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Icy Waters

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Everyone knew that merpeople mated for life; once they found their soulmate, there was no going back. Humans, once knowing this, became enthralled by this romantic aspect of mer life, causing mer studies to expand, more and more mers being captured and observed. It was found that there was no lone soulmate for a specific mer, rather there were simply mers that were compatible with each other and forged a tight mental bond. These mers were usually an alpha and omega, or a pair of two betas, though in rare occasions all other pairings of primary and secondary sexes were possible to occur naturally. Unlike humans, these compatible mers could sense each other right off the bat, and the bond they forged would be unbreakable even in death. The notion seemed condemning to some, and romantic to others.

Different classifications of mer—there being freshwater, deep-sea, tropical, and arctic—were unheard of mating with each other, scientists found, due to the inconvenience of it all. In nature, they would not willingly stray too far from their respective environments, therefore it was rare that they would ever meet a mer of a different classification in the first place.

Once mated, the bonded pair tended to live a rather solitary life, relocating away from other mers to procreate and raise their children on their own. The children—mers usually having between 10 and 15 in their lifetime, in clutches of 3 or 4—would band together as a pod, leaving their parents after adolescence but staying together until each one would inevitably come across their mate. Then they would leave their siblings, never to be seen again.

Most humans saw it as a lonesome yet romantic cycle. But it was the will of nature; mer parents would not feel grief at their children’s absence, since it was instinctual to let them go. If they raised them right, they would be just fine.

 

 

This wasn’t supposed to happen. This wasn’t supposed to happen. I’m going to die.

Yuuri trembled, just coming back to consciousness and unable to think clearly. Coarse rope imprisoned him, tangled around all appendages and barring him from escape. It burned every stretch of skin and scale it touched, and even before Yuuri regained any coherence his body automatically strained to escape from it. When that failed, his senses returned to him, the sound of his heavy, panicked breathing filling his ears.

For minutes he flailed, tail wiggling back and forth as much as it could, but only succeeded to wind the rope tighter around his form. Eyes darting wildly, he gulped and attempted to steady his breathing.

He was still underneath the surface. That was good.

Small fish darted in front of his eyes and he belatedly realized he was rising through the water, pulled up by the net. Bad. Get out, get out.

Immediately his heart rate rose again, instincts driving him wild with the need to escape. Mers like him were never caught, this never happened. They stayed far below the surface, too far for any nets to catch them…

Eyes darting again, he sighed in mild relief when he realized no other mers were captured beside him; his pod members had managed to dodge it. It was stupid, how far up they’d swam, but they’d thought they would be able to dodge any nets… Well, clearly, the rest had. Yuuri was the only one slow enough to be captured. Self-loathing rose in his chest. Did they leave me behind for being a liability?

A loud creaking sound, coupled with vibrations along the rope, snapped him out of his anxious thoughts. He craned his head up, teeth clenched in worry when the conglomeration of rope and fish—and one mer—began moving sideways through the water instead of upwards. Where were they taking him?

Hours passed with the net, full of wriggling fish, moving into steadily cooler waters. It sent shivers down throughout Yuuri’s body—if only they hadn’t strayed so far upwards… Did his podmates merely look on as he was taken, or did they at least try to rescue him? He strained to remember, but his head was a pounding mess. Maybe he’d hit it on something…

Some fish managed to wiggle out of small holes in the messy netting, and he silently applauded them. If only he could be so small… One of his pelvic fins was caught in a small hole between strings of rope, but it was too weak to widen the hole lest he injure himself. It already hurt simply to adjust himself, pressed uncomfortably against the fish and rope; no way could he manage getting out by himself. How was he supposed to escape…?

The pounding in his head only worsened with time, and as the waters grew colder his small struggling movements grew sluggish. He was immensely tired… Eyelids drooping, he was overcome with sadness at his own weakness. It was starting to get too cold, and he was losing the energy to do anything… How useless could he be? The fish surrounding him gave him some modicum of warmth, but that only made him sleepier, modeling how he and his podmates would curl up around each other for naps.

His eyes closed. Just for a little while, let me sleep…

With a deafening crash, his eyes opened wide. It must’ve been hours.

His world tilted, another creaking noise accompanying it, and immediately fish swarmed his vision. He couldn’t see. Panicked, he flailed instinctively again, only to silently yelp into the water. It hurt.

Suddenly he was falling slowly deeper into the water, the heavy weight of rope and metal and fish dragging him down. Too heavy. Blinded and afraid, all he felt was a sharpness pierce his head before he blacked out.

