It was no one’s fault, they hadn’t meant to leave Blueberry behind. They’d needed to get away from the fishermen as fast as possible so they’d scattered to minimize the chances of getting speared by a harpoon or scooped up in a net. So, Blueberry shouldn’t be upset about them abandoning him. But… he kind of was. They could’ve at least come back to look for him, right? Make sure he was really dead.
Though part of his bitterness came from the fact that he could’ve easily caught up and regrouped with them if it wasn’t the harpoon impaling his tail. It hurt and made swimming impossible, leaving him to sink to the sandy sea floor. At least it stoppered the flow of blood so no sharks or other predators had caught scent of him yet, though it was only a matter of time. A quick death from a predator would be preferable to starving to death because he couldn’t swim and thus wouldn’t be able catch anything to eat, right? Yes, but not dying at all would be better.
Gritting his teeth, he wrapped one hand around the harpoon and pulled on it. He couldn’t hold back a yelp of pain as he let go, his vision going black around the edges for a few seconds as he fought off a wave of dizziness. Welp, pulling it out didn’t seem like a viable option. Not that it would’ve helped much anyway, there’d still have been a gaping hole in his tail.
He groaned as he stared at the swirling blue magic blood, leaking out around the harpoon. His pulling on the harpoon had caused more to leak out, making a small cloud around him. If and when a shark smelled it, he would be dead. He’d fight it, but he was small and weakened by his injuries. Not to mention alone.
Blueberry jolted awake to the sight of a much larger merskeleton looming over him. He jerked, flapping his tail to swim backwards and away but the movement sent a sharp bolt of agony through him. He yelped, clenching his hands into fists in the sand beneath him. He hadn’t known it was even possible to be in this much pain.
“Oh,” the other merman said. His tail and fins were a burnt orange. His teeth were sharp and one of them had been replaced with a gold replica. There were scars marring his bones and tail, marking him as someone who was no stranger to violence. “I didn’t mean to startle you.” His voice was deep and a bit rough, alluring in a way.
But was he friend or foe? Blueberry had never seen him before which meant he traveled with a different pod. Which didn’t automatically make him dangerous but… Blueberry had heard that some merfolk were cannibals and this guy had awfully sharp looking teeth. That didn’t mean anything though, did it? And if he was planning on eating or hurting Blueberry he would’ve done so by now.
“It’s fine,” Blueberry said with a forced smile, trying to ignore the burning all-consuming pain in his poor tail that was making it hard not to whimper and cry. “Hi, I’m Blueberry.” He held out hand. “What’s your name?”
The other accepted it, his hand engulfing Blueberry’s in a frim shake. “I’m Slim. But uh… ya need some help there… with that?” He pointed at Blueberry’s tail and the harpoon sticking through it.
“Uh yes, help would be very much appreciated.”
“What ‘bout your pod? They around? Assuming ya got one.”
“Um… no, we were attacked by fishermen and scattered. I got speared, obviously, so they probably think I’m dead.” By all rights he should’ve been. The fact that he’d gotten away was a miracle. So, the feelings of bitterness about being left for dead were completely unjustified. But they could’ve gone back to make sure instead of assuming things. That’s what he would’ve done for any one of them. “So, if you could help me out some, I’d be in your debt.” He hated asking for help but there wasn’t much else he could do here, he’d die if left to fend for himself.
“All right.” Slim shrugged and grabbed Blueberry’s wrist. He started swimming, pulling Blueberry with him.
Being dragged through the water was an unpleasant experience due to how unnatural it felt to be moving through water with actually moving. But every instinctive twitch of his tail to swim along sent another jolt of pain through it. So, he forced himself to relax as much as possible. “Where are you taking me?”
“What about your pod?” Most merfolk traveled in pods for protection as well as socialization. Blueberry had never met a loner though they did supposedly exist due to being banished from their pod. And looking around, he didn’t see any other merskeletons. So…
“Oh, I’m sorry, that’s…”
“I don’t wanna talk about it,” Slim interrupted, a slight warning growl hidden in his voice.
