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[personal profile] sour_idealist
Title: Been a Long Cold Lonely Winter
Fandom: Homestuck
Characters/Pairings: Equius/Aradia
Ratings/Warnings: R, sex, d/s elements, and the characters are underaged. (Not, however, thirteen.)
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] teh_slush and [livejournal.com profile] 1st_eggokage
Wordcount: ~8,500
A/N: 1) For those who are not in this fandom and simply reading for the porn: Trolls count age in sweeps. One sweep is about equal to two years and two months; therefore "seven for a while now" = almost sixteen. 2) This leans upon certain theories about troll sex; you can find the relevant sections detailed after the fic, or just proceed and roll with events. 3) Yes, the title is from "Here Comes the Sun."

“Miss Aradia.” Equius clears his throat, one hand resting tentatively on the doorframe of the room she has claimed in their collective new home. He looks strange in this place’s perpetual green-washed light. “I… I wanted to speak to you for a moment.”

She glances up from her book – a brightly-colored human book – and smiles, eyebrows crinkling. “What about?”

He coughs, blue staining his cheeks. “I… I wanted to apologize formally for my behavior, ah, earlier. In the game. Now that you are entirely yourself again, that is, and now that the more desperately pressing concerns are alleviated.”

She blinks, cocking her head at him in a way that makes him swallow. She looks different, the lines of her a little sharper and her eyes a little darker, but she’s still quite lovely in a rather soft and stately sort of way. “You might want to be a little more specific.”

“The – ah. Incident with the robot.” He watches, shuffling his feet, as her lips go thin. “I am very, very sorry that my actions caused you distress. I only wanted to help.”

“Why did you think being in love with you would help?” she demands, raising an eyebrow.

“Er.” He tries to adjust his glasses, forgetting again that they’re lost in the dreambubbles; he feels sick to his stomach. “That was… selfish, I confess. Very untoward. Very unfitting of me. I apologize.”

She stares at him for a moment, sighs, looks down at her lap, dragging her hand through the glossy endless tangles of her hair. Equius swallows, and she looks up, sighing. “I just – come out of the doorway before you break it. Sit.”

He cringes, pries his fingers loose from the doorframe carefully, hoping desperately that that one little dent predated his presence, and steps in, glancing around. She appears to be in the only seat, which someone complicates her instruction – oh, fiddlesticks. Do not think of it as an instruction. This is exactly the wrong time to start sweating, the worst possible time. It’s an invitation, that’s it, an invitation.

Still one difficult to obey – ah – accept. “Where…” he begins. “Would you like me to sit on the floor?”

“No, just sit on the bed.” She waves her hand towards the object in question, pressed against the wall next to her recuperacoon. “It’s actually really comfy – I kind of wish we could sleep in them.”

“I have gathered,” he says, cheeks hot, “that that would be… most untoward. If it’s all right, I will stand.”

She looks up at him – quite a ways up, in fact, and he hunches his shoulders. Oh dear, he really is rather looming over her, isn’t he. “Although I suppose,” he concedes, “as you’re in the chair…”

“And the door is open,” she points out. That does it; he obeys – accepts, sinking slightly into the mattress. The cover is quite soft against his hands, and he hopes the light smudge of sweat won’t damage the material.

“I just…” She scrapes her chair around to face him, sighing. “I want to make sure you understand why it upset me, I guess.”

“Because you did not want to become flushed for me, I assumed,” he says, recognizing halfway through the sentence that he sounds as stiff as Nepeta has ever accused him of being. He struggles to make himself relax, fails utterly. “It’s entirely understeed – understandable.”

She laughs, bright and giggly and almost loud enough to be uncouth, her hand over her mouth as her eyes crinkle up. “Understeedable?”

“Nervous habit,” he explains gruffly, glancing away from her with some effort – fiddlesticks, but she’s beautiful – focusing on the window behind her, the spread of green-tinged city lights, in an attempt to distract himself. “I do apologize.”

“Don’t worry about it,” she says, sobering. “But… not quite, about the robot thing. I didn’t want to be made to be flushed for you, or black for you, or any quadrant. I didn’t want to be forced to feel that way.”

“But none of us have a choice about our affections,” he protests, frowning at her. “Unless – that is to say, I have certainly never been able to control them, but perhaps that is –”

“No, it’s different,” she protests, waving her hands. “It’s not the same. It’s like –” She sighs, running her hand through her hair again; it catches the light, the coils gleaming. “Look, what would you do if Vriska mind-controlled Nepeta into pitying her?”

“I’d kill her!” His hands tighten on the bedspread; he takes a deep breath and forces his fingers to unclench, exceedingly careful. It would hardly do to damage any of Aradia’s possessions. “Or at the very least,” he continues, trying very hard not to think about his moirail glaze-eyed and smiling before Vriska Serket, “I would force her to undo what she did, and ensure that she would never do such a thing again.”

Aradia smiles thinly, though there’s something sad about the tilt of her head. “Exactly. It’s the same thing.”

What – and then his mind connects, pieces sliding into place with a snap like a bowstring, and he slumps forward, bracing his elbows against his knees as he drops his. Oh. Oh, dear, oh, fiddlesticks. As a matter of fact, oh, fuck.

“I see,” he says, sounding as hollow as she did over the course of her death. “Indeed, I see. I can only redouble my apology.”

“Good.” There’s a rustle of cloth; she’s standing, walking. Her feet enter his field of vision, pale against the carpet; her toenails are painted as red as her skirt, and there is something indefinably artistic about the curve of her ankles. No, no, no, this is the worst time to be thinking about that, absolutely not allowed, unacceptable. No.

