Haru slices through the water with powerful kicks of his tail, arms tight at his sides to reduce drag. He skims along the ocean floor at first, occasionally dragging his fingers through the sand to swirl it up in pretty patterns behind him. It tickles through his fingers at this speed; he's able to go full throttle as he heads toward shallower waters to sunbathe, the water slightly deeper here, ocean bed desolate and bare except for rocks, sparse tufts of seaweed that he avoids with quick twists of his lithe body (lest he get tangled in it again) and some crustaceans that scuttle along, withdrawing into their shells when they feel his shadow block out the sunlight filtering down from overhead.
After three days of remaining on the ocean floor to avoid the violent storms that tossed up the waves so violently that it was unsafe to breach at all, Haru's itching to surface, to bask lazily in the shallow sand and feel the beat of the warm sun on his shoulders. He wants to stay long enough to at least dry his hair. It's been far too long since he last had the chance to do so.
Glancing to his left, he sees his excitement reflected on Momotarou's face as he cruises along, nearly as fast as Haru himself but for the speed lost with his unnecessary kicks and flourishes. He parts his lips in a smile, hair catching the strengthening light as they draw closer to shore. He gives an excited keen, kicking his flipper hard for an extra boost of power, and Haru feels his heart leap with replicated anticipation. Hurry hurry, almost there! Momotarou's distinct echo pattern dances in Haru's head.
Yes, he replies. As Haru turns hard around a large clump of seaweed, something catches the corner of his eye, far to the right, half concealed by shadow. He senses it through smell more than sight, really: the lingering, metallic scent of blood. Cold chill rippling down his spine, Haru extends his arms, splaying his webbed fingers to increase resistance and slow himself.
Momotarou whips past him, the current carrying the scent away before he has a chance to register it. Haru doesn't call him back; considering his still-reckless speed, it's clear that he hasn't noticed Haru drop behind him. Good. Haru doesn't recognize this smell, and he doesn't want Momotarou, inexperienced with hunting, anywhere near it until he's decided if it's safe or not.
Watching Momotarou's figure recede into the distance, sun glinting off his back, Haru slowly sinks down until his chest and belly nearly graze the sand. Once convinced that Momo's safe, no mysterious ambush waiting ahead, Haru cautiously slithers forward, digging clawed fingers deep into the sand to pull himself rather than use his tail and kick up clouds of sand that might give away his presence. After a few feet he catches the scent again, following it, pulling it into his nostrils, memorizing its heaviness.
There; the frenzy of struggle on the ocean floor, dappled sunlight playing off the back of a large mass. Haru mistakes it for a pile of rocks at first, white spots on the creature's dark tail blending in perfectly with sunlit pattern skittering across the sand. Haru drifts closer, curiosity overpowering his fear. The smell of blood grows richer, tendrils of the dark liquid wisping through the water as the creature continues to thrash. Then it stops abruptly, taking a break to gather its energy, and Haru, concealing himself discreetly behind growth of weed, has time to study it. A creature like himself, with a torso and arms with webbed fingers, dark hair. It's huge, almost half again as long as Haru, body wide and powerful, thick muscle cording its arms. It has very broad shoulders, expanse of smooth skin rippling with muscle, marred by the cruel metal spear jutting out of one side. The source of the blood and the creature's pain, which hangs so heavy in the water that Haru can feel it settling into his own bones. The creature radiates hostility, enough to have Haru on edge.
He inches closer, giving the thing a wide birth, circling around to make sure it sees him before he gets within range. He sucks in water, considering, and then sends out a gentle warning call. The creature snaps to attention, twisting to get a look at the source of the noise, instantly on guard and absolutely dripping with fear and rage. Haru can see now that he's predominantly male, with a flat, hard chest. His right arm hangs uselessly at his side and he grips his shoulder with the other hand, face darkly shadowed, lips pulled back to reveal rows of sharp teeth. A streak of liquid sunlight flashes across his face, glinting in his eyes, lighting them up from within, the most brilliant turquoise, sea foam on a calm summer day.
