Fandom: Critical Role
Summary: It's a snowy day in Whitestone and it's even a more important day for Vex. One she doesn't want to spend alone.
Notes: Written for M2 of COWT9 for the prompt "Snow"
There are many things Vex’halia enjoys about her new life. Some came from money—because as much as she had tried, it was impossible to erase that small child that longed to be accepted by people who would never realize her true potential—but most came from her family.
They had never been ones to stand still too long, enjoying travelling the world and leaving Whitestone to the capable hands of Cassandra, but children have changed a lot about them. It’s not as easy to leave the comfortable house they’ve built there and the children can’t travel as fast or as far as them.
Lately, they spend their time in Whitestone, building a normal family life, as strange as that sounded. Percy busy building the massive clock tower and Vex running around the city helping with its rebuilding and with creating a flourish market. They don’t have as much time for leisure as they would want, maybe, but they never were the kind of people that did well standing still.
Honestly, it’s a life they never thought they’d have. Between the Conclave and Vecna and everything else.
So they try to enjoy it as much as they can.
Vex isn’t surprised when she wakes up alone. She’s sure Percy came to bed at one point in the night, and he didn’t usually sleep more than four hours when he was deep in a project. She looks up towards the window in their bedroom and she isn’t surprised to see snow either.
Whitestone is a cold town and snow is something that comes frequently and generously every year. There’s nothing particularly strange about the snowflakes falling from the sky.
Nothing beside the day, of course.
It’s a spur of the moment decision, something that comes to her in a fleeting second and fills her with the need to move, act, do something. So Vex dresses herself quickly and almost runs to the kids’ room.
She enters without knocking and three heads turns towards her. Valerie and Percy Junior’s (or Percy the fourth) are as white as the snow falling from the sky, so much like Percy that it never fails to bring a smile to her lips. Valerie is more human than elf, and it shows in her ears and the way she aged a little more quickly than Vex was used to. Percy has been a strange surprise, especially when the horns were the first thing that they all saw.
A tiefling wasn’t something she had expected as her first child, but they had long come to peace with Orthax’s mark on Percy and they loved him just as much as the others.
The last one of her children, the last one is all her (is all them).
His black hair, his pointy ears. She loves him because he’s her son, of course, but there’s a part of her that will always ache when he looks at him.
“Good morning, mom!” They chant all together and she smiles at them.
“Good morning, my darlings. Who wants to ditch the tutor session to go play in the snow?” she asks, with a smile. She knows her sons. Valerie and Ildan jump into the air immediately, ready to get going while Percy Jr. looks up from his book with less enthusiasm.
Yes, he really was his father’s son.
“It will be fun, I swear. I’ll go and drag dad as well,” she promises him and that seems to convince him. Percy Jr. nods and finally joins his brother and sister in getting ready.
She looks at them with a contented sigh and then goes to convince her husband it’s time to go outside and play.
She finds Percy exactly where she knew he would be, hunched over a part of one of his clocks. She can recognize the silhouette of Pike in one of the design and she can’t help but smile. They’ll see everyone tomorrow for a big party, but today is just them.
“Time to join the living, darling,” she calls him and when he turns, surprised and with his hair going in three different direction, he takes a second to focus on her.
“Oh, Vex. What are you doing here? I thought…” he starts, but she shakes her head and advances towards him.
“I woke up and there was snow outside,” she explains, like that would make sense to Percy. Still, she knows very well that, even if Percy wouldn’t understand completely, he will do anything she asks. It’s not why she loves him, but it’s an added bonus all the same. “I already told the kids we were playing hookie today.”
“Hookie. We aren’t in school, my dear.” Percy is smiling while he says that and he extends one arm to circle her waist. He’s serene, calm. He recovered quickly and doesn’t seem to be bothered by Vex’s interruption.
“Can this wait?” she asks then, pointing to the clock on the table.
Percy doesn’t even hesitate before standing up. “Do not be ridiculous.” They kiss, slowly and languidly.
It’s not usually like this between them. While they aren’t the spitfires they were during their adventures, slow kisses aren’t usually their thing. Today is a special day, after all.
Percy doesn’t say anything when they separate, he looks at her and smiles.
“Let’s not keep the pests waiting. Lord knows they will destroy Whitestone one day,” Percy mumbles, making her laugh.
“Where Vecna failed, our kids will succeed.”
“Of course they will, they have your blood in them,” Percy immediately says with an adoring smile.
“And your wits. Never forget, darling, I didn’t make them on my own,” she replies with a suggestive wink.
“Oh, I do remember that. I enjoyed it very much.”
By the time they reach the kids they are playing in the snow and climbing over Trinket. The bear looks up hearing their approach, but doesn’t move to get Valerie to climb down. Such a good boy, her Trinket.
“I see we’re making Trinket play horse once again,” she says, grinning. Trinket isn’t as young as he used to be, and sometimes she worries that the kids might be too much.
He never complains, however, and the few times she asked him (after casting Speak with Animal) Trinket had told her: “I enjoy it. They come from you, they smell like you. I’m sorry we couldn’t meet when you were young too.”
“Mom!” Ildan calls, smiling at them, “Junior doesn’t want to build a fort!”
“No, I said that the one you want to build isn’t structurally sound. Dad, come and see!”
