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“So … Vex is a Baroness?”

Percy just hums in response, absorbed in whatever it is he’s making right now. Keyleth, sitting on a currently empty portion of his work table, swings her legs and tries again. “Why not Vax?”

At this, he looks up, furrowing his brow. “Oh. Well, I’m kind of working on something else for him. I’ll show you when we get back to Whitestone.”

“Uh-huh.” Seeing that he’s inserting a bolt somewhere, she picks up his smallest wrench and holds it out before he can look up to ask her for it. “And what about the rest of us?”

“You’re a druid princess. You don’t need another noble title.”

“Okay, not me. What about Pike? Or Scanlan? Or Grog?”

“Pike has other obligations. And really, are you going to tell me you think Scanlan or Grog should be let loose on high society?”

“And you accuse me of thinking I’m too good for other people.”

Percy sighs heavily. “That’s not the point.”

“Then what is the point, Percy?”

He looks up from his work. Keyleth tries to school her face into seriousness, but apparently fails, because he just scowls at her. “Whatever you’re getting at, stop.”

“What? What would I be getting at? What could I possibly be thinking about the fact that you made Vex, of all people, a noble of Whitestone? And gave her a house? So that she might think about living there when this is all over?”

“Keyleth.”

“I mean, from what I’ve seen, human nobles usually only court and marry their own kind. Other nobles, I mean. And you’re so ridiculously proper about noble stuff.”

“I am not. And that’s not …” He turns to grab some parts, but not before Keyleth sees the pink spots on his cheeks.

“Then why, Percy? Why Vex?”

“Because …” He bends over his work, very deliberately not looking at Keyleth. “Because she needed it.”

“How so?”

“She was … well, you saw what an asshole her father was. I’ve known people like him all my life, you know. Those who think that a title or money makes you better. They don’t. Believe me, I know that, and I’ve known it for longer than I’ve known all of you. Maybe I have both a title and money, but what’s the use of either if I can’t use them to make …” He pauses, and Keyleth watches him swallow before continuing. “To help the people I care about.”

Keyleth lets the smile she’s been holding back spread across her face. “So you care about Vex.”

“Of course I do.”

“In a way that is absolutely no different than the way you care about the rest of us.”

He doesn’t answer right away, which only makes Keyleth’s grin wider. “Why are we talking about this?”

“You give a woman a title and a mansion, and expect to not talk about it?” When he scowls again, Keyleth kicks her legs under the table with a certain amount of childish glee. “You like Vex.”

“Keyleth.”

“Just admit it, Percy. It’s super obvious.”

“It is not.”

“Is too. Oh my god, you’re even blushing while we’re talking about it. You can’t deny it.”

“It’s warm in here. There’s fire. I’m working.”

“Are you going to court her? I heard that’s how proper nobles do things.”

“We really need to change the subject now.”

“Why? Because you’re uncomfortable? Come on, Percy, you should just admit it, it would be so much easier that way.”

Percy puts his tools down and turns slowly to face Keyleth. He’s still blushing, but there’s also a smirk forming on his face. “So, how’s that thing with you and Vax going, anyway? Any kissing or anything happen lately?”

Keyleth stops swinging her legs. “Or,” she says grudgingly, “we can change the subject.”

“That’s what I thought.” Percy turns back to his project. “Can you hand me that jar of oil over there? I think this needs a bit of loosening.”

When he looks away, Keyleth lets a small smile creep back onto her face. Vex is always more open about these things. Maybe they need to schedule a girl talk sometime soon.