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One thing Aradia had discovered early in their relationship, after she began to spend the night at Equius’ hive, was that her Matesprit was wound tighter than she initially thought. He repressed a lot and those emotions and desires tended to manifest when he was in a deep, deep sleep. The blue blood had a tendency to stay up many days in a row if he found himself caught up in an interesting project, then sleep like the dead once he either finished it or was forced into bed. Normally, Aradia was good at catching him on the first or second night - before he got too bad; however, it was the first time she was unable to stop his obsessive tendencies in time that she discovered his secret.

She’d been laying on her back beside him, lost in her dreams when a cool hand found its way up her shirt. She’d jolted awake, surprised and expecting to find Equius looming over her. Instead, the large troll laid beside her still, his mind in full REM despite whatever his body might think. He was rarely the instigator in their relationship, still afraid to hurt Aradia despite her assuring him multiple times that she would be fine. She was God Tier, for goodness sake. Even if he killed her, she’d come right back given that dying via ‘throes of passion’ weren’t considered Heroic or Justifiable. He was not convinced.

So she took full advantage of the situation, letting her sleeping Matesprit do whatever it was he wanted. When he woke up halfway through, it wasn’t difficult to urge him to continue, though she did have to explain herself afterwards. Her poor, strong, sweet Matesprit had been horrified and apologized until he was literally blue in the face. It took over a hour of reassuring and one threat of dragging Nepeta to his hive before he finally calmed down and believed her when she said that she enjoyed the hell out of it and the mess on his sheets was a good indication of that. Thus began a sort of tradition between the pair.

A few perigees (or months, whatever) into this happy little arrangement, something new emerged. Equius had begun to relax more around Aradia physically, becoming more free with touches and signs of affection without fear of hurting her. His mind, Aradia discovered one day, had also began to open up. She found this out when Equius was two fingers deep into her nook, her leg thrown over his hip and her nails dragging a trail up his back. The blue blood had shuddered, arched into her hand, and groaned “Nepeta..” against her neck.
The rust blood had frozen for a moment, surprised. Equius was dreaming of his Moirail? She’d known he had his kinks, but he’d always been so adamant about a clear line between quadrants. It was one of those things that they had agreed to disagree about: Aradia felt that a little blurring was natural and healthy, while Equius refused to budge in his beliefs of solid boundaries. Considering he had already come so far when it came to more modern beliefs, she decided not to press this particular argument as it was mostly harmless. He didn’t chastise others for blurring their quadrants - he just refused to do so himself. That didn’t mean a part of him wasn’t considering it, though, even if it was apparently deeply buried.

Licking her lips, Aradia had pressed against his hand, clenching her walls around the two thrusting digits, and tilted her head to nuzzle his ear. “Equius..” She crooned, pitching her voice a little higher than natural and dragging her nails across his skin again. The effect was instant - the next thing Aradia knew, she was flat on her back with his fingers gone and his thrashing bulge quickly taking their place. Unlike their first sleep-induced tryst, this time when Equius woke up he paused and Aradia watched horror slowly spread across his face as the realization of his dream and actions dawned on him. He’d tried to pull away, but the rust blood held him firmly in place. She took his chin in her hand, making him look at her, and rolled her hips languidly against his.

”Please.. Equius..” She’d moaned, holding his gaze as she used the same higher-pitch voice. She wanted him to know that it was ok - she was fine with what was happening and it was alright that he wanted it. He looked torn and was silent for several long seconds as he thought. But Aradia could see his resolve melting and after what felt like forever, Equius descended on her again. His cool lips softly meeting hers and a whispered “Thank you.” and she knew he had given in. The low blood smiled. Turning her head, she purred against his throat and that was all it took for the atmosphere to become heated again.

Though they didn’t talk about it, the couple fell easily into this as well. Equius wasn’t always dreaming about Nepeta and certainly not on that level, but when he did he no longer fought against Aradia. It was a fantasy - harmless and sweet - that she was more than willing to indulge in and he seemed to not only accept that, but was grateful for her lack of judgment. Actually, Aradia never considered changing their arrangement until a movie night with Nepeta and Karkat brought to her attention that maybe the physical attraction between Equius and the olive blood wasn’t so one-sided after all.

---

“There is nothing wrong with this movie!” Nepeta was yowling, frowning as she held a copy of In Which A Kismesis Couple Experiences Flushed Feelings for Each Other and Fight Against It but Ultimately End Up Vacillating Between Black and Red and Live Happily Ever After high above her head and firmly out of Karkat’s reach. Maturity had brought them both to their full heights by now and while neither were as short as they once were, Nepeta still had several inches on the iron blood. From her vantage point on the couch with the grubcorn, Aradia could tell he was not amused.

