The Final Shoot

PhotoMan, perhaps deliberately, had chosen a stretch of beach that seemed to be in a permanent state of sunset. The sand was white and cool, thankfully not quite chilly due to the nature of the work SplashLady would be getting into. The waves lapped hard against rocks far out from the shore. Despite the photographer's claim that it was a public spot, beachgoers strolled by in increments few and far between. Notably, a lot of them seemed to be couples...

Trying to be the picture of professionalism and failing miserably due to his excitement, PhotoMan busied himself setting up a portable changing booth, an essential asset in his line of work. He brought out a few other data packets and left them closed and lying in the sand as he ran out towards the edge of the water to scope out the perfect angle to take the shoot from.
It didn't take very long for SplashLady to transfer to the Beach coordinates, though it seemed that PhotoMan was quite prepared for this shoot. A lot more than the others, actually...though she dismissed it as the area being significantly less private than the others. Speaking of, this area was really beautiful. She'd never really seen anything like it...granted, she didn't visit Beach Area a whole lot, but...

Anyway, she wasn't here to sightsee. She waved to PhotoMan as she started to walk over to him "Hey! I'm here! Just tell me what I need to do!"
PhotoMan watched SplashLady with a look of wonder, as if he still couldn't believe that she'd agreed to his request for the shoot. "Good, good... I've gotten just about everything set up now. This one shoot will make everything worth it. My boss could fire me and blacklist me from the desk of every human resources agent on the net and I still wouldn't give this up," he proclaimed, his words of joy sounding a little ridiculous as they came through washed in characteristic monotone. "There's just a few things we've got to cover before we start. First is wardrobe..."

The cameraman walked over and grabbed four of the five small data packets, carrying the bundle in his arms. "I wasn't sure what you'd want to wear, so I prepared four outfits. The first is a sea-blue bikini- a good color for you, I think- with shells as ornaments on the top. The next option is a little less conservative; it's composed of a bit of nylon and some shell ornaments, including spiral formations that ring the straps, giving the appearance that the whole suit save the back is made of shells. The third is a little less conservative; it's composed of only nylon in a top-and-thong coverage, along with shells over the breasts and groin. The fourth is a little less conservative, with the bikini consisting of only shells held in place by adhesive," he rambled, offering a long-winded presentation of several options.

"... Additionally, I was wondering... the skirt you ordinarily wear: is it something that you can swim in?"
...Wow, he was REALLY up for this. PhotoMan's dedication to his craft was actually pretty least, she figured it was dedication, and not something else. "...Hmm. Well, first off, I'll let you know that my skirt's not just for show. If I tuck my feet in it beforehand, I can use it to swim even faster than usual! So, it's kinda like a real mermaid tail in that regard! ...Actually, if it wasn't for the fact I couldn't do much on land with it, I might've ended up with an actual one when I was created, now that I think about it. I mean, I fit the theme in every other way..." She trailed off at the end, pondering how her life might've been if she was half fish. However, there wasn't really much life to re-envision, so it didn't take long for her to regain focus...

"And, for the outfit, I'll take..." ...Hmm. It probably needed to be one that showed off her butt, as that was probably her best attribute for the shoot. That said, Number 4...nuh-uh. She had standards, even for friends, so there was a hard limit on the number of slightly less conservatives she was willing to do. "I guess I'll take #3! ...By the way, what's in that other data packet? It looks like another one of these, but you didn't bring it over..."
"Ah, good. I was thinking that the shoot might be better if you and the actor were to get yourselves wet before the shoot, but I was also thinking that we ought to do one shoot with the tail before progressing. Knowing that you can wear the skirt into the water helps things out," the photographer explained. If he had any thoughts on her choice of wardrobe, he didn't show them very clearly; instead, he simply returned the extraneous data packets to the sand and handed over the third one to SplashLady. "The fifth packet? Oh, it's nothing I'm trying to hide. That data packet contains my swimsuit... for the actor to wear," he specified.

