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Percy is late.

Which doesn’t concern Vax, as Percy is always late. He’s often delayed in his workshop, or sometimes he can be found under Keyleth’s tree in the courtyard, worlds away in a book after someone has forced him to leave the heat of the forge and take some fresh air. This evening, Vax can say with certainty that the former is true, as Vax himself is waiting in the courtyard. He barely notices the new row of flower beds that Keyleth has added, so distracted is he.

A small part of Vax had hoped that, tonight of all nights, Percy might find it in him to be on time, but it doesn’t exactly concern him - he’s more concerned with fiddling with elaborate hairpins and the folds of his best cloak. He’d really put in an effort tonight, he’d even cornered Laina in the kitchen and sought her final approval. She’d teased him on the appearance of yet another cloak - this one an oilslick coloured iridescent ripple falling to his ankles, feathers tickling his chin - and he’d laughed her off. He didn’t tell her that he’d bought it specially. He only hoped his sister didn’t hear how much he’d paid for it.

Looking up at the fiery orange sky, Vax tries to appreciate the sunset rather than seeing it as a ticking clock. Somewhere in the shrubbery a cricket chirps. Vax fiddles with his hairpins again.

“Every time,” Vax mutters, though not angrily.

He straightens his cloak, tugging at it agitatedly, then abruptly pushes away from the wall he leans against. He heads back into the keep and walks the all too familiar path to the lower floor. Long, pale fingers reach out absent-mindedly and brush against the stonework of the walls. He walks without sound, footsteps no more than a suggestion on the ground. There’s no one to distract him and he descends the cold steps with nerves bubbling in his belly. They have no scheduled time for their planned meal in Emon’s finest restaurant, however there is still a cause for haste, as it closes earlier than Vax would like.

Arriving outside the reinforced steel door of Percy’s workshop, Vax jiggles the handle experimentally. It’s unlocked, so he swings it cautiously open, rapping his knuckles on it loudly as he enters.

“Percival?”

What awaits Vax on the other side of the door is sheer chaos. Although Percy cannot be described as tidy by any stretch of the imagination, he is at least organised. This is like the scene of a great battle, with scrap metal thrown everywhere. Arrows and musket balls litter the floor. Unwanted tools and coiled up springs have been swept carelessly aside. Over in the corner, the forge belches out fire at irregular intervals. Vax isn’t sure it’s supposed to do that.

In the light from the flames he sees Percy hunched over his workbench, shirt clinging to his sweaty back. The bottom half of his arms to his fingertips are black with soot, streaks of it dirtying his hair. He is fiddling with something uncharacteristically small. On the bench beside him is a sizeable chunk of rock that Vax recognises as the stone Whitestone is famous for.

“Percy?” Vax gently kicks the back of his ankle. “Oi.”

Percy jumps and drops whatever he was working on. Spinning around, he faces Vax with a look of mixed shock and panic. “Vax!” Regaining his composure, Percy puts on the calmer face Vax often sees him present to others. It’s a fraction of a second too late, but Vax can’t blame a man for being startled.

“What’re you working on?” he asks, already reaching behind Percy’s back.

Percy’s hand shoots out and grabs Vax’s, the reflex surprising them both. “Nothing! Nothing.” He attempts a laugh.

“Well,” Vax says wryly, “must be pretty good, to have you forget about our date.”

“Our-?” Percy visibly pales. “Oh gods! I had a malfunction and it took longer than I- What time is it?”

“Dusk.”

Releasing his hold on Vax, Percy puts his head in his hands and groans. Through his fingers he says what is probably a very embarrassed apology and Vax can’t help but reach up and run his fingers through short white hair. It’s damp and could benefit from a good long shower, the thought of which almost brings a little colour to Vax’s cheeks.

“Could we make it if we leave now?” Percy asks, looking up.

Vax smiles fondly at the imprint of black powder now across Percy’s face (and fortunately not his glasses).

“As much as I would love to see you walking through Emon like this, I don’t think that’s going to happen. You don’t exactly meet the requirements of the restaurant’s dress code, and no amount of fancy long names are enough to get you past that.”

He gets a withering glare for that, short lived before it melts into a fond - if exasperated - smile.

“Give me chance to clean up in here and perhaps we can try and rescue our evening?” he suggests.

Vax glances around at the workshop again and takes in the scope of the disarray. This is more than dishevelment, this is mayhem. Percy has always had an organized chaos to his personal space - to his entire existence it sometimes seems - but this is an utter shambles. If Vax didn’t know any better, he’d wonder if Percy had been testing explosive arrows in confined spaces again.

