“It is a pretty good idea…”
“I knew you’d agree with me.”
“I didn’t say we were doing your plan.” Shiro says it rather quickly from where he was still pacing the length of his bedroom. Keith had been watching him for the better part of an hour following the panic attack the Prince had had after rejecting both Princess Allura and Princess Romelle of the Altean Kingdom.
“Come on Takashi, you already said you didn’t want to marry any of the prospective brides; this is the best solution.” He says softly, trying to get Shiro to calm back down. Getting worked up again over the same issue wasn’t going to help them solve it.
“Keith, I can’t marry you, the kingdom wouldn’t allow it.” He looks back at Keith as he talks and Keith can see the pain on his face. Whether he was imagining the pain from his own conflicting feelings or not, Keith wasn’t sure.
“No, the kingdom won’t allow you to marry Sir Keith of your kingdom. There’s nothing saying that you can’t marry Prince Keith of the Marmoran Kingdom.” Keith says once he watches Shiro flop backwards onto his bed.
“You’re from the Marmoran Kingdom?” He hadn’t wanted to tell Shiro like this. He had never wanted to see the shocked lock on the Prince’s face. He had wanted to tell him on his own time after he had finally confessed his feelings to Shiro, and not when Shiro was coming down from a panic attack.
“Yes. My mother is Krolia, but even then, the plan isn’t for you to marry me. The plan was for us to pretend that we’re getting married so that you can let your anxiety calm down while you sort out what to do about the Daibazaal treaty. After that we can say that we decided to part ways since we weren’t a good fit, or some other lie.” Keith can feel a small pain in his chest at the prospect of entering a fake relationship with the man he had fallen in love with, but he also knew that he would do anything for him.
All Shiro had to do was ask.
“You’d do that for me?” Shiro sits up as he talks and Keith merely nods. He didn’t know how to explain that he would do anything. Nor did he really want to. “Why?”
“When I swore an oath to be your knight I promised I would help you – no matter what. This comes under that oath.” He finally explains after a few minutes of silence pass by. It was the most neutral answer he could come up with that didn’t tell Shiro it was because he was hopelessly in love with him.
“Then, I think it’s a good idea.”
“Of course it is; I came up with it dear fiancé. ” Keith puts emphasis on Shiro’s new title and smiles when Shiro laughs at how ridiculous it sounds from his lips. He could do this.
It couldn’t be that hard to pretend, could it?
Keith knew he had made a mistake suggesting this plan around day seven.
Pretending to be in love with Prince Shirogane wasn’t hard. It was actually fairly easy considering he was already in love with the man before this plan had be enacted.
What was difficult was reminding himself that this was just pretend. That Shiro didn’t love him, and this was just a ruse to get his anxiety under control. Each time Keith remembered that his dinner always threatened to make a reappearance from the whiplash of his emotions.
It hurt knowing that once the prince’s anxiety had settled down they would part ways and merely stay as friends. It hurt knowing that they would just go back to normal, and yet he had suggested this anyway, knowing that it would hurt.
He wanted to hit himself for agreeing to go along with this ridiculous plan.
But seeing how much more relaxed Shiro had looked since Prince Keith had formally arrived at his castle, made some of the pain worth it. He had been so much more relaxed and had managed to figure out what to do with the Daibaazal treaty, and plans were in motion to get that sorted. Shiro had been able to sleep on a night, and no longer tried to work himself through the night.
And yet, Keith couldn’t sleep.
He was struggling to find the line on how to act around everyone when they had to keep up this charade. He couldn’t kiss Shiro even though they were pretending they were together because of the traditions in Shiro’s kingdom. So, he was stuck holding his hand and having to pretend that it didn’t affect him. That it didn’t bother him how soft Shiro’s hands were, or how much larger than his they were than his own.
He was deep down the rabbit hole with his feelings, and all he wanted was to sleep. Not to think of the life that he and Shiro would have together. He had spent one too many nights dreaming about that before this charade, he didn’t want to spend any more dwelling on it.