I can help, Haru sends to him.
Get back, he snaps, still showing teeth. His speech pattern is strange, so alien that it takes Haru a moment to puzzle out his meaning, getting it more through tone than vocabulary.
Calm down. I'm not dangerous. He says it with painstaking emphasis, gesturing as he talks, assuming the creature must have trouble understanding him as well. Not. Dangerous. He motions to his shoulder, miming removing the spear.
The creature continues glaring, languidly thrashing his tail to remain floating vertically, never taking his eyes off Haru. He knits his brow, just the tiniest shift in countenance, but enough to appear more confused than angry.
Haru grits his teeth and lowers his head, acting as demure as possible as he drifts closer. This guy is definitely strong enough to kill him if he chooses, so the second Haru's within arm's reach he'll be in immediate danger. Despite this, he keeps himself calm, as getting agitated himself will only increase this creature's unease. But meeting those bright eyes with a steady, direct gaze, Haru keeps himself open and vulnerable, spreading his hands open in front of himself and keeping his head lower than the other creature's, all gestures of submission. The creature doesn't back away, but puffs out his chest, making himself appear even larger. Yes, it's intimidating, but Haru doesn't back down, carefully setting his open palm on the creature's pectoral muscle.
He can feel the tremors of fear and exhaustion coursing through the stranger, thrumming under his fingers, and he takes his time pressing the front of his body against him, trying to soothe and reassure him. The creature lowers his face to bury his nose at Haru's neck, sniffing at him, some tension leaving him as he comes to understand that Haru's not a threat.
Name? Haru asks, running his hands over the creature's abs and sides, gathering all the sensory information he can before it's time to pull away.
A beat of silence. Sousuke. The name sounds so odd, made up of foreign syllables, said in a strange tongue.
I'm Haru, Haru tells him, drifting back and gently gripping Sousuke's injured arm. Need to pull this out.
Sousuke nods, mouth set in a grim line, eyes steely. Do it.
Haru slips around to Sousuke's back side, grasping the spear from the pointed tip. He'll have to pull the rest of the shaft through to get it out; if pulled from the front, the barbs on the spearhead would catch and tear the wound jagged, clearly the reason Sousuke couldn't get it free on his own. Haru braces himself with a hand between Sousuke's shoulder blades and yanks without ceremony. The spear does not slide smoothly out of the wound; Haru has to twist the thing to loosen it, but it finally comes free with a fresh spurt of blood that has Haru's skin prickling with anxiety. Fresh blood in open waters...still, Sousuke's probably bigger than any other predators they might encounter this close to shore, and even injured he still poses enough of a threat to keep danger at bay.
At the moment his face is face is screwed up in pain, tail lashing wickedly back and forth, chest heaving and gills on his sides rippling as they furiously filter oxygen out of the water. When he opens his eyes after nearly a full minute, they're blurry, pupils dilated. He draws back, hostility pealing off of him in waves; Haru understands. The first reaction to injury is to keep others away, to protect oneself and nurse the wounds in private. He backs off, eyes low, until he has enough clearance to turn without slapping Sousuke with his tail. He looks up, meeting an ice-cold gaze before fleeing, racing away as fast as his strokes can take him, sensing predatory danger behind him so strongly it feels he'll never be able to escape.
The crabs are starting to avoid that place, Momo informs him.
Three days later, and Haru still feels like there's something behind him even when he's alone, still believes he can catch the faint smell of Sousuke's blood when the current flows just right, the cold and unforgiving movement as the tide comes in.
Still there, Haru guesses. But why? Why hasn't Sousuke moved on yet? He must have a home, somewhere. This is the summer territory of Haru's clan; they may be more compact, small individuals, but they're clever group hunters. Haru hasn't told anyone about Sousuke except for Momo, who seems to have kept the information between the two of them despite being such a social creature, but if the rest of the clan were to hear that something as large and threatening as Sousuke is imposing himself on their hunting grounds, well, they'd hunt him down and kill him for sure. And that would just be a waste of Haru's previous efforts to remove the spear.
