Author: Kat Lee
Fandom: DC Comics
Character/Pairing: Catwoman/Mera, Cats
Challenge/Prompt: whatif_au 10: Ocean AU
Word Count: 2,762
Date Written: 27 February 2018
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters within belong to DC Comics, not the author, and are used without permission.
She had always considered herself a land person, but sometimes, like today, being out on the ocean suited her. She lounged, enjoying the feel of the salty breeze combing its invisible fingers through her long, dark locks, as she waited for her girlfriend to return. A couple of her cats licked her dangling fingers, and Selina thought she might toss out some catnip later. Some nip always did a girl fun, and her babies were borned. “It won’t be much longer, darrrlings,” she purred to them. “We did make a deal after all.”
And it worked pretty well most of the time. Every other month they were out on the water, taking care of Mera’s people and animals, while the next month found them back on land, stealing whatever Selina chose to set her eyes upon and rescuing more kitties. She had never met another woman who could care for cats as she did, but Mera was never more beautiful than when she sat upon the deck, playing with Selina’s babies.
They were her babies too, Selina thought, remembering the last time Mera had caught them eating fish and had been assured the fish were already dead before Selina and her cats arrived. They never ate a live one, and it was rare that Selina allowed them to have fish around Mera. Besides, these days, you never could be too sure what you were eating even when it came fresh from the ocean, thanks to all the toxins and other chemicals humans insisted on dumping into the water.
She hears a splash but doesn’t open her eyes or even slide her sunglasses down her nose. She listens as Mera rises from the water and climbs aboard. She smiles as she imagines the sunlight glistening on her almost bare breasts, making the water droplets shine. She’s just beginning to consider drying her off with her tongue when Mera splashes water onto her. “Hey!” Selina cries out in dismay, her eyes popping open and glowering accusingly at her.
Mera shrugged, but her shy grin was also teasing. She knew what she had done! She tucked her long, wet hair behind her slender back as she told her, “You’re going to get wet sooner or later any way.”
“I think I’d prrreferrr laterrr today,” Selina returned with a lustful purr.
She slid her sunglasses down her nose and look over their dark brim at her partner in crime, in love, and in so many other things too. “What do you mean?”
“I’ve got something in the water,” Mera told her excitedly, “something I want to show you!”
“I have to something to show you too,” Selina purred to her. “The waterrr can wait.”
“No. No, I don’t think so,” Mera disagreed.
Selina looked at her in surprise. “Since when do you care rather or not I want to get wait? That’s part of our agreement, honey,” she reminds her, tossing the word like a cat popping a claw through the air. “We don’t try to force anything on each other.”
“I’m not trying to force something on you, Sel. I’m trying to give you something.”
“Give me something?” Selina sat up at attention. “Like what? Did you find an oyster down there?”
“Better!” Mera’s grin was infectious, quickly luring Selina to her feet.
“I’d better not regret this,” she muttered.
“Oh, you won’t!” Mera wrapped her arms around Selina, and Selina forgot about the water as she kissed her passionately, her tongue wrapping around hers and pulling it into her mouth. She was just beginning to toy with the strap of Mera’s top when Mera pushed her overboard.
“HEY -- !” she screeched, but her words were cut off as she shut her mouth just in time for the bright, blue water to rush over her head.
“We’ll be back soon, kittens,” Mera told her girlfriend’s children with a wink before leaping after her.
Selina was still glowering at her underneath the water when Mera arrived and took her hand. She grinned wordlessly at her, then kicked her legs and, still holding to Selina’s hand, led her further down. Selina’s lungs were beginning to burn when she finally whipped her hand out of Mera’s gentle grasp. She glowered at her girlfriend again, then turned to leave.
Mera grabbed her shoulder. Selina glowered at her again over her shoulder, but the redhead shook her head and held out a hand, indicating for Selina to give her just a few more minutes. She kissed her again, this time breathing oxygen into her lungs, and draped a necklace over Selina’s head. A strange sensation suddenly shot through Selina’s legs.
Her emerald green eyes shot wide at the new feeling. She pushed Mera away and motioned frantically to her legs. Mera shook her head and grinned as whiskers sprouted out from Selina’s cheeks. Selina touched her cheeks, and her eyes widened even more with disbelief as she felt her new whiskers.
