Trinket returned from the kitchen after getting a snack and saw that Darling Vex and The White Haired One were still not back in their room.
Trinket sighed. He knew what he had to do.
Vex felt a wet nose on her cheek, and then a small lick.
She opened her eyes and Trinket’s darling face was right there. She stroked his snout softly.
“Oh, you’re wondering where we are, aren’t you?”
He made an affirmative-sounding growl. Vex sighed.
It had been a stupid disagreement. She and Percy really didn't fight often, but there were times when their shared stubborn no-I’m-right natures rubbed up against each other and they said things they regretted. A few hours earlier had been one of those times.
Vex had been right, but of course she would forgive him.
So she had shot a few targets in the dwindling summer light, walked around for a little while and then curled up with a book in the library. She hadn't meant to drift off in the chair, it had just sort of happened; it was plush and comfortable and she (and Percy) curled up in it quite often.
Trinket moved in even closer, and she hugged him properly. He was soft, warm and smelled vaguely of salmon and honey, which she didn't think had been on his menu this evening.
“You’ve been in the kitchen again,” she said against the ruff of his neck, and then pulled back to look him in the eye.
Trinket’s innocent look never worked, but it was so cute when he tried.
He pulled back from her and gently grabbed at the sleeve of her shirt, indicating that she should get up from the chair.
“Okay, okay, message received.” She stood up, and Trinket kept her sleeve in his mouth, being very careful not to tear it - which Vex appreciated; it was one of her favourite shirts. He led her out of the library and towards the staircase that led to the bedrooms.
Once Trinket saw that she was happily following him, he let go, and walked companionably beside her as he so often did, and she stroked the side of his shoulder as they walked.
Vex opened the bedroom door, and once Trinket had seen her sit on the edge of the bed, he gave a little satisfactory growl and headed back into the hallway.
She had a pretty good idea where he was going.
If you had asked seventeen-year-old Percy how he thought he life would turn out ten years from now, he would have pompously said something about duty and doing what his family required, while secretly wanting nothing more than to hide in his workshop and avoid all family responsibility.
He wouldn't have picked being awakened in the workshop of the house he had built with his wife by his wife’s large brown bear licking his ear.
"Yes, hello, Trinket. Thank you."
He blearily raised his head, from where he had apparently fallen asleep at his workshop desk to see Trinket’s big bear face looking back at him - slightly judgmentally, if Percy was any judge of his facial expressions, and he’d had a bit of experience at that in the last few years. The judgmental look was fair, really, and he’d never expect him to take his side against Vex anyway. It had been a ridiculous disagreement, truth be told.
Percy had been right, though, but of course he would forgive her.
Trinket grabbed him softly (well, as softly as a large brown bear could) by the shirtsleeve and upper arm to pull him up.
Percy stood up and stretched side to side to try to lessen the kink in his neck.
Trinket moved up behind him (carefully, Percy noted; he only brushed against a few things, and luckily Percy hadn’t been doing anything particularly dangerous) and nudged him towards the door.
“Yes, yes, okay, I do get the idea,” he said, but with a small smile on his face.
Percy grabbed his coat from the peg that it hung on, and headed out the door.
As they walked, Trinket came up beside him up the stairs and down the hallway towards their bedroom, nudging into him a little, even though they had actually thought about bear-sized doors and hallways when they’d designed this house.
Trinket seemed to be looking at him with slightly less judgment in his eyes now, and Percy patted him on the head as he walked, scratching behind his ears just as he liked.
They arrived at their bedroom door, which was already ajar, and Trinket paused to let Percy enter first.
Vex was on the bed when Percy slunk his way into the room. She was lying against the headboard and the mountain of pillows, having already undone her braid for the evening, but she wasn’t yet under the covers.
Percy looked uncharacteristically sheepish. Vex knew the feeling. Being chastised for not talking to each other by your son, who also happened to be a brown bear, was … well, it was as experience that was uniquely hers and Percy’s.
“I see you were fetched as well,” she said to him.
“Yes, I feel we’ve disappointed him terribly.”
“Sorry, buddy,” she said, as Trinket made his way into the room behind Percy, and sat in his usual spot in front of the fireplace. He made a soft wuffing sound in acknowledgment.
Percy shrugged out of his coat, putting it over the back of an upholstered chair, and pulled off his boots before climbing on to the bed beside her and lying against the same mountain of pillows.
He looked over at her. “Sorry I’m an asshole,” he said with aplomb. Percy obviously was very sorry. sometimes he tried to skate around an issue with big words and rationalisations, but tonight he was straight to the point.
“Mmm, yes, you are, but I must admit,” she paused, “I was a bit of an asshole, too.”
Percy snorted. “We were both assholes.”
“Yes, agreed.” Vex narrowed her eyes. “I feel like my brother just grinned smugly somewhere in his sleep.”
“Fuck, he probably did, too. Let’s not give him the satisfaction of thinking about him right now.” Percy shuffled down and put his head against her shoulder, his hair soft against her cheek, and Vex automatically brought her arm around him to gather him closer to her.
“I love you,” Percy said softly, and leant up to kiss her cheek.
Vex automatically smiled. She never tired of hearing it. “I love you too,” and she leant down and kissed the top of his head.
They stayed there for a while, not saying anything, enjoying being close, before removing the minimum of items of clothing they needed to and snuggling back under the bed covers.
Trinket looked over from his his place by the fire. Darling Vex and The White Haired One (Darling Percy) weren’t angry and separate and were snuggled together, like they should be at this time of night. Everything was right now.
Humans were so stubborn. Good thing he was around.