Uncertainty and Teddy Bears
You practically keel backwards at Sugawara's words, staring at his face in shock. "Me? Marry the king?" Your mouth hangs open at his suggestion as you sit up straighter. "I'm sorry, Sugawara, but have you gone crazy? You're joking, aren't you?"
The butler leans forwards and shakes his head. "Miss (First Name), do I look like I'm joking?"
You stare into his deep brown eyes, watching the candlelight reflection flicker in his pupils. Inhaling deeply, you raise your head to look up at the ceiling. A soft sigh escapes your lips as you blink thrice, then glance down at the floor. "No," you manage to say, wringing your hands and biting your lip.
He reaches out and rests his hand on your knee, his earnest, melted-chocolate eyes boring into your own. "My lady, please consider it. The future stability of this country rests in your hands."
You continue to stare down at your lap, hands clasped together tightly. The butler stands and softly pads over to the door, closing it behind him as he leaves.
"What am I going to do?" Mumbling, you fall back onto the bed and cover your face with your pillow. "I thought I was just an advisor… I don't want to make these kinds of choices!"
You wake up the next day, groggy and irritated at the loud voice (and accompanying knocks) coming from your door. "Wait a second, I'm getting dressed!"
Dressed in only your nightgown, you fling open the door to see the one and only king standing in front of your door. You rub the back of your head, frowning. "My lord, you do realize that I was sleeping, right?"
"I was well aware," he sniffs. "Get dressed. We're going to breakfast."
"You'd better go first," you yawn, stretching your arms above your head and arching your back like a cat. "I'm going to take a while."
"Can't you just get dressed now?" He shoves his way past you into your suite, assuming a position in front of your dresser.
"Well, somebody woke me up – rather rudely, too, I might add." You shrug, rubbing the sleep from your eyes before pushing the king to the side and squatting in front of your drawers, provided by Sugawara. Grabbing a few articles of clothing from the chest, you clutch them to your chest as you stare at Kageyama. "Well?"
"Well, what?" He stares at you.
"Well, my royal highness, will you leave?"
"Why? Don't tell me what to do."
"Consider it some advice, unless you'd like to see me strip and dress in front of you."
He flushes slightly before mumbling something about indecent peasants, turning around as he does so.
"Thank you," you murmur as you move to the corner, the only view Kageyama would have of you being your back. You pull the clothes on rather quickly and face the king again, fully dressed. "I've got to get to the bathroom, too," you say, tapping on his shoulder.
The male glances at you, evaluating your outfit before giving a grunt of approval. He crosses his arms, continuing to scan you up and down.
You clear your throat and gesture towards the side with your eyes and chin. "Will you move?"
"Thanks. Just wait out here, will you?" Walking past him into your personal bathroom, you shoot him a smile before closing the door behind you.
"Alright!" You pull open the bathroom door to see the king, fast asleep on your bed. "My lord?" As you tiptoe over to the sleeping male, a soft sigh falls from your lips. "He's… sleeping."
Staring down at him, you watch his chest rise and fall slowly. His side profile leaves nothing to be desired, with a nicely chiseled chin and long lashes casting delicate shadows on his pale cheeks. Messy onyx locks splay across his forehead and his mouth is set in a pleasant expression, nothing like the practically permanent scowl he always displays.
You lean over Kageyama, gently pushing his bangs out of his face. "If only you looked this peaceful normally," you whisper, a small smile dancing on your lips. Your hand moves to cup his cheek as you quickly peck the tip of his nose; you move to sit next to him, pulling his head into your lap and stroking his hair slowly.
The king wakes to see you, slumped against a pillow, fast asleep. He rubs his eyes and, realizing the position he's in on your lap, quickly sits up. "(Last Name)?" Kageyama stands. "Hey, (Last Name)."
Your eyelids flutter at his voice but you mumble some unintelligible thing and turn over, your back now facing the king.
His eye twitches. "The gall of this girl, turning her back on me…" He pokes your cheek. "(First Name), wake up."
You groggily lift your hand in response and flip over again to face the king. "What do you want… here to wake me up again?"
"Breakfast. And I need some advice from you. As an advisor," he grumbles as he turns and walks over to stand in front of the door. "Hurry up, girl."
At breakfast, the two of you sit at a long wooden table. All sorts of breakfast foods are laid out, from fresh fruits and juice to warm soup and bread. You inhale deeply, the wide assortment of smells assailing your senses; shivering in pleasure, you pull out a chair and begin eating.
