One Wrong Step
"Don't mess this up, Kageyama!"
He flinches at your words. "Do you expect me to mess up?"
"Well, considering that you can barely put on a jacket by yourself and that you have a weird way of proposing to people, yes." A wide grin spreads across your face as you reach out for his collar to straighten it. "Sheesh, you can't even fix your shirt. How are you going to address the people? It's your first time giving a speech to them, right? You have to make a good impression." Fussing with the buttons, you swear quietly under your breath. "You buttoned the wrong buttons. Your shirt is lopsided."
Fixing it, you pull his shirt to smooth out any wrinkles and you extend an arm to ruffle his hair. The king scowls and you laugh. "Don't worry, My Royal Highness. I'll be behind you the whole time, supporting you, so go knock 'em dead!"
He raises an eyebrow.
"Not literally." Clapping him on the shoulder, you push him through the curtains as you follow him out.
The sun's glare inhibits your vision before your eyes adjust to see Kageyama standing on the balcony, playing with his shirt buttons again. You slap his hands away from his top to keep him from fidgeting and force a smile on your face as you stare out over the crowd.
The balcony is inlaid with a cloudy marble tile and the balusters in front of you are ornately carved into elegantly curving hourglass columns, supporting a thick and somewhat dusty balustrade. You shift slightly as you bite your lip, drawing the liquid metal taste into your mouth.
He fingers with the cufflinks of his shirt sleeves, having given up with his buttons, and crosses his arms. His body is tense and he licks his lips, eyes darting around the crowd surrounding him. Gripping his speech paper tightly, his knuckles mimic the snowy white of the banisters lining the edge of the balcony.
You clear your throat and hiss under your breath, "Go on, give your speech."
He shoots you a glare before coughing slightly, the noisy crowd falling silent almost immediately. "Dear citizens and people of Karasuno, I am greatly honored to be standing before you all as your king. We have just recently recovered from a great battle fought with our neighboring country, Nekoma, and I am here to tell you that I will do whatever it takes to bring our land back to its former glory. This I swear."
A loud cheer erupts from the crowd and you glance down. There's a mass of people gathered under and around the balcony, eagerly staring up at the king to hear what he has to say. The sea stretches out for as far as the eye can see, with people leaning out of nearby building windows or standing on tables to see Kageyama better.
The king pauses and lets the people clap before continuing.
Your gaze locks in with that of a small girl, who waves at you. A smile tugs at your lips and you turn to watch the king's side profile. His lips curve slightly before they close into a tight-lipped smile; you watch him breathe in and exhale out. A lock of hair falls in his face but he brushes it aside quickly, barreling through his royal address. His words go in one ear and out the other as you stare out over the crowd, hearing but not comprehending his speech.
Kageyama turns to gesture at you. "This is my trusted advisor and fiancée, (First Name/Last Name); she hails from the Miyagi village." You start at the sudden introduction and bow quickly, smiling at the crowd before glancing back at the king, who continues. "We, the humble vassals of the people, promise to carry out your wills and make Karasuno great once more. Please lend me your support in rebuilding this country." He bows and you blink twice before regaining your wits and following his example to bow.
The overwhelming roar of applause almost deafens you but you manage to smile out at the crowd without wincing. Kageyama passes by you on his way out and takes your hand, almost dragging you off the balcony.
"Good job out there, my lord," Suga greets. "Same to you, too, my lady."
"It's not like I did anything… I just kind of stood there and grimaced at the crowd the whole time. I felt kind of like Kageyama here." You gesture at the king with a jerk of your chin.
The raven scowls but says nothing, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Even so, just you being there is huge for the king. It's a symbol for the people, that the ruling class is no longer purely aristocratic anymore, that the king has a commoner advising him and that he is willing to listen to the voices of the people," the butler smiles at you. "No offense intended, of course, my lady," he says quickly, waving his hands in front of him.
"It's the truth, isn't it? I am a commoner, after all. Well, at least that's over," you murmur while heaving a sigh. "What's next?" Your eyes watch the king's fidgeting movements and you slap his hand to keep him from playing with the hem of his shirt. "Don't ruin the shirt, My Royal Highness."
"There's a gala being held tonight, Miss (First Name)," the silver-haired man says. "It's important that you attend, after all – we've introduced you to the people as my lord's advisor and fiancée, but we have yet to introduce you as such to other countries as well."
"Annoying Oikawa and his advisor, Iwaizumi, will be there as well," the king mutters.
"Oikawa and Iwaizumi… where have I heard those names before?"
"They're the king and advisor of our neighboring country, Aoba Jousai," the butler chirps. "Please be on your best behavior tonight, my lady. It's very important that we have good diplomatic relations with them as they're our vital trade relations."