 

 

Viktor sighed silently as he swam through the open, empty waters. They’d been migrating for days now, but it still wasn’t enough, and he was getting quite bored of moving. By now the water was too warm for his comfort, yes, but they still needed to travel farther south—he’d done this year after year, he would just know when to stop. He’d be much too warm for a few weeks, but it would cool down perfectly for winter.

…Not he, they. Surprisingly. He hadn’t planned having an entourage follow him; he was the last of his siblings without a mate, after all. His pod was gone. This would’ve been his first year migrating alone, and he was okay with that. However, upon learning Viktor would be by himself, Yuri took it upon himself to follow him for some reason, guiding his entire pod behind him. Viktor didn’t imagine his migration being invaded by a band of excitable children—because that’s what they were, so much younger than him—but he wouldn’t push them away. He wasn’t that cruel.

He looked behind him, slowing the undulations of his tail. The kids were quite a few yards behind him. Frowning, he slowed further, though he didn’t want to wait for them. If he kept at it, he would likely be able to make it to the perfect spot by nightfall…

By the time he moved a few paces forwards, he sensed another being in the water and glanced south again, only to halt. Arctic mers such as himself had keen spatial awareness, and for that he was thankful because even though it lay many yards away, he spotted a motionless form strung over a jutting rock. The rock wall guiding their path formed the deep bottom of a cliff, he knew that much, but he didn’t think that a human would ever sink this far down… Unless it wasn’t human?

Intrigued, he quickly swam closer to the rock outcrop, feeling as if an invisible string was pulling him forward. Suddenly, his heart puttered faster against his chest, and he had no idea why—his mind, his body, was telling him that this was important. That still body, in this moment, held his world.

Once he got close enough to see clearly, his mouth opened in shock, and he kicked his tail to propel him ahead. It was another mer, and they were injured. Without even touching the other—a male, an omega male, a deep-sea omega male—Viktor could tell that the poor creature was losing life. There were remnants of coarse rope, strings, caught on his fins and in the junction of his arm, and scrapes patterned the mystery mer’s tail, some slowly seeping blood. He was asleep—unconscious, rather.

Ready to spring into action and get the mer to safety, Viktor surprised himself by instead moving his hand to the sleeping mer’s cheek, reverently. It was as if he had no control. His fingertips touched the soft, plush skin under the male’s eye—cold, too cold. In that moment, the alpha mer experienced two revelations, both coming from the purely animalistic side of his brain.

Mate. This is my mate.

I must get my mate to safety. Mate, keep, safe…

With eyes wide in urgency, Viktor jolted to take hold of the omega, his mind almost void of rational thought. He cradled the injured mer against his chest and quickly swam out, determined to get to warmer waters. The deep-sea male wasn’t meant to be in a place so cold, and who knew how long he’d been here. Viktor had never encountered a different classification of mer, but he had no time to be surprised, too busy being overwhelmed with mate, mate, mate…

Another stream of consciousness reached out to him, and he instinctively whirled around, baring sharp teeth in warning. It was Yuri—the young mer should’ve known better, curiously sneaking up on him like that. It wasn’t his fault, considering he was unaware of the situation, but Viktor couldn’t help the hostility. After all, his mate was injured. It was common knowledge that to approach an alpha whose mate was injured was a death sentence.

Realizing the dire circumstances, the younger arctic mer’s eyes widened in shock. Unsure of what to do, he halted, tail flicking in anxiousness. He didn’t mentally reach to Viktor again, knowing to keep his distance, but an alpha meeting their mate for the first time in such a state—a mate of another classification, at that—was unheard of. Luckily, the rest of his pod was smart enough to stay a couple of yards away, watching the scene in confusion.

When Yuri stayed still for too long, Viktor snapped his teeth in another warning, guilt flickering through him as he watched Yuri flinch. Knowing that the younger alpha wasn’t a threat, Viktor tried to reel back his instincts and pursed his lips, motioning with his head in the direction from where they came. They couldn’t follow him any longer—not when his mate was here.

Yuri frowned but nodded in understanding. He blinked, begrudgingly but effectively communicating good wishes for the couple, before turning tail and swimming back to his pod.

Viktor wasn’t worried for them; they would find their way to warmer waters. Especially if Yuri would be the one leading. The mer was stubborn and incredibly intelligent. Viktor held him to a high standard, but only because anything less would be an injustice.

