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When you're hunted... well you need a friend

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Martin wasn’t usually one to swim before work - or even during the day for that matter - but he didn’t get a chance to swim over the weekend. He couldn’t get out of bed, the weight of bills, cooking, cleaning and maintaining everything… it was simply too much. So he spent his weekend in bed, sleeping and ignoring the call of the sea.

It was too much this morning, he needed to get out. So he woke up early to get a swim in before work. The feel of sand between his toes as he made his way across the beach in his bathers, pelt tucked safely away in his beach tote bag. He takes shelter in a small alcove off the main beach where he can stow away his belongings, he thinks if he makes sure to wear his pelt he shouldn’t need a shower when he gets back.

He slides his pelt over his head as he enters the water, he breathes a sigh of relief as the pressure in his head dissipates. He swirls and twists and turns and speeds off farther out.

~ ~

Tim whistles to himself as he makes his way across the road and to the beach. He’s in his favorite swim shorts, though he has no need for them with his pelt safely inside his beach bag. Today he’s not surfing or boating or kayaking, no today is his morning dive.

He takes his time, enjoying the empty beach and serene silence as he approaches his favorite place to hide his stuff. He notices something peculiar, for the first time in a while someone else is swimming. He’s only seen any sign of people here one other time, with the same situation of no one else being around for miles. Shrugging he hides his own belongings and pulls on his pelt as he enters the water swimming away til the shores a distant line in the horizon.

~ ~

Sasha Hums a light tune as she goes through her daily motions, make breakfast, eat breakfast, clean up, get ready and leave. It’s calculated and precise only changing with slight variations.
She gets what she needs, the work she took home with her from the library before collecting the rest of her belongings and heading out.

On the bus ride to the library she reviews her observations from the weekend's research, smiling to herself as she thinks of the time when Tim brushed his hand against hers while passing her pen. Tim often helps her with her research, though help is a bit of a stretch, more like messes with her til it turns into less of research and more of.. Well rolling around in the sand kissing.

She doesn’t mind though, it’s rather nice to take a break sometimes. Something Jon could really use to learn she thinks to herself as she walks in on Jon sleeping on his office desk.

~ ~

Jonathan sims didn’t always have the healthiest habits per se. But he made up for it by being really good at organizing himself to make it look like he hadn’t spent the entire night at the library sorting and resorting, organizing and reorganizing. That is until a certain someone comes in earlier than they should.

Jon wakes to Sasha James concernedly fluttering around him. With a sign she pulls her wheely chair from her own desk around and sits beside Jon taking his hands in her own, to which Jon glares at her. This is what she does when she thinks they need to ‘seriously discuss’ something.

“Jon” She sighs dramatically “what have we told you about overworking yourself?”
She’s staring directly at him now, she visibly shrinks and avoids her eyes.
“Don’t? But look, I had an excuse this time-” he tries and fails, cut off by Sasha’s knowing eyes
“Mhm? What might that be?” she asks gently
“Well, you see, we had a new shipment of books and well I just had to organize them and- and then a whole section of books were out of order. I swear I was just coming in for an hour and then I found a lot of issues and well- I had to take care of those otherwise what kind or librarian would I be and-” He’s cut off by Sasha wrapping her arms around him

“I get you’re stressed, but the new books would have waited. Did you even go home after work on friday?” she asks instead of ‘how much sleep did you even get?’
“Well you see, I did. But then I remembered a whole heap of stuff so I went in on saturday and dealt with those and then I saw more problems and then… well I stayed here all weekend” he mutters that last part under his breath so Sasha can’t hear

“What was that last thing?” she smirks menacingly, Jon throws her a menacing glare at her as she pulls away a little.
“I stayed here all weekend” He mutters a little louder avoiding eye contact now.

