It’s Rose who takes it upon herself to pull Rey aside after the wedding ceremony, while the porgfish polish off what’s left of the scallops, and Maz and Kylo are busy discussing the Skywalkers’ possible whereabouts in the Arctic Ocean.
Rose pats Finn on the back, leaving him to sniffle alone in a small patch of kelp; then she clasps Rey’s hand and drags her behind a mossy rock formation, not unlike the ones where they’d played hide and seek as young mermaids. She is ten times smaller than Rey now, but her pull feels as forceful as it always did; Rey follows her meekly, looking over her shoulder for one last glance at Kylo. He meets her eyes and his lips curl faintly: a curious, amused half smile, and Rey can't help smiling back, he is just so—
"Okay." Rose floats up to Rey’s face, poking the tip of Rey’s nose with her index finger. “You need to listen up. You need to know,” she says, and there is a sense of urgency in her tone. She is so close, Rey’s eyes keep crossing while trying to settle on her.
“Know? Rose, can you swim back just a smidge—”
“What to expect,” she adds, solemn. Dead serious.
“Expect?” Rey pulls back. Tries to blink her eyes into focus. “What—”
“You must be prepared. I must prepare you.”
“Prepare? Rose, are you—”
“Shhh.” Rose cups Rey’s nose with her small hand, which—probably aims at being reassuring, but mostly feels itchy. “It will be alright. Do not be scared. I know you are naive and ignorant of these things, but as your oldest friend I will take care of you.”
“Scared? What are you talking about?”
Rose takes a deep breath. Then she closes her eyes, as if to center herself, and begins her speech.
“When two merm—Oh. Ahem.” She clears her throat. “When two sea serpents are in love, they can… come together, in many different ways. Sometimes, when they wish to be close, to be… err, very close, Mrs. Sea Serpent will kiss Mr. Sea Serpent. Then Mrs. Sea Serpent will lay an egg, and Mr. Sea Serpent will unsheathe his… uhm, his little love dart, and he will poke the egg with it, and—”
“Oh my cod.” Rey buries her face in her hands and swims several feet away. “Oh my cod. Please, please shut up Rose.”
“What? Why? You need to know! You must be prepared for—”
“I know how guppies are born!”
Rose looks taken aback. She frowns and flips her fin, twice. “You… know?”
“Of course I know. You and Finn have been doing it for ages—your hut is not as soundproof as you think! And Maz with all her boyfriends, and—”
“What?" Rose’s cheeks have turned crimson. "You heard us?”
Rey shakes her head, trying to shrug off the memories.
“Just—don’t worry about me, okay?” She tries for a reassuring smile. Fails, probably. “I’ll be okay.”
“What… what exactly did you hear?”
Rey sighs, and pulls Rose back towards the ceremony. “Everything. Listen, let’s just go back before Finn drowns in his own snot.”
“Yes, Rose. Even the pufferfish role-play.”
They swim for hours.
Kylo looks back at Rey every once in a while, a faint smile on his lips as he leads the way. There are dangerous places to avoid, when going to the Arctic Ocean; currents to consider, that constantly sway their large tails and drive them off track.
Rey is not used to this. To herself. Her new body, and the things it can and cannot do. The way it feels flowing in the water, brushing against the seagrass; the way smaller fish that used to flock to her now scuttle away to hide in clumps of Posidonia as soon as they spot her shadow; the number of scallops she has to eat to finally feel full. Rey is not used to it, but Kylo is always there with her, teasing her when she gets stuck between pieces of coral, sliding an arm around her waist when she begins to yawn with fatigue.
They swim for hours. And when nighttime falls, they stop to rest.
He doesn’t seem to want much from her.
Or maybe—maybe he does want, but he doesn’t want to ask. He just lies down next to her, in the alcove of rock and coral seaweeds he found for them, and kisses her. Her mouth, her throat, that bony protuberance on her shoulder—and then her mouth again, deeper and more breathless but also… patient. Like he’d be happy if this was all that happened tonight, if Rey were to say goodnight and turn around and begin to snore. Or perhaps not completely happy—there is a subtle, vibrating tension in him, like he’s working hard to keep his muscles at rest, but Rey is not quite sure she’s getting this right, because the way his teeth bite at her earlobe makes a liquid, sticky heat bloom inside her like an oil spill, and she can feel that there is more to this, more that she needs, and if he won’t just take it from her then she’ll—
“I don’t know how,” she blurts out without thinking, and Kylo’s shoulders go rigid for a moment, before he manages unbury his face from her neck and look her in the eye.