“Do you want to tell me why your workshop looks like you let Trinket loose in it?” Vax asks.

“Because I did,” Percy replies in his best deadpan.

Raising an eyebrow, Vax waits.

“I told you,” Percy says. “I had a malfunction. It’s nothing to worry about.”

That’s bullshit and they both know it. Vax doesn’t even need to call him out on it, he can already see the way Percy avoids his piercing gaze. There’s something more that he doesn’t want to share and though Vax is fine with Percy having his own secrets, he’s a little disappointed to find this reluctance to share information. It’s not easy to push aside.

“You pay so much attention to what’s on this table, Percival.” Vax runs his fingers along the edge of it, picking up the dust and soot and black powder caught in the grain of the wood. With little warning, he sweeps it all aside, sending tools and rock and gods knows what else to the floor, glass crashing and shattering. In the space cleared, he hops gracefully onto the table. The light from the forge setting Vax’s eyes aflame, he looks up from under his eyelashes. “Pay attention to me.”

Colour floods into Percy’s cheeks, the way it always does when Vax is explicit about what he wants. He has one hand out in a failed attempt to stop Vax’s grand gesture and his eyes dart to the mess on the floor. Vax does his best to ignore it.

“Vax,” Percy says weakly.

This is taking too long. Vax reaches out and grabs Percy’s necktie. His fingers curl against the silk before yanking it - and Percy - to him. Percy staggers up to the workbench and finds himself perfectly situated between Vax’s legs. The necktie is released and Vax loops his arms around Percy’s neck, pressing their foreheads together, his lips a few unbearable inches away as Percy exhales in a rush.

“We should-” Percy begins.

Vax stops him. “We should unwind. You focus so hard on your tinkering and your gadgets, for once allow time to focus on yourself. Better yet, let me focus on you.”

A weak noise escapes Percy’s throat and it’s all Vax can do not to kiss him then. Instead, he pulls back a little and presses a kiss to his forehead, chaste and soft as their first. Then, he picks up both of Percy’s blackened hands and - smiling a little at the state of them - kisses them too. Percy watches in fascinated silence, moving only to brush a little powder off Vax’s lips. Vax takes this opportunity to kiss Percy’s fingertips, each one receiving equal attention. When he’s done he moves to the wrists, head now bowed as he does so. He must look like a man in prayer.

Vax thinks, if this is prayer, he must be the holiest of men.

After that all that’s left is the exposed forearms and the scars they bear. There are many stories written here in the darker pigments of skin, stories of battle and conflict, of torture and of tinkering. Of pain. Vax knows them all. He can heal none.

Once again, Percy protests. “Here is perhaps not the place, love.”

With a wicked grin, Vax says, “Here,” he wraps his legs around Percy and pulls him closer, “is the only option.”

At this point Percy surges forward and takes Vax’s face in his hands, bringing them together for a hard and breathtaking kiss. Vax hesitates only for a second before he’s grabbing Percy’s shirt, trying only to get closer, closer. Percy breaks the kiss as suddenly as it began, nipping Vax’s lip and pulling back. He looks far too smug.

“Anyway, we can’t go anywhere else,” Vax says, voice a touch higher even as he tries to carry on the conversation. “You’re missing that ridiculous necktie.”

Percy’s hand flies to his throat; it’s bare. He glances down to make sure, as if he might somehow make it reappear, and when he looks back up it is dangling between Vax’s quick fingers.

“Is nothing safe from your thievery?” Percy asks dryly, and only a little breathlessly.

“Depends what you have in mind for tonight,” Vax says, his eyes trailing suggestively down from Percy’s exposed throat. “I’ve stolen a few kisses already, but I’m sure my nimble fingers can find something else to help myself to.”

Percy snorts. “Oh, you are awful.” He tries to push Vax away, light and playful, but Vax hooks his ankles together and clings. His thighs tighten around Percy’s waist and as Percy steps back, Vax goes with him, entirely supported by the other man. It may not be the silliest stunt he’s pulled, but it hardly feels romantic.

Still, there’s something to be said for the way Percy’s hands automatically shoot out to support him. Vax shifts a little to get a better hold and Percy sucks in a sharp breath, eyes dark and intent. There’s no question where this is going. Vax, being the little shit he is, gets a firm grip on Percy’s shoulders and takes this opportunity to roll his hips, being at just the right height to do so. Percy’s hands dig into Vax’s ass a little as he tries to hold back a whimper. He’s already half hard just from the kissing. It’s never taken much to work Percy up and Vax has it down to an art.