“You get it,” she continues, sounding… happy? No, something else – nervous, excited? “That changes things, then.”

“Shall I leave?” he asks her feet.

“No.” What? “Equius. Look up.”

He does, gulping. She’s smiling, her cheeks gone faintly dark. “I was… that was the big thing I was worried about, you see. But you get why it’s wrong, now, right? And you wouldn’t do anything like that again?”

“Certainly not,” he says, feeling sick. “I assure you.”

“Good.” She hesitates, bites her lip. “I… there was another conversation, I remember pretty clearly. About me being the leader of you.”

“I – I – yes,” he stammers, flushing even hotter, trying not to recall that conversation in detail, the thought of her holding his life and surroundings, the fabric of his world in the fine thin bones of her red-blooded hands. “I – yes.”

“I didn’t think too much about it then,” she says, “because… well.” She shrugs, shoulders rolling delicately beneath the thin fabric – no, no, no, no, no. “I was dead. But now…”

“Now?” His throat is quite dry; she steps closer, and he suddenly realizes both that his hands are dangling between his knees – have been, in fact, for most of this conversation, but it suddenly seems a detail with quite a bit of relevance – and that his knees are very far apart; that, in fact, she need step in just a few inches further and she would position herself between his thighs. Oh, goodness.

“Now I kind of like the idea,” she admits, and yes, her cheeks are quite dark now, true burgundy. “Telling you what to do.”

“Oh.” He is, he realizes, sweating profusely; dear, oh dear. “The – the offer stands, if that’s what you’re wondering, and –”

“Excellent,” she says, and oh God, she’s stepping closer. He pulls his hands back, hovering, palms against air for a moment before he braces them behind him, leaning away as he realizes his nose is level with her – her chest.

(It is, he realizes abruptly, very much a… present chest. Fiddlesticks.)

“Equius, remind me when your wriggling day is,” she – says. (Asks. Instructs.) He wipes his palms against the bed.

“It – it was some while ago now. I’m seven.”

“Good.” Oh, dear, that smirk is quite… domineering all of a sudden.

“Er…” He fidgets slightly, gulping. “May I ask why?”

“Oh –” She shrugs, brushing back her hair, “I… it was a while in the dreambubbles, more than a sweep, I think, when you add up all the skipping around I did. So. I wanted to make sure, otherwise I’d feel weird about the… the kind of things I’m thinking about.”

“What kind of things?” Dear, oh dear, his voice is utterly beyond his control, thin and trembling and appallingly vulnerable. He licks his lips, tastes salt, watches the curve of her mouth slide into devilish.

“Orders I want to give you,” she says, and while he’s still reeling from that she steps a little closer, her legs brushing against the inside of his upper thighs, and dear, oh dear, he is… she glances down and smiles even wider, cheeks deep red, resting a hand against his shoulder.

“With your robots,” and her voice is lower, slightly rough, “and how nervous you get about the hemospectrum, about me, and your strength and how careful you are, all the time, and the way you look right now…” She smiles, wipes her sleeve gently across his forehead, and the soft slow carefulness makes him relax, feel strangely warm underneath and around the sweating heat of her closeness. “You’re kind of pitiable,” she murmurs, eyes lowered, and she’s got lovely soft lashes, long and gentle, and the soft melting closeness feels almost like being with Nepeta, only utterly different, hot and fragile and sweating.

And then she swallows and continues, just as tenderly, “I bet I could tell you to lean back and spread your legs like the big shy slut you are and you’d do it, wouldn’t you?”

What –” He gapes, staring up, blinking hard as she smiles, and goodness but – “Yes,” he admits, wild and shocked at himself and utterly astonished that she’d even make such a proposition. “I-if you… yes. If you want.”

“Perfect,” she whispers, cups his face, leaning in to kiss his forehead, his cheek, the corner of his mouth. He stays as still as he possibly can, though he’s trembling.

“I – is that,” he stammers as she pulls back, hands still soft on his sticky wet cheeks, “do you want me to… do that?”

She hums to herself thoughtfully, tilting her face back and regarding him as if she’s trying to work out what the best thing would be to do with him. “No,” she muses, “I don’t think so. But you’d like it, wouldn’t you?”

One must be honest with one’s matespirit – or, ah, potential matespirit. He mustn’t get ahead of himself. She isn’t even his girlfriend. “Yes,” he confesses. “Very… very much so. It does not befit my station –”

“Of course it doesn’t,” she interrupts. “It’s quite depraved.”

She sounds perfectly serious, but she’s smiling as if there’s a perfect joke waiting for the punchline to be told. “Depraved and sick and filthy,” she continues, leaning closer, and, breath hot against his ear, she whispers, “and I bet you’d like what I want to do, too.”

“Which is?” he whispers, breathing in the flowers-and-dust sweetness of her hair, the strands brushing against his face, tickling a bit but not enough to make him sneeze. That would be awkward. He can hear her breathe in deep, her breasts – oh dear – brushing against his shoulder.

“I want to shove you backwards onto this bed,” she whispers, “tie your hands, and ride you like one of the musclebeasts in all your fancy pictures.”

For just a moment he cannot breathe at all.

“That is appalling,” he gasps. “That – that may be one of the crudest utterances that I have ever heard.”

“And you love it,” she laughs, her weight shifting until one leg is truly pressing against – oh, goodness. “You’d love every crude, twisted, obscene second of me, you beautiful sick filthy-minded little highblooded slut,” and with that she shifts herself so that she well and truly grinds

Oh, fuck.

“Door,” he gasps once the pressure lets up. “D – door. Please.”

She steps back. “Why don’t you close it, highblood? And then take off your shirt.”