“I don’t know how to do it.” Whiny. She sounds so whiny.
“Um… how to…?”
“Lay the egg. I thought I would—I don’t know, I thought it would come natural, but I have no idea how to begin and I should have let Rose explain it to me, maybe, because I can’t figure out—”
“The egg?” Kylo is frowning.
“Yes. My egg.”
He opens his mouth. Closes it. Opens it again. “Your… egg.”
“Yes. The one I should—” Rey is not quite sure how to put it. So she falls back on Rose’s words. Because maybe—maybe it’s Kylo who doesn’t know. He has been hanging out at the bottom of an abyss for the past decade or so, after all. “When two sea serpents are in love—we are in love, right?—then the lady sea serpent lays an egg, and the boy takes his little love dart and sticks it into the egg to—”
“I think you…” He is wincing. Scratching his temple. “Rey. Who told you that?”
“Nobody. Well—Rose, earlier today, but I knew it from before. Everyone knows how mermaids make little mermaids, and—”
“Rey.” He worries at his lower lip and studies her intently. “Sweetheart.”
He stares at her. “Rey.”
“What?” This is getting annoying.
“You are not a mermaid anymore.”
She almost quips back that she knows that. She is fully aware, thank you very much, it’s not like she could miss the fact that she now has to use yards and yards of binding for her arms, when before a couple of inches sufficed; or that the tip of her tail is larger than her entire hut, and her childhood neighbor flipped his belly when he spotted her. So Kylo doesn’t need to state the obvious.
Except that, clearly, he did need to state the obvious. At least for Rey to grasp the implications of what… of her being… of her not being…
“I won’t… I won’t lay an egg?”
He shakes his head. “No. You’ll just—you will carry our guppies inside you.” He is flushing slightly. “When you are ready. If. If you are,” he corrects himself, clearly attempting not to sound too hopeful.
“And your… your little love dart?”
Kylo exhales, and glances down at his body. It looks like it always does—beautiful and large and graceful and strong—except for that bulge. Where his torso meets the first few scales of his tail. It’s where a mermaid’s dart would be, but it seems… large.
Way too large.
“It’s… not quite that.”
“Not quite what?”
“A little love dart.”
“Oh.” Rey bites on the inside of her cheek, and nods. “Is it… is it in there?”
“Yes,” he murmurs. His voice sounds lower than usual.
“How do you… How do you take it out?”
“I…” He swallows. “It’s hard. To keep them inside.”
She cocks her head. “Hard?” Them?
“Sometimes. When you are next to me.” He closes his eyes in embarrassment, and confesses: “Often.”
”Rey. When you were a mermaid,” he tells her, and then pauses. ”When you were small, just a mermaid, and we could never have…” His voice is gentle, but there is an edge to it. “I still wanted to be with you. I would have died for you, and I would never have expected that you would…” He shrugs, and the water around them ripples. “So if you don’t ever want to do this, I can—”
Rey shakes her head with as much energy as she can muster. And she makes a split second decision: her hand slides down, and down lower; and then it stops when she reaches that part of Kylo—when he shuts his eyes tight and lets out a half-grunt, half-moan.
“You’ll just have to show me.”
Maybe sea serpents give decent reproductive health education to their young. Or maybe it’s just that Kylo has been a sea serpent his whole life, and he is better at embracing the instincts of their species; it’s also possible that he simply has a few special talents, talents that go beyond sinking human ships or brooding or locking himself inside abysses.
Because he knows what to do. To her. Rey is no stranger to kissing, but she had no idea that it could be done everywhere. Then again—she hadn’t had breasts, or nipples, until just two days ago, and therefore she couldn’t know how good it would feel to have someone suck at them, or just massage them for long minutes, as if to memorize the shape and the weight; she didn’t know he’d try to fit them inside his mouth, like all he wants is to eat her up and keep her within him.
“Are they good?”
He stops in the middle of licking a hard point, and looks up at her face, confused. “What?”
I was busy, his expression tells her. I was enjoying myself.
“I don’t know what good breasts look like, so I just wanted to make sure that mine are—”
“Perfect.” He smiles a little and bites her flesh where it’s most plump. It’s playful, but there is an edge to it.