“Am I awful, Percy?” Vax asks softly, hands shifting to clasp behind Percy’s neck. “Would you like me to leave?”

Percy shakes his head, not able to get out a verbal reply. He meets the next roll of Vax’s hips, resulting in a hiss and sultry smile from the half elf. Percy’s lower lip sticks out slightly, the way it does when a person hasn’t quite closed their mouth. Vax leans down and takes it between his teeth, sucking gently. Percy almost drops him. Ignoring that, Vax runs his tongue over the lip. He moans, low and deep, in a way he knows always works on Percy. It’s more for show than anything else, but Vax doesn’t feel bad. He likes the reaction it gets.

He leans back. “Put me down.”

“Don’t be ridiculous,” Percy scoffs, “there’s glass all over the floor, you’ll get cut to ribbons.”

The words take a second to filter into Vax’s brain. He’d been expecting something less…. Sensible. Tipping his head back, Vax laughs loud and clear. With sparkling eyes he looks down at the rather disgruntled expression on Percy’s face and feels his heart soar.

“You,” he kisses him, “impossible,” he kisses him again, “man”.

Vax slides his hands under Percy’s jaw and lifts it to a kiss. This one is different to the others. It’s rougher, messier. Teeth clack together and their breathing is harsh. It reveals the underlying urge, the want for more. If Vax wasn’t clinging to Percy for support he’d be raking his hands through his hair, trying to join them in body as they are in soul.

There’s a shudder as Percy nearly drops Vax again. “This isn’t sustainable.” Percy says, referring to their current position.

Vax, aware of Percy’s limited strength, kisses his way up Percy’s jaw and whispers in his ear, “So put me down.”

He gets his wish, albeit in a roundabout way. Percy drops him back onto the workbench and spends a moment tucking a strand of hair behind Vax’s pointed ear.

“We’ve not had sex on this bench yet.” Vax points out.

“I’m afraid you might be out of luck. I doubt it’ll hold both of us,” Percy says wryly, then pauses at the look on Vax’s face. “Oh. You aren’t joking.”

“I happen to be a very lucky man, Percival,” Vax says.

“Debatable.”

There’s no point in taking the conversation further. Vax’s thoughts are too clouded by desire to get Percy out of his clothes as fast as he can possibly manage. He starts with the buttons at the top of Percy’s shirt, not missing the way Percy swallows, or how his adam’s apple bobs. There’s no stubble anywhere on Percy’s creamy skin, the one and only sign of date night preparation. Vax has never been much of a painter, but he leans in and marks the blank canvas of Percy’s throat as though it were his masterpiece. Percy critiques his work with soft gasps that vary in pitch. It’s heady and grounding all at once. Vax feels as though he’s not in control of his body, his actions decided for him based on instinct and experience.

Vax.”

Nimble fingers continue to work their way down Percy’s shirt, undoing buttons along the way. Vax doesn’t stop until they’re all undone and he can marvel at Percy’s form unobstructed. He waits long enough for Percy to free his arms and drop the shirt to the floor, then he’s diving for the first new scar he sees. He can’t help himself. Percy’s never been careful; it seems every time Vax sees him he has some new injury. Vax may not have the healing powers of Pike, but he does what he can to soothe the aches and pains.

“You.” Kiss. “Are.” Kiss. “A.” Kiss. “Reckless.” Kiss. “Bastard.”

“I’m getting mixed signals here,” Percy says dryly. “And I seem to recall you aren’t all that careful yourself.”

Vax almost puffs out his chest. “You wouldn’t have me any other way.”

“Oh, I don’t know,” Percy says lazily, hands fiddling with Vax’s cloak, “I can think of a few other ways I’d like you.”

Heat swells deep inside Vax and he starts to yank at the clasp of his cloak. Percy bats away his hands and smiles when Vax groans in frustration. He always draws this out.

“Percival, you bastard. I’ve waited long enough.”

Percy takes this moment to glance down and confirm that Vax is straining in his breeches. He reaches out and runs the back of his hand against the fabric where Vax’s cock is. Vax jolts and groans again.

“I think you can wait a little longer,” Percy says, as though discussing the weather.

Then - tortuously - Percy’s hands move away and he tries to bury them in Vax’s hair. He can’t quite manage it, however, as it’s pinned in a braided updo. He wastes a few seconds attempting to unpin it before Vax takes over and frees it himself. Silky black hair tumbles down and spills over his shoulders. From the way Percy looks at him, Vax suddenly feels unworthy. In the light of the forge Percy’s edges are softened, his emotion raw as the ore he smelts. There’s a part of Vax that knows this vulnerable side of Percy is shown only to him.

