Just Motherly Things
"You're awfully impatient," you remark, watching the former king struggle to put on his jacket. He pulls the royal blue fabric this way and that, stretching it while failing to pull the sleeve out. Raising an eyebrow, you hide a snicker; Kageyama turns to glare at you briefly before returning his attention to the sleeve.
"Here, give me that—"
"No, I got it."
"No, you obviously don't 'got it.' Give me that," you say, holding out a hand.
"Give me it."
You smack him lightly on his head, scowling. He winces in pain but tightens his clutch on the jacket, knuckles turning white. "You stupid king—! Why am I even helping you?"
He looks at you, unsure of where you're going.
"I swear, I'm supposed to be your advisor, but what use is that if you're not even going to let me help you?"
"No, I will let you help me—"
"This idiotic boy of a king can't even put on his own jacket without help and he expects me to just stand by and not do anything about it," you glower, snatching the fabric from his hands when he least expects it.
"Shut up. We'll fix it together, since if I fix it for you, you'll still be unable to do it yourself next time," you say, holding out the jacket. "See, the sleeve's inside out."
"So reach in and grab the sleeve and pull it out!"
"And that'll straighten out the sleeve?"
"It's inside out right now. If you pull it out, it'll be back to normal," you say, demonstrating with one sleeve.
He extends a hand and reaches inside gingerly, slowly pulling out the cloth. His mouth forms a small O when you hold up the clothing, restored to its original form with no strange inside-out sleeves.
"Patience is a virtue, Kageyama."
"It'd do you good to have some once in a while, My Royal Highness," you snicker. "You would've ripped up your beautiful jacket otherwise."
He glares at the disobedient material.
You hold up the jacket and gesture for him to turn around. "Here, put it on."
Remaining silent, he turns and slowly stretches out an arm, letting you work the sleeve onto his extended limb. You do the same with the other arm and he turns around, pulling on the front of the jacket to straighten it out.
"You look good," you murmur, stepping back to look at him from afar.
Playing with the hem of your shirt, you sigh. "I said, the stupid child who can't put on his coat by himself looks good," you repeat, eyes fixed on the jacket. You can feel your cheeks start to heat up indiscernibly, but you avoid all eye contact.
"I don't think he likes you, Kageyama," you remark offhandedly, gazing at your wolf companion who's on all four haunches, snarling at the male next to you.
His eyes twitch as he tries to suppress a frightening glare, eyebrows furrowing and onyx hair falling in his face. "Why not?"
The wolf snaps at Kageyama, but doesn't lunge in his direction. You breathe a sigh of relief, grateful that the animal didn't attack the king. "He doesn't like bad people," you murmur, eyes locked with your wolf's.
He stiffens. "Bad… people?"
You nod, keeping a straight face. "He especially hates liars and arrogance."
Glancing at him out of your peripheral vision, you see that the male's gone pale, eyes bulging slightly from his face. He takes a step back as his cheeks whiten and his face becomes drawn.
You lay a light hand on his arm, turning to look at him. "I'm kidding, My Royal Highness," you whisper, looking him in the eye. "He does this to everyone."
"Are you sure?"
"Yes, really. He bit me the first time he met me in a meadow," you shrug. "Come to think of it, there was a weird guy in the forest." Squatting, you reach down and pat the wolf's head; you pull at Kageyama's arm to make him crouch next to you.
He suddenly flinches, as if slapped. "Weird guy?"
"Yeah, a weird guy," you mutter absentmindedly, twirling a lock of the animal's ebony fur in your fingers. "He looked at me quickly, but it was strange."
"Why are you so curious about this mystery man?" You turn to look at the former king, a twinkle dancing in your eye.
"Because I am."
"Damn it, woman, answer me!"
"Fine, fine, no need to yell," you wince at his harsh tone. The wolf shrinks back as well. "He said something about not being able to trust me, though I have no idea why you would trust a complete stranger." The grass sways in the wind as your wolf companion breaks free of your hold and trots away, off towards the direction of the village. You plop yourself down on the ground and play with the grass, weaving a small ornamental pattern with the sunny blades. Glancing up, you watch the crows overhead fly about, circling the village area.
You realize that the king hasn't answered you, and you turn to look at him. "Are you going to respond, my lord?"
He shakes his head. "No, it's just... well, never mind. It's nothing." Standing up to reach his full height, he mutters to himself and walks off towards the village.
"Wait for me!"
"(First Name)!" Your mother's voice makes you turn around. "Oh, I'm glad I found you – Kai and Mei are sick, and I have to go to the market! Could you watch them for today?" Her eyebrows furrow in worry, mouth pointing downward in a desperate frown.
You slap a hand over Kageyama's mouth and nod, smiling. "Of course. I'll get Kageyama to help me, too!" Waving goodbye to your mother as she reluctantly heads down the road, glancing back every so often, you seat the king on a wooden chair and glare down at him.
"The twins are sick."
"I can tell," he glowers.
"I'll need your help to care for them."
"I'll consider it."
"That wasn't a request," you say.
"But that was my answer."
"Fine. Do I have to do this the hard way?" You grab the male by the hand and drag him into the twins' bedroom, where your wolf companion is curled up between their matching beds. "Oh, so that's where Shadow went…"
"It has a name?"
"Don't be mean to Shadow!" Mei cries, stifling a cough. "Shadow is sensitive. Don't listen to that big mean man," she sniffles.
Kageyama turns to whisper to you, "They were awake?"
"Well, now we are," Kai mutters, glaring daggers at the king.
"Sorry," you sigh. "Anyways, Kageyama and I are here to care for you!"
You hurriedly pass a handkerchief to your little sister and press a hand to her forehead, clucking like a mother hen. "I'll make both of you some soup. My Royal Highness, watch over them!"
"Wait, wha— Don't just leave me here!" He protests weakly as you speed out the door, heading towards the kitchen.
As you stir the broth and pour it into two small bowls, you hear loud barks, clanging, and crashing coming from the twins' room.
You kick open the door, hands balancing the two bowls and the accompanying spoons. "Kageyama! I told you to watch over them!"
Your eyes skim over the scene in front of you as you pause in your lecturing, barely suppressing your twitching eyebrow. Shadow is collapsed on top of Kageyama's back, with Mei patting his head; Kai is seated on top of Shadow, and Kageyama's expression is one of pain.
"Oh dear… Kai, Mei, are you alright? Here, get back in bed," you say, placing the bowls on the dresser and helping the twins back into their respective beds. Handing them their broth, you glance down at Kageyama, who seems to be knocked out.
"Great. One more problem to deal with," you mutter.
"Achoo!" Both twins sneeze at once.
"Where'd those handkerchiefs go?!" You gasp as you dig through the dresser drawers in search of the elusive scraps of cloth. "Damn it, Kageyama!"
"Yes?" a groggy voice pipes up from behind you.
"It's about time you came to! Help me find some handkerchiefs!" You grab one from the drawer you found and dab at your sibling's forehead, cooing.
"Be careful you don't get sick." Kageyama drifts by you to the dressers to grab more cloth for the twins.
"Achoo!" You rub your nose, wrapping yourself into a cocoon of blankets on your bed.
"See? I told you you'd get sick."
"I'm not sick! Achoo!"
"So says the sneezing child," Kageyama sighs, sitting down next to you.
"Shut up," you glower at him.