Author's Note: I don't now, nor will I ever, own the Homestuck characters, but for whatever it's worth, in my head-canon, Eridan is about eighteen and Equius is nineteen, pushing twenty.

"Hey, you! Stop right now!"

Equius started to turn around, his upper lip already half-lifted in a snarl. He couldn't immediately place the voice so impertinently telling him what to do, but it certainly didn't belong to the clown-faced highblood, the only troll he would even remotely consider having the authority to give him orders. Too many trolls these days, all running around this blasted hunk of meteor like fools, all mingling and living together with no sense of bloodlines, no proper respect for authority. And all following the orders of that loud-mouthed little gutterblood, disregarding the true and proper chain of command and leadership...

He was starting to get upset again, the anger building in his veins and coursing through his heavy limbs. Out of habit, he started flexing his arms, feeling the muscles tighten and bunch around his bones, hearing the tendons creak in his hands. There. That would calm him down, like it always did. It would remind him that even though he was no longer recognized as the leader of the group, he was still the strongest, the most powerful, and one of the higher bloodlines, and that...

"Hey! Are you listening, bulge-biter? Fucking pay attention!"

That voice again, shrilly assaulting his ears with its demands. Equius shook his head, forcing himself to focus, and looked down, his upper lip lifted into a full snarl now.

"Who are you... to..." His voice, raised into a raspy shout, died away on him as he realized his mistake. Had it been any other troll, he would have continued, putting the naive interloper into his or her place, but he couldn't do that now. Not to a highblood, even if he was an ocean-dweller.

Eridan stood before him, looking peeved. "You insufferable mutant, didn't you hear me?"

Equius dipped his head, averting his eyes from the angry little troll. "My apologies," he said quietly, deferentially. "I did not realize it was you."

"Yeah, if you'd known it was me, you would've kept ignoring me, is that it?" Eridan demanded.

"No. It is not my place to ignore one such as you."

"One such as me," Eridan sneered, his eyes glittering, running one hand through his purple and black hair. "You don't know anything about 'ones such as me.'"

"I do not," Equius agreed. He kept his voice calm and level, but inside he was rejoicing. Yes, here was a troll who understood the order of things, who understood his own place and where all others stood in relation. Perhaps he had underestimated the sea-dwellers-Eridan was treating him with more disdain than the land-dwelling royalty had ever managed.

"No, you don't," Eridan continued, his voice rising as he got more excited. "You don't know what it's like having the fate of the universe depend on your bloodline!"

"I do not."

"Of course you don't, because you're just another worthless, land-walking blueblood piece of trash, aren't you?"

"I am."

"Wait, what?" For just a moment, Eridan's voice dropped in pitch and his eyes widened in confusion; he hadn't expected such ready acquiescence. Of course he hadn't, Equius thought scornfully, not with all these other lowblood trolls who paid no heed to the importance of bloodlines and lineage. Naturally, it surprised him when he met a properly bred troll, one who understood his place, one who knew whom he was beneath.

Eridan sputtered, his composure completely gone, and Equius frowned. That wouldn't do, and he had been doing so well... "May I be bold enough to make a suggestion?" he offered.

"Right, like you're some great fucking idea man," Eridan groused, but he looked up expectantly.

"If it would please one of your status..." Equius started, and then had to pause to get a breath. He'd been thinking about something like this for so long, and now that the opportunity had finally presented itself, he didn't want to make any errors of judgment. "... perhaps you would enjoy berating me some more?"

"You... you want me to yell at you?" The poor highblood looked even more confused.

"If it would please you, yes." Equius waited, but Eridan didn't seem able to gather his thoughts together, instead staring at him with his mouth slightly agape. Equius could see one of Eridan's upper fangs protruding over his lower lip, and he suddenly wondered how that fang would feel, tearing into his skin. A little thrill ran up his spine, but he did his best to keep his face impassive. "If it would relieve the great pressure you are under," Equius clarified, and he dared arch one eyebrow slightly, so that the highblood would catch his meaning. He was such an audacious, impudent troll, speaking this way to one of his superiors.

All at once, Eridan regained his stability, visibly swelling with pride and authority. It was a glorious thing to watch. "You have no idea the pressure I'm under here," he snapped.

"None at all. It is beyond my ability to comprehend."

"Of course it is, you lusus-milk swilling grubfucker," Eridan continued, gaining confidence and improving his insults. Equius listened humbly to him rant, paying close attention as the highblood denigrated him, insulting him and his ancestors and everything he stood for and believed in. He could feel the sweat leaking from his pores and running down his skin as the excitement started building, rich and roiling, deep in the center of his body.