Satisfied that he wouldn’t be followed, Viktor turned his head to appraise his new mate. Soft black hair, paling skin, dark blue spots and stipes patterning every part of his body to some degree. A deep blue tail, nearly black, rich and stunning even with scrapes from the rope. His mate was a beauty, the most gorgeous he’d ever seen, and his blood heated with pride.

For a few minutes he stared, enthralled and excited to notice something new about his mate every second—full eyelashes, plush lips, smooth-textured gills—before he managed to catch himself. His mate, however beautiful, wasn’t safe here. First, they needed to get to warmer waters, lest the deep-sea mer freeze to death. Then, once he’d found a secure place to rest, Viktor would heal him by himself. It was his duty.

Determined, Viktor cradled that gorgeous head to his shoulder and began swimming again, faster than usual. As he traveled he consistently ran his hands over his mate’s body, trying desperately to warm him somehow. It seemed to work, as some heat and color returned to his love’s face. Some.

He swam for hours, through the day, never tiring; eating heartily before migration had done him well. Right as midnight struck, Viktor spied the same residence he’d maintained during the previous migration—it appeared as a small hole in the rock wall, but widened into a spacious cave. They would be well protected there, and Viktor was familiar with the area.

Though he wasn’t close to exhausted yet, he was overcome with relief at the sight of salvation and eagerly entered the cavern. He kept his mysterious mate close, quickly setting up a makeshift bedding out of kelp and brown algae and curling up into it. These waters were currently much too warm for Viktor, but he could easily persevere through it considering how they would cool with the coming winter. What was more important was his mate’s survival; he hoped that this water would be warm enough for the deep-sea mer, but he honestly had no idea. He could only pay attention to the mer’s bodily responses—if his condition didn’t improve, then they would move further south, regardless of how sweltering Viktor would find it.

Finally able to relax, the alpha turned his lover’s head, reaching out mentally to ascertain his state. The urgent, deathly aura was gone; the omega’s breathing was steady, his skin not so ghastly pale. He seemed merely asleep, peaceful, and Viktor took that as a sign that the warmer temperature was doing some good.

Gazing at his mate’s relaxed expression, he decided to let himself succumb to sleep as well, though he kept himself alert, curling around his mate and keeping his senses focused on the entrance to their cave. The moment that a predator would approach, he’d jump to defend in an instant.

 

 

Yuuri slept for two days. In that time his wounds were wrapped with kelp, and he was cradled close, heat transferring to his weak body.

When he awakened, although his injuries hurt, the pain was only dull background noise compared to the extraordinary tranquility surrounding him. There was a soft feeling, skin touching skin, someone gently pressing their lips to his forehead. Normally he would be confused and worried at a stranger doing such things, but all he could feel was right. Before he even opened his eyes, he knew his mate was here.

The last memory he carried was such a desperate, painful situation, and here he was with his soulmate. Was he in heaven?

Happily he purred, vibrations carrying from his throat through the water, and the arms around him tightened in elation. The lips pulled away, and he felt eyes on him, staring in wonder.

Yuuri’s eyes opened, and he saw something that shocked but joyed him. An arctic alpha—silver hair, striking blue eyes, incredibly pale skin. Light blue and silver lines patterned his body and his frosted tail, and Yuuri was in awe. He was big—much bigger than the omega, and something about him spoke predator. He’d heard about it, when he was younger. Arctic mers weren’t like other classifications; with less edible vegetation in such cold waters, they mainly preyed on other animals, their sharper teeth and claws attesting to their power. And his mate, being an alpha, would be the most powerful of all.

Yet, Yuuri only felt safe. The large body wrapped around him was bent on protecting him. As soon as he’d woken up, his mate began communicating that, sending a stream of safe, mate, safe, protect, love. Yuuri blinked slowly in thankfulness.

The alpha’s hand, claws retracted—he won’t hurt me, so powerful, but won’t hurt me—stroked down his side, and Yuuri noted the leaves binding his scrapes and cuts. He’d been well taken care of.

Appreciation surging through him, Yuuri’s purring grew more intense as he wrapped his arms around his mate’s neck, pressing their faces close in an offering. Viktor smiled in acceptance, pressing their slightly opened lips together, tongues quickly mingling. A first kiss for both of them.

As they kissed, Viktor rumbled his name through his throat, and Yuuri responded with the same. If separated, they would now be able to call for each other.