He blinks, stands, staggering slightly; his hands shake as he moves, shoves the door carefully closed. His knees feel liquid, detached, as if made with parts that aren’t the right size for each other; he would be appalled by such shoddy craftsmanship.

When he turns, door sealed, Aradia’s seated on the edge of the bed, feet primly together, hands folded, the absolute model of composure. His shirt is sticking to his skin; he has to peel it off, carefully, knowing he isn’t making a grand show of it in the slightest. Still, as he holds the crumpled piece of fabric in his hands, she’s smiling.

“Good slut,” she says, gentle as he wishes he could be with tiny flowers. He shivers, comes to stand before her, dropping the shirt as he does.

“You like calling me that,” he says, because he cannot think of anything else to say. She blushes, covering her mouth.

“Yes, I do.” She points beside her. “Sit.”

He does, wincing at the bead of sweat rolling down his back. “Ah…”

“Is that all right?” she asks, picking at the bedcover.

“Yes,” he says before he can think, and flushes. “That is… yes. Anything you like. Anything you want. It’s perfectly all right. It’s perfect.”

He likes her starry-eyed smile just as much as the smirk that she slips on afterwards. “You want me to do what I want to you?” she asks, resting a hand against his chest. “Me, a filthy little rustblood?”

“Yes,” he whispers, finding it suddenly very hard to breathe. “Please, Aradia.”

Please?” Her fingers twitch. “Equius, are you begging?”

Beg – “Yes,” he sighs, shivering. “Yes. I am begging you, Aradia. Do… do anything.”

It’s transparent delight shining out of her as she cups his cheek in her hand, legs unfolding – oh, goodness, the long gray shimmer of her legs, mesmerizing, and for a brief moment he is utterly confused about her plan and then suddenly she’s straddling him, skirt hiked up and her legs dangling, brushing against his, and he suddenly hates his too-tight too-thick trousers more than he can possibly say.

“This feels precarious,” he says instead as she shifts carefully atop him, bracing herself against his shoulders. He wants to steady her, desperately, but the thought of bruises, snapping ribs, her breaking like thin rotten wood – no. He keeps his hands steady on the mattress as she laughs, teetering slightly as she sheds her shirt and bra as casually as breathing. The sight of her, bare-breasted and soft and her skin gleaming, makes him gulp, struggling not to stare – can he stare? Is that polite, acceptable, under these circumstances? He feels he ought to be looking at her face, her gleaming eyes, but –

“Don’t worry so much. I order you, no worrying,” she whispers, and she slips her right hand down, inching along his chest to – oh dear goodness, she’s undoing the fastenings on his shorts, slipping her hand inside, and her eyes widen as he hisses in pleasure.

“Wow,” she whispers, e-exploring, her touch careful, delicate, tantalizing, and he whimpers. “You’re very…”

“Distended?” he offers, wincing; her nose crinkles. “I – I apologize. I –”

“Don’t apologize,” she scolds, her hand still moving delicately, so light he can barely feel it. It’s torturous, and yet – no one ever touches him like this, gentle, careful. “Is… is it always like this?”

“This size, yes,” he admits, flushing harder than he ever has in his life, though surely he ought to be able to discuss the matter given the current placement of her hand. “Its current, ahem, state –”

“I knew that,” she giggles, kissing his cheek, cupping him just a bit more firmly in her hand. “You just wanted to talk about how hard you are, didn’t you, you darling dirty slut?” And before he can even respond to that, she squeezes and he gasps, head lolling back as he struggles to breathe because it feels unbearably, indescribably good.

“Oh,” he gasps, and she smiles, does it again, and again, and he closes his eyes and twists his hands into fists so he can’t tear anything and struggles to stay still, but he can’t help it, rolling up against her and against the rhythm, gasping, bucking into her hand, and then suddenly she yelps, letting go and grabbing at his chest, his shoulder, his neck as she slips and for one brief panicked moment sways as he reaches, barely managing to catch her, hands flat against the hard-knotted muscles of her back.

She is astonishingly light, or perhaps it’s just him. For a moment they stare at each, gasping; then she laughs. “That didn’t hurt at all.”

He knows what she’s talking about. “I learned how to catch things,” he explains, sweeping his fingers tentatively over the bumps of her spine. “Not to grab at them, but to place my hands where they would be in a few moments and let them fall the last little way. So I can’t crush them.”

“You think about this a lot, don’t you?” She runs her hand along his upper arm, fingers dipping around the lines and curves of the muscle. He nods.

“I must.” His hands, he realizes abruptly, are only inches away from her bulge, close enough for him to feel the heat – impossible for today, of course, for the first time, but the thought of future possibilities sets him ashiver. “Are you all right?” he asks, carefully.

“Completely.” Her hand, the one not settled on his arm, presses against the lines of his stomach, creeping down. He coughs.

“Aradia. If you – do that again, my hands…”

“What?”

“I won’t be able to stop myself from…” He hesitates, trying to find the most suitable word. “Squeezing, I suppose. Grabbing. I won’t be able to keep them flat.”

“And?”

“Then I’ll hurt you,” he explains, looking away, down, her knees brushing against the bed, her ankles wrapped around his calves. “I – badly, I think. I don’t want to.”

She sighs. “And if you let go, you’ll keep wiggling, and I’ll fall again.”

“I’m sorry,” he whispers.

She smacks him upside the head, flat-handed and light.

“I beg your pardon!”

“Stop apologizing for things you can’t help,” she orders, rolling her eyes. “I didn’t think this out very well. With my wings I could balance, but…” She shrugs; he winces, recalling all that got left behind within the Medium – they all lost things, here and there, but only she and Vriska lost physical pieces of themselves.