Blueberry snapped his mouth closed. Upsetting his savior was probably not a good idea. And he wouldn’t want to reopen those wounds anyway. He couldn’t even imagine how hard it would be to go through something like that.
Unfortunately, the pain in his tail made it hard for Blueberry to be able to think of a way to recover from that blunder so they spent the rest of the trip in an awkward silence. Fortunately, it wasn’t a long trip.
Slim brought him to a cave, a bit large for a single person but would’ve been way too small for an average sized pod or bigger to make their nesting ground. The various supplies and food items hanging off the ceiling and stacked on the artificial shelves nailed into the walls implied Slim spent a lot of time here, like a base. Some pods did that instead of wondering the oceans for most of the year, only settling down during mating season.
Slim pulled him all the way to the back, the most sheltered part of the cave. He let go of Blueberry’s hand, letting him sink to the bottom, and pulled something off one of the shelves. “Here.” He held it towards Blueberry. It was a plant that would render Blueberry senseless for a long while. He didn’t take it. “Ya really wanna feel it when I pull that thing outta your tail?” Slim pointed to the harpoon.
Blueberry snatched the plant from him. “Thanks.” He hesitated for a second or two longer before putting the plant in his mouth, wincing at the bitter taste as he chewed and swallowed. It took effect almost right away and soon he was drifting off.
When he came to once more there was a dull ache in his tail, nowhere even close to how bad it had been before. He opened his eyes to see that a bandage had been wrapped around the injured part and judging by the reduced pain there was a healing poultice slathered on underneath it.
He twitched his tail, testing it. It sent a renewed wave of pain through him so he immediately stilled again. Well, it looked he was stuck here for a while. How long though? He had no idea, he’d never encountered a wound like his before and thus couldn’t even begin to guess how long it would take to heal.
With a sigh he looked around the cavern again. There wasn’t much to look at other than the stuff on the shelves and hanging from the ceiling. Slim was sleeping on the other side. He was a friend though. If he were going to hurt or take advantage of Blueberry he would’ve done so by now.
Meaning Blueberry would be safe here for however long it took him to recover. What he’d do afterwards was still unknown but it wouldn’t help much to worry about it right now.
It was mating season; Blueberry and his pod had been on their way to their breeding grounds so that those who chose to mate could do so. It was an off year for Blueberry, not that he had a mate to put his eggs into anyway. It however was not an off year for Slim.
Blueberry could smell it on him the next time he came close to examine the bandage and wound underneath. He’d either missed it before or it was just developing. Either way Slim made no mention of it even though he had to know it was obvious. Presumably since he lived alone every mating cycle in which he produced eggs he let them be absorbed back into his body like most merfolk did if they didn’t have a mate. Which was probably why he wasn’t mentioning it.
Over the next few days it became more and more noticeable. Whenever Slim was in the cave with him, Blueberry couldn’t help but maybe get a little aroused by the thought of Slim possibly mating with him. He’d always wondered what it would be like to carry another merskeleton’s eggs. He’d seen plenty of his (former) pod members with round egg filled bellies say it was a blissful experience. He’d always scoffed and said ‘yeah, right’ but internally he’d always been jealous of them and their loving mates who took care of them until they were ready to lay the eggs. Why did nobody like him like that?
“You can mate with me if you want,” he said out of the blue one day. They’d just finished eating the fish Slim had brought back. It had been a quiet meal, Slim wasn’t exactly talkative, and Blueberry had been too distracted trying not to stare at him and the darker opaque magic in his abdomen denoting that his body was ready to mate to say anything.
Not surprisingly Slim froze at Blueberry’s sudden proclamation. “What?” he said after a second or two of stunned silence.
“You can mate with me if you want to,” Blueberry said again. “I’m kind of stuck here for a while anyway” probably at least long enough to carry and lay the eggs. “And… I want to. It’s okay if you don’t want to though.”
“I want to but…” Slim hesitated for a second longer before swimming closer, hovering right over him. “ya sure?” He was grinning, excited.
