It’s finally done! Now not only with flower symbolism, but properly prepared for display!
Geraniums (red): Gentility, determination.
Stinging nettle (backing leaves): Life and death, protection
Rainflower (white): I love you back, I must atone for my sins
Imagine if you will: it’s six months later in game-time. Keyleth finished her Aramente, Hotis is dead, Taryon has paid the party and wandered on his way, so on and so forth. There’s still a few Lingering Questions™ perhaps about that book and other things, but Vox Machina are prepared to take a well-deserved rest for a while. Their keep is finally empty of refugees, there’s time to take a break from things like governing Whitestone, and everyone heads back to Greyskull for a little while to just enjoy their home and one another’s company for the first time in an age.
They send a message to Scanlan, an olive branch: we’re going back to Emon, back to Greyskull Keep. We’d love to pick out a room for Kaylie, if you feel like coming by.
No reply. Keyleth considers scrying on him in case something’s the matter, but finally decides not to intrude any further on his privacy.
The day arrives. Bags are packed, they step through the Sun Tree and into their garden; the only familiar faces waiting are a few of their servants and Jarrett, but it’s still their good old long-lost home. Emon is finally starting to really bustle again in the Conclave’s aftermath. They consider a quiet dinner at home, but it almost seems like a waste; Vox Machina, as they’re wont to do, leave their things behind and head out to a tavern for a good time.
The one they pick is a big bustling place, and being the local heroes and all, they opt for one of the less conspicuous tables off in a corner. They can’t really see the minstrels performing way over on the stage for all the heads in between. (Well, Grog can, but he’s busy with his ale.) The fiddler is uncommonly good, though, accompanied by an abrasively lively shawm and then an equally nimble lute. It’s good music to get drunk by, so they toast and laugh and nobody thinks anything more of it until there’s a smooth tenor voice that they’d recognize anywhere:
“Let me tell you the tale,” it sings, “of Vox Machina.”
One of the group drops their ale mug, and the crowd whoops and cheers for Scanlan Shorthalt’s latest masterpiece, which of course he’s been performing here for days already to be sure the regulars know the words. There’s a verse describing all the heroes, naturally, and Scanlan meets their eyes one after another with a small smile on his face. Olive branch returned.
He looks different. Less jewelry. Somewhere along the line apparently he cut his hair, and now it’s half grown out again. The only earring he wears is Tiberius’s, and the front of his shirt is closed. He’s dressed like a man who’s decided maybe female attention isn’t that important to him after all.
The song is several verses long, glowingly detailing Vox Machina’s exploits. It must have taken ages to write. There are even some lines about Taryon Darrington, the end of the Aramente, the harrowing journey to the Nine Hells. Things Scanlan wasn’t anywhere near, things which are definitely partially bullshit, but some of which ring startlingly true. Perhaps Keyleth wasn’t the only person doing a little scrying.
The last verse ends with a flourish, proclaiming how Vox Machina triumphed through the power of their bonds, the strength of a family working as one. Then amidst the raucous applause, he squeezes Kaylie’s hand and hops off the stage, leaving her considerable talents to finish the set alone. He makes his way over to the corner with a smile, an awkward and old and honest smile, to buy everyone a drink.
(”So, little elf girl,” he starts, and Vex immediately punts him down the table.)
my favorite cr moment of all time will always be, “you know i heard most of these stories… from my mother, sybil.” i mean just watching sam’s facial expressions as he realizes the thing was a wild trip.
i knew Bakugou felt guilty i knew it i knew it i knew it i knew it i knew it my son my son is cRYING he’s fighting Izuku not just for confirmation, not just for answers, not just because he’s already accepted them, but because he has no idea how else to express his emotions regarding this
and Izuku knew, Izuku knew about All Might weakening because he got his powers, he was given All Might’s quirk, no one else would understand, this is the only way for Bakugou to let out all his regret and anger and shame and frustration at himself, because he doesn’t know any other way
he feels shame and regret and guilt because he’s the reason his idol is now retired, he’s the reason All Might’s secret was exposed to the world, he’s the reason all this shit happened and if he hadn’t been kidnapped, if he had been stronger, none of it would’ve happened, none of it
and this fight with Izuku is also probably Bakugou in some way asking to be punished for it all, in addition to the above reasons, because it’s all his fault, it’s all his fault, and he was never punished for it, others were instead punished for acting out to save him (Kirishima…), but he was never punished for his weakness, never scolded for his lack of strength that caused the situation
and even tho it’s not true, he doesn’t need to be punished for it all, it wasn’t his fault, the guilt still eats away at him and this is the only release, this is the only way he knows how to deal with his emotions, with anger and tears and fighting and blood, because he’s stunted, he’s emotionally stunted and he’s only ever cared about himself until recently (before Kirishima, before All Might retired….), but now he cares, he cares more then he can possibly express, more then he knows how to handle, and it’s too much for him, he needs to let it out somehow and this is the only way he knows how
all of Bakugou’s self confidence issues, all the inferiority he feels towards Izuku, all his denial, all his regret and sorrows and guilt and anger, all of his pain and frustration, every time he looked up and admired All Might, and his shame, it’s all crashing down on him and he doesn’t know what to do with it all
Izuku knows, Izuku knows that Bakugou can’t keep it in for any longer because it’ll break him, that this fight is the only way for Bakugou to put a release valve on all those emotions and finally let them out, this is Bakugou’s release, this is his catharsis, and yes this fight is pointless, but Bakugou needs it to let this raging whirlwind of emotions out so he can function again
anyway i love my son and he needs a million hugs and i’m going to give him every single one of them