“It’s trash and belongs in the trash!” Karkat growled in return. He jumped in a vain attempt to reach the movie case, but failed when Nepeta stretched onto her tiptoes. “Why did you bring this heap of hoofbeast excrement into my hive? It’s not even a fucking romance! What’s romantic about being confused about your quadrants!? They need an Auspistice!”

“You haven’t even given it a try!” Nepeta plead, trying to pull her patented meowbeast face. It wasn’t very effective. “What do you have against movies with blurring quadrants? They live happily ever after!”

“It’s unrealistic!” Karkat finally gave up on retrieving the movie and settled for gesturing wildly as he yelled. “Who even does that!?”

“Solicks and Eridan vacillate.” The olive blood pointed out, clutching the DVD protectively to her chest. “They’re adorable.”

Karkat smacked his hand into his face with a groan and slowly dragged it down. His bright red eyes peered out at Nepeta from between his fingers. “Sollux is shithive maggots with a bifurcated brain and Eridan is a blithering shitprince. Is that really the best example you have?”

Nepeta looked torn between crying and ripping Karkat’s face off for insulting one of her favorite ships. Aradia decided it was time to step in.

“Sollux and I have had sex.”

Well that got their attention. Both Nepeta and Karkat turned to face Aradia, the Time player nonchalantly popping a piece of grubcorn into her mouth.

“You what!?” Karkat yelled at the same time Nepeta squealed, “I knew it!”
“Never bet against a Heart player.” Aradia quipped, making Nepeta laugh and Karkat scowl.

”Isn’t he your moirail?” He asked and Aradia nodded in response. “Ok, that’s just fucked up. At least Black and Red are concupiscent! Moirallegiences are supposed to be platonic!”

“As long as it’s between two consenting parties, what does it matter?” The rust blood asked calmly. She’d had this debate with Equius too many times to let it rile her up. “At the time, neither of us had Red or Black quadrants. We were comfortable enough with each other to have sex - on multiple occasions, might I add. It didn’t ruin our relationship. In fact, it brought us closer together. Our Moirallegience is very strong. Bringing physical pleasure into it didn’t make it stronger or weaker than any other Moirallegience, it just made it different. Different isn’t bad.”

Aradia took a sip of her juice (Apple. Thanks, Strider.) while Karkat stared at her like she’d sprouted a second head. Nepeta giggled and gave Aradia a thumbs up, which made him spin on the olive blood.

“So you’re telling me you’d pail with your sweaty horse lord of a Moirail if you had the chance?”

Nepeta blushed dark, olive spreading across her cheeks and the bridge of her pert nose. That caught Aradia’s interest.

“First of all, he hasn’t sweated excessively since he became an adult.” Nepeta started and Karkat crossed his arms, silently calling her on avoiding the question. She sighed, glancing sheepishly at Aradia. The warm blood gave her a small smile and nodded, urging her to answer.

”I would.” She finally said. Then, with more confidence. “I definitely would. I find Equius very attractive. I’m not flushed for him, but who says sex has to be Flushed or Blackrom? Keeping your Moirail grounded and guarding their heart can mean a lot of things.”

Once all was said and done, Nepeta messaged Aradia a few days later and apologized profusely, saying she would never, ever tread on Aradia and Equius’ quadrant. Aradia assured the frantic woman that she wasn’t angry, offended, or jealous. As a matter of fact, if something ever happened between the olive blood and her Matesprit, she wouldn’t mind at all. Nepeta expressed relief, but also laughed at the prospect of Equius ever blurring the lines of their quadrant.

---

And that was when Aradia began to plan. Equius would never initiate anything with Nepeta, even if he knew what she had said. He would either believe she’d said it to win an argument, or to preserve his feelings if it ever got back to him. Aradia was very flushed for Equius, but sometimes she wanted to strangle him for being stubborn. Nepeta was another problem. Aradia couldn’t just outright tell her, “By the way, Equius dreams of pailing you. Just so you know.” He would never forgive her and it would probably send Nepeta reeling.. if she even believed her. One thing those two shared was that they were both stubborn.

