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i think i'm drowning

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“Hey Percy, you want to take watch?”


He looks up at the hand on his shoulder. Or rather, looks over. There’s bags under Pike’s eyes, dirtied hair pulled back only to fall out of its holdings. “Sure. I feel fine, and wouldn't mind the time to work on this.” He gestures down to the prototype gun in front of his crossed legs, half disassembled. He raises his voice a bit to carry across the camp. “Everyone get some rest. I’ll wake everyone up if anything looks amiss.”


He gets a whoop of thanks from Scanlan and a thumbs up from Keyleth from where they pitch their respective tents. No doubt Pike would have to decline Scanlan’s offers of lodgings for the hundredth time, and then feel guilty and pitch it adjacent to his.


Eventually, the group organizes themselves in a passable sleeping arrangement, Vex and Vax curled up with Trinket in their tent, Pike and Keyleth closest to the lowly burning fire, Scanlan in his own tent behind that, Grog and Tiberius unwittingly competing in their own for loudest snores, which they shared far off for that reason. Aside from the snores, Trinket’s snuffling, and Scanlan’s sleepy murmurs, the camp is quiet, their chosen alcove evidently a wise pick from Keyleth.


Probably two to three hours pass, with Percy squinting in the torchlight at his notebooks and gunpowder, trying to make a bullet that would explode after impact. He was having little to no luck, but continued trying nonetheless, and it was only once he narrowly avoided firing a shot loud enough to wake the camp and send Grog into a rage that he tunes in to the space around him, and hears the whisper of movement at his back. He stiffens, wary to alert the intruder to his awareness, but before he can even think about getting out his tinderbox, the person approaches and the hair on the back of Percy's neck rises as he feels the brush of fabric against him.


“No grand inventions this evening, then?”


Percy exhales. It was only Vax. Vax, indiscernible from the rest of the night unless he wanted to be found. Vax, who circles around to sit next to Percy with a grin and a dagger in one hand.


“You really ought to be keeping an eye on your surroundings, not just on your work,” Vax says, grin growing as he slides the pad of his finger along the blade’s flat side. “I could have buried this in your neck before you even knew I was there.”


Percy felt the ghost of the familiar thrill he got whenever he saw Vax in battle. He averts his gaze back down to the stock in his hands. “Not that you ever would. I’m just glad I don’t have to worry about facing you in battle.”


“It’s not the battles where I’m at my deadliest.”


“Still. Nice knowing we’re on the same side.”


A few moments pass, Percy gathering up spilled gunpowder and Vax watching silently. Percy tucks the powder away in a pouch on his belt, and turns back to the parts. Perhaps if the explosion were lesser, the bullet slower, the casing thicker–


“What is it like in your brain?”


Percy looks up. “Pardon?”


A mistake, as Vax’s eyes bore directly into his own. “You create such fanciful things that myself among others could only dream of. You put together elements more delicate and more deadly than my blades or my sister’s bow.” His voice drops, growing softer. “I can't imagine having your brilliance.”


“Nonsense,” Percy says, abruptly, surprising himself. Vax too, by the way he snaps his attention up. “I’ve seen you develop plans of attack that are ruthlessly effective. You obviously know enough about your own abilities and the important parts of others’ bodies.” He coughs at that, and the smile that flits back on to Vax’s face shows that he caught what Percy had phrased so poorly. “That is, how to kill them in a single strike.”


“I know plenty of things about bodies, Percival .” And was Vax always right there, knees almost brushing with his? Percy’s heart skips, and the rogue let out a quiet laugh. He leaned back, and though Percy didn't dare to meet his eyes, he knew that damning smile graced his face once more.


Percy feels himself flush, and he damned his complexion once more for the surely obvious rise of red to his face. He looks back to the gun in his hands, and begins assembling it. Vax was a flirt, he knew that, even if not quite at the level of his sister. As far as Percy knew, neither of the twins had ever slept with anybody in the party, though they’d certainly flirted with them all. If Percy could make it through Vex’ahlia’s lewd comments about him once in a while (hell, he could stand her occasional comment about Grog), he could stand a few meaningless jokes from her brother. Besides, Vax had flirted with him before, just as he’d flirted with Keyleth and Pike and Scanlan and the rest of them. It was just unfair, though, that the pair of them were so damned attractive.


Vax rests his forearm on Percy’s shoulder, and Percy came back to himself halfway through remaking the gun. Vax had moved to crouch behind him, and was using him as a balance. That dagger twirls by his cheek, and he stills, his own fingers tracing the barrel as Vax mirrors him with his dagger. Percy stopped, and Vax continues drawing meaningless lines around the sharp edges, breathing warm against Percy’s cheek.


“Oh, don't stop on account of me. I don't think I’ve ever actually seen you make one of them.”


“Would you like me to explain how it goes back together?” Percy asks, too rushed and noisy in the space between them. He hears Pike make a soft sound to the side, and stilled so as not to make further noise.


“Please,” Vax purrs, barely audible in his ear, and he can’t stop the shiver that runs through him.