When they parted they stayed close, noses brushing and tails intertwining. Both closing their eyes, Viktor recounted to Yuuri how he’d found him, Yuuri expressing gratitude in waves and wriggling his fins in happiness. Viktor chastised him for that last one, as one of his pelvic fins still needed some time to heal. Yuuri obeyed quickly, cheeks heating in embarrassment, and ducked his head, though Viktor then nudged his chin up encouragingly. So his mate was shy; he had no problem with that.

The couple spent that day in each other’s arms, learning more about their bodies and personalities. Though Yuuri had never met an arctic mer and was a bit weary, he quickly came to realize that Viktor was kind and loving—at least, to him. Though their scales were different, they were still the same species.

They even could eat the same things. Yuuri soon realized that there was some edible vegetation in their cave and implored Viktor to bring it over for a snack. His alpha obliged, eager to do anything for his healing mate, but lay confused when Yuuri offered some leaves to him as well. Arctic mers rarely ate anything other than meat, and both knew that, but Viktor conceded for his mate. Though he thought it was rather flavorless—and communicated so to a disheartened Yuuri—it was better than nothing, and he was pleasantly surprised that he could eat the same way as his mate.

As nightfall neared, both mers grew sleepier, and Viktor put all thoughts of moving to find a permanent home out of his mind. That would come later; for now, Yuuri needed to heal completely.

Yes, Yuuri—staring at him happily with hooded eyes, just about to sleep. He couldn’t comprehend how incredibly lucky he was to finally have a mate, and such a sweet one too.

They were in each other’s arms again, settling down, as Yuuri trilled tiredly in his throat, calling for attention. Viktor listened to his request and stilled in surprise. The deep-sea mer was asking for a mark.

It was true that marks were given at the beginning of a new mating to solidify the claim—stating this mer is mated and no other shall claim them. But Viktor wasn’t expecting to mark so soon, the same day Yuuri awakened.

But Yuuri wanted this, smiling softly at him in encouragement, and Viktor sent waves of happiness through their forming bond. They shared one more relieved kiss before the bite, instincts leading them, and Yuuri’s nails dug into Viktor’s back as his neck was scarred. Unlike all the other injuries he’d sustained within the past few days, this one would hold a positive meaning.

Chapter Text

Yuuri awakened for the second time, warm and happy. He could feel that Viktor was already up, his hand trailing across Yuuri’s spine, and he shivered at the tingly feeling. Viktor halted, and Yuuri looked up with a smile before pressing their lips together.

Their morning was lethargic. Both mers reveled in the sensation of a complete bonding—each could feel each other’s every emotion, every silent declaration of love, every heartbeat. Though they haven’t mated yet, it was already as if they were one; communication was easier than ever before. They didn’t need to reach out to each other when they were always together, connected. It made Yuuri sigh in relief. Viktor rested his lips against the top of his head in adoration, and occasionally brushed his fingertips against the gland on Yuuri’s neck, causing him to wiggle delightedly. It was a bit bothersome, but the alpha only did it to tease, he knew.

When Yuuri urged Viktor to get up and move somewhat, Viktor begrudgingly agreed. They’d spent hours lounging around, and though Yuuri needed to rest to heal, Viktor was getting antsy. Channeling his energy into something useful, he decided to swim off nearby to hunt and bring back nutrition for his vulnerable to-be mate. Yuuri’s heart clenched at the thought of being alone, but he conceded, knowing his lover would return soon.

In fact, only a few minutes had passed before the arctic mer returned with a catch; neither could stand to be separated for long, it seemed. Yuuri smiled to welcome him, but froze when he saw that his bonded carried two large, dead salmon in his mouth. Deep-sea mers fed on small fish and mollusks occasionally, but to kill a fish any larger than the palm of a hand was considered unreasonably violent. Witnessing his partner return with the fresh kill was a shock, but also a stark reminder that Viktor was a predator at heart.

Immediately when he felt his mate still, Viktor halted. He quickly realized the predicament and silently scolded himself for being so careless. He should’ve gone looking for vegetation and snails instead, but it simply wasn’t in his nature. Conscious of the staring, Viktor cautiously approached, as if he was nearing a frightened animal. He knew how intimidating the sight could seem for a mer like Yuuri, so he lowered his head and tried to appear gentle. His alpha instinct would normally oppose this, but in this case it was silent—for his omega’s comfort, he would do anything.

Slowly and carefully, Viktor placed both fish between them once he got sufficiently close. He pushed one nearer to Yuuri, an invitation. The other he begun to quietly eat, picking the flesh from the bones with his claws. Ripping chunks out with his teeth would only frighten the omega, he figured, so he tried as best he could to eat in a dignified manner whilst sending waves of comfort and encouragement through their bond.