Blueberry’s body grew a little warmer at his proximity and the look on his face. “Yeah, I’m sure,” he said with a smile.
Slim kissed him, passionate and lovely. Blueberry reciprocated, opening his mouth and manifesting his tongue to entwine with Slim’s. It took the last remaining dregs of his self-control not to flick his tail in excitement as he wrapped his arms around Slim.
More gently than he probably needed to, Slim lowered himself to rub against Blueberry, careful not to touch the injured part of his tail. Blueberry moaned as the magic making up his body reacted, forming a slit and pouch for the eggs. Oh gosh, he was really doing this and with someone he’s only known for a matter of days too. But… as not smart as it probably was he didn’t really care.
Neither apparently did Slim, as he bit lightly onto Blueberry’s shoulder to stifle a moan as his almost tentacle like ovipositor pushed against Blueberry’s opening. “Ya ready?” His voice was breathy and dripping with lust.
“Yeah.” Blueberry nodded, bucking up into him. They wouldn’t be able to do this with as much energy or movement as most couples did because of the wound in Blueberry’s tail, but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t be fun.
Slim thrust in hilting himself all at once. His magic was slippery and smooth, a little thicker at its base. Slim grinned as pulled back to thrust in again. It was bit awkward at first with Blueberry’s limited mobility but they eventually found a good rhythm. It was gentle, loving almost.
Panting, Blueberry arched into each thrust, careful not to flap his tail. He’d never had sex before, even out of mating season for fun or pleasure. Not for lack of trying though, no one he’d been interested in like that felt the same.
This being mating season it didn’t take long for Slim to climax, releasing a warm sticky fluid into Blueberry that combined with the knot at the base of his magic ensured they’d be stuck together until Slim had deposited all his eggs into Blueberry. There was no going back now.
“You okay?” Slim asked.
“Yeah.” Blueberry nodded. The knot was a bit uncomfortable but nothing he couldn’t take and his magic would no doubt get used to it soon.
A few seconds later, Blueberry felt what could only be the first egg push into him. Leaning back, he could see it too through his translucent magic. A round bulge pushing through Slim’s magic, big enough to be almost uncomfortable. It exited the ovipositor and came to a rest in his belly. It was hard to tell what colour it was supposed to be as it appeared blue through his blue magic.
He moaned softly as the next one entered. It felt better than he’d thought it would and watching and feeling the bulge of the egg as it made its way down filled him with a pleasant sense of anticipation with the pay off of seeing it exit into him. A large part of it was no doubt an instinctual thing, the need to reproduce being ingrained within all beings, but it was also just kind of satisfying to watch.
“Thanks for taking care of me by the way, I’d be in big trouble without you,” Blueberry said with a smile, panting a little.
“Of course,” Slim said with a slight blush. “And like you’re my mate now so I gotta take of ya. At least until ya lay the eggs, right?”
Blueberry leaned up to kiss him again for a bit before leaning back again to watch the eggs travel through the ovipositor and into him once more. They stimulated the inside of his magic more than Slim’s thrusting had and by the time his belly was starting to swell a little he climaxed.
It was a slow process, slower than Blueberry would’ve expected. But over time his belly grew bigger and heavier until he couldn’t see over it to watch the eggs anymore. They pressed up against his magic as more and more were pumped in, making them more visible.
There were so many, it was sad most of them wouldn’t make it. But there wasn’t anything that could be done about that. That’s why there were so many in the first place, their kind would go instinct if that wasn’t the case.
Their conversation was sparse as a warm sleepy contentedness spread through him even as the eggs pushing into felt good, bringing him to orgasm multiple times throughout. Eventually despite Slim arching his midsection away from him, Blueberry’s belly was big enough to touch him.
Thankfully, Slim let out a sigh of relief a short time later. “Done.” The knot quickly softened and he could pull his magic out, allowing Blueberry’s to close up, protecting the eggs. “You’re fucking gorgeous like this,” he said as he pet his hands over Blueberry’s now swollen middle.