I could eat you up. May I?
“You are perfect.” His tongue dips into her bellybutton, and does something magic before sliding even lower, to the rim of her tail. She truly had no idea before this moment, but the place where her skin transitions into scales is deliciously sensitive. She squirms when he presses tentative, open mouthed kisses against it; in return he hums deeply, and his gills seem to flare before he moves further down, right on that spot where the heat seems to be pooling inside her. “My whole life, there were things I wanted. Things I thought about. Things I needed. And it’s like you were made for me, with them in mind.”
There is something… wet, down there. Whether from his mouth or the water or something—
“What are you—oh”
The feeling of a finger slipping inside her has her—gasping. Groaning. Arching up, thrashing against the seaweeds, slamming her hand over her eyes. It’s not the friction, the taut pressure—or maybe it is—but maybe it’s not, maybe it’s just that Rey knows for a fact that she doesn’t have an opening, not there, and yet his hand—his tongue, it’s sliding inside, swiping over deep places that should not even exist and yet somehow are…
Ready for him. Ready to accommodate.
“Rey. You—” He is just groaning mindlessly. She thinks. He is not completely intelligible, as he licks and presses his nose, his entire face into her, into that slit he made for himself; as he anchors her to the ground with his tail, one strong arm draped across her stomach. “Stay still.”
“What is this—”
”Rey. God, Rey, you are warm inside. Like nothing else.”
She is. Rey shudders as a wave of heat sweeps over her, and when Kylo takes her hand and tugs at it she can barely pry her eyes open.
“Here. This.” He twines his fingers with hers and meets her gaze, clearly wanting her to watch. Her muscles are shaking, and she struggles to keep her head up. “The inside of you.” He holds her eyes as he strokes inside her with his mouth, and Rey—her body jerks up and he has to hold her down, to press harder against her. His tongue is—long and mobile and flexible and he pushes against all the corners of her. Newfound places, damp and hidden, all of these.
Rey cries out.
“Shh. Quiet, sweetheart.” He bites the seam of her, gentle and delicate. “You are soft and warm and so welcoming. I want to live inside you.” It’s embarrassing, the keening sounds that come out of her mouth, even after she covers it with the back of her hand, but she cannot stop herself. She can only arch up into him and beg him deeper, more, please, please I’ll do anything—
“And this,” his mouth gets to the top of her slit, near something—something spectacular. Something scary. He pauses for a moment, and just seems to breathe her in. “This is how I get you to open up even more—”
Something breaks inside her when he begins to suck there. Like a sea storm that had been gathering, gaining momentum without Rey realizing it, and now it can only explode, wrecking her body with shudders and contractions and waves of piercing, absurd pleasure. It seems to last for so long—too long, maybe. Because Rey feels milked dry well before it’s over, exhausted, blissfully full of Kylo and heat and a beautiful, heart-spinning confusion—though not quite full enough. And maybe he knows, because he comes up immediately to kiss her and hold her, to press her into his chest and run his hand down her hair, soothing and solid around her.
“I just—had no idea that—”
“I know. Shh.”
It’s long minutes before she has calmed down enough to realize that she has been crying; even longer before she is able to take in her surroundings again. They’re still in the alcove, private and just inside the rim of an abyss, but something is different. It takes Rey a moment to realize that it’s Kylo’s body. That it doesn’t quite fit like it did before. There is something pushing at her, pressing into her tummy, and Rey has to squirm within his grip, wriggle herself free to look down between their tails.
The first thing she notices is that it’s big. Very big. And—Kylo is big, even for a Sea Serpent, and by her lifelong standards Rey herself is big now, too, but this is—completely out of proportion. Or maybe too much in proportion, she will have to think on that. Nevertheless, Kylo’s is most definitely not a little love dart.
And then, then she notices the second thing. Which is that Kylo’s dart is…
Kylo has two…
“I think… “ Rey clears her throat. And flushes. “I think I might be seeing double.”
His laugh is soft. “You’re not.”
Right. Right. Well, then. “Is this… Is it normal? Or is it just you?”
He shakes his head. “Normal, I think. But if you don’t want to, you don’t have to…”
“No! No, I—” Rey stops short, trying not to seem too… eager. Or intimidated. She is a lot of both, at the moment. “Just, show me. Please.”