"Alright," you sigh, running a hand through your (hair color) locks. "How long do I have until the ball?"
"It starts at 9 tonight; it's 4 pm right now. I suggest you get ready within the next few hours – you have to pick a dress and learn the names and faces of other diplomats before the gala starts," Suga shrugs as you grimace. "Please be diligent about it, my lady. Same goes for you, my lord," he says, glancing over at the king. "We wouldn't want to upset His Royal Highness Oikawa, would we?"
"What makes you think I'll upset him?"
"Because you did so last time." The butler smiles, but the pleasant expression doesn't reach his eyes. Steely irises flash against murky Prussian blue pools and you can practically see sparks flying between the two men. "It will be a diplomatic mess if you don't conduct yourself properly, my lord," Suga bows. "Please go to your rooms and prepare adequately."
After hours of studying a list of the names and faces of the important people and diplomats attending the ball, you had paused for a brief dinner break. You didn't see Kageyama at the hall, so you ate quickly and returned to your room.
You pore over the fragile parchment, eyes narrowing as you try to make out the calligraphy handwriting detailing the names of the people. A knock comes at the door; without glancing up, you wave a hand and say, "Come in."
"Miss (First Name)? There's an hour till tonight's party – please pick a dress for tonight."
Turning to look at the source of the voice, you stare at the butler and the rack of dresses lined up behind him. "That's a lot of dresses," you murmur, standing up and drifting over to them. "How am I supposed to pick one?"
"They're all appropriate for tonight, my lady. Please choose one that you like."
Your eye wanders over the huge array, colors bombarding your vision. You reach out a hand and gently rub the material of a dress; it's silk, watery to the touch and light like a butterfly's wings. "What is Kageyama wearing? I mean, I'd hate to clash with him when we stand together," you say, clearing your throat and glancing back at the butler.
"He'll be wearing a black suit with hints of orange," Suga smiles. "If you would like to match, I recommend this dress."
He pulls out a dress from the back of the rack, hidden before behind the poofy tufts and flowing layers of other gowns. You stare at it in awe and immediately take it from the butler, running into the bathroom to change.
Despite struggling to figure out which way to put on the dress, you eventually succeed and manage to pull it on. You run a brush through your hair and push open the bathroom door to walk over to Suga. "How's it look?"
It's a simple black cutout dress. A bandeau-esque top covers your chest, amber-orange semicircles cutting inwards as the bottom of the top part slants downwards to show a slice of your midriff. A single black sash stretches from the top left side and cuts across your collarbones to wrap around your right shoulder. The skirt portion of the dress sits on your waist, one part layered over the other to achieve a flowy look. A train accompanies the dress.
The butler smiles at you. "It was made for you. C'mon, let's go see the king."
You push open the door to the king's apartments without even so much as a knock. "My Royal Highness!"
A rustle comes from the closet and you look at the source of the noise. Soon enough, a head of ebony black pokes out and burning navy eyes stare at you. "What?"
"I wanted to see how well this dress matches your suit, like Suga said~ Are you ready?"
The king reluctantly steps out of the closet, tugging at his collar before looking at you.
"Well what?" he snaps, turning his head to glance off to the side. His lips form a pout and his eyes narrow as he blinks several times.
"Well, what do you think?"
He mumbles something unintelligible, a light pink dusting his cheeks.
"What was that?" You lean forwards toward the king, eyebrows furrowing as you cock your head and stare at him.
"I said… you don't look half-bad."
A snicker sounds from behind you. "That means he thinks you look good, my lady," the silver-haired male murmurs.
Your eyes widen before you laugh. "Thanks. You don't look too shabby yourself, either, My Royal Highness! Just fix your collar. Or, well, maybe I'll do it," you say as you reach out to straighten his unruly shirt collar. "Don't rumple it again, okay?"
The ballroom is filled with people and the airy scent of chardonnay lingers in the air. Delicate laughter and deep, throaty chuckles can be heard throughout the room and all you see surrounding you is a sea of muted dresses and suits.
"C'mon, (Last Name)," the king tugs at your arm. "We have to greet people."
"Oh, look at who's become diligent! I guess you're listening to Suga now, huh?" You smirk at the taller male and he glares at you but says nothing.
A shadow falls across the king's face before he turns smartly to face the source of the voice. "Oikawa."
"Who's this beauty you have with you? What's your name?" The male in front of you raises your hand and presses a chaste kiss to it, tawny sephia eyes boring into yours.
You flinch at the sudden contact but do your best not to pull away. "(First Name/Last Name), my lord," you manage to say before curtsying to whom you recognize as the king of Aoba Jousai.
"Trashykawa!" A swift chop is delivered to the brunet's head. You glance up at the offender, who notices you and immediately retracts his hand. "I apologize for his behavior," the spiky-haired male says as he bows to you.