“Do you… miss your wings?” he asks, running his fingers delicately along the ridged scars of their absence as he runs over plans that won’t work: some things he cannot build. She sighs.

“Let’s not talk about that,” she says, and looks him over, tilts her head. “Lean back.”

“Ahh…” He does, slowly, careful not to pull too hard against her, but not moving his hands away either, trying is best to make sure that she could pull back if she wanted. He’s almost flat, her leaning forward until the soft curves of her breasts press gently against his chest, before she straightens, rolling off him. The noise he makes is appallingly pathetic, mewling and disappointed, and she smiles, stroking his stomach as if he’s a pet, her hands lingering at the edge of his undone trousers. Her skin is gleaming in the light: her cheek, her collarbones, her breasts.

“All the way on the bed,” she urges, nudging at his leg with her toes. She wriggles sideways towards the wall as he swings himself hesitantly up, grateful that there’s room. Dry-mouthed, he coughs.

“Are you planning to...” Her hand brushes a few inches lower, just a bit, across the rough edge of protective bone at the base of his stomach, the tenderer skin just below. He gasps.

“Touch you?” she laughs. “Wait and be patient, you eager little slut.” Her tongue flicks out over her lips with the last word, wet and eager and beautiful, and he has to close his eyes.

“No, I meant –” His tongue feels thick and heavy in his mouth; the muscles in his stomach jump, shiver. “What you said earlier,” he finishes in a rush. She tilts her head, hums thoughtfully.

“I think that might be a little harder than I thought,” she says, pulling her hand back, stroking along his stomach again, shivery and soothing and tantalizing all at once. And gentle. Gentleness is a wonderful, wonderful torturous magnificent thing and he is never going to weary of it. Her eyelids dip, lidded, heavy, and she lifts her hand to cup him over his trousers again.

“Talk to me,” she orders – orders, and he squirms, half burrowing into the mattress. “Tell me what’s under here.”

“I should think it was obvious,” he gasps, struggling not to rock up into her palm. “You just –”

“You’re missing the point, Equius.” With her free hand she smooths his hair, brushes her thumb across the line of his cheek. “I want to hear you talk about it.”

“My –” He gulps. “Stimulatory sexual apparatus –”

She squeezes, just slightly – oh, oh. “Really, Equius? Lowblood language?” she teases.

“Ah –” He’s sweating dreadfully, dripping with it, desperate. “The – the more formal term is also the more obscene, in this case, and therefore –”

“Exactly.” She pries one of his hands loose from the mattress, lifts it to her lips and nips lightly at his finger. He moans, low and helpless. “Come on. Say it.”

“My –” He squeezes his eyes shut. “My cock.” It is far and away the filthiest thing he’s ever said. She hums, pressing a bit against him, leaning in. Her breasts brush against his arm as she drops his hand; his fingers brush her thigh before he twists them back into the bedcover.

“Tell me more,” she urges. “I command you. Keep talking, right now.”

Oh, oh hell. “It’s…” he stammers, licking his lips, swallowing hard. “Ah, rather… oversized, as you surmised, and…”

“And?” She traces her free hand along the lines of his throat, delicate. “Go on.”

“H-hard,” he whispers, eyes closed, and he can hear her sigh, pleased and happy and her hand tightens a bit and oh. “Uncomfortably so, even p-painfully so.” Dear oh dear oh dear. “Very – pleasantly, that is, painful but…”

“I know,” she reassures him, pressing lightly on his chest, tracing the stand-out lines of his muscles. “Keep talking.”

“And…” He can’t think, struggles to find details, to stay still under her hands – “I would very, very much like for you to keep…” He coughs. “Touching it. If that’s all right.”

She giggles. He’s blushing more than he can ever remember doing, would want to crawl away and hide if she didn’t look so beautifully happy. “Ask me nicely.”

“Please touch me?” he tries, wishing desperately that he had any skill at all with words, anything at all. “Please?”

“You’ll have to be a little more specific,” she says, lifting the other hand to his face, brushing her thumb across his lips. He moans, just slightly. “I’m touching you right now, after all.”

“Please, I beg you…” Oh dear, oh dear, he knows what she wants. “Please touch my cock again,” he whispers, hoping desperately that that’s right, and her hand tightens. Fiddlesticks.

“It’s easier to say the second time, huh?” she chuckles, flicking open his fly. He whimpers, can’t even bring himself to be ashamed, as she runs her fingers slowly along the base of his stomach again, the protective bone along the edge of his nook. “Isn’t it?”

“I – I suppose,” he gasps, though it isn’t, truly. “A-are you going to call me a slut again?” The words spill out of him, pure accident, and he blushes even deeper, dizzy and so sensitive to her every touch he feels it just might kill him, like he might cease breathing in a moment, and he can’t mind at all. Her fingers twitch, her free hand tugging at his hair.

“Of course I am,” she breathes, leaning down until he can feel her breath against his shoulder, her weight resting on her lower hand as she moves her other to the mattress by his cheek. “I’m going to call you a slut every single day, all the time, whenever I possibly can, because you are, because it’s perfect, you’re perfect, you’re my beautiful desperate filthy-minded twisted wonderful slut,” and on that last word she grabs ahold of him and squeezes hard, and oh dear sweet fucking goodness, it is the most wonderful thing he’s ever felt.