Seeing the alpha feed, Yuuri took a breath and tentatively picked up the fish. He wasn’t used to it and was quite apprehensive, but Viktor’s soothing presence lulled his fears. Maybe it wasn’t so violent; it was just how the alpha mer naturally was. He was in no place to judge. He and his siblings would eat smelts and other small fish all the time, so how was this any different, really?

Glancing at Viktor again for courage, Yuuri simply took a slow bite into the underbelly of the fish. He wasn’t one for tearing apart flesh with his hands—no offense to his bonded. It tasted good… better than anything the omega had tasted before, in fact. With wide eyes, he marveled at how the piece seemed to melt in his mouth, tearing off the bone with ease.

Meanwhile, Viktor was marveling at his mate. Yuuri didn’t care for eating with his hands, and actually loved the fish. The fish he brought for him. His chest swelled with pride, and he grinned over at his omega, shuffling closer to eat side-by-side. Yuuri bumped shoulders with him affectionately, grateful for the excitingly new meal.

The couple spent days in the cavern, discovering that they were more similar than they first thought. Within the week Yuuri insisted he was feeling better, and Viktor conceded, ready to take the makeshift bandages off.

By now the leaves were crusted with blood and strictly adhered to Yuuri’s gills and skin, so Viktor took care in removing them very slowly. Yuuri rolled his eyes, certain that the alpha didn’t need to move that slowly, but felt a spark of adoration knowing how much he was cherished by his soon mate.

When the kelp peeled back, Viktor smoothed his fingers over the area underneath and was satisfied to see that every wound was healed, no pain felt at the touch. He checked each one, and once finished, looked to Yuuri with pride and dove down for a kiss. Yuuri smiled into it and wrapped his arms around his lover’s neck, sending gratefulness through the bond.

The kiss lasted longer than usual, and when Viktor’s tongue brushed against Yuuri’s lip Yuuri leaned back to pull his alpha on top of him—a more comfortable position, that was all. They quickly found a rhythm, tongues tentatively brushing as Viktor’s hands slowly ran down Yuuri’s neck and sides. Yuuri shuddered when he brushed his glands, letting out a heavy breath through his nose. Kissing deeply felt more amazing than he’d imagined.

Their chests pressed together, Viktor curled his larger tail tenderly around Yuuri’s, the friction of their rubbing scales causing Yuuri to gasp. The alpha couldn’t help but laugh into the kiss. There was a strange, tingly feeling, centering in a place deep inside Yuuri, that made his breath stutter. It felt good—and it didn’t take long to realize what it was. Another pulse came from the top of his tail, his front, and he turned his head to the side, prying his lips away and shuddering. It was a lot to take.

Viktor leaned back, understanding the apprehension he sensed through the bond. They were getting a bit heated, and this probably wasn’t the right place or time for that, considering this wouldn’t be their permanent home. So while Viktor felt a persuasive lust in his core, he urged it away and kissed Yuuri’s forehead in reassurance. Yuuri relaxed his shoulders, taking a breath to calm himself, and began softly purring. He was thankful to have an understanding mate.

They stayed close, and slept that way, but merely cuddling.

 

 

The next day, Viktor found himself caught in thought, serious about leaving. After all, Yuuri was now healed, and their close encounter the previous night brought certain… scenarios into his mind. Now that they were bonded, the bite forever visible on Yuuri’s neck, it wouldn’t be long before the omega would go into heat. They had already given the “go” signal—the bite—to his body, so it was only a matter of time now.

Yuuri, reveling in the freedom of moving without pain, was sprawled out in a corner of their makeshift home, playing with some snails he’d found there. Well, “playing” as much as one could with snails, pushing them around and poking at their wriggly bodies. Viktor found his curiosity endearing, the sight a comforting distraction from the more serious thoughts occupying his mind. Truthfully, Yuuri was using the snails as a distraction as well—though a distraction from the distant pangs of heat that shuddered through him every so often. It was far off, but coming.

In the midst of staring at his soulmate, alarm rushed through Viktor’s senses, and he shot like a bullet out of their cave. There was another mer approaching their cavern—a mile out, but incoming at a fast speed. His alpha brain screeched to protect their mate, so close to heat, and took over. Yuuri looked after him in apprehensive confusion, ducking slightly to the sandy floor.