He can’t dwell on that though, not when Percy’s fingers are making their way through his hair, the feeling familiar and comforting. Now all that matters is the way Percy looks at him, as though he is the sun that Percy orbits, the negative space around Vax blurring into nothing as he is all that Percy sees.

Gods above, he’d do anything to see Percy look at him like this always.

“Are we really doing this here?” Percy asks, even as he unclasps Vax’s cloak and lets it fall into a heap on the table.

Vax spreads his legs and rubs a hand over himself. “You can leave if you want to, but I’ll stay here thanks.”

Predictably, Percy flushes and bites his lip. He says something too low to catch and braces his hands on Vax’s thighs, adding a little more pressure than necessary. With a swift movement he brings his mouth to Vax’s and kisses him with more of their previous urgency. There’s a trace of mint on Vax’s breath and Percy chases it, kissing him deeper.

It’s hard to focus on much of anything with Percy kissing him like that, but Vax still has something of his wits about him. With not a little bit of flexibility, he’s able to bring one of his booted feet up and plant it in the middle of Percy’s bare torso. The move requires Vax to lean back slightly, but it’s still Percy that breaks the kiss to look down, his face the picture of confusion.

“Vax-?”

Vax pushes him back a step, leg extending and bridging the distance between them. Quickly, before Percy can say anything else, Vax is tugging his tunic over his head. He throws it off to the side, leans back onto his elbows and raises an eyebrow as if to say ‘well then?’

With a hand that shakes only slightly, Percy takes the heel of Vax’s boot. His other hand slips under Vax’s calf.

“No time for that, Percival,” Vax says.

“If your boots don’t come off than neither can your breeches,” Percy points out.

Vax swallows, mouth dry. He’s uncomfortably hard now, in a way that almost pains him to stay still. If he had to guess, he’d say Percy is feeling it too, his work trousers obviously tenting.

He’s caught looking, Percy grinning smugly before pouncing forward and hooking Vax’s leg over his shoulder. On the inner seam of the breeches Percy leaves hot, quick kisses, each one leaving a damp mark. Vax’s breathing speeds up as Percy bends and reaches the top of Vax’s inner thigh, eyes hot on Vax’s as his tongue dances around the only place Vax wants it.

Percival, for Pelor’s sake!

Percy dips his head and almost nuzzles the fabric above Vax’s cock, making the half-elf spasm and cry out. Percy lathes hot, open mouth kisses to the area, lazy but thorough. Strong, warm hands pin Vax’s hips to the workbench and prevent him from bucking up. The lights in the room blur together for a moment and Vax reaches blindly, finding Percy’s head and clutching at his hair.

“Perce!”

At that, Percy unfastens the tie of Vax’s breeches. He pulls down the offending garment and is met with a strong, salty musk unlike anything else. Later the whole workshop will smell like this, but for now Percy can’t resist a discreet inhale before he takes Vax’s cock in his mouth. Vax shudders and Percy imagines he can feel it as well as see it. He closes his eyes and tries to focus, tongue slick and teasing the slit as he bobs up and down the length.

After a couple of seconds Percy’s throat relaxes and he takes Vax a little deeper, starting to suck the tip when he’s near the top. Vax moans helplessly and the fingers that had been tight on Percy’s skull are now lax, jolting occasionally.

Somewhere in the back of Vax’s mind, he’s dimly aware that tonight was meant to be about him looking after Percy.

Percy hums deep in his throat and Vax nearly arches off the bench. Nothing else exists. There’s only Percy’s lips, his tongue, his hands. One finger traces the silky skin of Vax’s thigh and moves up until-

Percy! Stop.”

Lifting his head, Percy looks a little thrown at this command. Spit and pre-come coats his lips and Vax almost regrets stopping him.

“Together,” Vax says.

He doesn’t need to say anything more. Percy straightens up and unfastens his belt, eyes dark and hungry as Vax pushes himself up into a sitting position once again. Vax waits until Percy is done with the belt and then he reaches out, dipping his hand into Percy’s trousers. Percy groans and his head drops forwards.

“There are buttons,” he says, referring to his fly.

Vax ignores him and squeezes.

Nine hells,” Percy gasps, one hand shooting out to grab Vax’s shoulder.