“Show—” Kylo blinks. And it’s his turn to clear his throat. “Show you?”
“Yes.” Rey touches his chest, and lets her fingers slide down, a little close to his…
They’re huge. They’re just—one is big, but the two of them together are just so… huge. And beautiful. Beautiful and elegant and so appealing to some primal part nestled deep inside Rey. She wants them—she wants to—she just wishes she could—
She isn’t sure what she wants, precisely. She needs—suggestions.
”Can you show me? How you like to be…”
He seems confused. “To be?”
His gills flare. “Why do you want me to show you how—”
“So I can learn. So you can teach me. Yes?”
No, apparently. Or maybe—perhaps yes. Kylo looks vehemently opposed for a moment, then shocked, and then he presses his lips together. As though he would like to, but he can’t quite tell her no; as though the temptation is too strong, and this is a lost battle for him. And then he inches slightly away from Rey, not quite meeting her eyes, and begins.
They fit in one of his hands. Both of them. Barely. But it’s only because his hand is—ridiculously large. Just as ridiculously large as his two—
“I just…” He tugs his hand up, and then down to the base again. His eyes fall closed, scrunched shut. Pleasure, or maybe embarrassment. Both, probably.
“Just… up and down?”
“Mostly. I don’t really… I don’t do this a lot.”
Rey can just imagine it. Her Mr. Sea Serpent, too busy ruminating over that supposed monstrosity of his, too busy living out a curse of his own making to allow himself some pleasure. It makes studying him as he pumps his big hand up and down that much sweeter. Rey knows nothing of this, but it’s easy to tell, from the way his jaw clenches and the subtle trembling in his fingers, that he’s trying to go slow. To pace himself. And not quite succeeding.
“Do they… do they feel the same?“ She wants to reach out. She wants to feel the flaring heads, the fat undersides. She wants to help, but she also wants to learn how to properly give this to him. After he has given her so much.
“Not quite.” His eyes are still closed. “One is more… Rey?”
“Can I… Can I look at you? While I make myself…”
She gasps. But only because—he must know that he can—that whatever he wants is—
“Yes. Yes, of course.”
His lids flutter open, and he grunts. And then he whimpers as his eyes travel across her body—her breasts, her face, her mouth, her fins, and then they settle on the slit that he coaxed open with his mouth, still sticky and tender.
His lips parts. And his hand begins to move faster. A little too frantic, maybe, and the other one fists by his side. He is afraid, Rey thinks. Afraid to reach out and touch her. But he wants to. He really wants to.
“Are you… how does it feel?”
He shakes his head. Like it’s not much, not really. But: “Hot. And tight. And I’m thinking about…” He presses his lips together and lets his head fall back with a deep, throaty moan.
“What? What are you thinking about?”
“I’m thinking about—god, Rey, I’m thinking about you, open for me, wet and soft and tight, and I just want to—”
She reaches out, just the tip of her tail, curling up and brushing it against one of his fins, and—that seems to do it.
His hand darts out to grab Rey and press her body to himself, something impulsive and beyond his will, and then she feels teeth sink into the soft flesh of her throat. Kylo is deep, deep in his own pleasure now: he grunts soft, painful sounds into her neck and something thick and warm spills against her belly.
Rey feels spectacular. Wanted, really wanted for the first time, and contained, yet powerful, and they could live like this, with Kylo wrapped around her and his two cocks pulsating sweetly against her stomach, against her opening. It stings, the fluid—no, not the right word, it doesn’t sting, but it makes the skin of her belly sparkle and buzz and ache in a delicious, burning way.
Kylo sighs, shaky and confused, and immediately pulls back, as if realizing what just happened.
“I am—Rey. So sorry. I didn’t mean to—”
She looks between their bodies. Her tummy is covered in a dense shimmery fluid, which is painting her skin in hues of blue and purple. Rey studies it for a long moment, and then reaches down to swirl her fingers through it. Kylo moans as he watches her gather a few drops of it on her thumb, and then bring it to her mouth to lick it off.
Her tongue fizzes and throbs in a good, good way; something heavy and warm coils at the bottom of her stomach.
Right, she thinks. More.
She smiles up at Kylo’s vulnerable, worried expression. When that doesn’t appear to improve his mood, she gently pokes him on the nose.
He just stares at her for a tense moment. And then—it’s a long time coming, but when it does, his laugh is breathless and full of relief.