“Uh,” Percy starts, thumb anxiously twirling the cylinder with a well-greased slide, “there's some more complicated parts in the hammer section, and I’m mostly done now, but this part is the cylinder, where I put the bullets, and it just snaps into the yoke. Then I can slide the barrel into place like so,” and here he connects the long silver barrel to the handle’s grooves. He does so slowly, to avoid the mechanical clicking that could wake the rest of the camp. “Finally, the barrel snaps up, and all I have to do to fire it is thumb the hammer back to move the cylinder and pull the trigger.”


“Interesting,” Vax said, and Percy, caught up in his handiwork, glances back without thinking. Their faces are close, too close, and Percy nearly gasps. Vax slid his eyes over to meet Percy’s, and he continues, undeterred. “This is a different design to the others, then? Those seem more… solid. Thicker.”


“Ah, yes,” Percy stammers. “This one is new. It fires faster and can fit other ammunition types better than before. I don’t have to clear the whole thing out, just slide in whichever type I need next.”


“May I try it?” Vax says, and shifted his hand away from Percy’s shoulder to trail along his neck to the other one, and Percy feels his balance shift as he’s pulled back. That's when Percy realizes Vax isn’t talking about the same type of weaponry he is.


Percy opens his mouth to stutter out some apology, some explanation, but then Vax’s knee hits the floor behind Percy and he’s tipped backwards, legs unfolding where Vax slides his own in between. His eyes break away to dip to his mouth, then far lower. “What can I say?” Vax says. “I’m a fan of your work.”


Then their lips meet, and oh .


Percy is caught off guard, initially unresponsive, and Vax uses that that drag his chin up and bear down on him and take control. Percy’s back hits the ground and Vax smiles against him and suddenly he’s kissing back.


Percy would be a liar if he said he had never pictured kissing Vax. He tried not to, especially tried not to think of it often, but had sort of pictured some wild scenario where he pinned the smaller man to a table and in return the kiss would be made forceful, a fight for control. But this, this was not that. This was Percy surrendering, slowly and completely. Percy briefly considered that he was dreaming, as Vax pressed deeper against him and he yielded to let Vax in. But this was too real, the gun in his right hand, trapped between their bodies real, the cold stone beneath him and the breathing man against him real. His eyes flickered open, where the long lines of Vax’s eyelashes and their own flickering shadows on the wall greeted him. Their shadow seem inhuman, a mass defined only by the curve of Vax’s back and the crook of Percy’s knee behind him. Then Vax slides a hand over to the side of his neck and his eyes fall blissfully shut.


They kissed for a while, Percy burying his free hand in Vax’s long, long hair, while Vax’s hands manoeuvred his head this way and that so that the kiss was ever changing and electric. Percy starts to feel short of breath, and Vax pulls back to let him breathe.


He takes in a single gasp of air, the rogue’s eyes burning into his own as a hand slips down to toy with the clasps at his chest and he immediately remembers where they are.


“Oh, fuck,” Percy said, raspy and too loud, because that's all he could muster himself to say. “Oh, fuck, Vax, Vax’ildan, there's people, and we–”


A hot line of kisses work their way down his neck. “Don't worry about them,” Vax whispers against his skin. “They're exhausted, and probably would only ask to join if awoken. Besides, I can do everything quiet, and you’re going to stay quiet with me.”


Then Vax, forever nimble-fingered, releases a dozen clasps and let his hand spread out on pale skin. He moves down, pushing Percy’s knee flat, and slowly grinds his hips down on Percy. Another gasp threatens to escape but Vax presses their mouths together again, and it’s all he can do to keep breathing. The slight friction, the sheer pressure of the other man was just shy of enough, and he feels his heart stop as Vax unties his breeches.


“Please, Vax,” he whispers. The hand stops inches from him, and Percy shudders.


Vax leans back in to give a quick bite on Percy’s collarbone. “What do you want me to do?”


“Anything. Anything, just touch me.”


Vax stays where he is long enough to leave a mark. “That was the plan.”


Vax pulls away, takes the gun from his hand and puts it away. Then he returns to make his way down Percy’s chest, tongue swirling along the many scars there. Percy finally brings his hands up and starts tugging at the fabric at Vax’s waist, pushing his shirt up and off, reaching his belt before being stopped by a sharp nip to his stomach and a hand over his own. “Allow me.”


Vax sneaks his fingers into one of the many pouches on his belt, before removing it and rolling a small vial between his fingers. He moves further down Percy again, sitting on his thighs, and reaches around to tug Percy’s breeches fully off in the process. There’s the small pop of a cork being freed, and Percy has to hold himself back from groaning at the sound. At some point his eyes must have closed, for he tears them open to watch Vax dip his fingers into the clear liquid and finally, finally touch Percy’s cock.


His back arches off the ground, and he finds himself pushed back down by the other’s weight. They rub up against one another, mindless movement quickened by the lubricant and by want. Percy starts to moan and Vax catches it with his mouth.


