Tree Trunks and Apologies
"Did you find a nice boy to fall in love with in the city? Let me see him!" She reaches out with her hand to tap Kageyama's shoulder, beckoning for him to turn around so she can get a closer look at his face.
"Mom! You might not want to do that," you protest, grabbing her hand and stopping her before she can touch the king.
"He's… he's the king."
Your mother pauses, her eyes wide open and her mouth hanging. "So… does that mean that—"
"Yeah, it means that you can't touch him unless he gives you permission to," you roll your eyes.
"No… does that mean that he's the boy you fell in love with, (First Name), and that you brought him back to ask for your father's and my blessing?"
"What?" The king and you shout this in unison, him whirling around to face your mother and you clapping your hand over her mouth before she can say anything else.
"I would never dare even think of courting her—"
"You think that I would fall in love with him—"
"She's just a mere peasant and my servant—"
"He's the frickin' king, mom!"
The two of you scream at your mother, then turn on each other.
"How dare you think that I would love you, girl?!"
"You seemed to like me well enough last night, my lord," you say, rolling your eyes and your tone dripping sarcasm.
"You two… did it last night?!" Your mother shrieks, jumping up and down in delight. "When's the child?!"
"What?! Mom, no! Stop! No!"
"Enough of this, you stupid peasant. Take me back to the palace."
"You can't go back there, you idiot," you glare at him.
"And why not? You're my advisor – you're supposed to cater to my every whim and will." His navy eyes flash, his mouth set in a firm line.
"I'm also supposed to make sure that you're safe. I promised Sugawara I would."
The king's face seems to fall a bit at the mention of Sugawara. "Oh."
You flinch. "Are you alright?"
"So… you're only taking care of me because you promised Sugawara, is that it?" His tone turns accusatory. "I can't trust you." He turns and storms out of the home, making a beeline for the hills.
Turning to look at your mother, you sigh and run out the door after that imbecile. "Yes, you can! Your Royal Highness, just listen to me! Slow down!"
You chase him to the meadow where you first met your wolf companion, to the open field where you met the mysterious stranger. Kageyama's punching a tree in his rage, royal blue eyes blazing.
"My lord! Please stop! You'll hurt yourself!" Throwing yourself at him, you grab his fist and pull it from the tree, cradling it in your hand. "You're bleeding, imbecile. Why did you do that?!"
He says nothing in reply, wrenching his hand from your tight grasp to continue his furious attack on the wooden trunk.
"Stop it!" You jump in between the tree and his fist, knowing instinctively that you'll be hit.
The impact of the punch knocks you off your feet, propelling you back against the rough bark of the tree and knocking you off your feet. Your head flies back and hits the trunk, making you see stars for a few moments; you recover quickly, glancing at Kageyama, who has a look of disbelief on his face.
Holding your hurt cheek in your hand, you match stares with Kageyama until he finally breaks the silence, Prussian blue eyes burning into (eye color) pools.
"Because, my king," you say, approaching him. Taking his hand into yours, you kneel with one knee on the ground, much like in a marriage proposal, and kiss his hand softly. Holding it tightly in yours, you say, "I'm supposed to protect you. Not because I promised Sugawara that I'd do it, but because I want to… because you'd die without me – I know you would. You're such an idiot that you wouldn't last five seconds out there in the real world and I really wonder how you managed to stay on the throne for so long without me, being the stupid bastard you are, but you did it somehow and… I don't know why," you mumble, letting go of his hand and standing up, taking a step back towards the fringe of the forest.
"I don't know why I did that. Please forget about it," you say and break off eye contact with the male, sprinting past him for the village down the hill.
It's been a week since that moment. You avoid all contact with the king, obviously failing in your advisory duties, and leave the care of Kageyama to your mother, who fusses over him like a mother hen.
"Kai?" You look at your little brother. "What's up?"
"That guy – that tall guy—"
Your ears perk up at the mention of the king. "Wh-What about him?"
"He wants to talk to you, sis," your younger sister Mei interjects.
"Why?" Trying not to flush a light shade of pink, you busy yourself with plucking the petals off a nearby flower.
"Heheh, you'll find out~ He's in the guest room," Kai says, taking his sister's hand and walking off, throwing you side glances all the while, a smirk on his face.
He likes me… he likes me not… he likes me… he likes me not, he likes me— you shake your head, throwing the flower to the side of the road and standing up. You dust off your tunic and skirt and make your way towards your home.
Summoning up courage, you raise a tentative fist and knock on the door of the guest room. "King Kageyama, Your Royal Highness? It's (First Name/Last Name). May I come in? I was told you wanted to talk to me."
"The door's open."
You push open the door and poke your head in. "My lord?"
Taking a step into the room, you look around. He's sitting on the bedspread, his head in his hands, staring at the wall. The window is closed and the curtains drawn tight, the only source of light coming from the flickering candle on the small desk next to the bed.
"What's wrong?" You sit next to him, leaving a bit of space between the two of you.
He looks at you, then looks down at his hands clasped in his lap. "I…" His knuckles turn white and his hands tremble
You lay a hand on his knee and nod, waiting for him to continue. "It's alright, my lord. You can trust me."
He exhales loudly, mumbling, "I'm sorry."