So Aradia waited - Time players could be very patient when they needed to be - and finally the opportunity presented itself. Equius had been awake for four days straight tinkering with some project he and Dirk had started together. All Aradia knew was that it involved horses and she wanted nothing to do with it. She finally managed to coax him out of his lab and into bed (wondrous things) where he promptly passed out on his side, arm wrapped across Aradia’s stomach. After waiting a few minutes to be sure he was deeply asleep, the woman slipped from the bed and slipped outside the room to call Nepeta.

”Nepeta, can you do me a big favor?” She asked in way of greeting, glancing at the bedroom door to make sure her Matesprit didn’t wake up. Not that he likely would.

“Of course!” Nepeta chirped in her ear and Aradia grinned when she heard the clatter of paintbrushes being dropped into their tin. “What’s up?”

“I have some timeline things to check and I just got Equius to sleep for the first time in four days.” Not technically a lie. “Do you think you could come over and curl up with him? The last time he woke up alone he panicked and ripped the doors off the hinges looking for me.”

Nepeta’s laugh filtered through the speaker. She remembered that and had teased Equius mercilessly about it for weeks. “Sure! I’ll be over in a second. I just have to clean this paint off my hands.”

”No problem. Thank you, Nepeta.” Nepeta purred sharply in reply and Aradia hung up as the olive blood began muttering about blood being so much easier to wash off.

Sure enough, the transportalizer in the corner of the living room buzzed a few minutes later and Nepeta bounded off the receiving pad with a large grin.

“I’ve got him, Aradia! Be safe whenever you’re going, ok?”

“I will.” She grinned, waving before disappearing in a flash of red light. Hopefully when she came back Equius and Nepeta would have a deeper understanding of each other. Secrets between Moirails were never good.

Nepeta didn’t hesitate to slip into Equius’ bedroom, creeping quietly through the door and shedding her coat and shoes before crawling into bed. She slid beneath her Moirail’s arm with a content purr, putting her back to his chest and curling close. Equius shifted in his sleep, burying his face in her hair and hat and she smiled as her eyes drifted shut. Aradia spent most nights with Equius now and while Nepeta was alright with that and understood, she did miss it. The olive blood drifted to sleep with a soft purr in her chest, happy in her Moirail’s arms.

She didn’t expect to wake up however long later to a cool hand sliding up her shirt. At first she didn’t realize what was happening, half-convinced she was still asleep, but then fingers brushed over her cloth covered breast and she was suddenly wide awake. Nepeta squeaked in surprise and tried to wiggle her way out from under Equius’ arm, but he had her unintentionally trapped. Hadn’t Aradia mentioned once that Equius was prone to erotic dreams? Shit, she’d forgotten. Uh oh.

“Equius?” She whispered, hissing when he pinched her nipple through her bra and sent a jolt of lightening through her body. Shit shit shit. The olive blood wiggled more, managing to hook a leg over his and attempting to shake the troll awake. “Equius!”

“Nepeta..” The hand withdrew and Nepeta breathed a sigh of relief, ignoring the little tinge of disappointment she felt. He was awake and it was going to take hours of shoosh papping before he calmed down about this. The blue blood’s arm loosened and Nepeta took the opportunity to flop onto her other side to face him. She opened her mouth to let him know it was an honest mistake and to not worry about it.. except his eyes were still closed and his breathing was even. What? Was he still asleep?

“Nepeta..” Equius said again, but this time it was more of a groan that warmed her from the inside out. Was he.. Was Equius dreaming about her? Like, sexually? No way. Not in a million sweeps. But before she could do more than gape at her Moirail, his hand slid between her legs and instead of words a high-pitched gasp left her lips. He was tracing the entrance of her nook through her pants, sliding slowly up before following the path back down.

“Equius,” She tried again, voice bordering on frantic. “You need to wake up. Come on.” Nepeta brought her hands up to cup his jaw, gently patting his cheek. “Wake up, Equius. Please.” She couldn’t pull away, not with his other arm pressing her against his chest like that. Technically, she could do something to hurt him and wake him up, but she just couldn’t bring herself to harm her Moirail when he wasn’t hurting her. He was doing the exact opposite of hurting her, actually.

And damn his sneaky hand. While she’d been patting his face and trying to shake him awake, it had unfastened the front of her human-made pants and slipped directly into her underwear. She yelped when cold fingers parted the lips of her nook and now instead of trying to wake Equius up she was clinging desperately to his shoulders as two of the digits pushed inside her.

“Ooooh, Equius!” She moaned, bucking against his hand as his fingers began to move. In and out they went, stealing a piece of Nepeta’s resolve with each thrust. The olive blood keened, struggling to wiggle her pants down further to give her Moirail better access.

