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Rare as a Unicorn

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“I am not killing a unicorn!” Keyleth says, outraged. “They’re pure and good and, and - and I’m definitely not doing it for her.”

Scanlan thinks this is all a little overblown for what is essentially just a magical horse. But apparently he and Grog are the only ones on board with this, even though time is of the essence.

“I don’t know guys,” Pike says, chewing at her bottom lip. “Unicorns are celestial creatures. I’m not sure I’m willing to kill one either.”

Scanlan sighs and resists the urge to roll his eyes. If Pike is out then Grog’s out. How did it come to this?

Well, because of Raishan, really.

Raishan had an idea for a poison that she swore would weaken Thordak - though certainly not kill him outright - and even Allura and Gilmore looked it over and reluctantly agreed that it seemed legit. Except one of the ingredients is shavings from the horn of a unicorn and to call that difficult to find would be a massive understatement.

Probably for the exact reason that Vox Machina is struggling to obtain it - not a lot of people feel comfortable murdering unicorns.

So now in typical Vox Machina fashion, they’ve successfully spent several hours tracking a unicorn through miles of dense forest, and now that they’re in actual visual range of it, they’re debating whether or not they even want to do this.

Scanlan looks over to Percy, who has Bad News resting on a fallen tree and is staring down the unicorn through his scope and frowning heavily. Hoping for an ally, Scanlan says, “Percy, c’mon. You’re a pragmatist. Tell them we don’t have time for this.”

“We don’t have time for this argument,” he says agreeably. Keyleth makes a noise of outrage but Percy swiftly carries on, “However, I don’t see why we need to kill it? We only need a few scrapings off its horn.”

Keyleth perks up immediately. “Yeah, we could just ask it!”

“No,” Vex says in a flat tone “a unicorn isn’t going to let any of us approach it. Didn’t you hear the stories as a child? Unicorns are only friendly towards the pure.” The word pure drips off her tongue like it physically pains her to say.

Keyleth deflates.

“Oh!” Percy says with sudden realization. “I do remember reading about that. So why not just have Pike or Keyleth approach it? Why are we debating this?” He asks, lowering Bad News.

There’s a momentary pause, and Scanlan would assume that Percy was being a jackass except that he sounds genuinely baffled. Keyleth is steadily turning bright red and Pike looks vaguely offended.

“I think Vax solved that problem for Keyleth,” Scanlan deadpans, hoping he doesn’t have to elaborate. His meaning must be clear because Grog chortles and Vax shoots Scanlan a glare.

But if anything, Percy looks even more confused.

“Vax isn’t that bad.”

“Excuse me?”

Vex cuts across her brother, “I think we’re working on different definitions of purity here. Percy, what do human books say about unicorns?”

Scanlan has seen Percy at some of the lowest points of his life (not his absolute lowest, obviously) and he has never seen him look more utterly lost.

“They can only be approached by the pure of heart?”

…Wow, human storybooks suck.

“Oh honey, no,” Vex winces.

Pike gives him a sympathetic look, “I don’t know if you got a bad translation or what but it’s talking about sexual purity.”

“What? Why? Why would a celestial horse care?

“Exactly!” Scanlan exclaims, throwing his hands in the air, “They’re just creepy horses with an extra extremity and an obsession with virgins. The world would be better off without this one in it!”

Percy has a very distinct look on his face - the one he gets when they’re talking to someone dubious and he’s trying to decide whether or not he’s going to have to shoot them. If Scanlan’s being honest, it’s his favorite Percy look. It always means something exciting is about to happen, one way or another.

“You’re lying,” he says eventually.

“Usually,” Scanlan agrees, “but not right now.”

“I refuse to believe there’s a magical animal that only talks to virgins.”

Vax makes a noise of exasperation and says, “It doesn’t matter, we don’t know any virgins anyway. Is there a way we can just trap it and then release it after we get what we need? Percival?”

Rather than answer, Percy slings Bad News across his back and vaults over the fallen tree.

“Percy, what are you doing?!” Vax hisses.