"You're not listening, you land-scraping fuck!" Eridan suddenly screamed, and one hand darted out, fluttering in the air for a moment, as if in uncertainty, before it latched down on Equius' unbroken horn and yanked down on it, bringing Equius' face down to his level.

Had any other troll touched Equius' horn like that, he would have cheerfully punched a hole through their spine for their brazen assumption, but when the highblood did it, the filthy, delicious debauchery of the act sent shudders of pleasure ripping through his entire body. He could smell himself now, the sweat pouring off him in sheets, and he inwardly rejoiced that he'd finally met another troll who actually understood how to treat those beneath him.

Eridan was staring at his hand, still wrapped around Equius' horn, as if in horror, like he couldn't believe he'd actually touched another troll there without explicit permission. As if highbloods needed permission to do whatever they chose to the lower castes.

"Highblood?" Equius asked politely, when Eridan gave no sign of moving or letting go of his horn. "Forgive my audacity, but may I make another suggestion?"

"Did I tell you to speak?" Eridan snapped, a little bit of bravado leaking back into his voice. When Equius kept demurely silent, he sighed and let go of his horn. "Fine, go ahead."

Keeping his head lowered, in the awkward position the highblood had pulled it into, Equius took a deep breath, gathering his courage. Even the strongest of the trolls had his weak spot, he realized with a jolt. The idea of the highblood having that kind of power over him, even unknowingly, made new rivulets of sweat stream down his back. "Perhaps we should move this to a more... private location?"

Looking around them frantically, Eridan suddenly seemed to realize they were standing in the middle of one of the meteor's hallways, where anyone could have walked in on them. "Fuck, you hoofbeast-humping reject, why'd you wait until now to realize that?" he demanded angrily. "Where should we go?"

"My chambers?" Equius offered, barely able to contain his excitement and struggling to keep a straight face. "They are certainly not up to your standards, highblood, but they are private."

"Yeah, yeah, that's great," Eridan said distractedly, still looking over his shoulder to make sure they hadn't been spotted. "Go!" He put both hands on Equius' arm and pushed, and even though he barely felt it, Equius made it look like the highblood had actually shoved him, and careened off down the hallway, Eridan close at his heels.

They transported together to Equius' chambers, a place hardly any of the other trolls had ever visited. Most trolls, when visiting another's private living area, were shy about it, hesitant, taking care to avoid offense. Eridan, on the other hand, sauntered in arrogantly, like he owned the place, and started poking around at Equius' workbench. "What's this?" he asked curiously.

"A project I have been working on," Equius said shortly. He didn't want to explain the half-finished mechanical legs to the highblood; the act of charity in making them was confusing even to him, and he didn't want the highblood to think less of him for doing something kind for one of the lowest-blooded trolls. Fortunately, Eridan wasn't overly interested in robotics, and he left the workbench soon enough, exploring the other corners of the room. Equius stood quietly near the transporter, giving the highblood his space and all the time he needed.

Eventually, Eridan ran out of things to look at and examine, and he turned back to Equius, as if suddenly remembering that he'd been there all along. The look of befuddlement on the highblood's face sent fresh sweat beads down along Equius' temples; he'd been forgotten, he was so insignificant that the highblood didn't even remember him while in his own chambers, he was nothing, worthless before the troll with the princely blood...

"So..." Eridan started, his voice gone soft, almost bashful, "now what?"

"Whatever you wish," Equius answered immediately.

Eridan tilted his head to one side, looking up at the taller troll before him. He was losing his self-confidence again, Equius realized with dismay. "Do you... do you have any more suggestions?" Eridan asked weakly.

"Perhaps you would be more comfortable over there?" Equius pointed to the larval chamber in the far corner of the room, a little disappointed that Eridan hadn't thought of it on his own. Not that it mattered, really, as long as they ended up there, but he'd been hoping for a few more orders from the highblood, not this strange hesitancy. He watched as the highblood strode across the room towards the chamber, not moving himself, until Eridan half-turned, rolled his eyes, and said peevishly, "Get over here, land-scraper, cod dammit, do I have to tell you everything?" Then Equius walked across the room after him.

"You have the weirdest larval chamber I've ever seen," Eridan griped.

"Yes, highblood." His larval chamber was flat and open on the top; he'd outgrown its enveloping canopy at a very young age and had had to modify it so that he'd still fit, removing the top and adjusting the height of the sides. He noticed, with a flashing hint of anger, that there wasn't any sorpal slime pooling in the bottom. The clown-faced highblood and his little crippled moirail must have been in here and taken it. Equius made a mental note to make some adjustments to the mechanical legs, make it difficult for them to calculate the distance between stairs or something.

"What happened to your slime? Did you drink that too?" Eridan complained.

"My apologies, Eridan."

