked his head towards the bed.

Kevin smiled lecherously and unsubtly looked Daphne’s body up and down again, scratching his scraggly beard. “As long as you don’t to anything unrepairable, go wild.”

The woman in question rolled her eyes and swallowed down a gag. She wanted nothing more than to pull down her shorts to give the douche the surprise of his life, but settled for draping her arms over her husband’s shoulders and sticking her tongue down his throat, making it clear that she was happily unavailable.

The couple stepped onto the boat and turned back to look at the clerk still on the dock. He recited final safety tips and rules before trudging back to his office, looking wonderfully dejected. As soon as he was out of earshot, Daphne and Joel high-fived and laughed.

“Gottem!” They cheered in unison, laughing even harder. Daphne started to untie the boat from the dock, smile still lighting up her face. Joel took a moment to appreciate the view as she bent over before going over to the mast.

The sail and rudder were prevented from moving by a lock, effectively immobilizing the entire boat. He unlocked it and angled the sail to the wind. Daphne was knocked off her feet when a strong gust of wind jerked the boat forwards as she was striding over to join her husband. She luckily landed in the padded area, unharmed.

“I know you’re eager, babe, but at least wait for us to get out of the harbor before propositioning me!” Joel joked at her from where he was steering the boat using both the sail and the rudder.

“Ha ha, very funny. You should consider making comedic videos on YouTube!” Daphne shot back.

“There’s no point! I could never outshine the biggest clown on that website: there’s this girl with brown and red hair who makes music sometimes? Have you heard of her?”

Daphne repositioned herself more comfortably, glasses tinting darker to shield her eyes from the swiftly falling sun. “Nope! She sounds great though. You should ask her out.”

“I did, and she made the stupid decision to marry me. What an absolute clown!” His voice was dripping with sappiness.

“Awww, what a romantic!” She dramatically laid her arm on her forehead. Her voice projected her love for him and they shared a smile sweet enough to rot any bystanders’ teeth.

The masts of the other boats on the dock slowly faded behind them like the sunlight overhead. When the last glimpse of land disappeared into the distance, Joel positioned the sail so the sailboat wouldn’t be propelled by the wind and joined his wife on the bed.

Wrapped in an embrace, the couple looked up at the wispy clouds overhead and watched them change colors with the setting sun, chatting about nothing in particular and exchanging soft kisses occasionally.

Daphne sat up to retrieve the bag they had brought with them, full of snacks and supplies for the evening, when a glimmer of glass caught her eye. She actually gagged when she realized what was glittering at her from up on the mast.

Her husband sat up next to her, concerned. “What’s wrong, Daffy?” Joel rubbed her back.

“There’s a camera pointed at us from the mast.” She aggressively stabbed her finger at the culprit.

Joel’s face contorted in anger and disgust. He stood and matched over to the mast, climbing up the inbuilt ladder and literally ripping the offending device from its attachment. Holes were left in the fiberglass outer shell of the mast from where the screws were torn out. He carelessly tossed it onto the wooden deck and jumped down after it.

Daphne crawled over to the camera and inspected it. It looked like a security camera you would connect to wifi or some other sort of wireless method of communication. She peeled off a piece of black electrical tape to reveal a blinking red indicator light: it was transmitting. She restuck the tape to the camera over the lens and shoved it underneath one of the pillows.

“What the fuck.” She spoke, breaking the deadly silence.

“We have to look for more, if there are any.”

Husband and wife both started systematically inspecting every inch of the sailboat, even going so far as to look inside the empty hull and to peel up the mattress. Thankfully, they didn’t find any more cameras or other listening/recording devices of any sort, aside from the radio. They unplugged the microphone from the radio just to be safe.

After double checking everywhere, both collapsed back onto the pad and stared at each other in the waning light.

“Yikes,” Joel expressed, pouring all his emotions into the delivery of that one word. Joel and Daphne spent the next five-ish minutes laughing hysterically in disbelief and astonishment at the fact that this was occurring in their real life right now. They sighed as one, giggling at their accidental unison and smiled at each other.

“You’re beautiful, you know that?”

“No you.” Daphne countered. “Let’s please get rid of this camera, I’m ready to jump your bones.”

“Yes ma’am!” no way was Joel gonna pass up an opportunity like that! He retrieved the camera from underneath the pillow. He peeled off the tape for a second, flipping off the lens and Kevin or whoever was on the other side, before chucking it as far away as he could into the waves.

