disclaimer: disclaimed.
dedication: Bells. she'll probably never see this, but whatever. thank you for being my introduction to this fandom.
notes: fact: i ship everything.

title: and all the king's horses
summary: Lovely and dead. — Aradia/Equius.

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He watched the light go out in her eyes when the voices took the lowblood's last vestiges of hope and snapped them. He watched the sanity and the sense disappear, watched as her smile faded, watched the shadows creep underneath her skin.

They could not taint her more than she was already tainted; the rust hid under her nails and her skin hinted towards that hated colour, and oh, what Equius would do to tear it out of her.

He would rip her apart and bleed her dry, for nothing so beautiful ought to be so low.

Aradia stared up at him with empty eyes bled red. The whispers curled around her, wisps of smoke wove into her hair that murmured wishes and:

You could have her, you know. She's almost dead, anyway.

But Equius was a gentlemen, and this troll-girl wasn't dead yet.

He would hold out until she was, and then he would rebuild her, for someone so lovely ought to be protected and held like a fragile thing, a butterfly bead jacket so frail that it died when exposed.

Because that was the opposite of the lowblood, Equius thought; that she would drown in the weakness of her blood would be a beautiful, fitting punishment. He shuddered and pulled screws and metal from thin air to bend and break and build her over again.

He built her body after body but they were all imperfect.

She floated through the world like a ghost, fingers trailing along the objects in her wake to affirm her existence, or maybe to remember the feeling of existence, Equius thought.

He would robe her in red silk and blue blood, but before that he had to build her up and tear her down, and destroy the rest of the world.

Equius had only ever wanted the fine things in life. He had only ever wanted that which made him stronger. But this—this lust for her and her dirty blood—

Equius had never experienced anything like it. It dirtied his other relationships. Nepeta was never one to judge; his balance stone moirail was steady in her affection and her need.

But the flush that the lowblood prompted made Equius sweat.

He built her again, again; a perfect body for a perfect soul with perfect blood to match. He built her perfect hair and her perfect smile, painted and scrubbed until she was just so. Blue-blooded as the sea, she was so close

And then he snapped her arm and it was a crash of expletives, snarling and sweating over the work.

That he could not create something fit to house her and all her beauty was something that would forever grate his nerves. There was nothing fit to house something such as she, lovely and dead.

He grasped and hated himself; built and broke and built again.

He worked himself into a frenzy.

And she paid him no mind.

Her body was dying, she along with it. He would have kept her safe from the insanity, had she wanted it. He would keep her sae from it if it stole his dark, dark essence and poured it across the floor.

His fingers clenched convulsively around his metal instruents as he built her up, once again.

The lowblood floated through the empty streets with her empty eyes and Equius watched her behind a sheen of dark glass, longing and longing.

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fin.
notes2: just. someone stop me. please.