"That hurt, Iwaizumi!" Aoba Jousai's king protests as he fixes his hair. "You're embarrassing me!"
"You're the one embarrassing yourself, going around making moon eyes at all the women here," his advisor snaps.
Kageyama clears his throat and looks at you. "That's King Oikawa of Aoba Jousai and his advisor, Iwaizumi." His eyebrow twitches as he gestures to you slowly, eyes fixed on Oikawa's. "This is (First Name/Last Name), my advisor and fiancée."
"Aw, Tobio, you can call me 'older brother'~" the brunet sings as he slings an arm over the king's shoulder. "And that makes you my sister in law, then!" He sends a wink your way.
"In your dreams," both you and Kageyama deadpan at the same time.
"But remember how you used to follow me around and ask me to teach you stuff? Oh, you were so cute back then," Oikawa winks before continuing his assault on your fiancé.
You turn to Iwaizumi. "Is he always like this?"
"Yeah. Sorry about him." He rubs the back of his head apologetically. "He doesn't know when to lay off." The advisor's eyes watch the scene unfold and he frowns. "He doesn't know when to stop, either."
You return your gaze to the quarreling kings and heave a sigh, running a hand through your hair. Suddenly, Kageyama's eyes meet yours and they flash dangerously before he turns heel and marches off.
"I'll go talk to him and apologize for you, Shittykawa," Aoba Jousai's advisor sighs and scowls at Oikawa before hitting his king on the head and chasing after your fiancé.
The brunet watches his advisor chase after your king, a glint in his eyes. "Hey, (First Name) – I can call you that, right?" You nod as he gives you a delighted smile and continues. "Why'd you pick Kageyama to serve? You seem super smart, so why him?"
"Same reason why I imagine Iwaizumi puts up with you," you remark, looking the male up and down.
"Ah, so harsh! But seriously." He takes two champagne flutes from a waiter and hands one to you, his eyes narrowing as he watches you over the rim of his glass. "Why?"
You balance it in your fingers, sniffing the alcohol before placing it back on the tray of another waiter. "The country would fall apart without me."
"You hold yourself in high esteem, huh, (First Name)?"
"It's the truth," you murmur, avoiding his gaze.
"Such a pretty lady like yourself, you must've had guys swooning over you before," he smiles before taking a sip of the chardonnay.
You let out a short bark. "As if."
"But now you're going to marry the king of Karasuno!"
"I don't know if that's better or worse," you laugh, pulling over a waiter and asking for a water before returning your gaze to Oikawa. "He's a handful, alright."
Kageyama suddenly shows up next to you, followed shortly by Iwaizumi. Karasuno's king glares daggers at the brunet, who mockingly shivers and says, "Ah, it looks like you're unhappy, Tobio~ I wonder why?"
"(First Name) and I have more people to greet." He grabs your arm and begins to pull you away before Aoba Jousai's king takes hold of your hand.
Oikawa whispers something in your ear, his eyes sparkling with mischief. You flush, smears of pink spreading across your cheeks, before shaking your head and letting out a weak breath.
Your fiancé's glower intensifies before he successfully drags you away from the brunet.
The two of you wind up in a dark hallway, a ways off from the ballroom. A faint light streams in through the window, courtesy of the full moon outside.
"Let go of me!" You shake his hand off and stare at your wrist, now red with pale finger imprints from his tight grip. "What's wrong with you?!"
He pushes you against a wall, arms and body fencing you in on all sides. His gaze is deadly, eyes a virulent midnight blue in the dim lighting. "What did he say to you?"
Your mouth sets into a frown. "What does it matter to you?"
"What did he say to you?"
"Nothing that concerns you," you say, turning your face away from the king and crossing your arms.
Kageyama strikes the wall, a scowl plastered on his face. The wall behind you trembles from the force of his blow. His arm is tensed and his teeth are bared, black fringe falling into his eyes. "Tell me, dammit!"
"Why do you want to know so much?" You practically yell the words at the king, outrage evident in your eyes.
His lips crash onto yours and you flinch, trying to push him off of you. The king's eyes are squeezed shut as he grips your shoulder with one hand and cradles your cheek with another; his knuckles turn a milky white, like that of the moon. His body is trembling as he leans against you, legs surrounding yours, and bites your lower lip. Your fingers grab the front of his shirt and make a shaky fist; your arms strain as you try to squirm away from the king, but it's to no avail.
Kageyama finally relents and eases up off of you, black fringe falling into his eyes as he breathes heavily.
The sound of a slap resounds through the hallway as you stare up at the king, your body trembling. Your face is flushed as you clench your jaw, hands balling into fists next to your side.
Murky blue orbs swirl against burning (eye color) irises.
"What do you want from me, Kageyama?"