Karkat forbid them from going to sleep, so instead they lay in the robo-pile in Equius’ room and talked about their feelings. Nepeta would have prefurred to roleplay with someone upstairs, to get her mind off everything that was happening, but how often did one get the ‘b100 b100d’ to talk about his feelings? Not very often.
They started talking about Aradia, a sore subject for Equius, but one Nepeta felt needed to be addressed. He was tight-lipped at first, but eventually opened up a bit, telling his moirail about the flushed feelings he didn’t admire himself for having. There was very little Nepeta hadn’t already guessed, but to hear Equius admit to it out loud made her grin. If she wasn’t otherwise occupied, she might consider updating her shipping wall.
When he got too embarrassed, Equius turned the conversation onto Nepeta. She was willing to confess that she had, in fact, been hiding some flushed feelings, but she wouldn’t say more because she knew Equius wouldn’t approve. She made a cat pun and he scowled, turning onto his back to stare at the ceiling. From that angle, Nepeta could see under his cracked shades, and he look serious and contemplative. She wondered if he had already guessed who her crush was, and decided to steer the conversation somewhere else.
She mentioned seeing Aradia on Derse, just before it was destroyed, then reflectively moved to touch her stomach, where she’d felt her dreamself stabbed. Equius moved to comfort her but stopped, not wanted to do more harm than good. He tucked his hands under his head, where they couldn’t do any damage, and offered some words instead. He didn’t think they were worth much, but she smiled sadly in response and thanked him for the thought.
Somehow, after lying there for over half an hour, the conversation had turned into a reflection of their time in Sgrub and the Incipisphere. Nepeta, still haunted by the things she had seen as Derse was destroyed, instinctively moved closer to her moirail, until her forehead was buried into the side of his ridiculous muscle shirt. They continued talking, her words more muffled now and Equius trying his best not to bring up anything that might make her more sad.
Curled into his side now, Nepeta asked Equius if there was anything else he felt he needed to get off his chest. He said there wasn’t, which she knew was a lie, and suggested they do some training, which they hadn’t had time for since before the game began. Nepeta grimaced as adorably as she could, though she knew no one would see it, and told him she was too tired for something like that, and would rather not.
She actually was pretty tired, but she really didn’t want to go to sleep. Karkat had forbidden it, reasonably enough, and besides, she was happy enough right here.