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an extremely serious meeting about band business

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“I still don’t think I’d be a warlock,” Percy interjects with a scowl, and Vex snorts. Clearly, Keyleth thinks, her three friends have had this conversation before.

The six of them are seated at a booth in a shitty little diner Pike found, one she swore to heaven had the best breakfast food this side of Vasselheim. They came here to discuss their recent work on music and performances-- because really, where else were they going to find another band made up of a polyamorous triad to talk shop with?-- but such conversations had devolved from songwriting to the names of their bands by the time their coffee arrived and before their food had even arrived.

“Darling, we’ve been over this!” Vex leans her cheek against his shoulder with a smirk. “The only other viable option we came up with was Vex and the Servants of Darkness, and that’s nowhere as catchy! Plus it makes us sound more like a metal band than indie rock.”

"When we came up with our name there was no debate,” Pike says with a little laugh. “Keyleth’s the lead singer and Kash and I are nurses. It sounds folksy. It makes sense.”

“I still don’t understand why it wasn’t Kiki and the Nurses in that case,” Kash says with a sigh.

Vex lets out a frustrated noise at that. “You boys! Both of you have no sense of tact when it comes to names! Well, at least with band names. I expect more from you,” she jabs her finger in Percy’s chest, “Mr. Death From Above! You gave my bike a better name than you’re willing to give our band!”

“I’m still not a warlock,” Percy repeats with a huff.

Zahra claps a hand on his other shoulder with a laugh that sends tingles down Keyleth’s back, despite herself. “And besides, Percival darling, it makes Vex’ahlia happy. We can’t argue with that, no?”

“No,” he says instantly. From the corner of her eyes, Keyleth sees Kash smirk down at his menu and Pike stifle a smile against her hand. Vex makes no attempts to hide the big grin that appears on her face as she looks between her two partners. His face tinged a bit red suddenly, Percy quickly grumbles, “I’ve been called darling far too much in the past couple of minutes.”

“Hush, darling,” Zahra says, and with an even wider grin, Vex leans across Percy to plant one on Zahra’s cheek, the other woman looking absolutely like the cat that just ate the canary as her girlfriend’s lips meet her face.

Percy rolls his eyes, and for his trouble gets a kiss on the cheek too. Keyleth, perceptive as she is, can’t help but notice the way one corner of his lips quirks up slightly, a content smile threatening to push past the annoyed mask he wears as Vex pats his arm and pulls away.

“Could be worse,” Kash interjects, lifting his coffee up to his lips. He takes a long, long sip once everybody’s eyes are on him. Finally, he lowers his mug and looks up over his menu at their friends. “You could be dating an actual dragon and her demon.”

Pike hits him on the shoulder. (She’s smiling wide though, Keyleth notices. Pike often plays the role of the one who keeps everybody in line, but Keyleth knows the nurse well enough to know she’s just as much a of a trouble-loving rabblerouser as the rest of them, if not more. Frankly? She’d put Pike up there with Grog and Vax.)

“Fuck you,” Vex says instantly.

“Oh, play nice, Kash.” Zahra flicks a balled up napkin at him with a playful smirk. It hits him in the arm and he scoffs.

“Please don’t aggravate them while I’m sitting between them,” Percy says with a grimace as the hand Vex has on his arm tightens.

“Wait,” Keyleth says, suddenly. “Who’s the dragon and who’s the demon?”

“Hon,” Pike says quickly, glancing across the table at the other two women.

“I--” Percy starts, but he’s cut off by Zahra.

“If I’m not the demon then I’ll be rather offended,” Zahra says, leaning her chin on her woven fingers thoughtfully.

“You know you are,” Kash says dryly.

“Lovely,” she replies with a smirk.

With a huff, Vex says, “For the record, I’d be a hot dragon.”

“You would,” Pike agrees kindly.

Her annoyed expression sliding into a smirk, Vex paws at Percy’s arm and reaches past him to Zahra, touching the other woman’s arm. “I’d be a smoking hot dragon and my hoard would just be pretty white-haired artists and jewelry.” A genuine look of joy crosses her face suddenly. “Oh! And dogs. Really cute ones.”

“Wait, who’s the dragon and the demon out of us?” Keyleth asks, and Kash turns to her with a furrowed brow.

“What? No, Keyleth, that wasn’t-- I didn’t--”

“I call the demon,” Pike interjects immediately, and everyone turns to her.

“Really, Pike?” Vex gives the blonde woman a raised eyebrow.

“Hell yeah. I’d be hot as fuck as a demon!” Pike’s eyes glitter brightly. “I could be, like... a succubus or something.”

“That’s the attitude, darling!” Zahra exclaims, and with a big grin, Pike leans as far over the table as she can to meet Zahra for a high five.

“Ooh! Ooh!” Caught up in Pike’s eagerness, Keyleth raises her hand excitedly, practically bouncing in her chair.

“Yes, Keyleth?” Percy says, the small, fond smile breaking through onto his face for real now.

“I call the dragon! Me! I’m the dragon!” She turns to Kash with a giant toothy smile. “It’s me!”

“I--” Kash starts, but let’s out a long sigh. “Okay. Yes. You’re a dragon. You’re the best dragon.”

“What’s your hoard?” Pike asks with a grin.

“Oh, fuck, um,” Keyleth bites her bottom lip as she thinks. “Probably like... cool plants? Uh. That’s lame. Help?”

“Wild animals,” Vex says instantly. “Cool ones. Like tigers or giant eagles.”

“Overly long skirts and sleeveless shirts,” Percy suggests.

“Those little bottles of liquor you love,” Zahra says.

“Cute nurses,” Pike interjects with a smile.

Kash takes another long drink from his coffee. “Why do I hang out with you people again?”

“You love us,” Pike says, elbowing Kash playfully, and the entire group except for Percy echoes her with big grins. Percy, for his part, does wear the grin the rest of them do, however he simply rolls his eyes.

“I don’t know about that,” Kash says dismissively, but Keyleth feels him take one of her hands under the table, and the sunshine in her chest grows so much that she momentarily fears it’ll burst out and blind all of them.

Well, she certainly can’t speak for Kashaw, although she more than suspects his true answer, but Keyleth knows for a fact that she really does love all of them.

Even when they’re fucking off while they’re supposed to be discussing music.