A smile curls its way onto Vax’s face as he tries to do more than run his fingers over Percy’s cock in the constrained space.

“Look at you,” Vax says fondly. “All wound tight like a toy.”

Percy licks his lower lip. They watch each other, trying to read each other’s thoughts as Vax withdraws his hand and tackles the buttons of Percy’s fly. The trousers fall to somewhere mid-calf but Vax is already refocusing on Percy’s underwear, dropping that too with speedy efficiency. A small patch at the front of the underwear is sticky and damp. Vax barely notices it.

“Got any oil down here?” Vax asks.

“Not the kind you’d want,” Percy replies. “Please don’t tell me you-”

He doesn’t get any further, as Vax spits into the palm of his hand and flashes Percy a grin.

“You’re disgusting,” Percy says, not unkindly.

“In two seconds you won’t care,” comes the reply.

Sure enough, when Vax takes them both in hand, Percy’s grip tightens on Vax’s shoulder and he exhales quietly. The two cocks line up in Vax’s spit-slicked palm, heat radiating from both of them. Vax reaches out with his other hand and takes Percy by the back of his neck, drawing him down into a kiss. As he does, he starts to move. His hand can’t quite wrap around both cocks, but the shared experience helps the building feeling in Vax’s body.

Both men start to rut into Vax’s hand, hips rolling in tandem as they find a pace that works. Vax moans into Percy’s mouth every time a particular vein on his cock gets any friction. Each time Percy responds by tightening his grip on Vax and trying to get their bodies just a little closer. They’re so close already.

Vax,” Percy groans.

Somehow Vax knows what Percy is saying with that tone of voice. He’s not just calling Vax’s name, he’s pleading with him. This isn’t enough.

“I’ve got you,” Vax says, changing his hand to only wrap around Percy’s cock. “You beautiful man, I’ve got you.”

His own cock is crying out for contact but Vax pushes that away to give Percy his full attention. Percy - who can no longer string together a sentence - throws back his head and cries out with the sudden change. Black smoke starts to cloud the air, its arrival a telling sign of Percy’s condition as it seeps out of him. Vax doesn’t panic - he’s seen it before.
Instead he watches the rapid rise and fall of Percy’s chest, the pinky-brown nipples erect and untouched. Before he can think about it, he rocks forward from his perch and flicks his tongue over one of the nipples.

Percy freezes.

Then the smoke blasts out of him and a strangled cry bursts free of his throat. He’s spasming under Vax’s touch, head still up to the sky and back arching beautifully. Vax can feel his occupied hand getting warm and wet and in a moment he’ll grab them a rag, but for this second he’ll watch Percy. The orgasm lasts only for a few seconds, but it’s the prettiest thing Vax has ever seen. It always is, he thinks.

Percy’s breathing is the first thing to return to normal, followed by the smoke fading and him becoming almost limp on his feet. Vax pulls him into an embrace and whispers gentle words into his ear, rubbing Percy’s back with the hand that isn’t covered in come. During this his own arousal is almost painful to ignore, but yet again he forces himself to be patient.

Percy comes back to him in stages. Over the course of the next few minutes he starts replying to Vax’s sweet talk, eventually pulling away to stand again. When he does, he notices Vax’s erect cock.

“I didn’t realise-” Percy cuts himself off. Asks, “May I?”

Vax nods and in the moment before Percy touches him, he thanks whichever gods are listening for cancelling their plans tonight.

 

***

 

“Forgive me,” Percy says into the quiet of the workshop, “I rather ruined your lovely hairstyle.”

Vax makes a noncommittal noise into Percy’s throat, his breath a hot whisper. Percy has propped himself up against the wall, one leg lazily hanging over the edge of the workbench; Vax is half on top of him and limp, face pressed into the crook of Percy’s neck.

“Worth it,” he says languidly. He reaches up with one hand to mess Percy’s hair, and Percy can feel his low chuckle more than hear it.

Vax makes himself comfy, coiling himself around Percy. The wall is digging into Percy’s back, the rough stone scraping at his skin, but with Vax on his chest and the warmth from the forge, he allows himself to be content. His hands drift to Vax’s hair, combing through to gently ease out the tangles, twisting it round his fingers to watch the silky strands reflect the glow of the forge. Vax sighs distantly, and Percy’s heart sings.

“We could still do dinner?” Percy says into Vax’s hair.