"Did I tell you you could call me by my name?" Eridan hissed, and out of the corner of his eye, Equius saw the fins on the sides of the highblood's face flare out in irritation. "Did I give you permission?"

"No, you did not," Equius answered, as the excitement, blunted by the journey here and the highblood's initial hesitation, started to rise again. "I apologize for my rudeness."

"Yeah, you should be sorry, you air-breathing exitchute." Equius felt the highblood's hands on his back, and belatedly realized he was being pushed. He tumbled willingly onto the larval chamber, then rolled onto his back, the better to see the other troll. Eridan stood over him, glowering, and the disdain on his face sent waves of pleasure rushing up and down Equius' spine. "You call me highblood," he demanded. "You're not worthy to speak my name."

"I am not, highblood," Equius agreed, loving the way the word rolled off his tongue, the same way the sweat rolled off his body.

"You're not worthy to be in my presence," Eridan rolled the words in his mouth, tasting them, the skin of his face coloring with a dusky purple hue as blood rushed to his cheeks.

"I am not, highblood."

Eridan stood for a few moments more, and Equius could see him waffling, could see his indecisiveness. Whatever you want to do, do it, he urged silently, and perhaps the highblood heard him, because Eridan suddenly descended onto the larval chamber, landing on top of Equius, straddling him and pinning his wrists up above his head. Equius gasped and tried not to squirm underneath him, but the feeling of the highblood's thighs, pressed up close on either side of his hips, was so dirty, so amazing, that he nearly blacked out from the pleasure of it all.

"You're disgusting, you know that?" Eridan sneered, leaning close over Equius' face. "Look at how you're sweating, cod, I can smell you from here, you dirt-eating freak."

"I know, highblood," Equius managed. "I know I disgust you."

Eridan let go of his wrists and sat back, wiping his hands across the front of Equius' shirt, leaving long streaks of bluish sweat across it. "I don't even want to touch you, you filthy sack of whale shit."

"You do not have to, highblood." Equius gestured towards the head of the larval chamber. "You can use those."

Eridan leaned over him again to get a closer look at the edge of the chamber, and his scarf came loose from around his neck and tickled across the bridge of Equius' broken, bent nose, forcing him to hold back a sneeze. "The fuck are these?" Eridan asked, and Equius heard the clink of chains against each other, and knew the highblood had found the cuffs he had made, late one night, in a fit of loneliness and despair. He chose to stay quiet, letting the highblood figure it out for himself, and when he did, Eridan burst out laughing.

"You are one sick grubfucker, you know that?" he asked, locking a cuff around Equius' right wrist.

"Yes, highblood," Equius answered; the other troll didn't understand why the cuffs were there, but that was fine, it wasn't a story he particularly wanted to share. Even Nepeta didn't know the real reason he'd made them, and if he was going to tell anyone, he would have told her. He hadn't had a reason to explain them to anyone before, and he wasn't going to now. Besides, they worked equally well in this kind of scenario, he reasoned, as Eridan snapped the second closed around his left wrist, effectively restraining him with his arms spread out above his head.

"You're into this kinky shit, aren't you?" Eridan breathed into his ear, crouching down over him. Equius could feel the highblood's breath tickling in the cup of his ear, could feel the other troll's body, hovering only a short distance above his own, and he could feel the blood flowing to his bone bulge, heating it and enlarging it under his shorts.

"Yes... highblood."

"Tell me what you're into, dirt-scraping commoner," Eridan ordered, his tongue darting across the surface of Equius' ear.

"I... I am... I'm into this... this..."

"Swear for me," Eridan breathed quietly, and Equius would be damned if he couldn't feel some responding heat from the highblood's bone bulge, so close to his own. "Tell me all the horrible, degrading things you want me to do to you."

"I'm into this kinky shit, highblood," Equius gasped, and his hands clenched, his wrists straining against their chains. The larval chamber creaked underneath them, and the chains attached to the cuffs shifted against each other, groaning from the pressure, but they'd been built strong, built strong and tested stronger, and they held. "I want... I want you... I want you to... to..."

He couldn't help it; the tension was too much for him, he was a weak, disgusting lowblood, and Equius bucked his hips upward. The motion caught Eridan by surprise, hitting him under his thighs and pushing him roughly forward and upwards, where he cracked his forehead against the wall the larval chamber was pushed up against.

"What the glub-fucking fuck was that?" Eridan croaked, supporting himself on the wall, but Equius couldn't answer; the motion had thrust the highblood so far forward that his crotch was over Equius' face, tantalizingly close and yet so far away, and he didn't think he could speak without groaning, a dismal, embarrassing prospect, so he stayed silent but for his rapid panting.

