“It’s…nice,” John said, looking out upon the windswept downs and listening to the roar of the sea nearby.
“Yes,” Sherlock said, his eyes tracking the slow deliberate movements of bees.
“Tidal pools,” Mary said, her eyes narrowing. “I knew it.”
“The three of you need a holiday out of London,” Mycroft had said, in that tone that brooked no argument even from Sherlock. “Fortunately, Mrs Hudson is being well-paid to look after the Watson infant with the best au pair Anthea could find, which is saying something. And Miss Janine Hawkins was amenable to the offer of an expenses-paid foray to the Greek Islands to allow you use of her Sussex cottage. You remember how Miss Hawkins acquired her cottage, Sherlock. I would appreciate no further pornographic fiction about our family in the tabloids going forward. Out of courtesy to the lady, I do request that you bring your own linens. You need not worry about security… not that you ever do.” And with that, Mycroft had conveyed that he knew all, and very dearly did not wish to discuss it any further.
Mycroft had been there, after all, when Mary had lunged full-force at Vivian Norbury’s gun hand. When the bullet Norbury had meant first for her and then for Sherlock had screamed past him and into the glass wall of the jellyfish tank behind him. Disaster averted, and her friend-with-benefits saved, Mary had had no time to breathe relief before the solid wave of salt water had drenched them all, knocking them to the aquarium floor with flash-flood force. The excitement, the nearly-missed violence, and the taste of the waters of home had been too much for Mary’s biotech implants to resist. Even without the use of the trigger word, Mary’s eight grey-blue, thigh-thick, perpetually pulsing tentacles had unfurled from their hiding spot in her back and slithered rampantly across the floor, stretching out to their full length and sensing for victims or playmates eagerly in every direction.
As Vivian Norbury lay unconscious and paralyzed by the stings of the exotic jellyfish in its death throes, and the agents who’d accompanied Mycroft ran to her aid, Mary’s tentacles had humped and rippled through the deep puddles on the floor like frolicking snakes, and gathered Sherlock to her. Try as they might to disguise their embrace as friendly comfort, Mary’s tentacles took the same usual liberties with intimate parts of Sherlock as they were wont to do in private. Mary had ordered them in vain to behave, and Sherlock had tried to hide the response he always had to them, which was immediate and violent arousal. Mycroft had managed to conceal the depth of his horror at this unspeakable sight - up until the moment when a slick, questing tentacle had opened its pinkish rosette of fingerlings to explore Mycroft’s Italian shoes and his bespoke trouser leg, twining up around his thigh and investigating the apex of the tailor’s art, learning quickly that the gentleman dressed to the left.
Sherlock would have enjoyed a lifetime’s worth of teasing about the sound Mycroft made, had he not been in an even more scandalous position.
Such had been the scene when John and Lestrade rushed in. “You made a vow,” John said to Sherlock flatly, as if all the fight had gone out of him and he wasn’t even going to demand an explanation. That was highly deceptive.
“Which vow applies here?” Sherlock barked. “The one to never start without you? That wasn’t a vow, that was a bribe. Besides, under these circum- GUH!”
Such was the circumference of the tentacle-tip Mary jammed into Sherlock’s mouth to buy some time. Knowing his place, Sherlock sucked it shamelessly and licked it sensuously, which made Mary struggle to repress her desires to give into sensation, to lean into him demanding more, to move wantonly with everything she had - which was a good deal more than most people had.
“Oh God, Mary,” Lestrade said, surveying the scene with horrified fascination. “Um…what do you need?”
“You’re the first person to ask me that in a long time,” Mary said. “Thank you. Honestly, if I could just get into one of these tanks for a little while, the salt water helps to calm them down.”
“You won’t . . . uh . . . eat the fish?” Lestrade asked nervously, glancing over at Mycroft. “I mean . . . Some of them are rare and all.”
Mary gave him a very dark look, as one of her tentacles started to poke squashily at his ankle and nuzzle its way up his leg too. One of the few others that wasn’t taking liberties with Sherlock and John began to investigate Norbury’s abandoned - but fortunately soaking wet - gun.
“They’re getting better,” Mary said a little later, as she bobbed around in her drenched underthings in the shark tank.
“How so?” John asked.
“Didn’t finish the job killing Norbury,” Mary said. “And they aren’t even trying to hurt the sharks.”
“I thought you meant their restraint when they were pawing Lestrade,” Sherlock said. “Pity, almost, he’s very fit.”
“Sure, but I’ll remind you they went for your brother first,” said Mary, smiling sweetly.
Sherlock half-heartedly feigned a gagging noise.