“How is this exactly playing hookie? I think work might be more relaxing,” Percy asks, amused and Vex can’t help but laugh at him.
“Think about all the forts we took down. Building one up should be easy,” she tells him watching him go and then calling Ildan by her side. Her youngest son pouts while he reaches her and she wink at him. “Don’t worry, once they are done building their fort we’ll destroy it.”
Ildan smiles at her and soon they are joined by Valerie, who is always ready to participate wherever there’s caos to be spread.
Vex looks at her family, at the two nerds building their structurally sound for and her two devils ready to tear it down and she smiles.
She’s happy she decided to convince everyone to go and play in the snow today. She’s glad she can take a day to play with everyone, to laugh, to enjoy her life.
She looks up towards one of the nearby tree and smiles.
Even today, her family can make her happy.
They return home not long before dinner and it takes time for them all to get ready, but Vex doesn’t want to be inside. She longs for the forest and the quiet of her woods.
She goes to Percy, kisses his cheek and he understands immediately.
“Vex…” he says, worry etched in his voice. She caresses his face, soothingly.
“It’s all right, darling, I’ll be back soon,” she promises him. She knows this forests like the palm of her hand and there’s nothing in there that scares him. They have all seen true horror in their life, and nothing that scares her lives in the forest.
“At least take Trinket,” he tries, but she shakes her head.
“He played all day with the kids and he’s tired. He’s not as young as he used to be, let him rest.” She smiles, trying to reassure her husband as much as she can. “I’m the mistress of the Grey Hunt, remember that, my darling.”
“How could I ever forget?” Percy tells her, but his smile is still a little pinched. Still a little worried.
Vex has no other way to soothe him so she simply nods and walks away.
The forest welcomes her like a old friend. She has marked and studied every inch of these trees, every step of grass. It’s still snowing but not as much as that morning.
She can see eyes watching her, observing her every step, but she doesn’t give them cause to attack. They know her and while she doesn’t control the wild beast that inhabit the forest, she has a bond with them that no one else has, and they respect that.
She doesn’t walk far into the woods, this is not another one of her explorations, she simply walks into a clearing and then sits down on a rock.
Beside the rock there’s a tree with a branch that’s almost at her face’s height. It's one of her favorite place in the forest and she doesn’t have to wait long before she’s not alone.
The crow circles the place a couple of times before landing on the branch and she smiles. Always looking out for her, always protecting her.
Like every time she casts Speak with Animals, knowing that the crow won’t speak to her.
Vex has long stopped caring. Even if her brother can’t talk to her, she knows he’s listening. She knows he’s watching.
“I saw you today watching us play,” she says with a smile, “You would have loved rolling in the snow with them. Always a little kid.”
Vex falls silent, leaving the space for the crow to talk. He doesn’t, but she doesn’t care.
“I don’t know if you wanted to be with Keyleth tonight, but I’m glad you’re here. This is supposed to be our day,” Vex looks up at the sky and enjoys the way the moon shines upon them. “Everyone will gather here in Whitestone tomorrow, we’ll have a big party. But today…”
She stops. There isn’t any need to tell him why she usually spends the day alone, after all. She’s glad she didn’t this year, but she still needs this moment of quiet, only her and Vax.
“Happy birthday, brother,” she whispers to the wind. The crow turns his head towards her and then flaps his wing once.
She smiles at the sight. It’s enough. Her brother might not be able to talk to her, but she can hear him all the same.
“Percy doesn’t know this yet,” she tells him, with a smile, “but I’m pregnant again. I’m sure enough. I’ll have Pike check tomorrow. I think… I think they’re like us.”
Vex doesn’t know why she’s so sure, after all there isn’t any way to know with one hundred percent certainty, but she can feel it in her bones. There are two hearts growing inside her, two hearts that will be as close as she had been with Vax. As close as she still is.
“I wanted twins so much, Vax. Because as hard as it was letting you go, I would never trade it with having never known you at all,” she knows she’s crying. She always cry today, even worse than the day of Vax’s death. “You’re the other part of my soul. Wherever you are now. And I hope it will be the same for these kids.”
The crow surprises her then, actually coming down from its perch and sitting upon Vex’s shoulder. She smiles, feeling the black feathers touch her skin. “I love you too, brother.”
After that, the bird flies away and she looks at him go for far longer than she should. It’s a cold night, and even her coat can’t do much to protect her against the wind.
Vex sighs and stands up, ready to return home, and when she looks down she sees two raven feathers at her feet, the contrast with the white of the snow making them look almost like they were shining.
When Vex enters their bedroom she sees Percy asleep, with a book over his chest and his glasses still on. He had waited for her, but fallen asleep in the meantime. She can’t help but smile, feeling the tension of the day leave her.
She walks towards the bed and removes Percy’s glasses quietly, making sure not to stir her husband and does the same with the book. He doesn’t even more.
She slips into bed beside him and that’s when Percy finally reacts.
“Vex?” he murmurs sleepy, making sure it’s her and Vex smiles, kissing him softly.
“Go back to sleep, darling. I have something to tell you tomorrow.” Tomorrow all of Vox Machina will be here to celebrate her birthday and she will tell them all about the new addition to the family.
It will be a good day.