"Okay, are you're sure you're comfortable?"
"For the fiftieth time, yes, Arved."
"And this definitely isn't gonna - slip off or something, when I don't expect it."
"It feels pretty snug - give it a tug, test it."
Arved leaned down and gripped the makeshift harness in both hands, hauling back hard with all his weight. The leopard seal lying in the snow grunted.
"Not going anywhere. I told you, as long as the widest part of me is between the front and back straps, it's not coming off." Haakon rocked from side to side a couple of times, flippers outstretched, to emphasise his aquadynamic shape. It was possibly the least majestic thing Arved had ever seen, bar Luta.
"Okay, right." Arved checked the zips on his drysuit and the dials of his scuba gear for a third time and looked with fresh eyes at the harness. It was a simple thing, constructed of the same materials as many of the tokotas' harnesses, strong, slightly flexible and designed to weather near-freezing salt water. A strap circled Haakon's chest in front of his flippers; another echoed it further along his body. A few more straps connected them, with handholds at the top and a currently empty waist strap at the bottom. The tricky thing, apparently, was to place it low enough to give stability and high enough that he wouldn't be shaken about by the motion of Haakon's tail.
Arved was mostly concerned with not getting lost at sea.
"You were keen at the time," the seal reminded him.
"Yes, yes. I just. The Arctic Ocean is bigger when you're standing in front of it. And so are you."
A sort of barking cough came from the seal, which he gathered to be laughter. Haakon gestured with his head and started flolloping towards the edge of the ice, unnervingly-toothed grin still in place. "Come on."
Arved spared a glance back at where Ivarr and Luta were - exactly where they had told them to stay, it was true, though now having a snowfight - before trotting after the seal. Ice floes made a patchwork of the dark water and between them, sunlight glinted brightly on the ever-shifting surface. The tundra was just as huge, yes, but at least he could breathe while travelling it.
"Calm?" asked Haakon from somewhere around his feet.
"Yes," Arved lied, then took a deep breath and let it out slowly. Haakon was doing the work; his breath would last even longer than usual. And he was to pinch him if he needed to go back up. "Yes," he said, truthfully this time. He moved to awkwardly straddle the seal's body, laying his chest and stomach flush with the sleek fur and fastening the waist strap around himself, before reaching forward to grab one handhold.
"Snorkel," he said, and popped it into his mouth before taking up the second handhold.
"On three," Haakon announced. "One, two...three!" Arved took a deep breath, and with a powerful lurch, Haakon launched himself off the ice.
The first impact of water was like a slap to the face, and Arved closed his eyes even though he had a perfectly good mask on. He could feel them sweeping forward under the momentum of their start, his hair slicking back, and then just as quickly his head was above water, his weight supported by Haakon swimming lazily forward.
"Still alive back there?" the selkie asked.
Arved pulled his snorkel out of his mouth. "Yeah," he managed. "Wow, yeah. Still on." He tugged gingerly at the handhold, which stayed exactly as it was. "Okay, right. Let's do this." He put his snorkel back in and grasped the second handhold.
"Ready?" Haakon asked.
"Aaagh-haargh," was all Arved managed through the snorkel, but it seemed Haakon could speak swimmer, because he all but leapt forward in the water, diving down.
This time Arved kept his eyes open. Just in front of him, a sleek dark head led the way, fur turned to a seamless second skin. And beyond that... A dark, silent void stretched below them, the already barely-visible shore receding until all below was inky blackness. Arved tightened his grip on the handholds and was glad of it when all of a sudden with an effortless movement, Haakon twisted them upside down.
The view above them was...utterly different. Sunlight shone bright and faceted through the surface waves, sparking and glinting like liquid metal. They glided beneath a corner of an ice floe almost glowing blue as the light diffused through it, and past a shoal of fish that scattered in a flash of silver before the big predator.
Then they were upright and on the surface again, Arved blowing out his snorkel and using his first breath to swear appreciatively in garbled Estonian. Haakon chuckled, muscular body undulating between Arved's legs to keep them afloat and moving forward, and refrained from noting that he had told him so.