He waits until the sun's down before he goes, this time in wide, sweeping kicks that carry him high, close to the water's surface, where the moonlight is brightest. He doesn't hurry, taking the time to breach as he pleases, peering up at the stars when his head is above water. As he nears the place he suspects Sousuke's still inhabiting, he sinks back down, watching his shadow glide across the ocean floor. He knows he's visible. Sousuke will come. He closes his eyes and spreads his arms, completing a vertical loop for pure enjoyment. It's a beautiful night, a slight sense of playfulness infecting him. Full moon tonight. Sure enough, a much larger shadow floats over Haru's, blotting it out, inky black with spots as pale as the stars themselves. Sousuke's colouring really is quite beautiful, reminiscent of the night sky.
Haru, he says, pulling himself into a vertical float several feet below Haru's position. His arms are crossed over his chest, bulging with strength, and Haru notes the layers of tender, pink skin already covering the spear wound. So his type heals as quickly as Haru's clan does.
You can't stay here, Haru explains. Not safe. If they catch you.
Sousuke stares into the distance, troubled, mouth tightening. Do you know these waters?
Haru finds he missed the strange lilt to Sousuke's voice, his heart filling with joy at the sound. I know them, yes.
Sousuke shakes his head. This isn't...where I'm supposed to be.
Where is your clan? Intrigued, Haru drifts closer.
Sousuke appears uncertain of Haru's meaning.
There are others like you, yes?
Yes, Sousuke finally replies. We don't stay together all the time, though.
Haru doesn't understand Sousuke's meaning. He doesn't stay with the others? That doesn't make any sense. Haru can't remember a time in his life when he hasn't traveled with his clan. They hunt together, sleep together, protect one another. Haru's more solitary than most of the others, but even he would never dare strike out on his own. He's always had Momotarou by his side, if no one else. Where is your clan?
Gathering to mate, Sousuke growls soberly, head hung, arms still crossed over his chest. Haru can sense how tense he is. I'm in the wrong place.
Where are you supposed to be?
Sousuke's eyes gleam in the moonlight like fish scales as he tilts his head up to look at Haru, who shivers under the intensity. I don't know.
Haru's chest tightens. You can't stay here. My family will kill you.
Sousuke's tail swishes, propelling him forward, and he's before Haru in a flash of black and white, terse body bumping into Haru's, muscles and length of tail rubbing against him. Sousuke trills low in Haru's ear, a dominant sound, echoing through Haru's head and singing down his veins. Sousuke's fingers dig into his hips, thick, painful pressure, and Haru lolls his head to the side, showing his neck, shaking with the combined thrill and terror of having Sousuke exert power over him. So big, so strong, capable of snapping Haru's spine in one second, ending his life in one shining moment. Haru can't fight a predator like Sousuke; his only choice is to submit.
Sousuke trails his nose over Haru's collarbone, the base of his exposed throat, along his jawline. What if I kill you first?
You won't, Haru responds, keeping the tone of his echoes calm, controlled, almost bored, in order to appease Sousuke. You only eat shellfish. You're hardly even a predator.
Doesn't mean I can't kill you, he sighs into Haru's ear, clawed nails coming dangerously close to piercing Haru's skin.
Haru gasps and wriggles involuntarily, a reaction to the sharp pain. Sousuke releases him, drawing back just far enough to survey Haru's body, eyes searing as they rake over him. Simply following the current of the water and the ethereal pull of the moon, Haru finds himself circling, a slow, lazy drift that Sousuke copies. They meet each other's eyes, drifting closer together before retreating a few inches. Haru's hyper aware of Sousuke's position at all times, can see the flare of his nostrils and the dark, fiery glaze of his eyes.
