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The fucked up thing about it is that Vex doesn't remember it happening.

Pull and pray, not that Vex is particularly religious, is literally the oldest trick in the book, and it's surprisingly effective. She supplements it with precautions of an herbal nature, because "surprising" is not a word she'd like to associate with pregnancy. It's worked for her all this time, and thus far, things have passed without incident.

But four weeks after her period doesn't start, Vex knows that she has indeed been surprised.

It seems like there should be something, like Vex should be able to point back and say, "This is where it changed," but there isn't. Wherever things went wrong, she didn't notice at the time, and thus it's forever shaded, never to be figured out now. Vex is thinking about this because it's easier than thinking about what's happening, that in a few months a tiny person will come out of her and need her in a way she's never been needed before.

The point stands that she or Percy or both of them did something, made a misstep somewhere. It had consequences she wasn't prepared for, and she doubts Percy is prepared either. Their relationship is not casual, but not not casual; the group knows, but it's always had the feel of comrades in arms, no plans past the war on the Conclave. Most days, it seems like that time will never come, but that's not the same as a commitment.

There comes a point where she can't put it off any longer; they're in Whitestone for a few days in between Vestige hunting, so she swipes the hat of disguise and goes out into the city. A wise woman isn't hard to find, and it takes less than half an hour for all Vex's fears to be confirmed.

"There are things to be done," the wise woman says. "You have two paths before you, both of them with their own dangers, but you must decide what you want."

"I want-" Vex says, and then falters. She balls her hands into fists; she's fought this battle over and over with herself, but she knows the answer. "It's mine and I want it. I don't care what it takes."

Vex half-expects the woman to call her out, make her account for herself, but she just nods. She goes back to her herbs and potions, picking out a few and putting them into a bag. "Take these," she says, handing them to Vex with a note. "And Pelor's blessing be upon you and your child."

Vex gives her too much money and goes back to the castle. She stashes the bag in her room and heads immediately to find Percy; her course is set, no matter what he decides, but he has the right to know.

Also if she leaves it for a minute longer, she'll probably explode at him at some inopportune time. Better to just get this out of the way where there's no one in earshot.

Percy, as it turns out, is in the library, lazing on a sofa that is probably seven hundred years old and reading a book that looks suspiciously like the kind sold in the back of shops with brown paper covers. As Vex closes the door behind her, Percy confirms this suspicion by slyly slipping it under the couch before he stands up.

"Darling," Vex says; there's more she could say here, a proper greeting, but she pushes ahead. "There's something you need to know."

Percy frowns. "You look like something is wrong."

"Maybe?" she says. "Not exactly? But sort of?"

"Whatever it is, you can tell me," he says.

"I'm pregnant," Vex says, before she can back out.

There's a painful, long, painfully long silence.

"Oh," Percy says.

Vex stares at him. "That's all you've got to say?"

"I have so very much to say, but I'm just not sure where to start," Percy says, and he doesn't say anything else for a long time.

"I'm waiting," Vex says, tapping her foot.

"Not to be indelicate, but just so I know where things stand," Percy says. "Are you going to keep it?"

"That's the plan," Vex says.

"The new priest of Pelor should do the ceremony, though I've yet to meet him," Percy says, after another long pause. "But I think an argument could be made for Pike being qualified to do it. It would be nice to include her."

"What ceremony?" Vex says, giving him a strange look.

Percy stops again, carefully choosing his words in that way that he does, and right now Vex finds it impossibly annoying. She just wants to shake him until he starts talking, force the words right out of him.

"I am part of a line of succession," he says finally, "and any issue not derived from a recognized union is not part of that line."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Vex says, though she has a horrible suspicion that she already knows.

"If we don't get married, this child will be illegitimate in the eyes of Whitestone," Percy says, and Vex's heart stops. "I'm not going to insult your intelligence by saying more."

"You're the lord of fucking Whitestone," Vex says, through the pain in her chest. "Can't you just wave your hand and make it right?"