On the next dive they spotted a seal - which, not knowing naturally that a leopard seal was a predator, swam close and curious for a good while, even through their air breaks. Its fur was even sleeker than Haakon's, and it danced in the rays of light beneath the surface, unburdened. A little while later they approached an iceberg and dove deep, deep down, past shimmering silver and turquoise and on to darkest blue, an upside-down mountain of implacable ice. They couldn't reach the bottom on Arved's air, but swam through a shallow cave on the second breath; Arved dared put out a hand as they went, gloved fingers tracing the silky surface.
They were out for hours, and the sun had dipped considerably by the time Haakon propelled himself out of the water and back onto the northern shore, landing in an ungainly pile on the snow and jarring Arved sideways in the waist strap. They were breathless and laughing with elation, and Arved unclipped himself to thud to the ground just before Haakon pushed his sealskin back from around him, human once more. He was grinning, completely naked and sopping wet where he lay in the snow, rivulets of water trailing over his muscles and dripping off his hair. Arved surged forward to kiss him, the smell of salt water overlaying everything and its cold touch against his nose, against his chin and his hands where they ended up, gloves discarded, on Haakon's chest. In comparison their tongues were fire, sliding over one another even as Haakon's skin warmed the water through as surely as if they had been indoors.
"Fuck, god, I- That was amazing," Arved managed eventually, surfacing from their entanglement and gesturing haphazardly behind him to where the sea glinted and rippled, but not taking his eyes off the man he was plastered against. "And now- Now I really need to ride you."
"Helvete, Arved," Haakon groaned, cock thickening noticeably against Arved's thigh. "We're miles out from base, don't tell me things like that-"
"I said now; I mean now." Arved pulled away to stand somewhat unsteadily and made a beeline for his pack, unzipping his drysuit's seals as he went. He was warm and dry underneath in thin layers of thermal clothing, but once the drysuit was off he began to shed those too, pausing only to rummage in his pack.
"Did you actually bring...?" Haakon's voice behind him was incredulous, but definitely with a hint of hope.
"Always be prepared," Arved called back, brandishing the condom and lube bottle and turning to make his way back to the selkie.
"That really shouldn't be arousing," Haakon muttered.
"This coming from the man I'm going to blame if I end up with a pavlovian sexual reaction to seals," Arved countered easily, dropping the items next to Haakon before shucking his trousers and sinking down to straddle the other man's abdomen. This kiss was hotter than the first, quite literally; only warm water remained on Haakon's skin, and with thighs and calves pressed to the Norwegian's sides Arved barely felt the chill of the snow on his shins.
"Hmm," Haakon rumbled, smoothing rough-skinned but gentle hands down Arved's sides and back. "I think I could live with that."
"Not if I have an affair with a walrus." Arved smirked and wriggled backwards slightly, just enough for Haakon to interrupt his own half-formed riposte with a gasp. Attempt two was swallowed into a kiss, only the press of teeth on his lower lip letting him know what Haakon thought of his threats. Arved squirmed backwards a fraction more in retaliation, grinning impishly when he felt the definite slide of a cock between his cheeks, and watched triumphantly as Haakon failed to bite back a soft groan. The hands on his sides slid swiftly down to his hips, a tight grip that went straight to Arved's cock with all of its implications attached. He rolled his hips involuntarily, muttering a curse as his cock and balls dragged deliciously against Haakon's taut stomach. His own stomach, somewhat less taut, obscured the view somewhat.
He didn't realise he'd brought an arm protectively across his middle until he felt cold air where Haakon's hand on his left hip had been, and he found his own hand in a gentle, arresting grasp.
"None of that," said Haakon, eyes sharp on his.
Arved made a face that he usually hoped made it look like he cared less than he did. "Well it's just - I'm not quite up to your standard, selkie," he said, gesturing between them in half-forced levity. It wasn't a new topic, but it wasn't something you could just fix in a day. "It's fine, I-"
"Arved." Haakon shook his head fondly. "Do you have any idea what you do to me?"
