It was Grog, strangely enough, who came up with the idea.
Vex didn’t know why she was surprised; honestly, if there was any set of subjects that would make Grog’s mind work beyond violence, it was things related to sex, ale or fucking with her brother.
The drink had been flowing freely and Vax had finally torn himself away from staring soppily at Keyleth - sort of sweet, mostly gross - and moved on to drunkenly fussing at her.
“You don’t have to worry about it you know, Stubby.”
“I know, dear.” She said automatically, relaxing into his body when he pulled her close.
He pressed his lips to her hair, adorably earnest. “I’m just happy if you’re happy.”
“And I’m so happy you’re happy!” Vex patted his arm.
“And besides,” He continued as though she hadn’t spoken. “Things are better with de Rolo now, you know? We’ve talked it out.”
“Yes, I know – wait,” The words took a moment to filter properly through the haze of beer. Vex sat up. “What about Percy?’
“Listen - you’ve always been much cooler than me but you don’t have to play this so cool, you know? I saw you after… well, after Ripley happened. We all did. And I won’t deny it’s giving me heartburn a bit but Vex’ahlia you don’t need to hide that you’re …. You know… you and he...” Vax trailed off looking vaguely nauseated.
“You don’t think I should be hiding that Percy and I are having sex.” Vex said, her voice caught somewhere between flat and incredulous. She snatched Grog’s firewater off the bar and downed it all. There was no way she was going to be sober for this conversation.
He grimaced. “Well you don’t have to talk about it in detail or anything.”
“Talk about Vex and Percy knocking boots?” Grog dropped a heavy hand down on Vax’s shoulder.
“We are not – “ She began, then cut herself off. Over her brother’s head Grog had screwed up his face on one side and was blinking decidedly at her. It took a long moment for Vex’s inebriated brain to realize he was trying to wink. “We aren’t hiding it?” She tried, slowly.
“Yeah,” Grog grinned at her and ‘winked’ again. “Not with all the racket they were making last night. I mean, I wasn’t trying to listen but when it’s that loud.” He shrugged.
Vax looked from her to Grog in horror. “Big man, I can’t know that.”
And that, for Vex, was when the night went from good to great. She could have said something else crass and then given up the joke. She should have just stolen her brother’s ale and explained how she was really feeling. What she did was school her face into her picture of innocence and say. “Brother, I thought you were alright with it?”
He gave her a look of pure, grossed-out anguish. “I am Vex’ahlia, I promise-“
“He’s so good to me.” She faked a little swoon. Percy would be good to a lover, she was certain. He was thoughtful with her already and Vex didn’t imagine that would stop if they were together. Not that she had imagined it.
“Yeah that’s what I was saying about last night.” Grog snorted.
“What’s this about last night?” Scanlan skipped gingerly around their half-finished pints, ignoring the barkeep’s glower as he wandered down to join them.
“Vax was giving Vex his blessing to keep banging Percy’s brains out."
Vax groaned and covered his face with one hand, missing the way Scanlan almost dropped his drink. The gnome looked from Grog to Vex and out across the room to Percy. “Is that so?”
“Yes,” Vex widened her eyes at Scanlan. “My dear brother was so insistent that he knew what was going on, I just decided to give in and admit it.”
Credit to Scanlan, even half-drunk he picked up on the game right away. “After the third time replacing the headboard is there really anything left to admit?”
“All of you please shut up.” Vax drained his mug in one long pull.
“Honestly Vax, there’s no need to be a prude. You should be happy your sister is getting laid. And obviously there had to be a reason she turned me down.”
“So many reasons, Scanlan.” Vex said dryly.
His eyes narrowed on her, too clever by half and Vex felt suddenly she might be in over her head. “Besides, with all those romantic gestures, all those longing looks? I assumed you’d come out with it after you said your heart belonged to him.”
“I –“ Vex stopped her instinctive denial just in time. “Suppose you have a point.” She finished through gritted teeth.
“Of course I do. Once you’re as old as I am, you start to appreciate that random bursts of fantastic sex – and it did look fantastic that time I walked in on you two going at it in the hot tub-” Vax dropped his forehead to the bar with a loud thunk. “Are all very well but when you’re in love you have to sing it from the rooftops.”
“Sex’s good enough for me.” Grog observed dubiously. “Maybe you’re not trying enough stuff? There’s a Lady Favours house in Stillben where they’ll-“
“No! Grog, no. Thank you but Percy and I are just fine.”
“Yes of course we are.”
