Disclaimer: I own nothing. All characters from DC Comics, Star Trek, Looney Tunes, Splash, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer are the property of their original owners.
Author's Note: No. 5 of Harmony's Halloween Choices.
Arthur Curry of Atlantis looked around in total bewilderment at the chaos around him. Just a second ago, he had been swimming several hundred feet beneath the surface of the Atlantic Ocean, about eight miles from Gotham City. He spent a frantic few moments actually wondering if Batman had done this to him to make it clear the crimefighter’s city was off limits, until the King of the Seven Seas realized the absurdity of his thoughts. Whatever else Wayne could be accused of (obsession, paranoia, an exaggerated liking for skin-tight leather), that man always used exactly the proper amount of force whenever possible.
Now eyeing his surroundings, Aquaman decided that if his sudden transportation to this place was the result of a maniac surface-dweller’s penalty for trespassing, that action could only be described as overkill.
In his vicinity, numerous small costumed beings with hideous features chased screaming children also wearing various costumes, while adults ran from or fought monsters and otherworldly creatures, with some of these same grown-ups dressed as characters from movies, novels, and popular culture, all to the sound of shrieks, howls, alarms, and gunshots.
Dry-landers led the strangest lives.
Just as Arthur was reflecting on this, a sudden bellow behind him caused the superhero to quickly spin around, but not in time to keep a massive fist from smashing into him in a blow that hurled Aquaman’s body across the entire street to land in the front yard of a small house. The amphibian had already recovered in mid-flight to turn his landing into a quick roll that brought him up on his feet, facing his attacker standing in the middle of the street.
*Looks like the Shaggy Man’s older brother.*
The blond man acted right after that thought, sprinting forward directly at the ten-foot-tall mass of fur and muscle that glared at the little thing insanely running towards itself, as if that pipsqueak could actually hurt it. Overconfidence caused the monster to gnash its six-inch fangs jutting out of the corners of its mouth, crouch down, and hold open its arms to welcome his opponent to doom and death.
This gave Aquaman enough time to slam directly into his enemy’s midsection, barely rocking it on its feet, grab as much of it in his embrace as he could, and just….lift.
The hairy monster’s eyes opened wide in surprise as it was picked up off its feet by muscles that could propel the Lord of the Oceans at eye-blurring swimming swiftness through the furthest reaches of the world’s seas. A body formed by nature to easily withstand the most crushing pressures of the deepest ocean trenches as a consequence had superhuman strength when out in the upper surface of the world that was by contrast a vacuum to the man who held up his hirsute foe at arm’s length for an instant, before slamming it onto its back.
Shockwaves shattered the street asphalt away from the impact, and at the exact point where the body of the Halloween-changed partygoer smashed into the ground, a pothole caved in, big enough to consume an entire Volkswagen plus a couple of skateboarders for afters.
A few seconds later, Aquaman hopped backwards out of the crater, landing on the lip of the bowl-shaped hole in the street. He stood there casually dusting off his hands and observing his moaning opponent lying limply in the indentation, feebly moving its limbs, until the superhero was satisfied that his defeated foe was not seriously injured, and it clearly understood about making no further trouble and staying there like a good little monster.
About to further help in the anarchy around himself, Arthur began to stride away from the crater, until he abruptly froze, listening with alarm to distressing sounds coming from….there!
Madison knew she was going into shock due to the unexpected change from abruptly being deep in the ocean to now lying on dry land. While she could live comfortably in both water and air, the mermaid’s lungs and gills needed several seconds to adapt to either. Whatever had happened in the last few moments to bring her here had occurred too quickly for her body to adjust. Instead, she desperately gasped for breath, trying to stop her inner spasms before they killed her.
Writhing on the ground, her arms and tail flailing as she threw her head back and forth, trying to get air inside her, the young girl’s blonde hair whipped around in ever-weakening gyrations as dark spots appeared in her vision and she felt her heart beginning to stutter. Starting to black out, Madison despairingly thought the sensation of her body rising into the air was the beginning of her death.
Warm lips closed over her own, and the girl’s eyes opened wide in shock as life-giving oxygen blew into her mouth and down her throat to her lungs, which ended their convulsions to begin working properly again. Madison was too shaken to pull back from the kiss, instead staring deep into the brown eyes of the man holding her in his arms while her lips pressed against his. It was this stranger who ended their touch first, lifting away his mouth to urgently speak to her, “We must get you to the sea, my lady!”
As the man turned and slightly dipped his legs, a disorientated Madison started to say, “Who---AAAHHHHH!” Her shriek continued all the way to the end of the block, throughout the flex of the man’s legs that carried them both in a single enormous bound to land at that point with a faint crunch, as his boots cracked the concrete surface of the sidewalk, his footwear sinking in further as her rescuer thrust again with his legs to soar in another majestic leap further down the street.
At least the mermaid didn’t scream that time, and the next, and the next, until she lost count. Instead, she just closed her eyes and hung on during the powerful leaping rhythms of his bounds, her mind desperately trying to regain her composure by focusing on the most trivial of details: how the man’s scaled, golden-orange shirt she was clutching perfectly matched the color of her tail.