The prompt for October 7-8 is MERFOLK and I chose primal play as the kink. (prompt credit: Tia Liet)
(CW: a character being pulled unexpectedly into water)
Arlo enjoyed working the aquarium at night, the blissful silence backlit by glowing microcosms. A particular night, however, he noticed a room that had been empty for months was open, no longer blocked by a sign reading EXHIBIT EMPTY – DO NOT ENTER. Knowing he was expected to clean every open exhibit, he wheeled his cart of cleaning supplies through the door.
The room’s height was staggering, and one wall had been replaced by ten-inch glass, serving as the observation area of an enormous outdoor tank. The aquarium must have obtained a fresh attraction, something large.
Arlo abandoned his cart to peer into the tank’s teal glimmer; aside from a floor of sand, jagged rock faces, and lush, aquatic flora, it appeared empty.
He turned back to his cleaning supplies, figuring the room’s opening had only been in preparation for a new arrival. But as he swept the floor, he caught hints of shadow along the tank wall, as if something was cautiously darting in and out of sight. Whenever he turned his head, there was nothing there.
By the time he swept and mopped the room, he took a nearby stairwell outside for a smoke break. The stairs led him to the viewing deck of the tank, and after he lit a cigarette he peeked over the fenced edge.
He stumbled back at the flash of a charcoal fin, his dropped cigarette fizzling out in a puddle. When he looked up, he found a smooth forehead and two slitted eyes peering at him over the tank’s edge.
“Oh!” Arlo blurted. “I’m so sorry.”
The creature—unlike anything he’d ever seen—blinked once, then disappeared. Arlo stood, then steadied himself on the railing and leaned over again.
It moved like a shark, but from the torso up, it was humanoid, with limbs the color of smoke, ashy underbelly, and a crooked smile of fins running down its back.
“What are you?” Arlo murmured.
The creature circled before it poked its head up, watching Arlo curiously as its tail swung pendulum-like beneath the surface. Then it dove forward and down, to the bottom of the tank.
Arlo shimmied between the railing and crossed his legs as he sat in a dry patch of concrete. A black shape appeared and unblurred as it rose to the surface. The creature again looped the tank, head occasionally breaking the surface to watch Arlo before parting the water as it spun.
“Are you showing off?” Arlo grinned briefly. “I hope they don’t make you do tricks for an audience,” he added. “Those poor animals seem miserable.”
The creature paused, then swam toward Arlo carefully. It folded its human arms on the concrete edge, its tail drifting idly through the water.
“I hope they’re feeding you enough,” Arlo said as he pulled his knees to his chest. “And that hardly seems like enough space for you.”
The creature gripped the edge around the tank and lifted itself out, water rolling off its coarse skin as its torso flexed from the effort.
“Oh!” Arlo said, pressing his back against the paint-crusted railing. The creature seemed content to stare at him, to be in his space. “You’re bigger up close,” Arlo whispered.
The creature’s tail slapped the water once, as if pleased. Then it held its hand out to Arlo, silvery palm upturned. Curiosity would likely undo him, but Arlo reached out. The creature’s hand was glass-smooth, warm and wet.
Arlo didn’t have a chance to pull away before the creature’s fingers closed around his and yanked.
The water swallowed Arlo with an icy bite. He kicked his legs against the cold toward the surface, gulping air as he clung to the concrete edge, nose burning as he coughed and sputtered.
A dorsal fin sliced through the water toward him. Arlo shut his eyes, certain he was about to die enclosed in the maw of this strange creature. But after a gentle splash and no sharp teeth sinking into his neck, Arlo cracked one eye open.
The creature floated next to him, close enough to touch, peering at him curiously over the water line.
“Please don’t eat me,” Arlo whispered, closing his eyes again.
Something soft touched his cheek, and he opened his eyes to the creature’s face close to his.
“That wasn’t very nice,” Arlo said, a shiver working its way into his voice. “It’s cold as hell in here.”
The creature grinned, an expression so familiar and human that Arlo’s mouth dropped open. “So you can understand me?”
The creature nodded.
“I suppose you’ve been around humans before,” Arlo said, swiping a hand over his face.
The creature inched closer until Arlo felt an alien hardness press against his leg. Assuming it was another fin, Arlo absently reached for it. It didn’t feel like a fin; his fingers encountered something softer, coiled with warmth.
He froze. The creature was still, too, dark eyes watching Arlo expectantly.
“I’m so sorry,” Arlo said, whipping his hand back.
The creature caught his hand, faster beneath the water, and stroked his fingers. It drew his hand back to the softer skin and closed its eyes.
“Oh,” Arlo whispered. He gripped the appendage and bit his lip.
The creature lifted its arms with a rush of disturbed water, gripping the edge of the tank on either side of Arlo’s head. It bared its gritted teeth, sharp and infinite up close.
Arlo stroked the creature’s cock and worked up enough courage to look down. The appendage protruded from a slit on the creature’s belly, colored a bruised red that stuck out against gray.
“Does that feel good?” Arlo asked softly.
The creature grunted and rubbed its face against Arlo’s shoulder. It sniffed him, then pressed its nose into the hollow of his neck. Arlo tensed, and when teeth grazed his skin, he gasped, “No, no, please—” But there came no onset of pain; nothing more than a needling tickle against his pulse.
Arlo relaxed, tentatively convinced the creature wouldn’t harm him. He savored the fierce vicinity of the creature’s chest, warm and snug against his own. His hand stroked the creature’s cock languidly against underwater pressure, though it didn’t seem to mind his speed; it was hunched over, body weight distributed to its arms. It wasn’t panting, per se—Arlo supposed its gills were somewhere underwater—but its body was heaving luxuriously in response to Arlo’s touch.
The creature pressed its nose in Arlo’s hair, burying guttural gasps in Arlo’s ears as its hips surged forward. Arlo was trapped against the concrete wall, the creature’s body heat likely the only thing keeping him from hypothermia. With a final snarl, the creature fucked itself into Arlo’s hand until its motions slowed.
Even submerged, Arlo felt something viscous clinging to his fingers as he disengaged. The creature released the wall and slipped fully into the water. A chill bolted through Arlo at the loss of supplementary heat, and he braced his arms along the wall’s edge and attempted to pull himself out.
He felt the creature’s presence behind him before its arms locked around his legs. Arlo rose and doubled over when the wall hit his waist. He lugged himself onto the walkway, rolling onto his back with deadweight limbs as he blinked up at the sky.
Water sprinkled onto his face, and he turned his head to meet two black eyes. Despite knowing the creature understood him, he had no idea what to say. He tipped his head back and sighed, the fingers of his right hand unfurling.
The creature pressed its face into Arlo’s open palm. Arlo smiled as he stroked the top of its head. “Did you like that?” he asked.
The creature eased up further, its mouth opening as it went for Arlo’s forearm. Though he was too tired and cold to react, the movement didn’t strike Arlo as feral; even as he watched the creature’s mouth open, he lay still. The creature closed its pearly teeth around Arlo’s arm without pressure; just a squeeze, as if out of comfort, out of gratitude. Then, with a clap of sandpaper skin against water, it was gone.