"I got here thanks to certain rules, and I can't just change them," Percy says sternly, like he has any right to be stern with her. "The city has been through much upheaval in what amounts to a very short period of time, and in a moment like this, they need to see stability. They need to understand that, even though the de Rolo family is only a piece of the governing puzzle in practice, it will continue to thrive just has it has always done, without interruption or political sleight of hand."

"So you want me to marry you," Vex says, and the words don't seem real even when she says them aloud.

"I don't see why we shouldn't," Percy says, like it's that simple. "You're a baroness. I like you. That's a huge step above most marriages I might be subjected to."

"Does this mean nothing to you?" Vex demands. "How can you be so fucking calm about this?"

Percy raises his arm; the rest of him may seem steady, but his hand is shaking like a leaf. "Life-long practice," he says. "I assure you that in this moment, I am terrified."

"That makes two of us," Vex mutters.

"Vex'ahlia," he says softly. "Let me do right by you. I will use absolutely everything at my disposal to give this child the best life it can have."

"That's relative when we're under siege by dragons," she points out.

"Isn't it though?" Percy says, smiling tentatively.

"I need to think about it," Vex says. "I need to think about a lot of things, actually."

"Take your time," Percy says. "Just-"

"Just what?" she asks, when he doesn't continue.

"How far along are you?" Percy asks.

"A few weeks," Vex tells him.

"It's remarkably common for firstborn nobles to come from suspiciously short pregnancies, but this needs to be settled sooner rather than later," Percy says. "So take your time, but not too much of it, if possible."

"Understood," Vex says. She puts the heel of her hand to her forehead. "Shit, what am I going to tell Vax?"

"Do you want me to tell him?" Percy says, cringing.

"You'd do that?" Vex says, looking at him like he's got two heads.

"I will do everything you need me to," he promises. "If I need to prove that by getting punched in the face by your brother, then so be it."

"Alright, then," she says, crossing her arms. "Tell him."

"This is you getting back at me, isn't it?" Percy says.

"Absolutely," Vex says.

"I probably deserve it," Percy says.

"Do you want children?" Vex asks hesitantly, not sure if she wants the answer. "Did you, before this?"

"I always assumed I'd have some," Percy says, which is really just like him. "I don't think Cassandra really wants to, and well." He lets the sentence hang. "Do you want children?"

"I don't know," Vex admits. "It never seemed like a likely possibility." She looks down. "I want this one."

Percy kisses her briefly. "Then you'll have it, and I'll do what I can."

"Simple as that?" she asks.

"Intensely complicated as that," Percy says. "We have a lot to talk about. Unless I miss my guess, we have a lot to fight about."

"Like what?" Vex says warily.

"You're going to be very upset when I say we should leave the child in Whitestone as much as possible," he says.

"What, indefinitely?" Vex says, alarmed, taking a step back from him.

"A noble child with parents on a dragon's shit list needs to be hidden," Percy says. "And even so, there's so much they need to learn as they grow up that you won't be able to teach them."

"You're right," Vex says. "I am upset."

"Let's table this discussion," Percy says. "It's not the most pressing of our worries at the moment."

"But we will have this conversation," Vex says.

"Believe me, I won't forget," Percy tells her. He winces. "I don't want you to take this the wrong way, but I don't think we should tell anyone but Vax. Not just yet."

"No, I agree with you," Vex says. "This is all very new and strange. We don't need to work it out in front of our nearest and dearest."

"This is not how I thought today would go," Percy says.

"Join the club," she replies.

"Let's just agree that no matter what happens, this won't come between us," Percy says. "I know that's very easy to say now, but maybe if we do say it now, it'll be easier when things get rough."

"We can give it a try," Vex says, kissing his cheek. "Now gird your loins. Vax won't let you off easy."

"I think I'd be better off protecting my face," he says. "Though I'm not ruling out him going for my loins instead."

"There are half a dozen terrible things I could say about your loins in reference to this whole thing, but I'll skip it," Vex says.