Vax doesn’t respond. Brow furrowing, Percy pulls away, and looking down finds Vax asleep, face serene. It tugs a fond smile to Percy’s lips as he awkwardly moves out from under Vax, lowering him gently onto the workbench. He brushes aside a few stray pieces of glass, then grabs his discarded shirt, bundling it up to act as a makeshift pillow. For a moment he considers, then picks up Vax’s cloak and drapes it over him, watching the gentle rise and fall of his chest. He brushes Vax’s hair away from his face, lingering as he brushes his cheek, then moves to step away - and is met with a somewhat alarming crunch. Percy remembers the state of his workshop, and winces.

He’s had worse messes. He’s had his own fits of frustration where ruined projects have gone flying, and failed projects that have exploded, but the level of mess doesn’t make it any less of an inconvenience. He half-heartedly curses Vax as he tugs up his trousers, still bunched around his thighs, but can’t find it in him to regret his impulsiveness. A very large part of him loves it.

Sleepy in post-coital bliss, Percy considers lying down to nap with Vax and leaving the mess til’ later, only he can’t remember locking the door, and with his luck they’d only be awoken by an angry bear with cut paws, or worse, Scanlan. With a sigh, he shoves his glasses back up his nose and begins to gather up the pieces of glass, the shards tinkling softly as he drops them into his hand.

Discarded amongst the debris, he uncovers his latest project.

Looking at it now, he almost finds it hard to believe that such a tiny thing gave him so much trouble. It appears to have survived the fall, the tiny inlay of glass unmarred and glittering. Percy straightens, absently depositing the handful of glass onto the nearest available surface. He turns the project over in his hands, flipping down the magnification lenses of his glasses as he runs his fingers over its edge. He glances over to Vax is still sprawled over the workbench, then flexes his hands and gets to work.

 

***

 

Vax wakes to a clean workshop. Any evidence of earlier passion has been swept away, a small pile of glass shards left on a shelf the only real indication that anything had been amiss. He reaches out blindly for Percy, expecting to find him beside him but instead finding only the rough wood of the workbench. He sits up abruptly, his cloak falling from his shoulders and pooling at his waist, feathers tickling his chest. Percy is sitting on a stool at the far end of the bench; at some point he’s gotten dressed in a clean shirt, one of his nicer ones, the sleeves rolled up. There’s a neat pile of what Vax recognises as his own clothes beside him, along with a jug of water and a few pieces of fruit. Percy is fiddling with something, but abruptly hides it as he sees Vax sit up, nudging the water towards him instead.

“What’ve you got there Percival?” Vax asks cheekily as he reaches for the jug.

“It’s nothing,” Percy says instinctually, then pauses, reconsiders. “Well, no, it’s not nothing. It is very much the opposite of nothing. It’s what I was working on when you came down here.”

Taking a long drink straight from the jug, Vax raises an eyebrow inquisitively, gestures with a hand for him to continue.

“I’d gotten a little lost in it, I was struggling to think clear enough for anything I tried to work, but you...you make everything clearer. My mistakes. My strengths,” he pauses, “my priorities.” He leans forward so Vax can see and opens his hand. Nestled in his palm is a small, black ring, gleaming in the low light like oil, a small cut of green glass glinting in the top. “I was...struggling with the design, to say the least. Nothing would fit together how I imagined, and I was so desperate for the details to be perfect that I couldn’t see it as a whole and fix the problems. Instead of taking a break and coming back to it, I was pushing myself too hard and expecting unreasonable results. But you distracting me helped me solve my little malfunction -”

“You mean malfucktion,” Vax chimes in, his grin wide.

Percy groans, and pinches the bridge of his nose. “Just, shut up and say you’ll marry me.”

Vax very nearly drops the jug. He fumbles to catch it and sloshes water on his legs.

“That’s...that’s a wedding ring,” he says dumbly.

“An engagement ring, technically. But yes. I wanted to have it finished by tonight. I was going to ask you at dinner, but it didn’t quite go as -”

“Yes.”

Percy blinks. “Beg pardon?”

“The answer. To that question you just asked, you idiot. The answer’s yes.”

Percy appears almost incredulous for a moment, then breaks out into the warmest, most genuine smile Vax has ever seen on his face, and his heart swells. He holds his hand out expectantly as Percy surges forward, letting him slide the ring on his finger, his hand cradling Vax’s as if it was something fragile and precious.

“There’s something I added to it, a spell, a ‘jenga button’ if you will. I’ve got one too, and if you press down the glass on yours it connects to mine, and a little light comes out of the glass that I can follow right to you -”

Percival,” Vax interrupts for the third time, “shut up and kiss me.”

Percy can’t really argue with that.