Once she'd taken the packet, he walked over to part the dressing stall curtain and hold it open for her. "While you dress, I'll try to see who I can drum up to take the role of actor in this shoot," he explained, waiting for her to enter in.
"Oh...right." Duh. "All right, guess I should go change, then! See you in a few!" And into the booth SplashLady went. Some humming could be heard, as the sounds of someone taking off their clothes could be heard. And lots of it. In fact, those 'few minutes' was probably just spent undressing herself. "And now, I just enable the data packet!" Click! "...Huh, this is more revealing than I thought it'd be...buuuuut, a little late now. But yeah, I get why Sabrina hates thongs. It feels like a-yeow!" The Navi walked out, rubbing her behind. "I can't believe I slipped and let that snap on me again!"

With that, she placed one hand on her hip, and the other behind her head, striking a pose. "Well, at least I pull it off!" And now, to await PhotoMan...
"Ah... It's as great as I imagined," PhotoMan affirmed, his eyes clicking rapidly in spite of himself. "I was thinking you might wear the skirt to start with, since I'd like a few photos with that on. If you don't mind, wrap it back around before we begin... O-Or don't... I certainly don't mind either way..." He crossed his hands behind his back, then turned to face the ocean. "Very well then. The last thing we need to do is to pick an actor to take the shoot alongside you. Unfortunately, there don't seem to be a lot of people around to pick from. I'm surprised, this is usually a fairly active spot."

Despite what PhotoMan was saying, a rather handsome, tan guy with vibrant red hair was making his way down the beach, clad in black swimtrunks with orange fire print. If they were looking for a guy to do impromptu acting, he looked pretty self-confident.

"Hm... Where can we get an actor on short notice?" PhotoMan asked himself, placing both hands at his hips and looked at the sand beneath his feet.

The guy strolled closer, nearing the point at which he'd pass between the two of them.

"So be it. If we really can't find another actor, I'll have to volunteer-"
"Oh, right, silly me!" With a snap of her fingers, SplashLady regained her skirt, with no other aspect of her normal outfit. "Okay, we can do that first!" Now, there was just that matter of getting that actor...hmm. There was that guy over there, but somehow a Navi evoking fire just didn't seem right for this setting. "Hmm...looking around, I don't see anyone that works, either...I guess you're hired, PhotoMan! Honestly, it's less weird if the pictures are with someone I know, anyway..." Eh, why not? What was the worst that could possibly happen?
Even if there had never been a twinkle in PhotoMan's painfully unexpressive, monotone eyes before in his life, it was present now. "You're absolutely right! In the end, it really is best if you do this kind of shoot with someone you're familiar with, after all, and the two of us have had quite a lengthy professional relationship by this point," he confirmed, sounding as if he was reassuring himself that this type of shoot was okay. "I'll just set this on auto-record... If I have the shoot thought up in advance, it's possible for me to use my helmet as a remote recording device. It only requires enough planning to know which points on the net to patrol through."

To demonstrate, PhotoMan removed his helmet and set it on remote control. The helmet began circling the camera in panoramic view, occasionally zooming in as it passed objects of interest. "I'm going to change. If you would moisten yourself... er, that is, wade or perhaps swim in the water for a moment, I believe that would improve the quality of the shoot," he offered, grabbing up the data packet and disappearing behind the curtain.
"Mm-hmm! Exactly!" Agreeing with what PhotoMan said, SplashLady watched as his helmet started floating on its own. "Huh, neat!"

With that, the other Navi walked behind the curtain, while she headed for the water to follow his suggestion...but actually walked atop it for a moment, looking down in it for some reason. "...Okay, that looks deep enough! Been a while since I've been able to swim like this...hope I'm not rusty! Here goes!" With a gentle hop, the mermaid Navi dove in, her feet safely inside her skirt. With that, she began to undulate her body up and down, propelling herself forward at quite a fast rate. "Still got it! But I can go faster than this!" And indeed she did. Now that she was warmed up, she was probably going what? 40 mph? 50 mph? She'd have to have Sabrina time her some time. And best of all, she didn't even have to surface for air. She could just keep going and going and-wait, why was the shore getting closer? Stop, stop!...