Mera gestured to her legs, and Selina looked down to where her legs were suddenly sticking together. She tried to kick them loose but only succeeded in kicking them simultaneously through the water. They weren’t coming apart but were instead becoming swiftly covered by scales striped black and red! She looked in disbelief at Mera, who pulled her closer to her and kissed her again.
As soon as it had began, the transformation was over, and when Selina again kicked her legs, trying to free herself of the odd, invisible restraint, she moved a powerful tail through the water instead. She gaped, her mouth falling open as she forgot everything but the tail at which she was now gawking. “What?!” Her own word made her jump. Realizing that she was taking in water, she covered her mouth with her hands, but Mera gently pulled them off of her lips.
“It’s okay,” she told her. Beaming at her love, she added, “Welcome to my world, Selina.”
“You -- You turned me into a fish?!”
“Not just any fish. A catfish!” When Selina continued to glower in disbelief, Mera’s smiling face fell into a seductive pout. “I thought you’d like it!”
“I’m a cat first, a human second, but I’ve never been a freaking fish before!”
“But you love a fish,” Mera told her gently, taking her hand again, “or rather, a woman who is part fish and part human. I thought you’d like this. It will let you go wherever I go in the water, and when you get back on land, all you have to do is concentrate and you’ll return to normal.”
Selina’s green eyes narrowed in disbelief at her partner. “Really?”
“Yes, really! I wouldn’t have made you into one permanently without your permission! Honestly, I thought it was a good idea!”
Uncertain what to think, Selina stared at her. A man would have taken thorough advantage of this. Men loved to change women into whatever they desired them to be. That was the reason why she had finally left Gotham long before she had ever met Mera. There had been a man there who had tried to change her and had almost succeeded until she’d realized that he would never love the real her. He also would never care about her babies. He’d always put humans first, above her babies, above herself, above even his own self and desires. She needed a person who would put her first, and she needed to be able to put her babies first as she had always done since they had first saved her life by turning her partially into one of them.
She had left Gotham and never looked back, but now . . . Now she remembers. She remembers the pain of fists falling upon her flesh. She remembers men forcing themselves on her, even when she had not been much more than a child. She remembers breaking free of their constraints and their labels, of clawing her way to freedom through their blood, through their bodies, through their prisons. She remembers being foolish enough to fall in love after all that had been done to her and barely saving herself from the trap in which she had fallen.
And now she’s fallen in love again. She never would have thought Mera would have tried to change her. She’d thought they’d had the perfect plan. She’d even thought Mera had come to care for her children -- not as much as she did or as Mera did for her own kingdom and the lives within it --, but she had thought she had cared for them. And now . . . Now she’s been changed once again to someone else’s liking!
Selina wanted to scream. Her throat and eyes burned, though not from the water. Her heart roared in her ears like a lioness. She broke free from Mera’s hold and swam as fast and hard as she could back in the direction from whence they had come. She leapt out of the water, her new tail propelling her high above the ship, and landed hard on the deck.
Her babies came rushing. They mewed as they circled around her, uncertain what had happened to their mistress and mother. A few reached out with tentative paws and tapped her wriggling tail. Selina was still shaking when Mera came onto the ship.
“Selina, I’m sorry!” she cried out, rushing to her. “I’m so sorry! I swear I didn’t think you’d react like this!”
“That’s right,” Selina growled, her whiskers bristling and her skin shaking. “You didn’t think!” Tears raced down her cheeks.
Cats mewed and spit their dismay at Mera, but she didn’t back away. She fell to her knees beside her. A large, tiger-striped tom with a missing ear swiped his paw across Mera’s cheek, drawing blood. Other cats rushed her, nipping at her fingers and toes. “I didn’t do anything wrong!” she cried, swatting at their behinds but refusing to just slap them away. She would not hurt them, Selina noted through her tears, even now.
Mera had to struggle to keep the cats off of her, but she still managed to reach Selina. She lifted her head and clung to her. “I promise I didn’t do anything wrong! Selina, just concentrate! Concentrate, and you’ll see!”
Perhaps she was telling the truth, Selina thought. Maybe she had overreacted after all she had been put through at the hands of mankind. Maybe Mera was telling the truth. Maybe this strange change that had overtaken her was only temporary, something she could use when they were in the water together. But she couldn’t concentrate. She kept having flashes of the past, of men hurting her, abusing her, taking her, and forcing her to do their will . . .
“Just concentrate,” Mera whispered. She leaned down and kissed Selina’s forehead, and as she did so, Selina realized that Mera, too, was crying though her tears were quieter as they slipped down her face. “I would never harm you. Never!”