As soon as the device left his fingers, arms wrapped around his middle dragged him back into the bed and his wife smothered him in kisses, slowly working her way down his body.

Chapter Text

The sun was halfway through its descent in the sky when Joel finally woke his mate. He could barely contain his excitement as he laid kisses on the sleeping siren’s face, just barely firm enough to wake him. The sleepy siren stretched his body as long as it could go, waking his muscles before his mind fully awoke. Opening his eyes halfway, Dave hooked his fingers behind Joel’s ear-fins and pulled him down into a proper kiss. He gently pushed Joel away and smiled softly.

“You’re really excited for this evening, huh?” The question was rhetorical; Joel was practically vibrating with repressed energy, fins twitching in anticipation.

They were going hunting for humans together at dusk. They usually hunted for humans on their own as the other was asleep once a week or so. Typically, they would spend dawn and dusk swimming together and talking, occasionally catching some aquatic creatures on their way.

However, they planned for today to be a human hunting trip together. The mates would swim out into the twilight and get a boat’s worth of humans into the water with a duet. Dave felt his own excitement ratcheting up at the thought. They often sang with their voices entwining together, but rarely did they sing with their powers entwining together. The nocturnal siren pushed himself up, arching his back to stretch even more. The diurnal siren smothered his lips in another enthusiastic kiss, cool tongue tracing his mate’s sharp teeth. Dave sprang forward and tackled Joel out of their cave, drifting to a stop a few feet beyond its mouth.

“I’m excited too,” he nuzzled Joel’s neck and grinned sharply. “Where to?”

“I was thinking we head towards shore a bit. It’s summer, so there’s bound to be some tourists out and about on the water.” Joel nuzzled back, webbed fingers buried in his hair.

“So you just want an easy catch?”

“We deserve a lazy evening together, and a good meal.” He punctuated his sentence by puncturing the skin on Dave’s shoulder with his long fangs, licking away the blood and the wound alike. Dave slapped Joel’s back with his tail fin in retaliation, glaring playfully.

“How many times have I told you to stop doing that, you little parasite!”

“You know you love me.”

“Luckily for you!” Dave blew water out of his mouth, forceful current hitting Joel square in the eye and making him flinch back and blink rapidly, smiles on both of their faces.

The two untangled from their embrace, starting their journey. Joel swam up a few feet to stay above, keeping the setting sun out of his mate’s sensitive eyes as they sped towards their destination in tandem.

The light level continued to fall as they got closer and closer to the mainland, eventually becoming dim enough for Dave to rise up and swim beside his mate, hair flowing behind him. They made music to pass the time; Dave beatboxing and Joel humming along with a melody.

They slowed their pace as they came within twenty miles of land, as evident by the change in water quality. They quieted their tune and swam a little ways away from each other, head-fins flared to catch any sounds indicative of a human presence nearby.

Joel went up to the surface, tilting his head to half-submerge it, one ear above and the other below the waves. In his peripheral vision, a black and red figure circled near the ocean floor.

A sound caught his attention. The black and red siren’s head snapped up as well, zeroing in on it. It was a crackling, whining, zapping noise, familiar to them as a piece of non-waterproofed human technology meeting its demise in the waves. Joel sank down and Dave floated up, the pair meeting in the middle and heading off in the direction of the sound. They were deep enough below the air to be invisible from above, but close enough to see the shadows of boats superimposed against the darkening sky.

The dark shape of a relatively small sailboat bobbed above them. Below them, a small camera, lens cracked, continued to sink further into the depths. Dave dove down and scooped it up. The LED of the indicator light was dark and quiet electrical snapping noises continued to emanate from it. The thing was trashed.

Dave passed the device to Joel who was ready to begin his typical script. The blue siren swam up next to the boat, his mate hovering at the ready below, and breached the surface. Lifting his free hand out of the water, he knocked on the side of the white hull, calling out in an exaggeratedly concerned tone, “Hello? I think you dropped something.”

Chapter Text

Joel the siren’s voice was carried on the light sea breeze, freezing Joel the human and his wife in place. Daphne looked up at her husband from around his stomach and he looked back, both of them confused and slightly scared. Daphne threw her husband into the metaphorical line of fire, moving off of his body and gesturing for him to go over and investigate.

Joel pulled his shirt back down and crawled over to the low railing, filled with caution. He peeked over the railing and recoiled so hard he rolled onto his back.