"Touche," Percy says. "Well, I'm off, I suppose, if not to talk, then to prepare."

"Don't forget to get your porn out from under the sofa," Vex says, and Percy blushes.

"It's not porn," Percy says, though he does retrieve the book. "It's a very touching story."

"I bet something's touching," Vex says.

"Good day," Percy says, walking past her out of the room, though he does kiss her cheek as he passes.

Then she's alone, but strangely, maybe not as alone as she was before.

--

Percy has no idea how he feels.

Maybe that's not right; maybe it's just that he feels too many things all at once. He feels terrified at the thought of a child having to rely on someone so fundamentally broken as he is. He feels immensely guilty that he's done this to Vex without her permission. He might feel ecstatic, but he's tamping that feeling down as much as possible; it doesn't seem fair to be excited about all of this, when it happened essentially in error. But accident or no, Percy is going to have a child, Vex is potentially going to marry him, the de Rolos are going to have an heir, and he'd feel elated if he just let himself.

Percy is, however, not elated about the prospect of telling Vax.

He waits until the late evening to seek Vax out, rapping on his bedroom door; after a few moments, the door swings open, and a slightly confused-looking Vax answers.

"Percival," he says. "Do you need something?"

"Might I have a word?" Percy asks.

"Of course," Vax says, waving Percy in.

"I'll try to be as forthright as possible," Percy says, stepping into Vax's room; he leaves the door open, just in case he needs a speedy exit. "The truth is that, uh, certain things have changed between Vex'ahlia and I, in a way you'll be personally invested in."

"If you're asking for a threesome, forget it," Vax says, lifting an eyebrow at him. "You're handsome, but you're not that handsome."

"I'm flattered, but no," Percy says.

"Then out with it, man," Vax pushes.

Percy takes a deep breath, letting it out in a rush. "You're going to be an uncle," he says, and there's a long pause. He watches as the emotions cycle through Vax's face, disbelief and concern and anger and what just might be a sliver of joy.

Then Vax clocks him.

"You know, that is exactly what I thought you'd say," Percy says, wiping the blood away from his nose.

"Fucking nobles are all alike," Vax spits. "You have your fun with commoners and leave them to pick up the pieces."

"First of all, technically Vex is nobility as well," Percy says. "Secondly, you're the one who brought up leaving. I never said that." He pauses for a moment, unsure whether to elaborate. "I've offered to marry her," he adds gingerly.

"So you're tying her down to all your political bullshit for the rest of her life because you made a mistake?" Vax fires back.

"Is there any way in which I can win this argument?" Percy asks.

"No," Vax says. "You fucked up, Percival."

"I'm making an attempt to unfuck it," Percy says. He sighs in annoyance. "I'm not your father." Vax's expression turns murderous, but Percy pushes on. "This isn't Syngorn. No matter what happens, anyone who dares to make the slightest hint of an insult to my child-"

"Vex's child," Vax cuts in.

"To this child," Percy says, instead of fighting him on it, "will answer to me, and I suspect their mother won't be happy either."

"Pretty words," Vax says. "None of it is going to help your little half-elf bastard when your back is turned."

"Actually, I think it's a quarter-elf, and besides, Whitestone isn't noted for its anti-half-elf prejudice," Percy says. He shakes his head. "When you're ready to be rational about this, we can talk. I can see that you're angry, but I'm doing my best for your sister."

"Your best would have been keeping it in your fucking pants," Vax snaps.

"Well, it's a bit too late for that," Percy says, exasperated.

"Just get out of my sight," Vax says, pointing to the door. "I'll speak to you when I speak to you."

"I look forward to it," Percy says sarcastically, making a hasty retreat before Vax slams the door behind him.

Percy stands in front of the door, collecting himself. He's so distracted that he doesn't notice Grog for a moment, who is standing there looking at him.

"Hello there," Percy says.

"Hi," Grog says.