There’s a moment where Percy feels it all to be too much, then suddenly Vax is gone, perched back on his heels between Percy’s legs. The bottle makes a reappearance, and warm fingers press against his entrance. Percy chokes back a desperate sound as one pushes in, slow and steady, and he forces himself to relax as Vax steadies that one, then starts to slide in another.


It aches, in that it's been ages since Percy has done this, but Vax came prepared and is now rubbing small circles with his thumb where he’s grabbed Percy’s hip. The half-elf grabs his hip and holds him tighter, enters a third. He makes a soft shushing sound, and Percy realizes his breath is being torn from his throat in deep gulps. He holds his breath for a moment at Vax’s encouraging nod, and exhales from his nose.


When Vax whispers, he almost doesn't hear. “I’m going to fuck you now, Percy,” Vax breathes, and Percy feels his chest go tight. The half-elf raises himself, pulling Percy’s hips to match, lines up, and pushes the tip in.


He’s frozen, bent upwards and shivering. Vax, despite the angle, leans forward again, making Percy’s back click a few times, to seal their mouths together once more as he shifts just enough to hit that spot in Percy. Vax swallows his scream, and then, somehow, Percy feels safe to breathe, like everything Vax touches gains his extraordinary stealth. They start kissing again, and Vax begins to move.


It takes a few moments for them to find a rhythm, panting quiet and hot against each other’s mouths. Percy has a moment of lucidity, then, that Vax’ildan is buried balls-deep in him right now, that he’s been folded up and completely controlled by him. He almost laughs, that the twin he’d assumed to be submissive, should he make a move, is the one fucking him. If it weren’t for the stars bursting behind his eyelids every time Vax moved, he’d laugh. He must still smile, for Vax smiles back and lets out a wild little laugh of his own.


The buttons of Percy’s jacket just barely scrape across the stone floor with every thrust, not loud enough to wake anyone, but enough for that sharp spike of fear to take hold of his chest. “Vax,” he murmurs, into the tiny space between them. “Too much noise. The others—”


He cuts himself off as Vax twists, and the hand on the ground holding them up comes to rest against Percy’s throat. Percy nods, fast and irregular, desperate for it without even knowing. The pressure is wonderful, and he falls silent as Vax’s movement become irregular, and on a hard thrust Percy comes around him, come splattering between them, muscles clenching along with Vax’s hand as he follows suit. A few more hips stutters, and Vax covers Percy’s mouth again, freeing up his throat.


Vax gives him air, and they kiss languidly, slow and smooth and utterly connected. Vax gradually lowers his hips, and slides out. The pain in his throat and back and the movement of their mouths stops Percy from feeling empty, as he expected. Eventually, they break apart, Percy lying dazed as Vax leaves a final mark on his throat and shakily pushes himself up.


“Mother fucker ,” Vax swears as he sits back. He glances around, apparently satisfied at their lack of attention, and ties up his breeches, never fully removed, and drags over his shirt.


Percy grabs his smallclothes, already half-ruined, and uses them to mop himself up before tossing them in the fire.


There’s a chuckle from Vax as he pulls his shirt over his head. “No smalls tomorrow? Hot.”


Percy smiles and starts getting his breeches back on. “Just what I was going for,” he tries to say, but stops when he hears his own grating voice. He shoots a half-hearted glare at Vax, who just shrugs and stands up.


“Hey, you’re the one who didn’t want to be caught.” He licks his lips, swollen and red in the firelight, and Percy still follows the motion. “I gotta go back to sleep. You should too, and drink some water, or you won’t be able to speak tomorrow. I’ll wake Vex up for a shift, she won’t mind if she can pay attention to Trinket for a few hours.”


Percy nods instead of trying to respond, and gratefully accepts the waterskin Vax holds out. He drinks deeply, the water soothing his throat, and as he tips it back down he catches Vax staring at him. The rogue shrugs. “Still hot.”


Percy feels a flush creep back up his cheeks, still anxious about the compliment, as if he hadn’t just had sex with the man. Vax offers him a hand up, and he tucks his gun and coat under his arm. “Thanks,” he says, still red, and realizes he hasn't a tent set up for himself.


Vax notices his wandering eyes, and rolls his own with a grin. “Come on, I’ll pretend to be asleep, so go kick my sister out and you can take her spot.”


Percy waits outside the tent for a minute, then slips in and taps Vex on the shoulder.


She stirs, braid leaving an imprint on her cheek. “Yeah? What’s wrong, Perce?”


“Just too tired to keep watch, it's probably best if we switch out.”


She closes her eyes and exhales. “Your voice is fucked, did you get sick or something?”


Behind Trinket, Vax twitches.


“Probably just tired.”


“Fine then.”


Percy offers her a hand up, and immediately fails not to think about how that hand’s just been all over her twin. She stretches, eyes scrunching shut as she yawns, and Percy is once more stuck by how beautifully alike they are.


She yawns, then pauses a moment. “You smell nice. Musky.”


Percy freezes, hardly daring to breathe for the phantom pressure against his throat, but she shrugs, so like her brother, and taps the bear twice on his side. “Come on, Trinket. Keep me company. Oh, and feel free to take my spot.”