“What the fuck!!? Daffy, I’m hallucinating!” He scuttled backwards until his back pressed against the mast, eyes wide and chest heaving. His wife was instantly at his side, arm wrapped around his shoulders and other hand caressing his cheek.

“It’s me as a fucking mermaid in the water. Look!!” A shaky finger shot up, pointing at the railing. Daphne followed his line of sight and fell straight on her ass in shock.

Sure enough, a mirror image of Joel was clinging to the outside of the railing, near identical expression of surprise to her husband’s on his face. The only difference she could see were the blue hands and matching blue fins jutting out from his skull where ears should be.

“Dave, get up here!” She winced at nearing her deadname yelled in her husband’s voice, though it came from the creature that soon dropped back under the water.

“Fuckin’ hell,” she breathed.

The blue siren darted downwards towards his mate, alarmed expression greeting him, haloed by his long hair.

“You have to come up there with me now. There are human versions of us on that boat!”

“Calm down,” Dave tried to placate his mate, resisting being dragged to the surface. Joel was too hysterical to be reasoned with, though, and Dave resigned himself to going up there. Luckily, the sun was setting behind them, meaning that when he breached the water he wouldn’t be blinded.

They both leapt out of the water and grabbed onto the shiny metal railing, peering at the humans huddled together next to the sail. Dave nearly lost his grip and slipped back down upon confirming what the other siren had claimed.

Daphne and Dave started at each other, as did the two Joels. Daphne was the one to finally break the silence, though she spoke nearly silently:

“Hello there?” The sentence lilted up at the end, coming out as a question.

“H-hello,” Dave responded. Daphne flinched at hearing her pre-estrogen voice come from the creature, causing both her doppelgänger and her husband’s to flinch as well at the sudden movement.

“What are you?” The human named Joel was always one to throw himself headfirst into strange situations.

“Um, we’re sirens and we were planning on eating the two of you, but you two are identical to the both of us. What is going on?” The siren named Joel shared that quality with the human.

“We have no idea. Would you like to come aboard?” Daphne took control of the situation.

Her husband hissed into her ear, “Are you insane!? They just said they were going to eat us originally!”

“Do you have a better idea!?” She whispered back.

“Yeah, calling for help or going back to shore!”

“Remember we disconnected the microphone? And they’re sirens; they could make us stay if they wanted to.”

Dave and his mate listened to the heated but quiet discussion with their better than human hearing, trying to gradually relax from their shocked tenseness. The short haired human huffed in frustration but turned to the mythological beings clinging to their boat and directly addressed them.

“Can you two please move away from the edge? I’ll remove the railing so you can lean directly on the deck, but please stay in the water.” His voice was scared but he masked it well behind sternness.

“Alright,” his siren counterpart responded with a nod. Hearing their voice coming out of another’s mouth still weirded out both of the Joels. Letting go in unison, the sirens swam back to about fifty feet away from the boat, heads bobbing above the water and watching the humans in the swiftly dimming light.

For lack of a better option, human Joel started to detach the railing while Daphne turned on the artificial lights on the mast. A strand of colored lights adorned the long edge of the triangular sail, throwing a rainbow glow onto the white fabric.

As soon as Joel set down the lightweight metal railing, his wife called him back to the mast. They sat against it once more and wearily watched the creatures swim up and put their forearms on the edge of their rented sailboat, just feet away from them.

“I’m Daphne,” she’d been leading the charge so far, she might as well keep going, “and this is my husband Joel.” The two in the water jumped at that. “What are your names?”

“Nice to meet you, Daphne and Joel, I’m Dave and my mate is also named Joel.” All four were once more paralyzed by awe.

“What are the freaking chances!?” Daphne’s Joel shouted in incredulity. The tension finally broke and all of them laughed for a minute, choking every now and again at hearing an identical laugh come from someone else. The two couples finally relaxed and started to chat, as if this was an everyday occurrence that you come across your and your significant other’s identical twins but they’re a different species.

Dave’s Joel commandeered the conversation, relentlessly questioning the humans on their lives, how they met, what they do, and more. Daphne and her Joel were more than willing to volunteer answers to these technical strangers, especially because they were able to ask those same questions back. Dave participated the least, offering responses when needed and observing the others, but especially his human counterpart Daphne.

Both Joels looked absolutely identical to one another, up to and including the shade of their tans. Why, then, was the human version of him female? Their faces were structured the same, they had the same skin tone and eye color, though Daphne’s eyes constrained the color to her irises, and they even had the same colored hair streak, of all things. Though they should have looked as identical as the Joels, Daphne was unquestionably not male.