"A passing idea," Arved conceded with a smile. It was always obvious when Haakon did blush, but getting to see the sex-flush go all the way down was always distinctly gratifying. "Why, should I check?" He arched his spine to look over his shoulder in exaggerated interest, only to see that Haakon was already fully hard, a droplet of moisture beading on the tip.
Definitely gratifying. Arved reached back with a grin and trailed one teasing finger up the underside. Instantly both of Haakon's hands were back on his hips, grip iron as he strained upwards beneath Arved's thighs. They gasped together.
"Fuck it," Arved muttered, and grabbed the condom to rip it open, deftly reaching behind him to roll it on and smirking when Haakon's grip tightened slightly in response. Lube, it turned out, was easy to apply in copious amounts when you didn't have to worry about getting it on the bed so much as the snow. The Arctic will live, was Arved's last irrelevant thought as he pressed the blunt, slippery head of Haakon's cock slowly against his entrance, his own cock twitching in anticipation. Haakon's hands were now light, his eyes watching Arved closely as he sank down, millimetre by millimetre, one hand braced on the selkie's chest and lips parted.
Considerate was probably the word. Haakon never rushed, much as the tense muscles in his arms gave away his desire, letting Arved set the pace whenever they were like this. Apparently having to make do on board ships before the invention of proper lube would do that to you. Turned out it was also quite sexy, since then Arved could surreptitiously watch all the tiny cracks in Haakon's control as he went: the hitch in his breath, the furrow between his brows, and when his green eyes glanced down to where their bodies joined before promptly closing tight with his lip firmly held in his teeth.
"God, yes," Arved sighed as he found himself seated on Haakon's hips again, cock fully sheathed inside him and stretching him deliciously. He gave his own cock a few strokes as he adjusted to the feeling, angling his hips this way and that to settle himself.
Haakon let out a breath he had apparently been holding with what sounded like one of his more colourful Norwegian curses. Arved grinned, and squirmed a little more. Haakon grunted, and swatted at his thigh.
"Ridiculous selkie," Arved responded. It wasn't exactly his most articulate comeback, but then you could only expect so much when you were sitting on the object of your ire's cock.
Speaking of which. Arved shifted his bracing hand closer - shamelessly tracing the muscles under it - and slowly rose up on his knees before sinking back down again, getting used to the angle. Haakon's palms smoothed up and down his thighs just as his heated gaze trailed up and down Arved's body, drinking the sight in. Arved felt about as physically exposed as he could be, literally naked, literally outdoors and legs spread to take Haakon inside as he rode him, shallowly at first but soon deeper, shivering at the sensation of Haakon's cock sliding in and out of him - but there was safety even in the exposure. Haakon's gaze was all desire, awe and hunger, his touch devoured him willingly. Whatever Arved's self-consciousness, the selkie didn't see it. Or - not even that.
"Fuck, you're perfect." Haakon's voice was low and a little rough around the edges, and Arved quickened his pace a little even as he blushed to hear the words. He would have accused the selkie of cupboard love, except that the damned man was in the habit of occasionally coming out with it at completely irrelevant moments, like when Arved was doing paperwork, or putting his socks on.
Strange man. Not that Arved was stopping him.
He set a steady rhythm, just the right depth and speed to have heat gradually pooling in his stomach, the sounds of their breathing mixing with the crunch of packed-down snow and the slick slide of their joining. Arved huffed out a breath in pleasure, grinning slightly to feel Haakon's palms on his thighs as his muscles worked to move him; Haakon was rather fond of them, he knew, and basically used any excuse he could get to manhandle them. Or lick them. Or bite them. It usually led to other things being licked, which Arved had precisely zero objections about.