It was close, but by completely stopping, she managed to avoid rushing headfirst into the sand. Phew. "...Oh, I get it. The fins on my gloves help me steer, so without them, I must've veered off course. Ah well, might as well head back to where PhotoMan is." First, get back in the water, and then, lay back and slowly make her way back while floating. It was clear she wasn't trying very hard, but she was still managing nearly 10 mph despite only making soft body motions. Nothing that'd send her off like a torpedo again. "Ahh...this is pretty relaxing after all that negotiating..."
The swim was probably a good idea, as it gave PhotoMan some time not only to dress, but to simmer down and cool his heels. That aside, when SplashLady returned to him, she found the photographer looking around desperately, as if worried she'd ran off. When he spotted her again, he managed to mellow out. "It was inappropriate of me to worry. After all, you are surely an expert swimmer," he reaffirmed, trying to misdirect her as to why he'd been anxious.

With her still in the water and him on the shore, PhotoMan crossed his arms and thought about how to continue. "For the shoot to work, we are going to need to adopt a decidedly intimate pose, as I mentioned earlier. I hope that you'll be comfortable doing so," he continued. "My thinking was that, so that I don't become the subject of the photo, a good position might be for the two of us to lie on our sides. We would embrace and face each other, with one of my hands resting upon your hip and each of us using one arm to prop ourselves."

Pressing his hand to his chin, he thought some more about the shoot. "There's also the option of leaving me mostly out of the shoot and having you lie down; your back would be caressed by my hands and I would be off-screen. I should mention the important feature of this shoot is the element of 'touch.' In order for it to be inspiring, the feeling must be 'not only is this beautiful mermaid here on the beach, but she is real and tangible.' That's the sort of element needed for this to be an inspiring photograph," he explained. "There's other positions we could try too, I'm sure. What are your thoughts?"
SplashLady did very little upon reaching the designated area of coast, aside from waving to PhotoMan once she saw him, and floating slowly but surely over to him. She quietly listened as he explained the options, and for once, she didn't have any better ideas. Maybe it was nerves or something. "I don't think I have a real preference...though, whatever we do, the bottom of my skirt shouldn't be showing in any way. Seeing my feet sticking out of it would kinda ruin the illusion, you know? You're the expert when it comes to this, so I'll trust that you can figure out the perfect pose!"

Ugh, why was she so nervous? This was kinda supposed to be the easy part for her...
"Good suggestion. That's an element I'd forgotten to keep in check," PhotoMan agreed. "That would make the illusion more complete, certainly. If you're giving me creative license on the pose, then I'll try something bold, to ensure maximum effect... Let's see... We want a position that appropriately displays reverence both for the opportunity to meet a mermaid and for your attractive hips. We also want to hide your feet and keep the focus on you rather than myself."

After a brief moment's pause, PhotoMan looked as though he'd come up with something. Without explaining himself, he moved behind SplashLady while she remained standing and placed one arm around her, crossing at her stomach. With some thought, he wrapped the other around as well, ending with one hand at her hip. "This may seem unintuitive because we won't have the camera focusing on your behind, but there's a certain appeal that I believe the viewers will understand. Now, lift your arms and wrap them just over my neck," he encouraged her, speaking quietly into her ear as he dipped his head to allow her to follow his instructions. She could feel his body now nestled very closely against her back...
Oh hey, looked like PhotoMan had an idea. All right, lay it on her!

...Well, that was a bit more literal than she expected. SplashLady could feel her face turn a bit red as she ended up being grabbed where she'd never been grabbed before. U-um, exactly what are we doing...?" Still, it seemed like he had a plan, so she might as well follow suit. And so she did, wrapping her arms around her partner's neck. For some reason, this caused her to puff out her chest a bit, even though that wasn't really the main focus. It took everything she had not to do the same with her behind; she probably wasn't going to like the result if she did that. Aside from that, she remained still, still a good 95% committed to the shoot. The other 5% was too busy trying to keep her from having a tomato for a head to even consider stopping.
"You're doing well," he encouraged her. "I know it's hard, but try to clear your head. Embarrassment worked well for the shoot we did for Cuffs, since that was part of the theme, but here we want you to look fantastic and otherworldly."