Despite how insistent Jon is that he doesn’t need anymore sleep, she doesn’t let him leave until he’s sleep even a little bit. She bodily carries him to the couch they found especially for situations like these. He lets her, feeling the reassuring pressure of her presence ground, comfort and calm him. She’s always had a charm that just wills you to listen, draws you in. He thinks as he laid down next to her and held close to her chest.

He knows he should tell her to stop, that he doesn’t need to sleep silly, that he needs to work. He knows that if he tells her that he doesn’t want a cuddle right now, she’d respect that and leave, but he also knows that he doesn’t want that. Deep down he knows he needs what she provides him, so he stays. Listens to her rhythmic heartbeat, to her lilting voice as she mutters his favorite song.

~ ~

To Tims surprise, he finds another seal, one he’s never seen before. He would know if it was selkie, he knows every selkie within a mile radius. In fact he’s had a great many selkie parties, they were rather fun, just being themselves and venting about the struggles of hiding from hunters and just the mundane who don’t know.

So this seal has to be just a regular old seal, if he doesn’t mind. As a pup he’d often play with regular old seal pups, splashing around play fighting. He likes hanging out with other seals.. Well, it really depends. It’s harder as an adult on account of territory and what have you, but none-the-less this isn’t unusual.

For some time he plays with this new seal swirling around it. They just get along really well.. Sometimes he thinks maybe it's acting a little unusual but it’s nothing important that he can’t just brush aside as wishful thinking.

They are playing together tumbling around in the water when suddenly the seal stops, surfaces seemingly checking the sun, then swims off to shore. Tim shrugs it off, he’s still got more than enough time to swim a couple minutes longer before needing to be at work.

~ ~

Martin to his surprise finds another seal a couple minutes of swimming around. He’s rather intrigued, especially since the closest colony is a lot farther out. He just assumes that he is going a little farther out for hunting and minds his own business, that is until it starts to play with him.

The other seal circles around him and sniffs him. One thing after another and he loses time tumbling around, racing, and swirling around with his new seal friend. When he realizes he’s been out for longer than intended he surfaces to check how far he went and what the time is by the sun.

Shitshitshitshti- He’s gonna be late. He swiftly swims away from the seal.

Far in the distance Peter Lukas watches with keen knowing eyes, taking note of every little important detail

Chapter Text

When Martin enters the library it appears that there is nobody here, it’s still pretty early but usually Jon would at least be at the front desk or pottering around preparing to open. Today there is nothing and that sets Martin on edge.

While he knows Jon usually hates people bothering him in his office, it can’t hurt to check. Especially since it’s getting dangerously close to opening time. So Martin makes his way to Jon and Sasha's office as quietly as possible.

He knocks and waits, on the other side of the door he hears a loud thud and then a shhh from Sasha then a soft mumbled conversation between presumably Jon and Sasha and finally gives his assertion to come in.

“Doors unlock, you can come in” Jon says gruffley his voice almost like gravel, if Martin isn’t mistaken it sounds like he’s been asleep. Rather odd indeed. Unbidden the thought of Jon curled up next to Sasha appears in the forefront of his mind, at this he blushes and pushes it down. He can’t let his mind wander, it’s not safe to, he knows how this ends, he gets too attached to someone and then they hurt him or reject him. No, it’s better to push these feelings down and crush them to pulp.

Before he starts to over think things much more he opens the door, to his relief he doesn’t find Jon curled up next to Sasha on the tread-bear second hand sofa. He finds both of them at their own desk doing work. He breathes a sigh of relief.

“What do you need Martin?” Jons cold, almost annoyed tone makes Martin wince internally and Sasha visibly winces for him. It doesn’t matter how many times that tone is directed at him, it remains to be a punch in the gut everytime Jon speaks to him.

“Uh- well no one was out at the front desk or- er anywhere to be seen, so I figured I’d check here. I’m sorry for interrupting” He stutters out, suddenly very nervous and frustrated at himself for not just starting the process of preparing to open by himself.

“Ah yes, I got swept up cataloging the new books and lost track of time” Jon states primely, coldly, in the same professional tone he always has at or outside of work.