"You didn't-" Percy starts. "You didn't hear all of that through the door, did you?"

"What?" Grog says, looking genuinely confused. "I listen to maybe half the things I hear."

Percy sighs. "Do you have your cask of ale handy?" he asks. "Because I could use a very large amount of it."

"There's a good man," Grog says, bumping Percy with his elbow as he reaches into the bag of holding. "Let's get shitfaced."

"I'm finding it so hard to disagree," Percy says.

Grog is about to offer Percy a cup of ale, but he pulls it back. "You're not doing this so you can unload all your feelings, are you?"

"I am doing this to run from my feelings," Percy says, and Grog hands him the ale. "There's a good supply of beer and liquor in the kitchens. Let's go put a dent in it."

Grog claps him on the back. "Now you're talking," he says.

Percy knows he's going to regret all of this in the morning, but for now, maybe he's earned it.

--

It doesn't surprise Vex to find Vax sitting on her bed when she retires for the evening. Honestly, it would have been weirder if she didn't. But no, he's there, absently twiddling a black feather between his fingers and looking at nothing.

"Why didn't you tell me?" Vax asks, as Vex shuts the door and sits down next to him.

"Percy deserved a punch in the face, and I couldn't do it myself," Vex tells him.

"Fair enough," he says.

"I wasn't trying to keep it from you," Vex says. "I've only been really sure for a few hours. For all I know, I could start bleeding tomorrow and this will have been an unnecessary panic."

"Is that likely?" Vax asks.

"Not as likely as it not happening," Vex says.

"Well, I guess that's a couple of months where we won't look alike," Vax says.

"Not unless you take to stuffing yourself with chicken," Vex says.

"That would take an excessive amount of poultry," Vax says. "If it's the same to you, I'll skip it."

"I'm alright with that," Vex says. Her face falls. "Vax, I have no idea what I'm doing."

"I love you, Stubby," he says, wrapping his arms around her and holding her close. "If you want to have a baby, I'll be here for you, even if it's Percy's."

"I know," Vex says. "I love you too." She lays her head on his shoulder. "I don't know if I'm ready to get married."

"I can't make that choice for you," he tells her, begrudgingly adding, "but if it's what you think is right, I could do much worse for a brother-in-law."

Vex laughs weakly. "I won't tell him you said that."

"Thank you," Vax says. He rests his chin on the top of her head. "Your kid can live a perfectly good life without a pedigree to hang on the wall. We do."

"Do people usually hang their pedigrees on the wall?" Vex asks.

"I think they put it on tapestries," he says. "That can be your first act as Lady de Rolo. The Briarwoods probably wiped their asses with it and set it on fire."

"You're terrible," Vex says, though she can't help snickering.

"But you laughed," Vax points out.

"This doesn't change me and you," she says. "It's still the two of us until the end, no matter what."

"Some things will change," he says gently. "But I swear to you that I'll never make you choose between me and your child."

"I don't think you could be that cruel," Vex says.

"I won't be," Vax says. He lets her go, rubbing her back. "Now get some sleep. Take care of my niece or nephew."

"I don't think I realized how tired I've been lately until I figured out why," Vex says. "So I will gladly go."

Vax kisses her on the forehead before he gets up and goes to the door. "G'night, sis."

"Night, brother," Vex says, and Vax smiles at her as he closes the door behind him.

--

Percy makes it two more days before he pops. In fairness, he's the one who suggested secrecy in the first place, so it's not like he's betraying Vex's wishes by talking.

He thinks. Maybe.

But either way, he finds Keyleth in the garden, and he just can't help himself.

"I have to tell you something, and you must swear to me on your life that you won't speak a word of it," Percy says, sitting down next to her.

"I promise," Keyleth says, looking concerned. "What is it?"

"I'm going to be a father," Percy says, and he can't keep himself from smiling.

"Really?" she says, her eyes widening.

"It's too early to tell people, but I can't keep it in," Percy says. "No one knows yet except Vax."