... Despite PhotoMan's words, his own face was also becoming red and his legs seemed to be shaking, matching the accelerated rhythm of his heartbeat. "You see, my face and legs will be hidden, so I'm not so worried about my own disposition. I know you're not a professional actress, but it's important that we try to remain professional..." In spite of himself, the photographer seemed torn between two extremes: his hands were shaking to the point where it was hard for him to hold on to SplashLady, while at the same time, his grip seemed to want to hold her as close as possible. Right now only their lower bodies were separated...

The camera swirled around mercilessly, snapping photos of the two regardless of any feelings or protests. "Let's both try to hold as still as we can manage... Wait; the shots with a tilt are going to look slightly awkward if you keep your belly there and I keep my legs as they are. Perhaps if we could move just slightly closer," he suggested. Judging by his own hesitation, however, it sounded as though he'd had some similar thoughts to SplashLady's regarding the dangers of her lending her butt too freely...
And thus did SplashLady's career in modeling begin. For some reason, the sound of snapshots being taken calmed her down a bit, allowing her to regain her composure somewhat. "It's okay, I'm starting to get used to it!" Wait...slightly closer? Well, if it helped...however, she still had yet to fully rein in her nerves, and as such, moved her rear a bit further back than she intended...suffice it to say that PhotoMan was rather excited about everything. Her blush immediately returned, though at the same time, she didn't move. Couldn't interrupt the shoot just because she was embarrassed.

Besides, was the closest she'd ever gotten to a guy, in that it wasn't like it was it was COMPLETELY awful for her...
Mechanical whirring sounded up in PhotoMan's head and his eyes grew uncharacteristically wide as SplashLady backed it up, so to speak. Indeed, she got a feel for his healthy enthusiasm for his role in the shoot as the arch of her buttocks met the front of his shorts. "Professionalism, yes. That's what's important here. The two of us are professionals, executing professional business in a professional capacity," he murmured in a hurried, quiet tone, sounding more like he was convincing himself than anybody else.

He'd already been pretty keyed up and the new position wasn't providing any relief; SplashLady was definitely getting a physical reaction out of her photographer. "And now that we've made some progress with the initial shoots, if you'd remove your skirt so that we can s-shee the sheesells," he instructed her, tripping over his words with the tongue-twister at the end. "Please, if you would."
Losing the skirt...that was going to be...interesting, to say the least. "A-all right..." With a snap of her fingers, SplashLady's skirt vanished, leaving nothing but a single layer of nylon and PhotoMan's pants from the shoot becoming much, much more than gravure. Almost immediately, she stumbled slightly, causing her to...well, make things even more exciting for her partner by accidentally rubbing certain areas with her rear. Photo shoot partner. Nothing more. Nothing less. Right. " you want me to stay like this, or do you want me to change positions?" After all, at the present rate, before long they'd end up having to get married in some countries' Nets, and purely by accident, to boot...
The gears in PhotoMan's head pounded from the extra stimulation; for a second, SplashLady was reminded of the sound they'd made when the big guy had knocked him over at the beach. That collection of gears wasn't the only thing that was throbbing either... "V-Very good. That's excellent," he commented, clearly still referring to the photo-shoot as his voice rose to an unnatural pitch.

SplashLady's ear was in the perfect position to hear PhotoMan gulp as they continued. "O-Other positions? Yes, I'd hate myself if I didn't use this opportunity... A-And other couples experiment with many positions, I'm told. Other p-professional associates, I mean; couples consisting of photographer and model, you understand," he corrected himself. "What other positions will you let me try?" he asked, revealing quite bluntly that he thought the line for what he thought he could get away with had been crossed many camera-clicks ago. He held his breath to avoid gulping again.

As the two stood in that position, other passers by had long since realized to give them a healthy distance and pretend they hadn't saw anything while turning to walk back the other direction. The dizzying flash of the camera continued as the remote-controlled device whirled around them.
And now PhotoMan appeared to be...doing something in addition occupying space right next to her. SplashLady knew it wasn't his fault or anything, it was just...natural for that to happen. In fact, it seemed like subconsciously her buttocks were moving back towards the other Navi, due to the presence of something that near to them. "Uh...positions? I don't really have anything in mind...whatever you come up with is okay with me..." By now, it took everything she had just to keep her heart from beating about a thousand times a minute from the...scenario...