Blueberry opened his mouth to reply but a yawn came out instead. He couldn’t remember if he’d ever felt sleepier than he did now.
“Wanna take a nap?” Slim said with a knowing grin, he liked naps.
“Yeah, that’d be nice.” Blueberry’s eyes were already drooping.
Slim wrapped his arms around him and gently rolled them over so Blueberry was resting on top of him, Slim’s arms hugging him right above the swell in his abdomen and Blueberry’s head on his upper chest. “This okay?”
Blueberry hummed his approval before letting himself drift off.
Over the next few days Slim touched him a lot. At times it almost seemed like whenever he wasn’t out hunting he was touching Blueberry, specifically his pregnant belly. A lot of his previous almost shyness was gone, it was sweet and endearing.
Blueberry had never felt better taken care of or loved. Which was… sad, wasn’t it? He’d known the members of his pod much longer than he’d known Slim. Was it a fault with him or his pod though? Maybe both. Either way he appreciated the attention Slim was lavishing on him.
“How does it feel?” Slim asked, referring to Blueberry’s tail. It had been a few weeks since he’d gotten harpooned and the wound was slowly but surely healing. If it wasn’t for Slim keeping him occupied and his pregnancy making him sleepy and not inclined to move much anyway he’d have gone stir crazy a while ago.
He flexed his tail, testing it. “It still hurts, but I could probably swim for a little while if I needed to.” Which he probably wouldn’t, he was safe here.
“’Kay.” Slim finished rebandaging his tail. “We’ll start to get ya swimming again soon.”
Over the next few weeks Blueberry’s tail continued to heal to the point where it only ever hurt when he moved it and even that was fading. Eventually with Slim’s encouragement he was stating to practice swimming again, going in small circles around the cavern. The extra weight in his belly coupled with weakness in his tail from so long of not being able to move made it exhausting. He worked hard at it anyway, eager to have full range of movement again.
“You should rest,” Slim said to him one day when he was maybe going at it a bit harder than he should.
“I don’t want to.” Blueberry was panting with exertion and the mostly healed wound in his tail was burning again. But he could take it. He wanted to be at full strength by the time he was ready to lay the eggs.
But Slim apparently wasn’t having it as he swam over to wrap his arms around Blueberry, underneath his arms, and roll him over onto his back so he was resting on top of Slim again. “Nah, ya need to rest or you’ll hurt yourself more.
Blueberry huffed and crossed as his arms, a little annoyed. But he didn’t fight it, instead he relaxed, feeling sleepy and warm again. He shouldn’t push himself too hard no matter how eager he was to get back into shape.
“See that’s much better, don’t ya think?” Slim said after a little while.
“Yeah, I guess, thanks.”
Slim moved a hand down to caress Blueberry’s swollen middle. His touch was warm and gentle like it always was. It relaxed Blueberry furtherer and soon he was started to drift, his mind floating in that warm contentment that he wasn’t sure was from Slim, being pregnant, or a combination of the two.
“So, uh… what ya gonna do once you’ve laid the eggs and recovered your strength?” Slim asked, breaking the silence and Blueberry’s suspicion that he’d fallen asleep.
They hadn’t discussed this before and had even seemed to have made an unspoken agreement not to. Blueberry didn’t know what he was going to do. He could try to catch up and rejoin his pod. It was unlikely he’d ever find them though; the ocean was too big and traveling it alone or even in small numbers was dangerous. So, that left him with one option, didn’t it? “Can I… stay here with you?”
There was a short pause before Slim answered. “Do ya want to?”
“Yes,” Blueberry said without hesitation. He’d miss being able to freely travel the sea with his pod but… there were worse things. And he liked Slim, together they could probably move around some, have this cavern be their base. “If you’re okay with me staying anyway. If you’re not, that’s fine.” It wouldn’t be, at this point it’d be heartbreaking but Slim shouldn’t feel pressured to keep him around because of that.
“I’d uh… like it if ya stayed.” His voice indicated his was blushing a little.
“Then I’ll stay then.” Blueberry smiled wide, flicking his tail a bit in excitement.