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Bad Influences

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Her boots clattered on the cobbles but for once Kima wasn’t worried about being too loud. They’d defeated a god today, well, Vox Machina had, but Kima liked to think she had kept those idiots alive long enough to make it that far. Besides, the streets were lined with the corpses of the recently dead-again undead, many bearing her signature, it wasn’t like she’d just been twiddling her thumbs.

Behind her she heard the reality ripping sound of Keyleth’s tree portal. They’d won, but at a cost. Kima knew exactly what that felt like. They would continue on, of course they would, but things would be different for a while at least, if not forever. She didn’t have much time to dwell on Vax’ildan’s passing however, as Allura stumbled over what looked to be half a skeleton.

‘Someone should clean that up,’ Allura muttered as she regained her footing. She was still heavily leaning on Kima and it was just a little awkward as the Arcanist was nearly twice her height.

‘Exactly how much wine did you have?’ Kima asked as she steadied Allura on her feet, holding back a smile. It was so very rare for Allura to let loose a little, and if anyone deserved to have some fun it was Allie. That woman had been forced from one crisis to the next. First it was those damned dragons, then it was overseeing Emon’s construction effort and during all of it Allura had spent every spare moment she had researching the Orb of Doom underneath Whitestone. She needed a damn break.

A grin bordering on sly crossed Allura’s face. ‘Just one glass.’

Kima raised an eyebrow. Allura might not be much of a drinker but for her to get this influenced by just one glass of wine was unlikely. ‘Just one?’

‘I may have done a couple of shots at the bar with Pike.’ Allura managed to keep her face straight for a couple of seconds before another grin broke through. The alcohol cracking her diplomat’s façade.

Kima shook her head and chuckled. ‘And how many did you have of those, Lady Vysoren?’

Allura’s brow furrowed adorably as she tried to remember, counting on her fingers, needing more of them than Kima had expected. ‘No more than five.’

‘I let you out of my sight for a moment and you slam back a year’s worth of alcohol?!’ Kima asked incredulously.

Allura grinned. ‘Was Pike her idea.’

‘I am sure it was. But her last name is Trickfoot for a reason, honey,’ Kima smiled, grabbing Allura by the elbow and steering her around the giant hole she had been half a step away from falling into.

Either unbothered or unaware of her near fall, Allura continued. ‘She is a holy woman, she would never lead me astray.’ Allura gave her a crooked grin as she said it, leaning in a little closer. ‘I have you for that,’ she added in a loud whisper, fingers tickling behind her Kima’s ear.

Kima halfheartedly dodged out of the way of Allura’s hands, trying to keep her smile hidden. ‘I’ll have you know that I am also a holy woman.’

‘Oh, I know.’ Allura smiled that same crooked smile.

Allura was obviously attempting to be subtle, but she was far too drunk to pull it off. It was endearing, and despite knowing she was being baited Kima couldn’t help but pull Allura the rest of the way down for a kiss.

‘You know,’ Kima whispered just before connecting their lips in a searing kiss.

Allura’s lips tasted of sweet wine and burning liquor but the kiss was intoxicating for reasons unrelated.

That morning when endless dark clouds had come rolling in over the ocean Kima feared that the end was once again upon them. But the stars were out now and they were still alive, not only that, they were victorious. For tonight the world was safe and they were together, kissing in the middle of the street.

Allura swept her tongue across Kima’s lower lip, attempting to deepen the kiss. Kima would have gladly let her if someone hadn’t pointedly cleared their throat behind them.

Kima reluctantly pulled away from Allura, shooting whoever it was that had so rudely interrupted them a deadly glare.

Sadly, Platinum Knight Jonis was more than used to Kima’s looks and stood his ground.

Kima planted her hands on her hips and stared him down. ‘What do you want, Jonis?’

He looked at her and then at Allura, his eyes narrowing slightly. ‘You’re blocking the way.’

It was only then that Kima noticed the familiar white steps of the Platinum Sanctuary rising up right in front of her. She had been so busy keeping Allura on her feet she hadn’t paid any attention to where they were going, her mind apparently retracing a known route without her say so.

‘Right.’ Kima took a step back, pulling Allura with her to clear the way for Jonis, showing him out with a wave of her arm. ‘All clear.’

Jonis nodded stiffly as he passed them.

Kima then turned her gaze to Allura, who had been the picture of innocence throughout this entire exchange.

‘You did that on purpose.’

Allura simply smiled, her eyes shining with more than just moonlight and alcohol. ‘I am sure I have no idea what you are talking about.’

Kima took one look at those sparkling blue eyes and knew for sure that Allura had been well aware of their surroundings and had almost certainly intended for them to get caught kissing on the Sanctuary steps.

Allura took three wobbly steps onto the seemingly endless staircase leading up to the Platinum Sanctuary and then paused, brow furrowed as she swayed on her feet a little.

Kima rushed up, putting her hand on the small of Allura’s back to steady her, looking up at the long climb before them and realizing that there was no way Allura was going to be able to climb the thousand steps in the state she was in.

Allura, even in her addled state, seemed to have realized the same thing. ‘I refuse to be defeated by stairs,’ she muttered under her breath.

