What do You Want, My Royal Highness?
The two simple words keep circling in your mind.
The color drains from your face and you sit there on the bed, your fixed gaze on Kageyama's face. You slowly look down at your hands sitting in your lap, blinking several times as you do so, inhaling and exhaling loudly.
You're vaguely aware of the king waving his hand in your face, peering into your face as he says your name over and over again, but all you see are the off-white curtains blocking the view of the outdoors. You stand up, startling the king; he falls backwards, only to watch you take slow, cautious steps to pull open the drapes and fling open the curtains.
A brisk spring breeze whips into the room, hesitantly at first, then all at once. The curtains ruffle in the wind behind you as you gaze out the window, glancing at the dancing flowers in the wind and the sturdy trunks of trees. The grass seems greener than it was yesterday.
That's all you hear.
"(First Name)… I'm sorry."
(First Name), I'm sorry.
Your back to the king, you allow yourself a small smile as you watch two squirrels underneath a tree, one chasing the other, the object of its affections.
(First Name), I'm sorry.
Slowly turning around to face Kageyama, you stand in front of him, a soft smile dancing on your lips as you watch him fidget on the bed.
"What for, My Royal Highness?" You blink slowly, looking at him through your lashes. A grin tugs on your lips but you try to keep a straight face.
He blinks several times, then looks away, not wanting to meet your gaze. "For…"
"Why did you say 'My Royal Highness?' Isn't the phrase 'Your Royal Highness'? And yet you call me an idiot."
You cock your head and raise a finger to your lips, letting the aforementioned grin pull your lips into a small "u" shape. "Whatever are you sorry for, My Royal Highness?"
"Enough of this!" He bolts upwards, quick enough to take you off guard and make you jump a bit. "I said I was sorry – can't you accept it like a normal person?"
You look at him sideways, the happy expression gone and replaced with a displeased frown. "Normal person?"
"You're parroting what I'm say again."
"And what's wrong with that? It's a simple question; I use it to get people to elaborate since I don't speak the language of idiots." You clip your words, letting the subtle insult sink in as understanding and recognition dawn upon the king.
Kageyama grabs you by the shoulder, his seething, sharp glare equivalent to that of ice. Scowling, you match him, stare for stare. His vice grip on your shoulder tightens, but you refuse to let the fact that he's hurting you show on your face, maintaining your perfect poker face.
The two of you stand like that for what seems to be eternity. You heave a sigh and close your eyes, breaking off the intense staring contest.
"What do you want from me, Kageyama?"
You wait for his response, watching his eyes flick to the top left corner, then top right – everywhere but straight in your eyes. His grip loosens and the former king lets go of you, stepping back a little.
"I… don't know."
At the dinner table, the aura is frosty. Your mother notices but says nothing, instead making idle, loud conversation, her voice the only sound ringing throughout the household.
"Oh, (First Name), these are the greens you picked earlier today!"
Your body hunched over your plate, you stab said vegetables; Kageyama, who's sitting across from you, winces from the sound of your silverware hitting the porcelain plate. Scraping sounds ensue as you push your rice onto your spoon.
"Kai, Mei, do you want some more rice?" Your mother asks.
Your younger siblings quickly shake their heads, picking their plates up and making a beeline out the door towards your wolf companion, seen lollygagging outside through the door that's hanging ajar. You ignore them and continue to eat, the occasional sharpness of metal hitting china accentuating the roughness of your utensils scraping against said porcelain.
A heavy silence falls on the room, your mother watching the two of you with concern. She eats slowly, her eyes never leaving your face. Her eyebrows wrinkle, causing a crease in her forehead.
Your mother finally takes notice of the king's plate, food still untouched, and pounces upon it, eager to start up the fallen conversation.
"Eat up, King Kageyama! There's plenty to go around. It may not be the palace fare you're used to," your mother shrugs sheepishly, almost apologetically, "but there's definitely a home cooked taste to it! I hope you like it—"
"(First Name)?" Your mother turns to look at you sharply. "What's wro—"
"Just stop it, mother." You drop your utensils next to your plate, the loud clang resonating throughout the dining table. A grain of rice is left on the tip of the fork. Slamming your hands down on the table covered with the "tablecloth for guests," you stand and push your chair away from the table, still hunched over your plate.
You grab your plate and stalk over to the door. Dropping your plate onto the table, you mutter, "Thanks for the food." The door slams behind you, leaving only your mother and Kageyama at the table.
"Well, that was eventful, wasn't it?" Your mother claps her hands together and forces a smile on her face, turning to Kageyama as she does so.
The former king sighs, head in his hands. "Where did I go wrong…?"
(First Name), I'm sorry.
You kick a stone off the side of the dirt road. "Sure you're sorry, you damn bastard. Sorry for what? Dragging me from my peaceful life in the village, from my happy sheep-tending days to serve you as an 'advisor' – was it worth the effort?"
Hugging yourself, you inhale and exhale, trembling with fury. "Sorry for what, you sorry excuse for a king? Oh, right, I forgot – you're just an excuse of a king, a figurehead only to be manipulated and easily overthrown, like knocking the king's piece over in a simple game of chess."
Suddenly, your shoulder is grabbed from behind and you whirl around, fire blazing in your eyes.
Prussian blue endless depths lurk in stark contrast to the scorching heat in your (eye color) orbs.
"What do you want from me?"
He says nothing. You note the slight rise and fall of his chest, the sparse coloring in his cheeks, the ruffled, disheveled shape his clothing and his hair are in… he must have run like crazy to catch up to you. Taking in his slightly parted lips and his frantic eyes, his onyx hair rumpled and his fingers forming a tight fist, you sigh.
"(First Name), I'm sorry," he says, eyes downcast on the dusty road.
(First Name), I'm sorry.
"What do you want from me, Your Royal Highness?"
He notices the subtle switch from "my" to "your," his heart falling a bit. "I want to rebuild Karasuno."
He glares at you. "What?"
"What do you want me to do about it, hmm, fallen king?" A crow flies overhead and you trace its path with your eyes, a detail not gone unnoticed to Kageyama.
"I need your help."
You stare at him. An uncomfortable silence falls, stuck between your intense, heated gaze and the king's fidgeting and squirming under your gaze.
You throw back your head and laugh loudly as the king looks at you, eyes open wide in surprise.
You had been pushed to your limits before, a sheep stalked by the predator wolf. Licking your lips, you look straight at the king; in the midst of all the chaos before, you had forgotten. A king piece, by itself, would fall almost instantly, but a king piece with the proper help and defensive actions… a checkmate would be practically impossible then.
And even if it was game over once, even if your backs are against the wall with nowhere to go, even if Kageyama is made to give up his throne again… you can always start another round.
You curl your lip and smirk. "I'll help you, and you know what else?"
He looks at you. You can practically hear him yelling at you, "Just tell me, girl!" but all that greets your ears is silence. Uninterrupted, you continue.
"I'll help you, and I will succeed in getting you back on that royal seat of yours, My Royal Highness. Because you know what? Checkmate's going to be impossible this time around."