Viktor guarded the entrance of the cavern, teeth bared in preparation for attack, until the approaching form was close enough to see clearer. He recognized it as Yuri—young Yuri, with no pod behind him, but not showing distress—and his alarm diminished. Once face-to-face with Viktor, the younger arctic mer seemed to sense the foreign omega’s incoming heat and leaned his head back in shock, nostrils flaring and slight disgust flickering on his face. Viktor growled in warning, though it would no doubt smell foul to Yuri—the omega was claimed already. To any other alpha, it wouldn’t be a pleasant scent.

…Home. New. For you. For family.

Eyebrows lifting in surprise, Viktor took in what Yuri was conveying with his determined, albeit slightly angry stare. A scene flashed through his mind, projecting from Yuri’s—an enclave on the side of a rock wall, covered by kelp and brown algae on one side to shield it from sight. It was perfect, more spacious than their current dwelling, but still well protected, with plenty of small mollusk deposits within for their young ones to play with… He was getting ahead of himself.

With wide eyes, he stared at Yuri, all hostility leaving his stance. For us?

The other arctic mer tilted his head down in hesitant affirmation, almost begrudgingly. Viktor never knew Yuri as the type to do favors, anyway.

New family. Safe. No hurt.

Through the amazement fogging Viktor’s mind, a feeling showed itself—feint respect, admiration, a pure heart. Hidden beneath all that fire, Yuri was trying. Like all other children, he wanted to be praised, to feel like he’d done something good. He wanted to be a part of something, even in the smallest way. Suddenly, Viktor felt a smidge of guilt for leaving him behind when he’d found Yuuri—though it was not under anyone’s control. Emotions and biology, when working together, could not be stopped.

He sighed, reaching out to caress Yuri’s cheek, much to the younger’s embarrassment and disdain. Though Yuri blushed and glared furiously, Viktor insisted, sending waves of thankfulness through their connection. Yuri traveled all this way with him in mind—with him and Yuuri in mind, despite not even knowing anything about the omega other than that he had been injured. The least Viktor could do was let the mer know how much it meant to him.

…Or, to both of them, it seemed. Slowly, Yuuri crept up from the cavern, ready to shrink back at any moment. Quickly, Viktor darted from Yuri and took hold of his bonded, shielding him away. No matter that the atmosphere was friendly mere seconds ago—having another alpha, regardless of how young, in proximity to his near-heat omega put his nerves on edge. Yuri reacted a fraction of the same way, sneering and leaning away from the stench.

Yuuri’s cheeks heated at the display, a bit embarrassed. From within Viktor’s arms he blinked gratefully at the young arctic mer, having listened in on their conversation. Yuri simply nodded shortly in response, eyes averted and face red. It could easily be seen that the youngster wanted to get a move on, shoulders drawn uptight, yearning to leave the no doubt nauseating atmosphere.

Taking pity on him, the bonded pair decided on leaving immediately, as there was nothing they would need to take with them. It was a little bittersweet leaving what had been their home until now, but this is what they both wanted for their future.

They followed Yuri throughout the day, passing schools of fish and evading sharks. Yuuri stuck close to his mate, sometimes struck by a wave of dizzy heat and unable to swim fast enough. Then, Viktor would carry him on his back, Yuuri mouthing blessings and thank-you’s into his neck as they continued. The alpha tried not to let it get to him, but his hormones still raged wilder as the day dragged on.

Yuri, always looking forward and ignoring any of the couple’s sickening interactions, dutifully led them to the safe haven he’d found. Honestly, he hadn’t planned on stumbling upon the place, merely coming across it while on a search for his pod’s temporary stay. And if the enclave was a traversable distance from his pod’s new winter-home, well, that was only a coincidence.

Once the excited couple entered their home for the first time, admiring the aurora of reflections on the rock walls, the soft beds of sand and kelp, both of them turned and tightly embraced Yuri, much to the youth’s embarrassment and violent protests. Yuuri, in a brash move, tapped his nose as a playful reprimand whilst rubbing their cheeks together in friendly graciousness. If his oncoming heat made him a bit more emotional, no one would mention it. When Yuri looked to Viktor at the touch, expecting a warning snarl only to see acceptance and love in his gaze, the young mer resigned himself to being a part of the family.

 

 

Yuri had left for his pod, with promises of returning for visits at Viktor and Yuuri’s insistence. Once the younger was out of sight, Viktor turned to his lover, breath caught. He wasn’t sure what he was waiting for exactly, but his body was telling him that it was time. They were alone.

