He could see her through the last window in the last row of the ferry, forearm pressed against the glass and eyes trained on the horizon.  Eyebrows a little bit furrowed, hair rumpled, shoulders slumped under the weight of something unseen.

Something was bothering that kid.

So Dassle did the only thing a sea lion could do in this moment: he crested up out of the wave, aimed a steely grin towards that last window, and when their eyes caught, Dassle issued a wink.  Followed by the flipper-version of a thumbs up.

The girl in the window turned to face out the window fully – what was she seeing? – and locked onto Dassle.

Dassle waved.

The girl jumped.  Then smiled.  And waved back with the calloused tips of her fingers.

The ferry zoomed ahead and Dassle dove back under the ocean waves, picking the seaweed out of his mustache as he made his way back to where the mermaids were finishing up his custom-order typewriter.

He had a story to tell.