“Good?” she whispers as he blinks dazedly up at her; he nods quickly, can’t speak, and she smiles, clutches at him again, brushing her thumb along him. He thinks he moans, isn’t sure, and then she’s seizing his hand again, dragging it towards her, his fingertips brushing across her thighs, soft skin and taut-rope muscle and oh dear –

“No – I’ll – Aradia, I’ll hurt you,” he gasps, frantic, pulling careful back against her hands, barely able to think through the haze of his mind. “Aradia –”

“You don’t have to do anything but hold your hand still,” she whispers, cupping his fingers gently. “I just need something to press against.”

She’s stopped working at him now, and that leaves him clear-minded enough to frown, to ask, “And that’s enough?” Everything he knows about feminine anatomy comes from Nepeta’s conversation, and he hardly lets her discuss these sorts of details, but it seems unlikely; Aradia shrugs, the muscles moving under the curves of her breasts as she does.

“It’ll do,” she says. “Trust me. I’m the one in charge of all this, remember,” and with that reminder and the teasing light glinting way she smiles, he simply melts, trembling, lets her drag his hand between her thighs. She’s… oh, wet, quite distinct through the thin fabric and astonishingly warm, the more so as she claps her legs together the instant she lets go of him, keeping him trapped, and oh, the hot damp soft-slick pressure of her as she grinds against his hand, oh. It’s a strange angle and most of his strength is in his fingers and his arms, he’s found, not so much in the wrist, so it’s most likely safe for him to shift from there and try to rub back against her through the cotton, just a bit. From the way she halfway-moans it’s worth the risk.

“Good,” she sighs, shifting herself just a bit closer, and then she’s starting in on him again, squeezing as her other hand wanders along his throat, his chin. “You’re beautiful like this,” she whispers as he moans, “it’s ridiculous, I don’t even understand it, I want to see you like this every single day, get you like this, melted and helpless –” and one quick squeeze even harder, off the rhythm that she’s hitting, making him groan deep and breathy, “and so eager, eager for everything, anything, every second of it, everything I do –” She tugs at his hair, hard enough to hurt, and he gasps, rolling his hips against her hand before he can stop himself, “and I’ve never felt like this, powerful like this, I don’t understand why it feels so good but I can do anything, try anything, I like it –” and it’s all almost too much, the pressure of her hand, the pulling, the hot sodden shifting against his knuckles, oh, goodness. “I love it,” she murmurs, and he pries his eyes open long enough to get a glimpse of her face, shine-eyed and rapt, lips apart, smiling, and then she squeezes him again, thumb brushing along the underside of his – his, and his eyes slide shut again as he arches back into the mattress, gasping, and oh, God, she’s still talking. “Never imagined I could be like this, depraved, it kind of is depraved, but you can hardly think less of me for it, you love it just as much, more, even more into this, this filth, think it’s even dirtier and love it even more, you do, don’t you, you feel awful about it but you love every second, you think about this all damn day, you poor filthy depraved kinky beautiful wrecked gorgeous overgrown slut –” and with that she sinks her fingers into the soft sensitive spot at the base of his horn, clutches at him with her other hand in a quick desperate hard one-two and grinds herself frantically against him as she does, and oh fuck fuck fuck, he can’t, it’s too much, too much of everything, he’s shuddering up against her hand and this is truly what dying of delight feels like, more than he can possibly stand and he’s moaning and oh fuck fuck.

When it’s over he slumps loose-limbed back against the mattress, trembling; it’s a long, long moment before he can open his eyes, look at her.

“Wow,” she says, one eyebrow raised, still smiling. “That was… you really liked that, huh?”

“Very much so,” he has to admit, licking his lips. “Yes. Um. A – Aradia, thank you.”

She blinks at that, and he winces, hoping that wasn’t the wrong thing to say. Oh dear. He wonders if there’s any sort of propriety that’s applicable at all, under these particular circumstances, and then she shrugs, and oh dear, he isn’t sure he’ll ever get tired of watching that particular ripple of muscle. “You have to pay me back, you know,” she says, running her finger along the line of his jaw again, brushing her thumb across the soft skin underneath his chin, and he’s already half-relaxed into the touch – tender, gentle again, oh, goodness – when he realizes what she said. He blinks.

“Naturally –” and before he can finish, she’s moving, unfolding herself from around his hand and – oh, oh dear – slipping her skirt over her hips along with her undergarments, leaving both at the edge of the bed as she inches up along the mattress until she’s kneeling by his head, utterly naked. He clears his throat, cranes his head back to look at her face. “Ah, do you intend –”

“What did you think I meant by paying me back?” she murmurs, brushing his hair out of his eyes. He blinks hard, once, twice, and her mouth twists. “Don’t tell me you don’t want to touch me.”

“It’s – you don’t understand,” he protests, wincing. It does strike him as dreadfully unfair – perhaps proper, considering their relative statuses, but he doubts he could obtain this degree of pleasure from anyone else, no matter how pure their blood. He ought to afford her the same satisfaction, but – he fumbles at one of the buckles hanging from the straps of his shorts, squeezes it once, quickly, holds it up for her inspection. It’s twisted in on itself, the crumpling in the sides clearly aligned with his fingers. She wrinkles her nose.

“Oh.”

“Yes,” he says, letting it fall against his leg. “And that took very little effort. You see the, ah, difficulty.”

He could grow rather fond of that particular contemplative tilt to her head, first to one side and then the other, now-sticky curls brushing against her neck. “You’ll just have to be careful, then.”

“What?!”

“Don’t worry, I’ll tell you what to do,” she assures him, catching his hand, pulling it up to her mouth to kiss his fingertips, his knuckles, quick and light. He blinks; it’s a peculiar gesture, sweet, delicate, kindly, entirely at odds with the size and thickness of his hands. “I’ll tell you if anything hurts me, too.”