Kima was about to suggest they stay elsewhere when the whole world flashed blue, her ears popped and she suddenly found herself standing right in front of the double doors leading into the Sanctuary.

Allura’s proud grin wasn’t dampened by the two spears pointing right at them. Who would have thought that magically appearing right on the doorstep of the Platinum Sanctuary wouldn’t sit well with its guards? Especially after the day they just had.

Before Kima could regain her bearings and step in Allura put her free hand up in a pacifying gesture. ‘Not to worry, gentlemen, won’t happen again. I have an armed escort to keep me and my magic in line.’

Kima barely held back a chuckle. Allura really was laying it on thick that she was an arcane magic user and that she was well aware this whole city frowned on that. She knew Allura had wanted to say this for years and that the alcohol had freed her of her usual politeness and sense of propriety in favor of just speaking her mind. Which was possibly why Allura never drank; she had a lot of opinions.

The guards looked over at Kima, and while her golden armor was heavily dented, the symbol of Bahamut on her chest was still clearly recognizable. For a second they seemed to hesitate, their eyes flitting over to Allura, who was smiling politely if a bit impatiently.

Kima cleared her throat and squared her shoulders, glaring at the guards. ‘Are you going to let us pass or not?’

The older of the two guards righted his back. ‘I’m sorry, Lady Kima, but the magic user…’

Kima raised an eyebrow, she really wasn’t in the mood for this. Today had been a long day, she was exhausted, she had lost friends and Allura was tickling the back of her ear in a very particular way. ‘The magic user is Lady Allura Vysoren, one of the masters on the Council of Emon. Today she fought to protect this city as if it was her own. She is also my wife. And I would prefer not to tell Highbearer Vord you denied us entry and see you demoted to guarding the latrines for the rest of your lives, would you?’

‘R-right away, Lady Kima,’ the guard nodded, scrambling to open the door. ‘Our apologies, Lady Allura.’

Kima nodded sternly and passed the guards, pulling Allura along with her.

They quickly made their way through the winding halls of the mountain fort, Kima returning every disapproving look they received with one of her own.

Kima never held much love for this place, nor this place for her, and that relationship hadn’t improved when she married Arcanist Allura Vysoren, member of the Arcana Pansophical. Apart from marrying a chromatic dragon, Kima doubted she could have made a worse match by the Sanctuary’s standards. It made her smile.

Tomorrow, whoever looked at Allie the wrong way could expect a swift kick to the groin, but tonight they were celebrating, they were happy, they were in love, and desperately in need of a room with a lock.

Allura pulled her along by the hand, either blissfully unaware or drunkenly uncaring of the looks they received, instead spending her energy on putting on foot in front of the other to get them to their destination as quickly as possible.

‘You’re very eager,’ Kima hummed.

‘You have already told all of Vox Machina we were going to have sex. I want to have sex.’

Kima chuckled, drunk Allura certainly didn’t hold anything back. ‘Technically you told them.’

‘I was being subtle,’ Allura muttered, currently distracted by a series of identical doors lining the hallway.

‘You really weren’t,’ Kima said, taking a few steps forward and pushing open the door to her room. Everything was exactly as she left it, a couple of old, dented swords and shields leaning against the wall, a chainmail shirt hanging over the back of her chair. There was no dust anywhere and the bed had been made so the room had obviously been cleaned, but other than that it had remained untouched.

‘As cozy as ever,’ Kima sighed as she closed, and locked, the door behind them.

Allura had made her way over to Kima’s cot in the far corner of the room, inelegantly sinking down on top of it. ‘Gods, and to think I almost forgot how uncomfortable your bed was.’

Kima leaned her Holy Avenger against the wall, starting to undo the buckles on her gauntlets. ‘This is not my bed.’ She put her gauntlets down on the room’s small desk, bending down to undo her greaves and boots.

Allura looked at her questioningly.

Kima send her boots clanking across the floor as she kicked them off. ‘My bed is back home, in Emon. It’s too big, too soft and I share it with you. This,’ she pointed at the cot Allura was currently resting on, ‘is just a bed I used to sleep on. But it isn’t mine.’

Allura gave her one of her incredibly soft, warm smiles and it made Kima’s heart ache.

‘Come here,’ Allura smiled, patting the sheets next to her.

Kima padded her way over, the stone floor cold under her bare feet, and halted right in front of Allura.

‘Turn around?’ Allura asked, and Kima obeyed instantly.

She could feel Allura’s breath on the back of her neck as she leaned in closer, her hands slipping underneath the shoulder pieces of her breastplate to help her out of it.

Kima shivered as Allura pressed a soft kiss to the back of her neck.

‘I love you,’ she whispered, her hands continuing to undo buckles and removing pieces of Kima’s armor with practiced ease.

‘I love you too,’ Kima replied, helping Allura lift the breastplate off her shoulders, leaving her only in her padded blue gambeson and tights.

Allura slowly spun her back around, putting her hands on Kima’s hips and lifting her into her lap.

