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Kima is thankful to them. 

She is, she reminds herself. She is thankful to Vox Machina for breaking her chains and sharing the mantle of her quest. She is thankful. 

She doesn’t want to be.

She had seen the mistrust in their eyes, though she had been bleeding and battered and bruised. The paladin, Pike, had balked at lending her mace, as though Kima had been a threat to any but the corpse of her tormenter. (His brains had splattered on the walls, in nearly the same place as he had hung the bodies of her companions. Her attack had been satisfying and not at all what she needed.) Pike had apologized, but Kima has no doubt that her first impression has lingered. Such things often do. 

The bard, Scanlan, she is unsure how to approach. He had lifted her spirits while she was enchained, and been the first to heal her wounds, but he appears flighty, and altogether infatuated with Pike. Kima doubts that she herself makes any mark, against the bright light of that infatuation. 

The barbarian, Grog, is similarly infatuated with Kima. Were she less preoccupied, she might think it sweet. As it is, she has other concerns.

The sorcerer, Tiberius, is officious and awkward, though well-meaning, in his own way. He had offered her the first sip of water she had had in days, and she will remember that. She also remembers his face when he had reclaimed his water, and thinks that this is not a kindness to be relied on. 

The tinkerer, Percy, had been the first to help her, had rushed to loosen her chains. He has been nothing but kind to her, and that is enough to claim her goodwill. Bahamut is less accepting, and whispers in her ear of something darker behind Percy’s eyes. Her goodwill is deep, but her faith is deeper, and she puts her trust in her god. 

The druid, Keyleth, is suspicious of her devotion to Bahamut, and for that Kima has no rejoinder, nor does she wish one. Her loyalty to the Platinum Dragon requires neither apology nor explanation.

The twins, Vex and Vax, are something of a conundrum. They are very similar in many ways, seldom more than a breath and a thought apart, and often move in eerie harmony. But where Vax is scouting in advance, Vex is among the company, and where Vex is sure and steady, Vax is poised on a knife’s edge. Though Kima does not doubt Vex’s love for her brother, Kima is also sure that Vex would survive his death. Of the reverse, she is much less convinced. 

The illithid, Clarota, worries Kima far more. Though the rest of the party has assured her of his good intentions, she has learned to trust slowly and sparingly. They gained her loyalty, though not her trust, with Allura’s name, but Clarota has no such token. Evil is not a transitive property, but neither is good, and so she keeps the illithid at arm’s length, until such time as he proves that he is worthy of consideration. Should that time come, she will be glad of it; should it never arrive, she will be unsurprised.

But she is thankful to him. To all of them. Vox Machina rescued her. Vox Machina broke her chains and took on the mantle of her quest.

 

And for that, she is thankful.