However, Yuuri turned to him, red-cheeked, and smiled, sending waves of love and sh, wait, to his core. He blinked, lips trembling minutely. If his omega told him so, he could do it. Surely.

The deep-sea mer sighed and closed his eyes as another shaky, weak feeling passed through his body, before opening them and smiling in gratefulness—and a bit teasingly as well. Deep down, he too wanted to throw caution to the wind and… consummate their bond. Their link wavered in anticipation; one could practically feel it in the air. He breathed out steadily, swimming deeper into their new home and getting to work.

As soon as the omega began gathering shells and shoving sand here and there, Viktor realized—of course, Yuuri needed to prepare the nest… er, their bed. Their home. It was instinctual; before a heat mating, everything needed to be perfect, especially for the first time, the consummation. Viktor watched, his alpha preening, leaving Yuuri to it. He watched as shells adorned their home, any snails were herded to various piles in corners and crevices, and sand was raked over until soft and feathery. Yuuri moved his body in sensual ways, flicking his tail flirtatiously whenever another wave of heat swamped him, and Viktor didn’t turn a blind eye to it. Pheromones secreted without his control, and soon the cavern was filled to the brim with a delicious scent. By the time Yuuri was satisfied with his renovations, both mers were panting with want.

Cinnamon eyes fluttering, Yuuri lay on the nest of sand and kelp, unfurling his body. He upturned his hands, and Viktor’s eyes gleamed at the position; the omega was laying himself bare, ready. He darted forwards, and Yuuri keened before his alpha even reached him.

As if controlled by a phantom force, Viktor embraced Yuuri and mouthed his bond mark, causing the omega to freeze and tremble with want in his arms. His body unfurled even more, and Yuuri’s eyes widened as he felt his slit open slightly. It had never happened in the presence of someone else before, and he almost instinctively curled his tail to hide himself, but…

Is this okay? Are you ready?

Viktor kissed along the side of his face as he conveyed the questions, and Yuuri shakily breathed, holding his alpha tightly to him. Their fins wiggled and brushed across each other, each touch heating them more and more.

Yes. Please. Need.

The alpha nodded, but surprised Yuuri by not ravaging him, instead pressing a soft kiss to his lips and trailing his hand gently down his side. Yuuri leaned into the kiss, tilting his head and fully relaxing his body. It was the final gesture of trust, and Viktor hummed in satisfaction and thankfulness.

Their tails intertwined further, and Yuuri blushed heavily when he felt the telltale thick fluid smearing around his slit. Viktor surely could feel it too; to think he was so wet already… Yuuri squeezed his eyes shut tight in embarrassment, but gasped into their kiss when he felt a protrusion bump into him, just above his opening. Viktor’s… He’d never seen an alpha like this, and couldn’t look.

Viktor, too, had never seen an omega in such a state, and tore away from their kiss to look down, curiosity and lust getting the best of him. Yuuri’s breath hitched.

Their anatomy was different in this area, as both already knew. Where Yuuri had a small slit-like opening—growing wider by the minute, though— and a tinier length, still deep in its sheath and unseen unless prompted out, Viktor had a larger protrusion, growing bigger by the second, and underneath it a smaller hole for excretions. Unsheathed, it was hot and pulsing, and Yuuri gasped simply feeling it against him. It was going to enter him… The thought produced more of the slick substance gushing from his slit, and he wiggled his fins in anticipation.

The enticing flash of moist pink amid Yuuri’s dark cobalt scales exhilarated Viktor, and he licked his lips instinctively, lowering his head to it. Yuuri whined and turned his head, embarrassed at how his arousal increased. This close, Viktor could taste the pheromones in the water and his eyes flashed. He kissed down Yuuri’s abdomen, purring soothingly in his throat as he reached the dilating slit. The riled omega was getting anxious, he could tell, and he gently pressed his fingers to the gland located on Yuuri’s wrist, instantly calming the poor mer.

Please, please…

Yuuri’s sweet pleas running through his mind, Viktor dipped down and slowly ran his tongue over the quivering opening, tasting sweetness and bitterness all at once. It was addictive, and he lapped for more, even as Yuuri’s shaking hands reached up to comb and grip at his hair.

Whines and moans escaped from Yuuri’s open mouth soundlessly into the water as Viktor carefully plunged his tongue deeper, pressing against his pulsating walls and licking up slick. The vibrations of his omega’s cries ran through his skin, and the alpha’s ego inflated with each pleasure-filled whine. Yuuri felt something building, heat deep inside, and eventually he was forced to pull Viktor’s head up from his slit. Viktor felt like he could contentedly keep going for hours, but conceded and pulled up, licking his lips leisurely. Blush filled Yuuri’s already heated cheeks at the sight.