He closes his eyes for a moment, swallows hard. “All… all right. Tell me what to do.” He shivers; she grins.

“Sit up.” He obeys, propping himself up on one elbow as she crouches back, and then there’s several moments of the two of them awkwardly hovering at each other as they try to work out how to fit themselves comfortably before he rolls partly onto his hip, folding one leg under himself and letting his left foot drop to the floor. It’s a rather odd posture, but it leaves him angled towards her, gives her the space to stretch her legs out in front of her. He coughs as she leans back, taking in the curve of her stomach and her hips, the way her breasts look with her half-back on her elbows, the really rather remarkable length of her legs, or perhaps it’s just the angle of her, and…

Well. And. The shadows of her nook between her legs, her own stimulatory sexual apparatus – oh, that really isn’t a phrase at all capturing the actual dark-glistening look of her like this, is it. She’s entirely lovely, all of her, and he’s blushing too much to keep looking just there. She’s smiling, he finds as he looks up, which is quite a relief.

“Go on,” she urges, gesturing. “One finger. Touch me.”

It takes a humiliating amount of concentration to keep his hands from shaking as he obeys, tentative and terrified; he blushes as he brushes along her, careful and slow and tensing as she whimpers, sighs in appreciation as he finds the right place, hot and slick. “Go on,” she whispers as he freezes, terrified. “Equius, you’re killing me here.”

“Poor phrasing,” he mumbles, and pushes into her as gently as he can; it’s quite easy, to his relief, and she arches slowly back as he does, breath catching as she hisses.

“Perfect,” she breathes. “Just – more. Now.”

“This is a terrible idea,” he murmurs, but he doesn’t hesitate at all, simply obeys again, and goodness but this is peculiar, the surreal slipperiness around his hand. She gasps.

“Yes – right. Your thumb, b-brush…”

He has to guess at what she means, presses gently against her, rubbing just a bit. She grabs his other hand, braced between her knees; he freezes, panicked.

“I’m sorry, I –”

“Harder, dammit,” she growls. “I can barely feel that.”

“Really?” He blinks.

“Yes, Equius, and that’s bad. It’s frustrating. Fix it.”

Goodness. He rubs again, still baffled, trying to follow the lines, the general shape of her anatomy; she moans softly, shifting her hips as she ruts against his hand again, and he quickly repeats the motion, a little faster, just the tiniest, tiniest bit more pressure.

“Curl your finger,” she orders, breathlessly; he does, and she whimpers, squeezing at his other hand. “Again, dammit, again.”

She seems to generally find his actions a bit too slow, so he’s quicker about it, this time, combines the motion with the rub of his thumb and hopes desperately that the sound she makes, half-gasp half-moan and all an impossible tumble of n’s and consonants, is an indicator of pleasure. “More?” he asks, voice cracking embarrassingly, and she nods, nostrils flaring as she pants.

“Yes – yes,” so he does, leaning in as much as he can to try and see what precisely he’s doing – not that that’s at all useful, of course, his hand in the way and besides he’d only blush so much as to be useless, and so he ends up gazing at the quivering muscles of her stomach as he rubs against her, struggling to keep the motions synchronized, breathing in the thick heady smell of her.

“May I –” he gasps, careful to keep his fingers moving, “k-kiss you?”

“Not if you – oh, yes, go ahead, just don’t stop,” she growls, and he braces his weight on his other hand and carefully-carefully leans in, presses his lips to the tautest muscle of her stomach – she’s warm here, too, warmer than he ever is, and when he licks nervously at her skin he tastes stickiness and salt, sweat. Dear goodness, that’s surprising, he’s never known anyone else to sweat like he does, but she is. He spies a bead of it rolling along her rib, catches it on his tongue simply out of surprise, crooking his finger again as he does; she gasps, jerks her hips, and as he cranes back to try and keep his balance he brushes a strange-feeling bit inside of her and the desperate whine she makes is near-heartstopping.

“Oh my goodness,” he gasps as her squeezed-tight eyes fly open, half-focusing on him with a dizziness he recognizes. “Are you –”

“Again,” she whimpers, clutching between her legs to grab his wrist, “there, just there,” and he obeys without a thought, finding that point in her, digging his finger in with all the force he dares, still pressing with his thumb, again and again and again as her half-choked gasps go higher pitched and higher pitched, chest heaving as her breathing comes harder and harder and then suddenly she’s convulsing around his hand, tightening, the oddest thing he’s ever felt far and away, while she whines, mewls, almost painful-sounding but for the way she’s clutching at his hand the way she did before when she wanted something done again, so he keeps up the steady motion of his hands and simply drinks in the look of her like this with her lips pulled back and her eyes squeezed shut, that beautiful beautiful hair sticking to her horns and to her neck, the sheer wonder of her, and he doesn’t go still until she breathes out long and once and collapses back against the wall.

For a long, long moment he doesn’t dare to breathe; then her eyes slide open and she smiles, head lolling loosely as she looks at him.

“See. I told you.”

“So… I did all right, then?” he asks nervously, reluctantly drawing his hand back. “It… it didn’t hurt?”

“You did wonderfully,” she assures him. “It… that felt good. That felt really, really good.”

He’d thought he was done blushing, but that seems not to be the case; he smiles shyly, cheeks warm, and looks at his hand, the sticky redness glistening between his fingers. “Good. Thank you.”

“You said that already,” she reminds him, tugging vaguely at the rumbled sheets.

“No, ah…” He clears his throat. “For the compliment.”

To his surprise, she laughs, shaking her head when he frowns at her. “Oh, Equius.”

“What?”