"And Vex," Keyleth says.

"That rather goes without saying," he says.

"And you're okay with it?" she asks.

"Do you know, I think I am," Percy says, sighing. "I never expected this, and I wouldn't have planned it, but I am more than okay."

"Congratulations, then," Keyleth says. She visibly brightens. "What are you going to name it?"

"Something something something de Rolo," Percy says. "If Vex agrees."

"Why wouldn't Vex agree?" Keyleth asks.

"Well," he says. "There is the slight problem that Vex isn't a de Rolo. Not yet, anyway."

Keyleth puts her hands to her face. "Are you saying you're going to marry Vex?"

"I hope so," Percy says. "I've asked her, but I'm still waiting for a response. If she won't, things are considerably more difficult for everyone involved, especially where lineage is concerned."

"Do you want this for yourself, or for Whitestone?" Keyleth asks, and Percy is somewhat thrown by the question.

"Can't it be both?" he says, frowning. "There's no separating me and my city. In this regard, what happens to me happens to Whitestone."

"Ah," Keyleth says, in a tone that Percy doesn't like.

"What's that supposed to mean?" he asks warily.

"We're very different people," Keyleth says. "It probably doesn't bother you that you have an ulterior motive for asking Vex to marry you, but it would bother me."

"I'm confused," Percy says. "Which one is the ulterior motive, giving Whitestone a legitimate heir or compelling Vex to marry me?"

"Can't it be both?" Keyleth says.

"By the very definition of the word, no," Percy says.

"I'm not trying to insult you," Keyleth says in a placating tone, and Percy realizes his shoulders have drawn up. "I just think you should really consider why you're doing this."

"I'll think about it," he says. "I know this looks like a rash decision, but there are good reasons for it. It's also time-sensitive, so there's only so much considering I can do."

"Just be careful," she says.

"I will," he says. "I think this is why I came to you. You're not apt to let me get away with bullshit."

"Thank you, if that's a good thing," Keyleth says.

Percy puts an arm around her shoulders. "It's a very good thing."

Keyleth rubs her hands together, and when she pulls them apart, there's a small orange flower in her palm. "Here," she says, tucking it behind Percy's ear. "The Air Ashari put them around their doors when a baby is due."

"Then I'll wear it with pride," Percy says.

They sit in companionable silence for a long while. Later Percy puts the flower on his dresser; perhaps he'll press it. It seems like a thing he wants to remember.

--

Vex thinks and thinks, and doesn't come to a decision.

In retrospect, the decision to have the kid seems so much easier than whether to get married, though Vex knows that is purely a matter of perspective and not a reflection of reality. Maybe it just seems easier because she was only agreeing to change most of her life, not the whole thing all at once. That's a bit melodramatic, but not entirely; asking her to have a baby, have a husband, and be the sort of ruler of a not exactly small city is quite a lot.

She feels stuck, helpless to move in either direction. She would give anything for a sign, something to push her one way or the other, the last bump she needs to make a decision and stick to it.

She's stalling and she knows it; she's trying not to avoid Percy, but she can see him hesitate when he comes near, like he's on the verge of asking for an answer and just holding himself back.

And they just got done saying this wouldn't separate them.

It's a week before Percy comes to her room, proverbial hat in hand.

"I've realized I might have been premature or even careless with you," Percy says, chagrined, almost before the door even shuts. "I don't want you to feel forced to do anything you don't want, and regardless of what you decide, I will be there for you and the child. It's just that-"

"Would you have married me otherwise?" she asks, cutting him off.

Percy frowns. "I assumed you didn't want to get married."

"What if I had?" Vex presses; she doesn't know where this is coming from, but she can't seem to stop.

"I think getting married this soon would have been a bit precipitous," Percy says. "But in time, I might have."

"Why?" she asks.

"Oh," he says, with a little sigh. "You're a good person, in your own way. The idea of you dealing with political nonsense delights me. You'll be a wonderful mother for our child. And of course, I'm in love with you."