“So warm..” The large troll murmured against the side of her face and Nepeta was lost. She stopped trying to fight, to wake Equius up. He wanted this, she vaguely realized, or else he wouldn’t be acting out his dream. Maybe when he finally woke up he still would. The troll finally managed to kick her pants off of her legs, freeing them from the denim confines so she could throw one over his thigh. Her mind flashed briefly to a few weeks ago, when she’d confessed to Aradia that she found Equius attractive. She wondered for a moment if her Moirail’s Matesprit had anything to do with this, but became thoroughly distracted when Equius’ fingers found a very tender spot.

Nepeta gasped and squirmed, trying to keep him on that spot and moaning happily when he remained. She belatedly realized that something, Equius’ bulge to be precise, had been thrashing against her belly through his underwear for quite some time now. She reacted without thinking, grabbing the band of his underwear and ripping them down out of the way. The deep blue bulge twisted against Equius’ hard stomach leaving a trail of genetic material in its wake. Licking her lips, the olive blood peeked up at her Moirail’s sleeping face before reaching out and taking the generous muscle in her hand. She was rewarded with a throaty groan that made her grip him with more confidence.

It only took a few strokes for his eyelids to begin fluttering. Nepeta could hear the rhythm of his heartbeat shift from steady to something more erratic and her anxiety shot up. What if he was angry at her? What if he believed he had taken advantage of her, or that she had taken advantage of him? What if-

“Eep!” Equius surged upwards, grabbing Nepeta’s wrists and pinning them to the pillow beneath her head. She looked up at him with wide eyes as his own slowly opened. His sleepy, lust-filled expression melted into confusion. The blue blood blinked hard several times, giving his head a sharp shake, and she could see the clarity returning to the blue and yellow depths.

“Nepeta?” He rumbled, voice thick from sleep and confusion. The olive blood swallowed hard and nodded. “What are you doing here?”

“Aradia asked me to come over..” She answered in a small voice, but at least it remained steady. “She had to leave and didn’t want you waking up alone.”

“Aradia asked you to come.” It wasn’t a question, but Nepeta nodded anyway. “After I had fallen asleep?” Another nod.

Pressing his lips together, the larger troll released her wrists and made to pull away. Nepeta knew she had to act fast. She couldn’t physically stop her Moirail from leaving, but she wasn’t going to let this go unaddressed either.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” She blurted. That made him pause. Equius sat back on his heels and frowned down at her when she propped herself up on her hands.

“There is nothing to tell.” Was his calm reply and damn if that didn’t tick her off.

“Liar.” The lithe troll popped onto her knees and took his face into her hands, keeping his eyes trained on her. “You were dreaming about me - sexually. Why didn’t you ever tell me you felt this way?”

“Because it’s wrong!” Equius barked, but Nepeta didn’t so much as flinch. Few things about Equius scared her anymore. “You’re my Moirail. The diamond quadrant is strictly platonic. It’s about platonic affection, protection, and keeping your partner grounded.”

“Are you Flushed for me, Equius?” Nepeta asked calmly. Equius reeled back, only her grip on his jaw keeping him in place. He could break it if he wanted to and they both knew it.

“No! No, never. Nepeta, what I feel for you is very Pale. It always has been.”

“Yet you’re sexually attracted to me.” She bluntly stated, amused when his cheeks flushed blue. There was no denying that.

“I-I..”

“Equius..” She sighed, stroking the backs of her fingers down his cheek to calm him. “You’re not the only one. Do you really think I would have let us get like this,” She gestured to her half-undressed state and his nudity. “If I didn’t? I could have hurt you to get away, to wake you up.. but I didn’t. I didn’t want to. I want this.”

“Why?” He sounded torn, but at least he wasn’t trying to pull away anymore. His tormented eyes searched hers and she could see the struggle in them.

Nepeta smiled softly, rising up on her knees so they were almost at eye-level. Both hands again cradling his jaw, she kissed him. It was soft, gentle, and pale. Equius shuddered, breath escaping his lungs with an audible whoosh, and wrapped his arms tightly around her tiny waist.

“Because you’re my Meowrail.” She whispered against his lips, smiling a bit at the old term. “I don’t want anything between us, ever. No secrets. You’re my everything and I want to give you everything.”

The silence that followed her declaration was thick and tense on her end, but ultimately short-lived. Apparently, that was all the explanation Equius needed. His body hovered over hers again, but he didn’t pin her wrists. Instead, he took her hips in a bruising grip and pulled her lower body up onto his lap. Nepeta purred her approval, but it turned into a growl of frustration when she couldn’t get her bra and shirt off. With an impatient huff, she sliced through the fabric of both and tossed the shredded garments to the side, earning a chuckle from Equius.