“You’re all full of shit,” Percy calls over his shoulder, “And I’m going to prove it.”

Vax whirls on his sister. “Vex, your stupid boyfriend is going to scare it off after we spent hours chasing it down!”

Vex ignores him, staring at Percy’s back with her brow furrowed.

“What is he even thinking?” Keyleth asks.

“Beats the hell out of me,” Scanlan replies.

Grog interjects and says, “So hold on, is Percy a virgin?”

A hush falls on the group.

Grog continues, “Cuz otherwise, I don’t see what he’s doing. He knows he ain’t pure of heart, so if he thinks that’s it, he’ll scare it off.”

“But if he thinks he’s going to scare it off and that’s proving us wrong,” Pike says with dawning realization, “then that means… Percy is a virgin.”

Scanlan swivels his head back towards where Percy is stalking towards the unicorn. He’s about halfway to it and it has clearly noticed him.

But it isn’t moving.

Percy doesn’t look very thrilled about it.

Scanlan looks back at Vex. “Are you telling me that Percy died a virgin and you haven’t corrected that for him?” Scanlan receives a swift and sharp kick from Vax, which he ignores. “For gods’ sake, woman!”

“Seriously,” Grog adds, “Put the guy out of his misery.”

“I dropped plenty of hints that he ignored,” Vex says slowly.

Vax instantly claps his hands over his ears, “I do not want to hear this.”

“I thought he wasn’t interested.”

“Vex,” Pike says kindly, “I think he just didn’t notice.”

“FUCK!”

Scanlan whips back around and sure enough, standing directly next to the unicorn is Percival de Rolo. It seems entirely unafraid of him and is affectionately resting its head on his shoulder. Percy looks murderous.

“WELL I GUESS YOU BETTER GET THOSE SHAVINGS, PERCY! BECAUSE IF I GO OVER THERE, WE’RE NEVER GONNA SEE THAT THING AGAIN!” Scanlan hollers.

Pike sighs. “Okay, Vex, in all seriousness, if you don’t have sex with that boy, I will. He is way too attractive to not be getting laid.”

“You can’t let him die a virgin again,” Grog agrees.

Vex cups her hands around her mouth and yells, “GET PLENTY, PERCIVAL, YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO GET ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY!”

Scanlan can actually see Percy turn bright red from a hundred yards away.

At a more reasonable volume, Vex says, “Yeah, I’m gonna have to fix that.”

Vax groans, pops his wings out, and takes off back to Whitestone.

Grog watches him go and, once he’s well out of earshot, says, “He forgot we were taking a tree back.”

“Yep,” Pike says.

“He’s gonna run out of wings before he gets back to Whitestone.”

“Yep,” Keyleth says.

“We’re all just gonna let him go, right?”

“Yep,” Vex says.

It takes about five minutes for Percy to come back to the group with a vial of unicorn horn shavings and a look of utter defeat on his face.

“Sooooo?” Scanlan drawls.

“That is a very creepy horse and I didn’t want to say this while I was in goring range, but I’m kind of thinking about killing it anyway.”

Thank you.”

“Can we go home now?” Percy asks, still looking miserable.

Vex links her arm with his and pulls him closer to her. “Yes, darling. And once we get home, you and I are going to have a talk about some miscommunication issues we’ve apparently been having.”

“…Alright?”

“Make sure you talk about it in a bedroom,” Scanlan adds helpfully. “Preferably a sound proof one.”

“Like we’ve never had to listen to you have sex, Scanlan Shorthalt,” Pike puts in.

Percy is starting to turn a shade of red rarely seen in nature.

Keyleth opens the portal in a nearby tree and Scanlan considers the statement as they step through. “That’s fair. Make him scream, Vex.”

The portal closes behind them and the forest is silent for a moment before there is a sudden flurry of leaves being scattered across the ground by wing beats.

“Guys, I forgot we were - “ Vax cuts himself off as he realizes he’s standing alone at their little stake out site. “Son of a bitch.”