"Marry me," Vex says.

Percy smiles. "I thought you'd never ask."

Vex smacks him on the arm. "You gave me a terrible proposal," she says. "Didn't even ask, just started making plans."

"I was afraid you'd say no out of hand if I just asked," Percy says.

"Probably," Vex says. "Anyway, mine was better."

"Much," Percy says, taking her into his arms. "The point is that it's me and you."

"And the baby," Vex says.

"And Vax, if we're being honest," he adds.

"And the rest of Vox Machina," she replies.

Percy shrugs. "It takes a village."

"Forget about the peanut gallery for now," she says, putting her arms around his neck. She sighs. "I missed you," she says, though she's not sure he'll understand. "Take me to bed," she adds, which she knows he is perfectly clear on.

Vex laughs as he scoops her up. "Any time, any place," he says. "That's what got us here in the first place."

"Do you actually remember when it was?" Vex asks.

"Honestly, I've been wracking my brain, and I have no idea," Percy says.

"That makes me feel a little better," Vex says.

"Come on," Percy says, carrying her off. "Let me make you feel a lot better."

--

There hasn't been a de Rolo wedding since Percy's older brother got married, and all Percy really remembers about that event was that it was very long. Percy and Vex's wedding probably outstrips it, because in the end, Pike and the priest of Pelor do the ceremony. There's an awful lot of holiness and talk of divine light, but Percy couldn't ask for better.

Even though this wedding has been concealed as much as is reasonable from prying draconic eyes, scores of Whitestone residents have turned out for the celebration, many of whom Percy does not know. There are many hands to shake, but as things wind down, Scanlan pulls him to the side.

"You look exhausted," Scanlan says.

"That is because I am," Percy says. He looks over at Vex, who also looks exhausted, and for a moment a pang goes through him. He did get her into this mess, and going through it both underprepared and pregnant is not something he wishes on anyone.

Then he remembers that Vex married him anyway, and he feels a little better.

"Look, there's something I want to say to you," Scanlan says. "Consider it fatherly advice from an old gnome."

"Go on," Percy says.

"I've never been married, but I do have a kid, and I would trade anything if it meant I got to be there for her as she grew up," Scanlan says, and it's only at times like this that Percy remembers how much older than the rest of them he really is.

"Your daughter turned out to be quite a formidable woman," Percy says.

"And you need to make sure your child doesn't have to go through as much shit as mine did to get that way," Scanlan says. "You may think you're a bad person or a dark soul or whatever, but your kid needs you. You have to be the best person you can be for them."

"You have my word that I will," Percy says sincerely.

"Good talk," Scanlan says, reaching up and patting Percy's chest, being unable to reach his shoulder.

Just then, Cassandra sweeps in, looking even more exhausted than Percy or Vex. "There you are," she says. "We have to get these people out of the castle. This has gone on long enough, and some of them look like they want to spend the night."

"I could play my shawm," Scanlan offers.

"I think that would only compound our problems," Cassandra says.

"You have no idea how badly I can play my shawm," Scanlan says.

"These are our people, Cassandra," Percy chides. "Just tell them the wine is all gone, and they'll probably clear out."

"I'll hide the barrels, you find your wife and make a farewell speech," Cassandra says, already leaving. "Hopefully people will get the hint."

"Allow me to give you some inspiration for your wedding day," Scanlan says. "Who knows how hard these people are going to be to roust."

"By all means," Percy says.

"At last, a gnome has come along," Scanlan belts. "Your lonely days are over, cause Scanlan's got a song." He stops. "That's as far as I got."

"That was lovely, truly," Percy says. He adjusts his cravat. "Well, let's go see if I can throw an entire city out of my house."

"Right behind you," Scanlan says. "I can't wait to see this."

--

It's been a little over ten hours now, ten hours since Vex grabbed her stomach in the middle of a crowded market and shouted, "Fuck me, not now!", ten hours since everyone practically dove through to the Sun Tree, ten hours since Vex was rushed to the castle by Percy and Vax, complaining all the way about how it was important but not an emergency, as she had done during most of their fretting for the past two months.