"It's really good! You should try some, My Royal Highness!"
He nods in response to your comment. "Yeah."
"Do I have to do everything for you? Here, give me that." You grab his plate and begin to load it up with all sorts of goodies from the table, not stopping until it has a small mountain of food resting atop it. "There you go! Eat up."
Kageyama takes the plate from you and begins to poke his food, spearing a sausage and bringing it to his mouth. Satisfied with his consumption of food, you resume your eager eating.
The grand hall is filled with sound of chewing and your happy, barely intelligible, mumbles. The king makes some inaudible comment about uncivilized peasants and you grab a piece of fruit from his plate.
"There's so much fruit there!" he protests, gesturing at the pile on the table.
"Food always tastes better when it's stolen from someone else's plate," you say, waving your fork at the king. Chewing and swallowing, you continue. "What was it you wanted me to advise you on?"
"Did Sugawara talk to you yet?"
You place your silverware on the table next to your plate and turn to look at Kageyama. "Talk to me about what?"
"About, you know… the country. The kingdom." He blinks. "Me."
"About helping you find a wife, you mean?"
He shakes his head, bangs flying across his face. "No. About you…" he pauses, clearing his throat and taking a deep breath before staring at you. His eyes bore into yours, royal blue orbs flashing wildly against effervescent (eye color) pools. "About you becoming my wife."
You stiffen, having forgotten about the previous evening's conversation with the sweet butler. Cutting off eye contact, you stare down at your lap as you clench and unclench your fists. "Well."
A wan, pallid smile works its way across your face as you glance back at the king. "Well, is that it?"
He blinks, eyebrows furrowing. "What do you mean?"
"You know, is that it? Is that your entire marriage proposal?" Despite smiling, your hands are sweating and your knuckles are turning white as you clutch the bottom of your shirt. An arm crosses your torso to grip your other arm tightly, near the wrist.
A grimace makes its way onto his lips as you turn to watch him. "Yeah."
"Is that your best attempt at a smile?" You give a small huff of a laugh and watch the king, your eyes wavering in the soft light streaming in through the window. Biting your lip, you glance back down at your lap. He nods while you heave a sigh.
"So? Will you?"
"Will I marry you, you mean?" You mouth the word 'yes' before shaking your head, squeezing your eyes shut. "I… I guess."
The king stands up abruptly, grabbing your hand from your lap and pulling you to your feet. "We don't have to get married right away." He ruffles your hair before turning on his heel and walking away.
You watch his back, tall and broad, retreat into the distance before collapsing back into your chair. Pressing a hand to your forehead, you let out a short laugh. "Is that his way of trying to comfort me?"
Sprawling across your bed, you hug a throw pillow to your chest and roll around your mattress. "I know it's for Karasuno's sake," you mumble, "but I wanted to marry for love."
Sitting up, you drop your head into your hands, elbows resting on your knees. Your pillow lies discarded on the floor, drooping sadly. "Do I like His Royal Highness?" You rub your chin, pretending to stroke a long, invisible beard. "Yeah, I do. But do I love him?"
You fall back onto your bed again, sighing loudly. "I don't know the answer to that." Raising your arm up to the ceiling, you stare at the back of your hand as you open and close it, wiggling your fingers. "Do I love him? Actually, the question should be, does he love me?" Grabbing the edge of your blanket, you grip it tightly in your hand as you watch your knuckles turn white. You cross your arms over your chest. "I'm not entirely sure he does."
A loud thump outside your bedroom door makes you start and sit up straight on your bed. "Who's there?"
Sugawara pokes his head in. "The walls here are pretty thin, my lady," he smiles at you. "Be careful that the king doesn't overhear your musings, especially since he's right next door." The silver-haired male waves at you before closing the door again.
Your eyes widen as you realize the implications of what he said. Did… did Kageyama overhear me?
You stay in your room for the rest of the day, mulling over possible options of what to do as well as hiding from the king.
The next day, you wake up to yet another loud pounding on your door. Grumbling something about strangling that stupid boy of a king for waking you up so early, you pull open the door. A soft teddy bear plush is shoved roughly into your arms. You look up at the face of the person giving them to you, their features partially covered with a dark hood. Flashing Prussian blue eyes pierce yours before the person rips their eyes away and flees down the corridor.
You stare at the retreating silhouette as a smile makes its way across your lips. "Thanks, Kageyama."