She only shakes her head again, still smiling, and tilts her head back, fingers tracing idle circles on the blankets. He echoes the movement half-consciously, clearing his throat once, twice, as he tries to work out the correct behavior for this situation. (Perhaps he should have stopped cutting Nepeta off every time she got a bit lewd. Some of her commentary might have been useful.)

He opens his mouth once, closes it sharply, repeats the process again, licking his lips, and swallows hard. “Pleasedonttellanyoneabouthis,” he finally stammers. “P – please.”

She sighs, smile fading as her lips go thin. “I can’t say I’m surprised. Don’t worry about it.”

“I suppose it doesn’t really matter,” he admits. “Considering, well, Feferi.”

“Considering what about Feferi?” Aradia asks, eying him suspiciously. He coughs.

“Well, since she has always been violently opposed to the traditional standards of behavior and the culling laws…”

“What does that have to do with the price of peas in Persopolis?”

He blinks, looking up. “I beg your pardon?”

“It means you lost me,” she explains, sitting up straighter to fold her arms on her knees. “What do Feferi’s culling policies have to do with letting people know that we…” She gestures vaguely at the space between the two of them, rolls her hands around each other vaguely; he coughs, hoping that she’ll consider that sequence of gestures sufficient to get her point across.

“Well, the consequences for taking pleasure in weakness, particularly for one of a higher blood rank…” He grimaces, smoothing out a patch of surprisingly soft bedcovering for no particular reason. “Submitting to the orders of one higher than oneself is acceptable. To enjoy being made weak, especially at the hands of someone lower on the spectrum – the consequences become more severe the greater the disparity, or did, and I was concerned…”

She laughs a little sadly, reaching out to poke at the back of his hand. “Equius, you know Fef is still flushed for Sollux, right? You really, really, really don’t need to worry about her objecting to the occasional dalliance with a rustblood – not her and not anybody.”

“Occas…” He goes still, staring at her finger still resting against his hand, her skin a shade or two paler than his. “Er, this – this wasn’t – or at least, I didn’t intend –”

She pulls back her hand, tucks her arm under her chin as he blushes yet again. “I see. One-time deal.”

“Wait, I –”

“It’s okay,” she says over his stammering, carefully neutral. “I wasn’t that caught up in things.”

“Oh.” He sighs, drops his hands to his lap. “Well. I’ll… go, then.”

He feels heavy, suddenly, and very tired as he slides his feet slowly to the floor; there’s a rustle and a creak of springs, and her fingers close around his wrist, tugging ineffectually.

“Hold on,” she says. “Why are you upset?”

“Well, considering your earlier comments,” he starts, and breaks off, surprised at how hard it is to speak. His eyes are stinging. “You said that you were flushed for me, or – that is to say, implied so, or that you could easily pity me at the very least, and…”

“And you want me to pity you?” she asks, bedsprings creaking again as she tugs at his shoulder. He shrugs her off, winces, turns back to find her staring at him as if he’s an unidentifiable and rather appealing new artifact. He blinks hard, wishing he’d taken the chance to swipe at his eyes while she couldn’t really see.

“Do you really need to ask that question?” To his horror, his voice cracks; she sighs, smiling a little.

“Okay, I think we’ve had a misunderstanding about something here.” She tugs at his hand. “Come on.”

Hesitantly, he settles himself onto the bed again, cross-legged; she makes space, echoing him. “Now,” she begins, and stops, rubs at her forehead. He smooths his hands over the mattress again, sighs as she glances uncomfortably around the room.

“I suppose a bed will be as effective as a pile for a feelings jam…” he starts; he’s caught entirely off-guard as she claps a hand over her mouth, doubling over as the tension dissolves into poorly muffled laughter.

“A what?” she sputters.

“It’s Nepeta’s term,” he huffs, affronted. “I see no problem with its usage.”

“No, no, it’s not –” She waves her hand, visibly struggles to get herself under control as she straightens up. “It’s. Just not something I thought you were going to say.”

He closes his eyes for a moment, sighs. “All right. You were saying, a misunderstanding?”

She sobers, bracing her hands in front of her; the motion does strange things to her breasts, and he decides to focus on her eyes for the moment. Or the ceiling. “Yes. I’m confused, mostly, about why you said you didn’t want to do this again if you want me to pity you.”

“I didn’t,” he snaps, shoulders hunched. “I said – or rather started to say – well, if you really must know, I was trying to indicate that I wasn’t, ah, dallying. At all.”

Oh.” She bites her lip.

“Yes.” Somewhat petulantly, he adds, “You interrupted me.”

She covers her face with her hand, chuckling around the edges of her fingers as she wraps her other hand around his, her thumb tracing idly over his calluses. “I’m sorry, Equius. I just – I thought you were about to blow me off. That you were… I don’t know, that you didn’t care, that you were going to act as if it didn’t matter whether I felt anything for you. I didn’t want – well, you know.” She’s got his hands in both of hers now, playing gently with his fingers in rhythm with her words; it feels strange, but he lets her, keeps his fingers relaxed and notes where her own calluses and little scars contrast with the soaped-smooth skin.

“I didn’t want to be… I didn’t want to be vulnerable like that, I guess,” she admits, cheeks going mildly burgundy as she shakes a stray strand of hair out of her eyes. “I’m kind of impressed that you did, actually. I thought you’d be more defensive than that.” She chuckles a bit. “Sorry.”

“I have an excellent moirail,” he says, blushing himself as he smiles. “She’s done a lot for me.”

“Evidently.” Aradia pushes gently at his chest; hesitantly, he lies back, stiffening in surprise as she flops loose-limbed on top of him, resting her cheek against his shoulder, all sticky skin and the gentle brush of her hair. She’s remarkably warm, and seems astonishingly comfortable settled there.