Kima planted her knees on either side of Allura’s hips and leaned in to kiss her. Allura had the same idea and their noses bumped together rather awkwardly as they both leaned in the same direction.

Kima laughed and Allura giggled, the sound making Kima laugh even harder, which made Allura giggle more.

Allura rested her forehead against Kima’s shoulder, her own shoulders still shaking with laughter. ‘I really am drunk.’

‘Yeah, you are,’ Kima smiled, brushing a stray lock of hair behind Allura’s ear. ‘Now hold still so I can kiss you.’

Allura tilted her chin up and Kima took her face in her hands, ever so slowly she leaned in, making sure the angle was right this time.

Allura’s lips parted easily under her own, but they were still smiling too much for it to be an actual kiss.

Kima couldn’t help but pull back with a laugh. ‘Stop smiling, I am trying to kiss you!’

Allura’s smile only got wider. ‘I can’t! I had a lot of alcohol and I love you very much, you make me so happy, Kima.’

Kima looked down to attempt and hide her blush. She knew Allura loved her of course, and somewhere inside her she knew the other thing too, but hearing Allura say it always made her giddy inside.

‘You make me happy too, Allie,’ Kima muttered, wrapping her arms around Allura’s shoulders in a tight embrace.

‘You know what would make me even happier?’ Allura sing-songed?

‘What’s that?’ Kima asked, still not letting Allura go from the hug just yet.

‘If you were wearing less clothing. None at all, ideally speaking.’ Allura’s smile as wide as her eyes were dark.

Kima pushed softly against Allura’s shoulders, making her recline onto the bed.

‘That could be arranged.’ Still straddling Allura’s hips, she reached up to undo the buttons of her gambeson.

Allura reached up to help but the buttons were tiny and while she concentrated really hard she gave up two buttons in and settled for just watching Kima undress.

Kima shrugged off the gambeson and threw it to the side. This part of the undressing Allura was very eager to help with, pulling the tight vest Kima wore over her head in a single, practiced movement.

Now bare from the waist up, Kima looked down at Allura, who of course was still fully dressed.

Kima managed to ignore Allura’s hand caressing her sides, inching higher and higher with every pass. ‘What about you? Are you going to get undressed?’

Allura looked pensive for a moment and then shook her head. ‘No, that wouldn’t make me happy at all.’ A wide smile curving her lips as she couldn’t hold it back any longer.

Kima laughed. ‘I guess I’ll just have to help myself then.’ She starting working on the laces at the front of Allura’s dress.

‘I don’t think so,’ Allura grinned, twisting underneath Kima and throwing her off. The move only worked because Kima was surprised, but as soon as her side hit the mattress she was prepared.

They laughed as both of them tried to get the other one back on their back, Allura using her height and Kima her strength to their advantage. Hands roamed the other’s body freely, tugging at remaining clothes and stroking warm skin, their mouth nipping and sucking at sensitive spots on the other’s neck and upper torso.

Eventually, realizing they had reached an impasse, they collapsed into a fit of giggles, bodies tangled together, still on their sides.

Allura scooted down a little, tucking her head under Kima’s chin. ‘I love you. And I am glad you’re okay. I was worried about you out there today,’ she whispered, her breath hot on Kima’s heated skin.

Kima kissed the top of Allura’s head, some of the desperate need from before fading at the softness in Allura’s voice and posture. ‘I’m glad you’re okay too. And I love you very much as well,’ she hummed.

Allura sighed contently, hugging Kima closer to her. ‘Good.’

They laid together like that for a while, enjoying the comfort of just being near each other, of feeling each breath and each heartbeat.

‘I was worried about you too,’ Kima whispered eventually, fingers carting through soft, golden hair. She knew Allura could more than take care of herself, just like Allura knew she could, but Kima figured it was a side effect of being in love, to constantly worry about the ones you loved when they were in danger, and even when they’re not.

Allura didn’t respond and Kima had to hold back a chuckle as she realized Allura’s breathing had evened out. They were both half-undressed and sporting more than a few insistent kiss makrs, and now Allura had fallen asleep before anything actually could happen.

‘If I knew this is what happens when you drink I would have protested more,’ Kima whispered into Allura’s hair, smiling as she kissed the side of her head.

She didn’t actually mind, Allura had obviously been exhausted and needed her sleep. Besides, they had all the time in the world now, they could just finish what they started in the morning.

Kima gently turned onto her back, careful not to wake Allura.

Allura let out a soft, sleepy whine, but didn’t wake all the way, instead adjusting to her new position, head resting on Kima’s chest, head still tucked under her chin.

Ever so slowly Kima drew the discarded sheet up over them, wrapping it around Allura’s shoulders. She called a little divine magic forth, sinking it into Allura’s forehead with a kiss. She doubted Bahamut had meant for his gift to be used that way, but with the amount of alcohol Allura had consumed, she was going to be in for a rough morning and Allura got terribly grumpy when she wasn’t feeling well, so really rinsing the alcohol from her system was better for everyone.

‘Love you, Allie,’ Kima hummed, only then closing her eyes and allowing herself to fall asleep, dreaming of Allura and their wide-open future now the world was safe once again.