A Seaside Conversation

[Chaer]

Yawning, Chaer slipped out of Sammel's estate, looking at the eastern sky, which showed the barest hint of lightening. His brief swim yesterday to Alvezo's ship had not been enough to make up for the weeks of travel to, and stay in, Montfort. He was more than ready to be back in his natural element.
He stood at the water's edge in the cove next to the harbor, listening to the ceaseless susurration of the ocean waves. Finally, he dove in cleanly, swimming strongly through the water and letting the sea denizens bring him the news of the waters.
Some time later, as he headed back to the cove, he sensed a new swimmer in the water. He slowed down, listening carefully to the echolocation coming back at him.
'A seal?' he thought. 'Could it be...?' He followed cautiously as the seal form made its way to shore.
[Fontaine]
Fontaine shivered in the chill morning sea breeze as it blew through her wet curls. She finished pulling her wool tunic on over her trousers, and knelt (heedless of the wet sand soaking through her pant legs) to roll up her seal skin and put it in the warded case. ~Pity I can't be as warm as a human as I am as a seal,~ she thought, reaching for her short cloak.
[Chaer]
Chaer nodded to himself, then swam for the shore, trying to emerge from the water with enough noise to warn Fontaine, but not enough to startle her. "Good-good morning," he called to her.
[Fontaine]
Fontaine made a little, "Ohh" sound, and called, "Chaer?"
She squinted at the fuzzy form in hopes of identification, and felt around for her glasses.
[Chaer]
"Aye, 'tis me," he replied, walking away from the surf to join the girl on the sand. He was wearing only a loincloth--enough to protect the modesty of others, but not enough to interfere much with his swimming. "Did you like-enjoy being in the sea again?"
[Fontaine]
"Until I got out," she said with a smile. Her damp and sandy fingers finally touched upon her glasses, but once she put them on she found her vision no better as she peered through sandy smudges.
[Chaer]
Chaer grinned a bit. There was an advantage to not being a shape-shifter-- he was already equipped with protection from the cold. He allowed his curiosity to take him further. "If you not mind my asking-inquiring, why were you in Montfort, so far from this?" He gestured to the calm sea, the hiss of the small waves giving their conversation a quiet undertone.
[Fontaine]
"I came," she said, "With the Bards...and there are some of Grandmama's kin living there."
[Chaer]
"I see-understand," Chaer replied, though he didn't entirely. While he'd enjoyed his trip inland, he knew he'd quickly become far too lonely for the sea to stay too long. But then again, perhaps the Selkies' human forms were like regular Humans--not very comfortable in the sea.
"I do thank you much-much for coming," he continued. "My people will greet-welcome you as kin-of-sea." He cocked his head to one side, remembering her traces of discomfort at the meeting last night. "I think you are useful for us--maps will be needed-helpful, and Channi and I cannot make those. You also look at area as both Human and sea-dweller, which can help villagers-friends to escape."
[Fontaine]
"I really want to help," she answered, earnestly, as she gathered up the hide case.
[Chaer]
Chaer nodded. "I know-sure you will be," he replied. "We should go- head back now. No need to waste-miss free food." He grinned, knowing that Sammel would have a good breakfast ready for all his guests. He led the way back up the beach, matching his stride to hers.
[Fontaine]
"Breakfast would be good," she agreed, following along and pushing still-smeary glasses back up her nose. As a seal she had seriously thought about some fish, but she still couldn't get over her squeamishness at the idea of _raw_ fish for breakfast.

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