“Patience.” He chided her gently, leaning down to claim her mouth with his. The kiss was slow, passion building at a steady rate until Nepeta was clinging to her Moirail’s shoulders. Her feet dug into the mattress beneath them as she tried to bring her hips closer to his. Instead of chastising her again, Equius complied with her request and brought his squirming olive blood against him. His bulge, which had retreated during their argument, emerged again to press against her warm, waiting nook.

Nepeta squeaked, anticipation making her muscles tense and tremble. So close. He was so close. Right there..

“Nepeta..” Equius groaned into their kiss and at her answering gasp, he began slowly pushing into her. A throaty, satisfied moan left Nepeta’s throat as her head fell back. Equius felt amazing. He was cool and alive, squirming inside of her nook as he filled her inch by inch, getting thicker by the moment. By the time their hips were flush against each other, the smaller troll was panting, her sharp nails cutting into his skin. He paused there for a moment, seemingly giving her time to adjust, but at the impatient roll of her hips began to move.

“Equius!” Nepeta cried out, whimpering and arching beneath him to meet his steady thrusts. She couldn’t breathe, couldn’t think - the entire world was narrowed down to Nepeta, her Moirail, and the wonderful sensations emanating from their joined hips.

“So beautiful..” She heard from above. She opened her eyes to see Equius staring down at her with a tender expression, his skin flushed blue and his muscles rippling beneath his gray skin with every movement. His long, dark hair hung in a curtain around them. Nepeta could have cried at the stunning picture he made.

“Yes you are..” She replied, grabbing the back of his neck and tugging him down for another kiss.

Their bodies moved together as one, parting only to rejoin again moments later. Equius released one of her hips, tracing his fingers down her bare skin. His skin was callused and rough from sweeps of working with his hands, fingers gentle from practice and dealing with tiny mechanical parts. They swiped across her collarbone, then trailed down to cup one of her breasts. She whimpered when his rough thumb rolled over her sensitive nipple and his tongue took the opportunity to slip into her mouth, swallowing the sound. He left her chest, skimming over flat stomach and over to her ribs to trace the outlines of her grub scars.

Nepeta was slowly coming undone beneath him, trembling now with pleasure. Her heart swelled with affection for this gentle troll to the point where she thought it might burst. Her hands found their way into his hair, tightening as her tongue danced lazily with his between soft kisses. She realized somewhat belatedly that a heat was building in her gut, spreading down between her legs and upwards into her chest. Equius, too, must have felt it because he picked up his pace with a quiet moan.

Now, they were racing. Tenderness gave way to frantic heat as they approached the end, Nepeta’s hands curling into claws in Equius’ hair as her moans became louder. She faltered in her pace, unable to keep up with the ferocity of his thrusts, but he once again grabbed her free hip and took over for her. They weren’t so much kissing now as resting their heads beside each other, moans and growls of pleasure mixing in the air between them. Nepeta felt like she was on fire, like someone had thrown her into the long-dead Alternian sun. Her muscles tensed and she squeaked out a warning which was met with Equius slamming particularly hard into her aching nook.

“EQUIUS!” She screamed as her body erupted, her insides ripping apart in the best possible way. Olive colored genetic material spilled from around Equius’ bulge, running down her thighs and soaking his lap. Her cry had turned into a high-pitched shriek she wasn’t even aware she could make and as it ended Equius slammed himself fully into her with a short, deep shout. Nepeta was flooded with his cool material and her back arched in response as she gasped. She managed to pry her eyes open in time to see the beautifully tense expression on Equius’ face as he came.

When it was over, Equius carefully pulled from Nepeta (much to her displeasure) and wrapped her in his arms as he laid them on their sides on the bed. They were both panting, sated, and in no hurry to move. After what might have been minutes, the olive blood opened her eyes to find Equius watching her with a soft, somewhat fearful expression. She lifted her hand to his cheek, gently patting the damp skin.

“No secrets..” She whispered, holding his gaze steadily. The fear disappeared, replaced by warmth, and a small smile pulled at the corner of his lips.

“No secrets.” He promised.

Nepeta smiled brightly, removing her hand from his cheek and holding it in the air, fore and middle finger extended in a V while the others curled against her palm. Equius chuckled, lifting his arm from her waist and pressing his matching fingers against hers, completing the diamond.