That was the reason they needed to spend some time out of the London spotlight, since that security footage was going to require highly advanced special-effects work to alter effectively (and nearly led to an international incident with New Zealand).
The little villa was upon the southern slope of the downs, with a lovely view of the Channel. The chalk cliffs of the coastline presented no easy access to the water, but by a long and treacherous descending path. The pebbles and stones lay out for hundreds of yards towards the water, and were full of promising curves and hollows and sheltering stones, which made deep, wide tidal pools when filled anew by each turn of the day, under pull of the moon. Crabs scuttled amid the stones and broken shells, and starfish of every color stuck themselves to the rocks.
“He knew what he was doing when he sent us here,” Mary said.
“Mmm, smell the sea,” Sherlock said, breathing deep, puffing out his chest.
“We do,” John said. “Can’t smell much else, really.” It escaped no one that his hand was sliding slowly down Mary’s back, and his fingers were lingering near that spot where her hidden enhancements were known to lurk, waiting to pop out at a touch, a word, an enticement, a moment of danger and the excitement of adrenaline or sexual hormones, the oceanic scents of life and death.
Sherlock shot him a glance and saw John’s eyes gleaming and his lips curled upward in a game-hunting smile. That was good to see - John had always been the most resistant to this latest complex permutation of the Game, the least willing to trust in pleasure as its own virtue, and the most unsettled by Mary’s tentacles and their promiscuous behavior, even when they worked to his own advantage.
“Beautiful night for a swim, isn’t it?” Sherlock said, and left his position by Mary to caress John in the same area of the spine, teasing and pressing lightly, splaying out his fingers. “Chilly. Maybe. But look - not a soul in sight.”
“Come on, John,” Mary said with a rakish grin. “For science.”
“Is that what we’re calling it now? When I promise to suck his cock because I know he can’t resist that? Oh! I’ll try to do it underwater at first, test my lung capacity,” Sherlock said, already headed down the path and shrugging out of his coat on the way and draping it over his arm. By the the last bend in the trail before the pebbly flats, his jacket and shirt had joined them, and the fair skin of his back and shoulders gleamed in the light of the rising moon. John was close on his heels, and Mary gave a joyous giggle of approval as John caught up to him and grasped him around the waist, pulling him close and standing up on his toes to bite as close to Sherlock’s nape as he could get. Sherlock whirled around and grabbed John under the arms as if aiming to throw him fully-clothed into the gleaming, inviting tide-pool.
Mary watched them play-wrestle like puppies while trying to avoid falling to the rocky strand, or into the water before they were both ready. She watched in delight as Sherlock seized John around the neck and kissed him savagely, tearing at his shirt buttons with his one free hand - so sexy together, so in tune with each other when they allowed themselves, so deliciously lusty. She could have them both naked in moments with the tentacles, but how much better to stand back and appreciate the beginnings of the show unfolding. John’s left hand raced up Sherlock’s bare side, closing and clutching at his back, and his right tightened in Sherlock’s hair, pulling him down and deeper into the kiss. Sherlock bent his knees a little so their torsos aligned more tightly, his hands roaming all over John before coming at last to rest in unity of purpose on his arse, fondling and grasping and spreading him through his jeans.
Mary breathed hard now, savoring that vision before her, feeling warm tingling beginning between her thighs and spreading up, a growing, flowering sensation. When it fully filled the cradle of her hips and started to spread up her spine, she’d head for the water and take off her blouse and let those sensitive limbs go free. Already she was beginning to feel them quiver within, anticipation so strong she had to close her eyes as a wave of heat weakened her knees. When she opened her eyes, she saw an even more beautiful sight: John Watson, naked, standing at attention in every possible way, with an equally naked Sherlock Holmes behind him, one arm wrapped around John’s waist and the other hand languidly stroking John’s big, hard cock, pointing it towards Mary. “Think I’ve got something of yours here,” Sherlock said. His long white toes tested the water temperature discreetly.
“Oh, I think you’ve staked your own claim, dear,” Mary said laughing as she unbuttoned her blouse and stepped out of her shoes. The rocks hurt her feet just a little as she stalked towards them, unzipping her jeans and pushing them down her hips. Her body was gradually returning to as normal as it was ever going to get after the birth, and if she had a little bit of a pouch still, well, she certainly had distracting assets. She’d only just unhooked her bra and shrugged off her blouse when John suddenly grabbed Sherlock’s wrist and turned, spinning him round and hooking a foot behind Sherlock’s left knee, plunging them both into the moonlit lagoon.
The splash, and their whooping laughter, washed over her as she embraced the cool air with nude skin and slipped into the water.