"Coddamn mutant," Eridan muttered, shifting himself back away from the wall, and Equius watched, disappointed, as the highblood's groin retreated away from him, but not before Eridan's engorged bone bulge brushed against his cheek; whether deliberately or by accident, he couldn't tell. Eridan readjusted himself until he was straddling Equius' hips again, bracing himself with one hand on Equius' chest, his other hand covering his nose. Equius watched, with a combination of horror and sheer, unbridled lust, as some thick, purple blood leaked from between the highblood's fingers.

"My d-deepest apologies, h-highblood," he stammered, mortified; clearly, he needed cuffs for his ankles as well, and maybe a belt across his waist, too, and maybe he just wasn't meant to have any kind of intimacy with any troll who wasn't encased in a protective robotic body. "I never in-intended..."

"Shut up," Eridan told him, wiping his nose with the back of his hand, and Equius did, watching as the highblood examined the smears of purple across his fingers. Nonplussed, Eridan wiped his hand on Equius' shirt, and the purple blood mixed with the blue sweat from earlier. The resulting deep indigo, swiped carelessly across the black fabric on his chest and half-obscuring his sign, was so beautiful that Equius felt like he could fill an entire bucket on his own, if he looked at it long enough.

Eridan didn't give him a chance; the highblood leaned in, his yellow eyes gleaming behind his glasses, and caught Equius' hair in both hands, tugging his head back, exposing his throat. From the very edges of his vision, Equius saw the highblood lick his lips and smile, exposing his sharp, pointed fangs, and then Eridan bowed his head. Moments later, Equius felt teeth against his skin, light and nipping, and he shuddered, gasping, as the highblood worked his way up his neck and towards his face.

The highblood's hands in his hair tightened, pulling the tangled strands to the very edge of pain, and Equius moaned, unable to keep it inside any longer, and he heard Eridan chuckle, felt the vibrations of his laughter through the sinews and muscles of his neck, and he had never been this turned on before, would surely never be this turned on again.

Eridan reached his face, and his grip on Equius' hair relaxed a little, just enough so he could tilt his head down again and meet the highblood's eyes.

"You disgust me," Eridan whispered, panting himself, his eyes bright and shining.

"Yes, highblood."

"Good slave." Before he could respond, Eridan leaned in and roughly kissed him, his tongue probing against Equius' lips. The kiss was too short for Equius to overcome his surprise and respond, and Eridan pulled back, smirking. "You're a filthy, mud-encrusted monster, aren't you?"

"Yes, highblood." He was ready this time, and he opened his mouth for Eridan, letting him thrust his tongue deep inside him, letting him run it over his jagged, broken teeth before the highblood pulled back.

"Everyone here hates you, don't they?" Eridan asked.

"Yes, highblood," Equius answered, but even as he did, he felt the atmosphere in the room change. Eridan's hands loosened in his hair, and the highblood shifted backwards, away from him, sitting up, his expression changing, the lust draining away and being replaced by something else, something Equius thought he recognized, something he had had to push down in himself repeatedly.

"That's not true," Eridan said quietly, and his shoulders slumped forward, his head hanging dejectedly, and Equius knew he was talking to himself more than he was talking to him. "They don't hate you, most of them kind of like you, even if you're creepy..."

"Highblood?" Equius asked, feeling the sexual tension evaporating, trying hopelessly to retrieve it.

Eridan looked up, met his eyes, and Equius watched as the highblood's eyes took on a purplish cast as they filled with tears. "I'm... I'm the one they hate," Eridan said, his voice breaking.

Before Equius could respond, before he could deny what they both knew to be true, Eridan dropped down onto the larval chamber beside him, curling up against Equius' side, tucking his head into his shoulder and wrapping one arm across his chest.

"It's true," Eridan whimpered, his brilliant, careless bravado gone, replaced by a self-loathing so deep and so honest that it couldn't be anything other than his true face. "They hate me, and why wouldn't they, I'm a glubbing, useless shipwreck of a troll..." He buried his face in the side of Equius' neck, and Equius felt his tears, hot and liquid and almost the same as sweat but for their tangy, salty aroma, slide down his skin.

"Uh..." he grunted, and pulled uselessly against his restraints, but he'd built them from heavy metal chains, the only thing stronger than himself, and they'd didn't give. Eridan felt him moving, and held on tighter, clinging to Equius like a frightened grub to its lusus, and Equius relented, relaxing and letting the highblood cleave to him.

As Eridan wept and sniffled, his purple tears dampening and matting Equius' snarled hair, the strongest troll sighed and gave one last, fruitless tug at his cuffs. He couldn't even put his arm around the highblood's shoulder to comfort him, to let him know that he understood what it was like to want something so badly and to never be able to have it.