More, need…

Humming in understanding, Viktor leaned over his lover and gently kissed his neck as he ran one hand down to his entrance, stroking the slit before carefully inserting a finger. Yuuri gasped, then smiled suddenly and yanked Viktor up to lock their lips in a deep kiss, undulating his tail slightly to get used to the feeling.

Love, love, love you… Mate, Viktor, love…

This close, connected in more ways than one, Viktor could clearly hear every feeling and thought of his partner. He intertwined the end of their tails, aiding his mate in the movements, while gently swirling his finger to prepare for the second.

Sweet, love… Will take care, cherish…

Yes, yes, feel good, so good, more. More, Viktor. Inside, come in.

As you wish.

Viktor inserted a second finger, but Yuuri’s body was so close, so close already, and screaming for his mate to take. His tail wiggled violently and he gripped his lover desperately, barely managing to make eye contact and convey his need. Kissing him again in an attempt to calm his thrashing, Viktor curled his fingers for a final time before sliding out. Empty, Yuuri became even more distressed, his heat taking hold of him, so Viktor wasted no time thrusting himself in.

It was a tight fit, and the alpha’s eyes widened as the heat encased him. The suction was nearly painful. Yuuri froze in bliss; Viktor was sure that he’d hurt him, and looked down in worry, only to see his omega caught in pleasure, eyes closed and neck bared. The pale column of flesh enticed him to bite, and he took hold of it gently with his teeth, sucking in effort to calm himself from thrusting.

They stayed still for a while, embraced and panting into each other, as Yuuri pulsed around him and worked his length until Viktor was close to bursting.

Yuuri, hold on…

Can’t control, sorry, need, can feel you.

Viktor mouthed his omega’s gland to soothe his movements and slowly rotated his hips, smiling when the pleasure resounded in their bond. Yuuri gripped his back tighter and slowly relaxed, letting him do the work. Their tails intertwined completely and soon every inch of skin and scale was pressed together. Neither could tell who was who, only that they were together, everything connected. Soon, the alpha’s length was brushing Yuuri’s deepest reaches, and when it hit his core he latched around it.

May our children be as beautiful as you.

When Yuuri heard Viktor’s wish, he shut his eyes in hope, unease wringing his gut. An arctic mer and deep-sea mer together… It had never…

His doubts were forgotten when his love shot deep into him, and he came as well, opening his mouth in a silent scream as Viktor bit him for a second time. Inside, he uncontrollably clenched hard, milking his mate for everything he had. Viktor tensed, shivering with the pleasure. He’d had orgasms before, as he’d matured, but nothing ever like this. Nothing could compare to the velvety heat inside of Yuuri. Through their link, he realized that this was Yuuri’s first ever, and quivered in shock and delight.

The couple lay entangled in each other for hours; even if they wanted to part, they couldn’t, as Viktor was entirely stuck in Yuuri, steadily seeping into him every few minutes. It would take a while for his seed to run out, and the omega needed every last drop to sate him. Meanwhile, Viktor kissed his forehead, cheeks, ears, chin, nose… Peppered the soft touches all over him as he purred and panted and clenched whenever another flow came. It was hard to keep calm and steady when the routine pulses shot pleasure through the alpha as well, but he tried his best, squeezing his eyes tight in ecstasy but shushing his mate when the poor omega writhed too violently. They were new to it, but they’d make it through.

Love you, love you, Yuuri…

Hours later found them curled around each other in the bedding, still in their embrace with Viktor cradling his omega to his chest, petting his hair unconsciously. The pulses were comforting in their rhythm now, and less intense. Through their link, Viktor felt that Yuuri was drifting to sleep, and kissed the top of his head.

Still, love you, love you…

Hopefully his feeling would still reach him and give him a good night’s sleep.

 

 

In the morning—or what Yuuri assumed was morning—he woke before his alpha, leisurely. When he opened his eyes, he was greeted with an expanse of pale, smooth skin, and he rubbed his cheek into it lovingly. In his core, he felt contented. Full. A feeling he’d never felt before, and it was rich and deep and glowing inside of him. So much… More than just him.

Viktor, I’m carrying.

He couldn’t hold back the thoughts, the feelings. Even half-asleep, Viktor clenched him tighter to his chest, slowly stroking his tail with his tailfin.

You are. I am so happy, love.