John cupped Mary's face in both hands and kissed her before letting his head fall back as Sherlock kissed and nipped his neck. Mary gave a soft cry as hands caressed and gently parted her legs beneath the water, and she couldn’t be certain whose. Both. The unfurling of her tentacles pushed them all away from the wall of the pool. She closed her eyes and let her body-with-benefits surround her husband and their oh, let’s be honest, their lover at least if not their shared husband by now and draw them all close together in a tangle of limbs and lust. Mary had a cock in her hand (girth and shape confirming it was John’s) and a tongue in her mouth (slight tobacco aftertaste confirming it was Sherlock’s) and a set of fingers lightly probing the cleft of her arse (renewed intensified interest in anal play suggesting it was John’s) and her tentacles having her way with both of them.
Caressing, tickling, grasping, squeezing, stroking, lifting, penetrating - oh, it felt so indescribably good to have these sensitized tips squeezed by a slick velvety orifice of any type, no wonder owners of penises got so crazy for it. John cried out startled at first and then growled as his eyes opened and his arms heroically heaved Mary a little out of the water, enough to apply his lips and tongue and teeth to the taut, sensitized peaks of her nipples and the lush, soft skin of her breasts. His own breaths were shivering and erratic, and he had to pause for moments to gasp and bite his lip, and at last John guided one of Mary’s hands down his body to demonstrate why.
At the base of John’s cock, Mary’s hand met Sherlock’s lips, pulling and sucking, his hair trailing deep in the water like seaweed. With her hand she felt the strain in Sherlock’s neck and shoulders, and after a few pulls, a few long moments as she counted out seconds, she grasped his hair and pulled upwards. Sherlock’s head emerged from the water, panting and gasping. He’d pushed himself too hard. Sherlock filled his lungs and went down again and did something that made John nearly swoon, caring nothing that one of Mary’s tentacles had wrapped around his neck. The big hand clutching Mary’s thigh was Sherlock’s, and with it he seemed to signal his delight, gripping her almost painfully as he gave himself up to the things that those columns of muscle with their sucking graspers and their delicate cilia could do to him. One of the obvious things her tentacles could do to him was hold him down and drown him, strangling the life out of him even as John made use of his mouth, oblivious.
Damned if Sherlock might not be getting off on that thought.
Damned if his protest wasn’t even audible underwater when John pulled away and yanked Sherlock up into the air. “Didn’t wanna come just yet, I was about to,” John murmured as the three were pushed together again by rippling boneless arms.
“Good, ‘cause I’ve got plans for you,” Mary said, water splashing as she arranged her tentacles in parallel motions all around them, and let her men feel with their hands just what she’d been doing to entertain herself. “See how nice and slick they are, right? The water just gets them slicker, they love it and it brings out their natural lubrication.” She took John’s hand and guided it down, down between her thighs and back towards her arse, currently nicely filled with one of her own rippling projections, maintaining a slow steady pulse, a pleasant rhythmic stretching sensation that kept her within sight of climax but in no danger of feeling it yet. John’s already full cock made a twitch against her thigh. “And I know I can keep both of you nice and filled up til you come, so how about you do the same for me?”
John moaned and Sherlock gasped, and there had to be another one of those wanton and drooling three-way kisses, which had become a good deal more refined since the first time, as they’d had a lot of practice since. “I think,” Sherlock said in between laps and bites - “I have a theory - but - maybe you should draw us a diagram.”
“I think -“ John said, digressing a few inches to bite Sherlock’s ear - “we do just fine when we wing it.”
“Not that complicated,” Mary breathed, moving her tentacles in the clefts of both men’s bums with great studied lewdness, “John, I know you want in my back door, so Sherlock can get in the front, and I’ll fill up both of you till you scream, do we have a deal?”
“Oh God,” John said. “So we all get to feel like the meat in the sandwich at the same time?”
“Indeed,” Sherlock said. “This is almost enough to make me think there’s evidence of a benevolent Providence, for only goodness gives extras…”
“Stop stalling, Sherlock,” Mary said, reaching for him down below, curling fingers and fingerlings around Sherlock’s rigid soft-skinned shaft. “Or does my vagina really scare you more than my tentacles?”
“Once I’d never thought I’d ever intimately encounter either,” Sherlock said with shivering breath. “My own fault for indulging false assumptions.” Mary held him by the shoulder, and she softly yelped and cooed as the head of his cock brushed gently through her vulva's soft ridges, almost tentacle-like in its own grace, before he bared his teeth a little and pushed in.
