Belkar tossed and turned in his bed. He couldn't sleep -not while there was a bloodthirsty vampire on board the Mechane with them. Scowling to himself, he sat up out of his bed, put his cloak on, and silently left the room.

Upon arriving to the main deck, he saw a shadow looming across the planks. He grimaced to himself and drew his dagger, ready to attack the Dwarven vampire for the umpteenth time. But upon looking at the source of the shadow it became apparent that the shadow was not being cast by Durkon, but rather the elven wizard Vaarsuvius.

The wizard was sitting on the edge of the docked ship with their back to him. Vaarsuvius did not acknowledge him but Belkar knew that he had been heard -those pointy elf ears weren't just for show. He slowly put his dagger away and approached V.

No response.

He sat next to the elf, who made no move to acknowledge him. Usually the elf at least made some derogatory remark towards him, but they didn't so much as look at him.

Nothing happened.

Then, nothing continued to happen. But when something eventually did end up happening, it was small.

Vaarsuvius sighed.

That was enough for Belkar. He looked over at the elf, opened his mouth to utter the most offensive remark he could think of-

-and said nothing.

The nothing surprised him. He was expecting their usual back-and-forth to take place, which most likely would have ended with an explosive runes in his face, and he would have been fine with that. But he wasn't expecting his words to not come out.

But when he saw V, the emotionally cold wizard, with tears wetting their cheeks, he just couldn't bring himself to say it. His eyes softened ever so slightly as he stared at the wizard, and his mouth slowly closed.

"Hey, Ears..."

The words came out much softer than he had anticipated, even sounding concerned. That didn't bother him so much as V's lack of response did. He pursed his lips tightly in thought.

He knew what Vaarsuvius had done -he had listened in on one of the talks the elf had had with Roy- and despite how he felt about violence and murder, he couldn't help but feel a pit in his stomach upon seeing V crying over their actions. He scooted a little closer to the wizard, who was choking back sobs, and slowly -uncertain of what he was doing- put his arm around Vaarsuvius and pulled them to him.

In that moment, a few things happened. The first being that Vaarsuvius's crying quieted, the next being that Belkar suddenly had an impulse to protect the spellcaster in his arms at any and all costs, and the third being that massive blushes spread across both of their faces. A moment of stillness and silence occurred, until Vaarsuvius looked up at the halfling with glittery eyes. Belkar looked V straight in the eyes and faltered. He could not bring himself to say anything -hell, he was still trying to figure out what he was doing- and just sat there with his mouth slightly open and a look of dumb, utter confusion on his face.

Vaarsuvius sniffled, smiled weakly at this, and lowered their head to rest against Belkar's shoulder. The halfling's chest tightened and he held his breath. The elf was no longer crying and their breathing had sorted itself out. Belkar remained stiff for a moment, blinking at the elf.

He quickly looked around; nobody was around that he could see -they must all still be asleep in their beds. Looking back at the elf, he relaxed and smiled warmly to himself. Holding the wizard more closely against him, he rested his head atop theirs and closed his eyes, content to stay like this with his ambiguously gendered twit forever.

Vaarsuvius thought back to the New Years in Azure City. Belkar had accidentally kissed them whilst drunk, and the elf had punished him greatly for it. But here, in his arms, the elf thought to themself that if something like that were to happen again, the elf would not mind. Vaarsuvius smiled to themself and sighed contentedly.