"Touch me," he breathed. Haakon freed one hand to curl his fingers around Arved's cock, thumb swiping over the now-slippery head as he pumped him languidly in time with his movements. Arved groaned lowly, body tensing; Haakon bent his legs in response, bringing his knees up and bracing his feet in the snow. Arved knew what that meant, and tucked his heels under Haakon's raised thighs for more leverage, leaning forward so that his hands were either side of Haakon's chest. The unwarmed snow under his palms was a cold shock, so he was uncharacteristically unprepared when Haakon thrust into him from below, and let out a shout of pleasure.
Haakon definitely swore at that, and shifted his grip back to Arved's hips, thrusts taking on their own rhythm as Arved rocked back against them. Arved slipped a hand between them to stroke his own cock, knuckles against Haakon's stomach.
"F-fuck," Haakon muttered, an extra-hard thrust emphasising his words. "I can feel you doing that, damnit."
"Like me getting myself off while you fuck me, hmm?" Arved lowered himself onto one elbow so that his cock and hand were firmly pressed between their bodies, dipping his head to nip at the chest beneath him. Haakon made a sort of whimpering noise and thrust hard again. Arved groaned against his skin. "Do that some more, would you? Christ."
Haakon obliged, shifting beneath Arved with the power of his movements as he fucked up into him, thumbs pressing hard into his hipbones. It would probably bruise, Arved managed to think gleefully before surrendering back to the feeling of being taken, filled with every nerve-jangling surge. Bent over him like this, it was not unlike clinging to him in seal-form, muscles moving under his body and between his legs translating into breathtaking motion.
And it was certainly breathtaking. Arved gasped and whimpered and groaned against Haakon's chest, arm braced in melting snow and cock leaking over his hand and both of their stomachs. Haakon was panting hard, the occasional expletive gasped out instead of a breath, strong grip pushing Arved down to meet his own cock as his hips snapped up against him.
"Okay, hang on, I need-" Arved pushed himself up shakily as Haakon stilled, leaning back slightly to brace himself now with a hand on each of Haakon's thighs behind him. "I think-" he raised himself, then sank back down. "Oh, god." The angle had pushed firmly against his prostate, sending fire lancing through his body and making his cock jerk entirely of its own volition. The pace he set now was frantic, rising only to slam back down over and over, heat sweeping through his groin, his stomach, his legs, chest, face, burning away the touch of snow and the knowledge of being in the Arctic. Words spilled from his lips; they started off as "oh god", and it wasn't long before it was just "oh", but at some point Haakon's name got in the way and he was just whimpering that, over and over again like some sort of plea. Haakon's hands were all over him, smoothing over his stomach, up to his chest to brush over sensitised nipples, down to his thighs and then back to his hips, settling on the points already made tender.
"Ohh fuck, Haakon," Arved gasped. "I'm gonna, I can't- Fuck-" Haakon tightened his grip in response and just like that Arved was coming without a hand on his cock, crying out as hot white liquid splashed onto Haakon's chest and hips shuddering as he rode out the aftershocks. Haakon came soon after with a drawn-out groan, thrusting up into Arved's dead weight before collapsing back into the snow. For a moment, all was once again silent.
"Whooa!" The complete release of all tension in both of them unfortunately had the side effect of rendering Arved's backrest - in the form of Haakon's thighs - distinctly unreliable, and he toppled backwards as soon as they relaxed. But it was testament to Haakon's post-coital reactions that he managed to snag Arved's flailing wrist in time and pull him forward to land on his chest, both of them giggling fit to burst.
When they managed to still their laughter for long enough to share a kiss, Haakon grinned at him.
"Happy birthday," he said, clearly still amused at the turn things had taken after their swim. It hadn't quite been the plan, but neither of them were complaining. Arved grinned back and made himself comfy with Haakon's chest as a pillow.
"Thanks," he said, trying and failing to stifle a huge yawn before idly pressing another kiss to the ginger-furred skin beneath his cheek. "Next time you want to convince me to do something terrifying like that for fun though, remind me that there's more than one meaning to 'riding a selkie'."