It's late, but no one has even mentioned sleeping. Pike, Grog, Keyleth, and Scanlan, as well as Trinket, are waiting in an out-of-the-way drawing room, much too far from where Vex is sequestered to have any indication at all as to what is happening.

"I hope she's alright," Keyleth says for the seventeenth time, wringing her hands. "I wish I could help."

"I'll be okay," Pike says, putting a hand on Keyleth's arm. "She has a midwife and a whole room full of healers. Everything will be just fine."

"Plus she killed a dragon with a belly out to here," Grog says, demonstrating- and grossly exaggerating- with his arms. "A little thing like popping out a kid is nothin'."

There's a polite cough at the door, and everyone turns to look; a kid of no more than thirteen is standing there, looking slightly intimidated.

"Lord and Lady de Rolo request your presence," the page says, with remarkable poise given that he's dealing with a bunch of adults who are so on edge that they very nearly drew weapons on him. "Please follow me."

"That's our cue," Scanlan says, hopping off his chair and standing up.

There's no talking on their way through the castle, just an air of anticipation. Finally the boy leads them into the sitting room outside of Vex and Percy's bedroom. Vex is reclining on a chaise, mostly covered up with a blanket. Vax is finishing off braiding her hair, and he positions it just so, the end spilling onto her shoulder as it is wont to do. Vex looks exhausted but happy; one hand is entwined with Percy's, but with her other arm, she's holding a small, wrinkly, reddish baby.

"Oh good, you're here," says Percy, like he didn't just summon them. "I'd like to introduce you to our son."

Trinket walks over, takes a sniff, and looks at Vex. "It's okay, buddy," Vex tells him. "Meet your new little brother." Trinket looks confused for a moment, but then huffs in approval and proceeds to give the baby an enormous lick.

"What's his name?" Pike asks, giving the baby a little wave.

"Vincent Percival von Musel Chernin de Rolo," Vex rattles off.

"The first," Percy adds.

"I thought your last name was Vessen or Vessat or something like that," Scanlan says. "Vessar?"

"Chernin was our mother's last name," Vax says softly.

"The less my son can have to do with Syldor Vessar, the better," Percy says.

"Vincent's aunt will love him," Vex says. "His grandfather can drop dead for all I care."

"Vincent seems so formal," Scanlan says. "He needs a nickname." He looks to the baby. "Right, Vince?"

"Vex, Vax, and Vince?" Keyleth says. "It goes with the theme."

"We should have seen this coming," Percy says to Vex.

"Are you saying you didn't?" Vex replies. Her eyes suddenly go wide. "The time on the north tower!"

Percy raises a hand to his mouth. "Oh sweet god, you're right," he says.

"I don't want to know what that means," Vax says. "Anyway, my sister is very tired and you all look like shit, so please go get some sleep. The baby zoo reopens in the morning."

"Hang on," Grog says, reaching into the bag of holding. He comes up with a small package, wrapped in brightly colored cloth. "For the kid, so he always knows who has his back."

Percy takes it, letting go of Vex's hand so he can unwrap it. Inside is a piece of dragon hide on a leather cord, finely inlaid with gold in the shape of the Vox Machina crest. "I don't know what to say," he says, showing it to Vex.

"It's beautiful," Vex says. "You're going to make me cry."

"We all just wanted to make sure he knew where he stood," Scanlan says. "And now we're going to bed, because it's three in the morning."

"I think that's best," Percy says. "Thank you all."

Vax ushers them all out; Keyleth looks back just as the door closes, in time to see Percy lean down and kiss Vex's forehead, in time to see Vex take him by the lapel and kiss him properly. Vax smiles at Keyleth when he sees her looking, but he still very firmly closes the door.

Keyleth smiles to herself and leaves a little orange flower just on top of the doorjamb.