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This Christmas party is not a tradition; it's brand new for this year, a gathering with mulled wine and good cheer and everything else that goes with that. It's just a small thing, but it's all Vex needs, really, just some good friends getting a little holiday drunk together.

If they revisit it next year, one tradition that Vex is not going to continue is what Scanlan is doing right now.

Scanlan, in a move that seems almost inevitable now that it's happened, has a sprig of mistletoe. Naturally, instead of just letting it hang ominously over a door, he's actively trying to catch people with it by holding it over their heads. The problem is that Scanlan isn't five feet tall on his best day, and everybody but Pike has at least half a foot on him. This has led to some creative problem solving that hasn't really worked out in Scanlan's favor.

He managed to get Vax already by standing behind the couch and waiting for him to sit down; admittedly this is something of a misrepresentation of what happened, because Scanlan was expecting Keyleth to sit there. Unfortunately for Scanlan, Vax's interests include men and fucking with people, so Vax proceeded to lay one on him.

"Merry Christmas," Vax told him, giving him a wink that made Vex proud.

Somehow, Scanlan remains undeterred. He did get a peck on the cheek from Keyleth, laced with a sizable amount of pity, and he keeps hiding his sprig when he comes near Grog, which is really best for everyone. Pike and Percy aren't there yet, so they've been spared Scanlan's shenanigans for the moment.

This brings us to why he's waving mistletoe in Vex's face.

"I'm not sure what you're trying to accomplish," Vex says.

"Well, I already kissed one twin, so I thought I'd collect the set," Scanlan says. He looks around. "Hey, do me a favor and get that stepladder out of the pantry."

"Give me that," Vex says, plucking the mistletoe out of his hand and holding it far out of his reach. Scanlan tries to jump for it, but to no avail. "You obviously can't be trusted with it."

"Who better to be in charge of a slightly skeevy tradition than me?" Scanlan says.

"I-" Vex starts, but she thinks about it. "I can't say that's not a good argument. But still, you're not getting this back." She turns, still looking back at Scanlan. "I'm going to throw it in the-"

Before she can finish her sentence, Vex walks straight into Percy; he's still wearing a snow-flecked scarf and a heavy coat, having apparently just arrived.

"Sorry," Vex says, putting a hand on his arm. They're not normally so close, and Vex tries not to be too distracted by how much she wants to be close to him.

"I think most people hang it over doorways," Percy says.

"What?" Vex asks. Percy glances up, and Vex suddenly realizes that she's holding the mistletoe directly over their heads. "Oh, it's just- I wasn't- Scanlan started it. We can pretend it never happened, it's really nothing."

She starts to lower the mistletoe, but Percy catches her arm. "We wouldn't want any bad luck, would we?" he says.

Vex's pulse quickens. "Well, when you put it that way," she says, and Percy is already putting his hands on her waist to pull her towards him. Vex leans up, and Percy closes the distance between them, his lips meeting hers.

Vex has, let's all be honest, thought about kissing Percy a ridiculous number of times. She's thought about doing much more with him, too, but it's the kissing she gets hung up on, how it would feel, how he would taste. All that, and she wasn't prepared for the reality of it, the heat; this is supposed to be a perfunctory kiss for a silly tradition, but Percy isn't pulling away. Vex wouldn't dare, not when she's finally got what she's wanted so badly. She puts her arms around his neck to keep him from getting away; by now they've probably crossed the line into making out, but Vex can't find it in her to care. All she needs is this, the feeling of Percy's body next to hers, so solid and vital and, at least for now, all for her.

Vex is the one who finally pulls away; she rests her forehead against Percy's shoulder, needing a moment to put herself back together before she looks at him. When she brings herself to, Percy is smiling, a wide, genuine smile, and Vex can't help but mirror it.

There is applause from the other side of the kitchen.

Vex turns around, looking daggers at Scanlan, who could not give less of a fuck about Vex's disapproval. He waves the mistletoe at her, and it's only then that Vex realizes he must have stolen it out of her hand while she was otherwise occupied.

"You complete asshole," Vex says.

"You owe me one," Scanlan says, exiting the kitchen before Vex can stop him.

"I would apologize for playing into Scanlan's game, but I'm not sorry," Percy says, shrugging out of his coat.

"Neither am I," Vex says. She takes his coat and hangs it with the others in the entryway, but before Percy can unwind his scarf, she grabs it by both ends, pulling him in so she can kiss him again. "Have a good time and come home with me," she says impetuously.

Percy's eyebrows go up. "I absolutely will, on both counts," he says. "In fact, I'll do it forwards and backwards."

"Yeah you will," Vex says, and he kisses her another time before she lets him remove his scarf. "Let's get out of this kitchen before everyone realizes what we're doing."

"It's pretty obvious," Pike says, from behind Percy.

"So glad you could make it, darling," Vex says, because fuck it, at this point. "Stay away from Scanlan."

"Does he have mistletoe?" Pike asks, hanging up her coat.

"Did Grog text you?" Vex says.

"No," Pike says. "It just seemed inevitable."

"That is exactly what I thought," Vex says.

"I'm going to go find the wine," Percy says. "If you two would like to accompany me?"

"Of course," Vex says, taking his arm.

"Point me to it," Pike says, taking the other one. Percy leads them out of the kitchen and to the party.

And if Vex grabs his ass a little on the way, nobody needs to know.