“So, you’re flushed for me, then,” she says, a little hesitant, and he bites his lip, struggling to collect himself.

“I should think I made that… yes,” he admits, remembering Nepeta grumbling that he can’t keep expecting people to guess things. “I said.”

“Good,” she murmurs, wriggling a little; he catches a glimpse of her still-swollen bulge and swallows hard, combs his fingers through her hair until he can twitch a knot of black over her shoulder blades again, his arm brushing the ridged curve of her horn.

“I do care,” she murmurs into his collarbone, shifting slightly so she can look a bit at him; the motion bumps against his hand, still tangled up in her hair, and he hesitantly keeps toying with it, enjoying the softness against his fingers. “I – I mean, if you weren’t I wouldn’t have spent the next week sobbing into ice cream, but I care. And I pity you, I guess.”

“Thank you.” He swallows, slowly bends to brush a tentative kiss across her forehead. She smiles, buries her face in his neck again, covering his free hand with her own. He can feel her breathing, he realizes, smiling into her hair.

“Honestly,” she whispers, brushing the edge of her thumb across his knuckles, “I wasn’t really expecting this to happen.”

“I would imagine that you expected it rather more than I did,” he says dryly; he can feel her laugh, her breasts brushing against his chest and her breath against his shoulder, and he smiles; he’d hoped for that.

“Probably true,” she murmurs, shifting against him, bumping back against his hand again in a way that reminds him a bit of Nepeta. His wandering fingers hit a tangle; he’s carefully pulling the strands apart before he realizes what he’s doing. “I’ve… well,” she says, blushing. “I’d – I kept thinking, you know, about what you said, about this, and imagining…”

“For how long?” he asks anxiously, still picking apart the knot; he wishes he could use his other hand, but she’s twining her fingers through his now, tender and possessive, and he likes it too much to make her stop.

“A while,” she answers. “But I always thought of it as… you know, something I’d only think about. Not something that would happen.”

“Why not?” he asks, frowning, and combs his fingers through what’s left of the knot in her hair; a few strands of hair snap, and he cringes, but she doesn’t seem to notice, just sighs, wriggling a bit again.

“The robot thing, mostly. And – a couple of other things. But mostly I just though I wouldn’t… couldn’t, since you’d do something like that.”

“Oh.” His hands go still as he swallows hard, closing his eyes. “Truly, I am sorry.”

“You said that,” she says, kissing his collarbone absently; he starts, and she grins against his skin. “And… I mean, suddenly you wouldn’t pull that kind of thing anymore, and that changed things.”

“So…” He twists a few strands of her hair around his fingers, trying to work that out; he’s always thought better with something in his hands. “I became a suitable partner rather abruptly, and that was all there was to it?” It sounds bizarrely simple, strange enough that he’s relieved when she shrugs against him, shaking her head as much as she can.

“Mostly, I guess, but I still wasn’t thinking… I mean, I guess at first I was just trying to see what would happen.” She rolls her head back to meet his eyes, smiling. “By the time I figured out you weren’t going to stop me, I was, well, I was enjoying myself too much to back down. I overestimated your sense of propriety,” she adds, poking playfully at his ribs. As carefully as he possibly can, he pokes her shoulder; she buries her face against him again, but her eyes crinkle up. He leans in to kiss her forehead, stays curled against her and waits for his throat to stop aching at the sight of her smile. He notices something.

“I believe we are breathing in the same rhythm.”

“I know,” she says, reaching up with her free hand to brush gently at his cheek, stroke softly along the inside of his wrist as she keeps his hand captured against her. “Maid of Time, remember? I notice that kind of thing.”

“Is that why?” he asks absently, still thinking about the soft one-two one-two of her breath and his, the warmth, thinking that he never wants her further away than this. She shakes her head.

“Just how close together we are, I think.” She nuzzles contentedly at his shoulder, brushes her thumbs gently across the heels of his hands, and he smiles. “Have you done anything like this before?”

“Laid like this?” he asks, hesitantly echoing the motion against the hand she’s still holding by his hip, marveling again at how comfortable her hands feel around his, against his. “No. Nepeta tries, occasionally, but I’ve never seen her hold still for more than a few seconds.”

“I thought she –” Aradia starts, sounding worried, and then she laughs, a deep gentle chuckle that sends the muscles of her stomach trembling against him. “I meant the sex, Equius, not the cuddling.”

“Oh. No. Of course not.” He pauses. “Was it that obvious?”

“A little,” she admits with a smile, dropping his wrist to rub reassuringly at his shoulder. “Don’t worry. I already told you, you did wonderfully.”

“I owe it all to your excellent instruction,” he says, attempting to bow his head; it naturally doesn’t work very well horizontally, but he manages to avoid clacking their horns, and the way she grins makes him feel as if he’s waking well-rested in a recuperacoon full of fresh sopor, warm and peaceful and safe. Looking at her half-lidded eyes, the way she settles close against him, he thinks she might feel the same way.


On the mechanics of biology:


I have spent far too long talking with [livejournal.com profile] lathyrism about this, but in brief: trolls have genitals that work roughly the same as human ones. They also have bulges located on their backs, between their shoulder blades (the famous bone bulge). Having sex repeatedly stimulates the production of genetic material over time, said genetic material is then released from the bulge (under already-sexual circumstances). This is what requires a bucket, and is only ever done with a quadrant-mate of some time. Any casual or non-reproductive sex will not involve a bulge and will not require a bucket. Hence. No buckets here. Also, 'nook' just refers to the general crotch area, which has a few extra bones around it for the protection of organs.
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August 2012

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