The moonlight slides over Sousuke's skin like liquid silver; his scent fills Haru's mind, heady and thick, clouding out all other thoughts. He misses the wide span of those fingers on him, hard body pressing into him, Sousuke's lips and nose traveling over his skin...he tips his head back, eyes closed in an act of complete trust, trailing his hand down over his chest and belly to stroke the reproductive slit in his tail. His fingers come away slippery with filmy mucous; he's definitely aroused. He watches Sousuke from the corner of his eye as he raises his fingers to his mouth and licks them clean, feigning disinterest.
Sousuke lets his eyes flutter closed, mouth pulling into a rare smile, more challenge clear on his face as his hands slide down to pull open his own slit. Haru notices he doesn't have two, like Haru and his kind do; interesting. So Sousuke's completely male, then. His penis juts out of the slit, erect and ready, thicker at the base and tapering into a point at the end, glistening with its own lubricant. Like the rest of him, his cock is half again as big as any Haru's ever seen.
Haru feels the burn of lust curling in his lower belly, pumping his slit full of slick liquid. It feels hot and strange compared to the cool temperature of the rest of his body and the water around him, and he shudders, fixing his eyes on Sousuke's cock. He wants it inside of him, filling him, so badly that his whole body seems to throb as he gazes at it. Sousuke, he implores, helpless to control how needy he sounds.
Sousuke approaches him steadily, drawn in as if by the pull of the moon, circling Haru once, close enough that Haru can feel the water sliding between them. He shivers again, baring his neck, swelling with excitement.
Mine, Sousuke says, finally pressing their bodies flush together. His fingers feel different on Haru's hips this time, not gentle by any means; no, filled with the heat and pain of urgency. This time he grazes Haru's shoulder with his teeth, nipping at his neck. Haru squirms, bucking his hips against Sousuke's, feeling that slippery, pliant cock pressed into his stomach, not in the place he needs it to go.
Sousuke, he pleads, sliding his hands down tightly muscled back, nails dragging down Sousuke's skin. And then Sousuke shudders as well, stretching Haru's slit open with his thumbs. He pushes the tip in and buries himself with three deep thrusts, cock taking the shape of Haru's insides and stuffing him fuller than he's ever been. He trembles as Sousuke starts to churn the water with frenzied strokes, using his powerful tail to drive into Haru again and again.
Haru clings to Sousuke, clawing at his shoulders for purchase even as Sousuke takes a firmer hold on his hips to keep him from being pushed away. He finds his rhythm, rolling his hips in time with Sousuke's to get him as deep as possible, striking a place far within himself that seems to tickle his stomach, that tight coil of heat pulling tighter and tighter with each stroke. More. More, Sousuke!
Haru. Sousuke's tone takes a low, rough quality, reverberating down Haru's spine. Haru lashes his tail, the tingling sensation growing stronger has Sousuke's thrusts start to change pace, coming shallow and fast, pounding into him without mercy. Suddenly he slows, driving in deep, sinking his teeth into the juncture of Haru's collarbone as the first powerful tremor wracks through him.
The pain of the bite mingles with the ecstasy of release, rapidly obliterated by it, the smell of blood overpowered by the scent of their mating efforts. Haru quivers as he feels Sousuke ejaculate inside him, flooding his belly with heat. He trembles and scrabbles at Sousuke's chest as he's overcome by waves of pleasure that have him clenching hard around Sousuke's cock, his body attempting to trap the semen inside.
Sousuke's arms encircle him tightly and he rests his chin on Haru's head, still pressed up inside, the current quickly washing away the froth of their reproductive liquids. What have we done? Sousuke asks.
You did what you came here to do, Haru replies, nuzzling weakly against Sousuke's chest. The effects are already beginning to take place; powerful affection for his mate obscures any feelings of regret, and Haru clutches him possessively, glaring out into the darkness, daring any member of his clan to harm him.