“Right- well I’ll-I’ll just get started with opening then” Martin is well and truly uncomfortable and feeling very awkward, he’d very much like to get out of here as soon as possible. Which thankfully Jon doesn’t seem to have anything else to say, so he just nods his acknowledgement for Martin to go do that.

Once Martins shut the door he takes a minute to breath and scolds himself for imagining his boss in such a scenario and for even going to the boss' office in the first place. He’s so stupid, he should’ve known that Jon and Sasha would be doing something important right now, stupid stupid stupid- They actually know what their doing in oppose to me who had to lied on his CV because he couldn’t even finish school. christ why is he so stupid? It’s while he’s scolding himself that he finds Tim who has already started setting up for the day, setting up all the chairs in the study rooms. He can’t even open the library without assistance

He does his level best to pretend that he isn’t feeling like a complete and utter idiot while he helps Tim set up for the day. Tim, who as always, smells like the ocean, he always looks like he’s just been for a swim and he’s always perfect with quick comebacks and pick up lines. He finds Tim so adorable- there he goes again, crushing on a co-worker. Why can’t he keep himself together?

“Hello? Earth to Marto?” Tim’s now waving his hand in front of his eyes. Martin keeps messing up today, lost deep in his thoughts. He only comes back to himself because Tim’s noticed.

 

“Uh-yeah-yeah, I’m fine. Just kinda out of it this morning” Martin pushes Tims hand away and finishes setting up the last of the chairs. They have a children's book reading in half an hour, so he makes his way to the kids section to set up for that, Tim close behind him.

“Uh-huh? Is that right? Why's that? Is it because I’m just so sexy that your brain finally stopped functioning upon seeing me?” Tim coo’s.

Martin, in his defense, doesn’t blush and even if he does, anyone would blush at Tim antics. He doesn’t have a crush on him, nor does he like him, he just admires (and hates) his ego and cockiness. He doesn’t like any of his co-workers or bosses.. He just deeply admires them. Yeah that's it.

“No!?- why would- that's ridiculous- I don’t like you or anything- Hawaiian shirts aren’t even that sexy” He sputters and his face goes hot from embarrassment about saying something that is definitely suspicious. Tim squints at him before he goes back to picking up the childrens books he’s going to read.

“How could you not like me?! I’m an absolute delight to be around after all and I’ll have you know that Hawaiian shirts are very very sexy.” Tim juts his nose up petulantly. Martin rolls his eyes at the books he’s making sure are in order. “In all seriousness, are you ok Martin?” Tim is directly behind him when he turns around, close enough to see his adam's apple move while he speaks, to smell the ocean on him.

Distantly (not for the first time) he thinks that smell is familiar, almost the same smell he gives off, which is odd as he smells like that because he’s a selkie. He thinks Tim smells like that because he swims all the time, though in a past life he may have also been a selkie.

Martin swallows hard and nods. “Yeah, it’s just… Jon. He wasn’t here when I arrived so I checked his office and- well it sounded like he was napping on the couch and woke up to my knocking, I know he didn’t. That's absurd because when I went in there he and Sasha- they were working and I don’t know.. I guess my crush got the better of me and made me overthink things.” Martin thinks he must sound like a mad man, though his crush on Jon was nothing new to Tim and Sasha. They found out immediately.

Tim gives him a sympathetic smile, there is understanding in it. And something else.. Guilt maybe? Over what Martin couldn’t know “I get it, it's alright dude, I’m sure it’s ok though. I’m sure Jon couldn’t tell.”

They go on with their morning, opening the library to the public, sometime before the reading time Sasha leaves the office to listen and watch as she quite often does, she says she finds it calming to listen to Tim read to kids. Martin knows secretly, she just likes to listen to her partner reading anything. Likes to watch how charismatic and sweet he is with the children, how they all lightheartedly smile and laugh at him as he messes up with a word. Martin has to say he enjoys it too, it’s nice.