Warnings: SteampunkVictorian!stuck, AU, fluff, etc...
Aradia smiled and lifted her dress, jumping lower into the engine, she couldn't hide the curiosity that bit at the back of her mind and incessantly begged to be relieved.
They had always told her how to sit and look, how she should prepare her makeup for the day and how she should approach a man higher in status than she. It became insipid to put on the same smile and go through the motions, but any deviation would lead to damnation. They forced her to stop looking for answers, to stop taking interest in knowledge and simply let her mind rot away in the recesses of her mind.
She knew better though.
There was no chance in hell she would give up such a wonderful opportunity to learn, to grow; she did not wish to let the opposite gender dominate that battle ground. She rolled up the increasingly annoying sleeves and carefully slid down further into the engine's core, glancing around and trying to make sense of the world she stepped into.
The generator's engine was made up a multitude of pipes and cogs, steam filtering out and floating the the great above. Heat radiated from every part, and soon she was wiping the sweat off her brow, picking up her dress once again and trying to navigate once more. Her heart swelled at the thought of being able to explore the heated core, she could eventually draw out a map if she came down here enough-
She screamed and barely dodged a stream of fire, one component of the machine released fire and blew it out, the ends of her dress were singed and she patted the remaining flames, her hands growing black with soot. The heat was excruciating once more and she wiped her face, realizing that her hand was now clean, but she could not say the same about her forehead.
Aradia sighed and only returned to her journey; a burned dress and a dirty face did not matter here. Maybe she'd be able to find the secret passage ways that the Helmsman used to-
"Hey, what ith a girl like you doing down here?"
She took note of the lisp the man had and turned, instantly breaking out into a sweat-
He was gorgeous.
He seemed to be unaffected by the heat around him and kept an almost cool personality, his eyes both colored differently and yet she wouldn't have colored them any other way. He wore a large suite, probably heat and fire proof, he seemed to be a worker down here. She gave her best smile and curtsied with what was left of her dress, "I wanted to explore a bit. Too bad these silly clothes do not allow me such privilege..." The tall multi colored man only shrugged, "You thould get beck up, it'th not thhafe here."
Before she could reply he took her hand, his skin callous around her dainty one. She blamed her flush on the increasing heat in the room and allowed herself to be led, making sure to glance around and absorb all she could during her time down here.
"You thould probably get thome new clotheth too..."
She ignored him, her eyes locked onto a door that had the Helmsman sign, and she slipped from his grasp and made her way over, growing tired of her corset and clawing it off, sighing in relief of her natural figure revealing itself. Finally she came right in front tossing her corset into the fire and trying to open it. The man had followed her and simply stood, "I can't get it open either. I withh I knew how..."
After jumbling the small puzzle beside the door she was able to get it open, smiling widely, "We should go in here." His eyes when wide, and he didn't bother to turn, instead only moving a bright cerulean eye to her, "How did you do that? Look, thith place ithn't going to be open for long-
Aradia ignored his speech and dragged him inside the darkness.
After they entered they began to talk extensively, exploring the secret passage ways. In these dark rooms the walls only radiated a slight warmth, but nothing was certain. "I'm Thollux. Thollux Captor." he stated, offering Aradia a sweet smile. Aradia welcomed him and laughed, softly tracing every letter on her palm; she didn't want to forget such a wonderful man.
They wandered endlessly, until Sollux smiled, seeing a light at the end of the twisting tunnel. The pair rushed to see the outside, finding themselves outside the city, standing about a high alcove and looking all across London. The sun was setting in brilliant oranges and reds, streaks of yellow staining the sky. The platform could barely hold the two of them and she was gently pulled against him.
Sollux only smiled as she settled into his arms, growing to love how warm he was.
Inside she had promised she wouldn't return but Aradia couldn't let such a hidden treasure go to waste. Her brown eyes twinkled with mischief as bidding Sollux farewell before setting off home.
The next day she slid back into the engine and found Sollux again, he laughed-
"I knew you would come back."
They came reentered the secret tunnel and danced in the warmth, finding bliss even in the darkest of places.