John was behind her now, leaning in as her tentacle moved aside to accommodate him, withdrawing from her hole slowly with a tease, and helping to guide first his fingers and then his cock to the spot. Mary and Sherlock were moving together, and the clench of the tentacle wrapped around Sherlock helped to grind him against her body as the tip of it explored and breached him - thin at first and then thickening as it lodged inside him. Their slow grinding rhythm made Mary’s plush arse tease the head of John’s prick, and with the guidance of her enhancements, he gently spread her open and entered her, where she was already slightly stretched and slickened. Three voices moaned together, and John pushed and pulled in and out of Mary’s tight arse, as lightly as he could at first, and then rolling his spine faster as Mary’s prehensile tentacle pierced him deep again.
Together the three strived to align and counterpoint their gives and their takes, with the water all around them heated and sloshing in their wanton rippling, their shameless spreading and grasping and rolling. The pluck of suckers and fingers at nipples, the caresses of hands and coils at waists and thighs and bums and backs, the kisses and nips everywhere they could reach, the slide of legs tangling legs, caught up in waving limbs free of joints or bones.
The water eased the awkwardness of their positions with natural buoyancy. Tentacles filled in the gaps where arms and legs were not enough to wrap together and spread and hold.
Mary and John and Sherlock felt in that moment, in the embrace of the tide-pool beneath the watching moon, as if they were having each other in every possible way, all the way around, something consummated that could never be undone. It was not simply that the slimy elixir of the tentacles had an aphrodisiac and bonding effect, nor was it just the romance of the setting, or only the growing power and potency of their complex relationship. As they tipped over into the throes of orgasm - one by one yet close together, clutching each other and crying out loud enough to wake the sleepy and faraway neighbors - the simple truth of the matter came clear: if tentacle enhancement technology were widely known, almost everyone would want it.
They held each other up in their post-orgasmic shiverings, momentarily limp, water from Sherlock’s curls dripping into John’s eyes and Mary softly licking salt from their skin. Mary’s tentacles lingered after their mutual satisfaction just long enough to help everyone safely out of the pool, but retreating for warmth once the cold air hit and everyone realized that passion had struck them so hard no one had remembered a towel. They struggled into dry clothes that clung to their wet skin, stopping at intervals to kiss and smack butts from time to time, to fondly grope and shove.
“Beds,” John said. “There are beds, yes? There better be beds. It better be warm.”
“There better be one big bed,” Mary said, “That’s the way to get warmest.”
Sherlock had wandered down the strand ahead of them - and when he reached his coat near the base of the path up the cliff, he stopped stock still, the light of his phone cast blue-grey on his stunned face. As John and Mary watched, he turned and marched away down the coast, near to the surf, following the dim light of his phone.
The sound of a helicopter was clear now, and bobbing flashlights limned the shadows of two men running over the rocks some dozen yards away, approaching a bundle near the surf. John and Mary looked to each other warily, both cursing their carelessness in being unarmed.
Sherlock stood unperturbed as the two men came closer. He waved and then he dropped to his knees before the long cylindrical mass near the water, shining the flashlight app of his phone upon the twisted, contorted body of a mostly-naked man.
John gave a little shout of greeting and relief as he recognized Mycroft and Lestrade approaching, and then grasped Mary’s hand as he saw what Sherlock was examining. The corpse’s face had a horrible rictus of agony, and as Sherlock turned him over, the back bore a horrible pattern of lacerations that resembled the results of brutal flogging. “Compatible with symptoms of the Lion’s Mane jellyfish,” John muttered. “Not common around here but not unheard of either. Storms can bring them up. Climate change has warmed the waters so you see them more.”
“That’s what someone wants us to think,” Sherlock said, and he and Mycroft both fixed eyes on Mary while Lestrade took pictures of the corpse. “Why would my brother be here? Why would Lestrade be here? Sussex isn’t his division. We are in deep, deep waters. This is a message!”
Mary gasped and pressed her hands to her mouth, and regretted in the moment that she had only two presently available. “I’m not the only one!” she cried. “They did . . . other things, to others!”
Sherlock nodded. “And there is someone out there, nearby, who is lethally venomous.”
“I should have known there’d be no quiet holiday for you,” Mycroft said. “And by extension, for me either. But for god’s sake take the hearth and the bed for now and keep mum about it. I will be in touch with you. If I need you.”
“You will need me,” Sherlock said with certainty. For once, he kept his peace beyond that, though both John and Mary could feel him vibrate. If he’d learned a little patience, that could only be for the good. Sherlock nodded and took John and Mary’s hands to walk away.
Mary looked back, and as she met the eyes of both Mycroft Holmes and Greg Lestrade, she knew that both men were still feeling her rubbery grip.