Vex froze at the sound of Percy’s cultured voice right behind her. He was pink cheeked with alcohol and happiness when she turned to look, all his edges slightly rumpled and softened. “What are we fine about?”
“Fine in the bedroom,” Scanlan said with far too much relish. “Now that Vax has given his blessing to you and Vex, we were just regaling him with tales of your relationship.
“Mostly the sex.” Grog clarified.
Percy looked poleaxed. “The what?”
“The fact that I can’t keep my hands off you, of course!”
Vex jumped off the stool and threw her arms around Percy’s neck. “Sorry darling,” She whispered in his ear. “It was Grog’s idea and my brother’s face was just too good.” His arms came up around her and if Vex lingered just a heartbeat longer than she needed to, well it was only to sell the bit.
When she pulled back Percy’s eyes were sparkling with amusement but he kept his expression solemn as he turned to Vax. “I know this is rather a shock.”
Vax groaned. “Freddie, do not make me look you in the eye right now…”
“Brother!” Vex could hardly bring herself to sound scolding watching Percy smile at the old nickname.
“I know I know,” Vax waved her off without lifting his head. “I said it, I meant it. But I don’t want to hear about you and he –“
“Playing hide the sausage?” Grog supplied, instantly.
“Burying the arrow?” Scanlan said. “No, I can do better.”
“Bumpin’ dangly parts.”
“A little graphic, Grog but I like your enthusiasm,” He snapped his fingers. “Doing the horizontal tango.”
“Expressing our affection.” Vex glared at them both. Honestly, there was no need to hammer it home.
“We’re rather good at the vertical tango as well.” Percy said.
Scanlan’s grin became enormous and Percy turned beet red. “Not like that!” He insisted over Grog’s delighted chortling. “I just meant-“ his expression became determined and he slid a hand around Vex’s waist, pulling her close almost aggressively and swinging her out onto the open barroom floor before she could manage a protest.
“Percival what are we doing?” She struggled to find her footing for a moment but his arms kept her steady until she caught the rhythm.
“Dancing,” He said in that infuriating bland way of his. “I am a good dancer, I’ll have you know. And I won’t have my honor impugned in such a way.” The last he shot over his shoulder to Grog and Scanlan, who whooped and pulled out his flute.
He was a good dancer. Vex found it easy to match him, even with the unfamiliar steps, letting the movements of his body guide hers. Pressed this close she could feel his warmth and smell what little cologne was still there after a long day, almost hidden under the tang of black powder and metal. Vex watched the echo of her own delighted surprise on his face and laughed as Percy caught her hand and guided her into a twirl. For a moment it felt like flying.
Percy caught her and dipped her backwards in one smooth movement. Their eyes locked and Vex’s laughter stopped.
Across the room Keyleth squealed in enthusiasm and dragged Pike over to dance. Grog was thumping his stool along with the music and Vax had managed to pull his head off the bar. Vex was frozen, looking at Percy looking back at her.
His head lowered as if moving in for a kiss.
Vex had kissed Percy many times over the course of their friendship and never thought about it twice. Kissing Percy when she could pretend was hers, though, that was different, and Vex wanted it fiercely.
She leaned forward, ever so slightly. But instead of closing the gap, Percy’s gaze slid away and his lips moved to her ear.
“I can’t Vex,” No endearments for once. Vex tensed and hoped he couldn’t feel it. “Not if you don’t mean it.”
He pulled her up so they were both standing; still close enough to breath each other’s air. Giving her a slightly chagrined shrug, Percy dropped his arm from the small of her back.
Vex took a steadying breath, tangling the fingers of their joined hands together before he could pull away. “And if I do?”
“You do?” He repeated, blankly. There was a long pause as Vex watched understanding bloom across Percy’s dear, dear face. “Well, if you do. I suppose that – rather changes things.”
Vex tilted her head, looking coyly up at him through her lashes. “It means you should kiss me, darling.”
“Is that what it means?” A wicked smile curled across his mouth. “Then I suppose I will.”
“Wonderful.” His arm moved back around her waist.
“I think so.”
He licked his lips and his mouth was so close. “Yes, dear?”
Vex seized him by the collar and hauled him down.
Percy needed no further prompting and his mouth was exactly as good as Vex expected it to be, given how clever his tongue was in other ways. He pulled away just long enough to yank off his glasses, then buried a hand in her hair and kissed her again, deep and confident and so sweetly Percy.
From somewhere behind them she heard Vax groan in protest. “Vex’ahliaaaaa.”
She lifted one arm in his direction and flipped him the bird as she continued kissing Percy.
Crossposted from Tumblr !