During a lull in conversation, Dave decided to speak up. “Isn’t it interesting how were all pretty much externally identical except Daphne is a woman?” Said woman didn’t quite wince, but her face scrunched up uncomfortably for a moment. The other three fell silent as they sensed she wanted room to speak.

“It certainly is interesting, but you and I are more identical than you think.” Her husband wrapped his arm around her shoulders in support. “While I look female now, I actually was born male. I spent most of my life looking exactly like you from the chest up! Aside from the fins, the claws, the eyes, and the teeth,” she amended her previous statement. “Quite a while ago now, I realized I wasn't meant to be male and started transitioning into who I am today.”

“That is amazing,” the red and black siren’s breath was taken away in wonder. “So not only did you have to find your mate, but you had to find yourself. And you succeeded!”

Daphne got the feeling that if siren’s had a salute, her deadname-sake would be saluting. No, he isn’t her before she transitioned, though they may have looked and sounded the same. Dave is his own person, as she is hers. She didn’t know how or why, but that thought erased any lingering dysphoria from her thoughts and she launched back into lighthearted conversation, Dave participating just as much as the rest of them now.

A sudden chill wind breezed past them, making the humans shiver in their inadequate clothes. The four noticed how late it had gotten, moon weakly lighting up the sky and millions of stars visible. It was beautiful, truly. Human Joel and Daphne wanted to go back to their hotel, though, mentally cancelling their plans to spend the night on the water as the temperature dropped.

Chatter slowed as they rubbed their arms, and Daphne’s Joel spoke up.

“You kinda alluded that you weren’t going to eat us, but does that still stand?” Zero tact whatsoever.

“Of course not!” Dave’s Joel cried, rearing back in offense. “We normally would, but no way with you two.”

“You are just too good to be eaten,” Dave added. “Not just because you look exactly like us, while that is a factor, but because you two are genuinely good humans.”

Said humans should have found those statements horrifying, but instead only found them reassuring and even flattering. Though that might’ve been the sirens’ powers talking.

“One last thing,” Daphne spoke while her husband started to replace the rail, “Can you guide us closer to shore?” She knew that was a super risky thing to ask any sea-based mythological creature, she’s read the myths, but neither one of them would be able to navigate in the dark.

“Of course.” The sirens spoke and nodded in unison, looking like they were about to burst out laughing at each other because of it before they slipped under the water. They re-emerged at the front of the boat.

“Follow Joel,” Dave said. “I have night vision, so I’ll guide him and he’ll guide you.”

Both creatures started to literally glow, like those angler fish you sometimes see in aquariums. Dave’s red fins and—strangely enough—hair streak lit up brightly, as did siren Joel’s eyes and a line of spots going down his spine from the base of his skull to right where his tail fin connected to his body. Daphne and human Joel watched, captivated, as the glowing red siren disappeared deep beneath the dark waves. The light-up blue siren also submerged himself, but shallow enough so the neon glow along his back was visible from their vantage point on the sailboat.

“Okay, you tell me which direction to turn, and I’ll steer!” Joel planted a quick kiss on Daphne’s cheek before running off, filled with so much emotion it nearly bowled her over. She shook it off and watched the line of sky-blue dots move slowly further from them.

“Slight right,” she called out.

It was nearly an hour before the lights along the shore were visible again as the wind had cut out as night fell, making it difficult for the sailboat to traverse. Two glowing heads popped out of the water next to the railing and both humans stepped over to join the magical beings.

“I assume you’ll be able to take it from here?” Siren Joel asked, blue light from his eyes reflecting off of his smile.

“Yeah, thank you both so much for guiding us back. And for not killing us.” Human Joel responded lightheartedly. Everyone chuckled.

“It was so nice to meet and talk with you two,” Dave expressed. “This is truly a once in a lifetime experience for us.”

“You think it's a once in a lifetime for you?!” Daphne cried. “We didn’t even know sirens existed before tonight!”

“Fair enough.” Her aquatic doppelgänger conceded.

“Goodbye, and stay safe. Keep being you, and stop copying me!”

The two couples laughed together one last time. The humans smiled and watched red and blue lights dim as the sirens sank under the water. Squeezing each other tight, Joel and Daphne navigated back into the harbor and towards their hotel. Dave and Joel twined their tails around each other and watched the shadow of the sailboat slowly shrink away into the distance.

What a night!