“Concentrate,” she urged again. She lowered her mouth toward Selina’s but hesitated, clearly not wanting to force her kiss on her if she didn’t want it. Selina lifted her head through the tiny space still separating them and pressed her lips to hers. As she did so and Mera slowly deepened their kiss with gentleness and ease, the visions of her past began to lose their grip on her.
Selina stilled. Her heartbeat moved to a slower rate, calming somewhat. She stopped trembling, stopped crying, and began at last to concentrate. She felt her legs but did not dare to look at them yet. She felt the whiskers seem to swoop back into her skin, raised a hand, and felt of her smooth cheeks.
She heard the thud of her tail slapping the deck and moved her concentration to her legs. She tried to move her legs, but her tail slapped the deck again. She tried again and again, all while still kissing Mera. Gently, Mera lifted from her lips. “You can do it,” she whispered against her mouth. “I promised you I would never force you to change for me, and I will keep that promise. I’ll always keep my promises to you, sweetheart, always,” she vowed, stroking Selina’s ebony hair.
Selina’s heart swelled with her words. She did know Mera. Despite everything they had both been through and all they had endured at the hands of man, Mera would never hurt her. She’d punch a man out as would Selina, but unlike Selina, she drew the line at hitting women. The only human being besides herself for whom Selina still cared was this woman in her arms, and Mera wasn’t really a human. She was an Atlantean, and what she had just given her was a gift from her people.
She could go home with her now, Selina thought when the time came and Mera had to visit her people again. She could fight alongside her wherever she went, and there was something to be said for being a real catfishwoman after all. She looked down between them at her legs, saw they were normal, and sighed. “I should have known. I . . . “
“No,” Mera argued lightly. “I’m the one who should have known. I apologize, Selina. I should have told you what I was doing before I did it. I didn’t think you would panic. I didn’t think about everything they forced you through. There really is no crueler species than humans.”
Selina smirked. “You can say that again. But still, I should have known. You’ve never hurt me. You never will hurt me. And you care about me and my babies just like I -- “
“Just like you care about me and mine,” Mera agreed. “I’ve seen you with my dolphin friends, Selina. I’ve seen you try to race them, and I’ve seen you pet them like they’re one of your kitties. I’ve also seen you tear through a whaler like a one-woman wrecking crew.”
“Bastards,” Selina growls, remembering the whaler in whose net Mera had gotten caught and how she had killed every man on board that blasted ship. She didn’t care that their blood was on her hands. If anything, she was proud to have killed them. The only real innocents in the world were their babies: hers and Mera’s, and the other babies they saved and for whom they fought daily, rather on land or at sea.
“You do realize,” Mera asks, gently teasing, “this means you may actually be able to keep pace with Ֆլոթմ እና бамжы?”
Heat engulfed Selina as it so often did when Mera spoke in her traditional language. “God, I love that tongue!” She swiftly sat up and captured Mera’s mouth with her own. Her tongue swept into her mouth and curled around hers, dancing passionately with her blade, until oxygen, whose demand could frequently be quite annoying, demanded her to release her. Her eyes were full of joy again and sparkling as she asked breathlessly, “Do you really think I can?” If so, the stolen jewels she’d planned to give Mera to honor their anniversary would have to wait!
“There’s only one way to find out,” Mera answered, laughing. She jumped to her feet and held her hand down to her lover. Selina took it and let Mera pull her to her bare feet and into her arms. “And I will never, ever do anything to harm you or lessen your freedom in any way, I promise!” she vowed, kissing her.
Then, together and giggling, they raced across the deck. “I’m fine, babies!” Selina called to her cats, who could clearly see their mother’s grin was even more radiant than the Summer sun. “I promise!”
Still holding hands, the women jumped into the ocean to find Mera’s dolphins and spark a new game of play. Left alone on the deck, the cats returned to their business, chasing each other, playing with toy mice and balls, and bathing. Some stretched out for a leisurely nap in the sun, knowing that it would be a while before their humans, such as they were chose to return.
One literally smirked as she bathed an ear. “Sure you are, Mother,” she murmured, “and you’re as silly as the rest of them!” But Selina was far, far better to them all than any human ever had been before. Mera came second, but she was good to them and, best of all, was good to their Selina. They were a match purrfectly made and well worth waiting for. Diana purred as she fell asleep, smiling, in the sun. Ah, yes, this was the life for cats!