It had sounded like a rather splendid idea at first.
She’d take him up on the broom with her, up and up and up until their camp was just a tiny speck in the landscape below them. He’d have a perfect bird’s eye view through his scope on their destination.
“Hold on tight, darling. Don’t want you falling off and plummet to your death.” Vex had joked as Percy clambered on the broom behind her and she pushed them off the ground.
And to her surprise he had done just that, slung one arm around her waist as the broom steadily carried them upwards.
“Not something I have plans on doing.” He had replied with a dry chuckle.
It had felt nice, the cool wind in her hair, his firm warmth at her back as she spiraled ever higher.
“But, you know what would make this whole endeavor even better?”
“An airship?” She had laughed and shouted over the wind.
Percy had bend closer to speak right into her ear, his lips nearly brushing its tip.
“Yes,” and added a little quieter, “You remembered.”
“Of course, darling.”
They had reached the apex of their climb and Vex had steadied the broom, hovering still to let Percy take a good look.
She had felt him shift behind her to pull Bad News so he could spy through the scope. Then lurch sideways. Teeter. Heard him cuss. And when she half-turned and saw movement out of the corner of her eyes, instinctively reached out for it.
Percy had never allowed her to hold one of his weapons and the weight of Bad News now held in her one hand surprised her. Took her balance as it dragged her with it, down, off the broom.
Now she is plummeting. The weapon pulled intuitively against her, fingers curled so hard around the metal that it hurts.
Not as much as the ground will, her quick mind unnecessarily reminds her.
Vex forces her eyes to open as she spins in the air. Sky fills her vision, blue and limitless. Not the worst last thing to see before she dies. Again. At least she knows what will be waiting for her.
And then there’s Percy. He’s falling too, just a little above her, one hand holding on to the broom, the other stretched out towards her. His blue eyes behind his glasses are wide with fear. He’s shouting something but the words are ripped away the instant they leave his mouth.
It takes a second for Vex’s brain to read them off his lips.
‘Take my hand.’
She forces her muscles to move, reaches out towards him as his name is tumbling over her lips.
It feels like an eternity before his fingers brush, then take hold of hers and Vex is pulled towards him.
‘Make it fly,’ he’s shouting as he curls protectively around her, broom and weapon pressed between them.
Vex holds on as tight as she can to Percy and to life and emits the activation word.
A jerk goes through their bodies as their rapid fall is immediately halted when the broom springs into life and carries them again.
They are both silent for a breathless moment. Vex feels her heart beat so fast it could pummel its way out through her chest and Percival’s breath is hot and shallow against her ear.
Then they both start laughing, nearly losing themselves in hysterics, a tangle of limbs and wood and metal hovering in the air. Still alive.
Percy catches himself first when he helps Vex pull herself back up onto the seat.
“Never do that again. No invention of mine is worth your life.” He says with a shake in his voice. He is still holding on tight to her, pressing her flush against him, and Vex realizes that they are both trembling. She turns around to look into his face.
Percy’s eyes are blown wide, though if it is from their fall or the fact that her nose is now almost touching his she can’t tell. The rush of survival is flooding her body and she gives into the pull. Presses her lips to his for an exquisite moment before turning back around.
“I think I could use a drink now. And we’re going to get you that airship.” She says as she guides the broom into a slow descend.
“Vex, don’t change the subject.” Percy admonishes, but he sounds rather flustered and fond and she leans into him without thinking.
“Okay, I won’t.” She relents and feels him huff into her hair. Or kiss it, she is not sure.
“I mean it though. I’m going to help you get that airship.”
This time she is certain. A kiss, pressed lightly against the back of her head.
“I know, dear. Let’s talk about it over that drink you mentioned. Safely. On the ground.”
Vex laughs and nods, carries them down towards their waiting friends and a promise.