Sighing to himself, he gets up and grabs one of the more ornate robes he had sent for. If he couldn’t sleep he was going to go for a walk to the kitchens. Maybe get a drink and then come back to his room. There wasn’t much else he could do after all.
Once out of his room he bites his lip seeing that the light from Shiro’s room was still spreading out into the hallway. Normally he wouldn’t be sure whether he could interrupt whatever was keeping Shiro awake, but now that the entire castle thought they were dating; maybe he could go see if he was okay.
He gives himself a few seconds to think about whether he wanted to interrupt, only to have that decision made for him when he hears Shiro mutter an obscenity. It wasn’t often that Shiro sweared and it was usually only when he hurt himself, and as a result Keith finds himself travelling down the hallway to see what his crush had done this time.
He isn’t surprised to see the Prince pacing his room holding paper, but he is surprised to see the pile of discarded paper balls near his feet. What was so important that he was going through piles of paper?
“Shiro, you okay?” Keith asks as he pushes open the door to Shiro’s room a little more so that he can slip inside before closing the door behind him. Some of the staff could be more than a little nosey when the two of them were talking, and Keith didn’t want them to overhear this conversation.
“Oh Keith, yeah, I’m fine.” He looks round as he talks and runs his hand through his hair. It was an action that the prince did a lot when he was overthinking something or trying to calm himself down. But Keith couldn’t see an obvious trigger.
“Just destroying a small forest it seems.” Keith says with a smile, faltering when Shiro looked at him confused. He knew he didn’t make jokes often but Shiro didn’t have to make that face. “The paper.”
“Oh yeah, just some treaties and paperwork I’m doing. I can’t seem to word it right that’s all.” Keith doesn’t buy that. He doesn’t buy the way Shiro waves him away with the paper and keeps it hidden from his eyes. He never normally did that.
“Want me to take a look?”
“No! Uh… it’s… it’s just sensitive information…”
“That’s never stopped you before.” A few moments pass, neither Keith or Shiro willing to back down from their stance on the matter. “It’s not treaties is it?” Keith finally asks, knowing damn well that if it had been just paperwork Shiro would have already caved and showed him.
“No… it’s not.” Shiro sits on his bed and sighs, knowing that he was going to have to explain what he was holding now. He didn’t want to. “It’s a confession.” He admits reluctantly and balls up the paper before throwing it with the rest.
“Oh, you’ve found the person you want to marry?” Keith asks as he sits next to the prince on the bed. He knew this day would come eventually, but that doesn’t stop the pain he could feel in his heart knowing that Shiro would never be his.
“Yes, but they deserve a grand confession and I can’t think of the words I want to describe them. They’re brilliant and funny, and I’ve loved them for a while.” He smiles as he talks before looking at Keith. “It’s hard to describe.”
“Can I give you some advice?” He asks after a few moments, his hand resting on top of Shiro’s. It was the most he dared to touch him right now. “Don’t prepare a speech or a letter. Just tell them to their face how you feel. Make sure it comes from the heart.” He says after Shiro nods at him, trying to ignore the way that Shiro’s fingers curl around his.
“That...that makes sense… I should just go for it.” He repeats, smiling when Keith nods in agreement with him. It made the pit of nervousness in his stomach stop for a few seconds, just like it always did when he looked at Keith. It made what he wanted to do a whole lot easier.
Taking a deep breath, he leant in and cupped Keith’s face in his hand to kiss him gently, only to be pleasantly surprised when Keith kissed him back. Shiro had never imagined that he would return the affection. All of which meant that when they pulled apart to breathe; Shiro was grinning like an idiot.
“I… what?” Keith looked up at Shiro, his breathing heavy and a look of confusion on his face.
“It’s you. You’re the person I want to marry.” He explains as he pulls Keith into a hug. “I was trying to think how to word that to you that it’s always been you. I turned down marriage proposals because I knew that I would never love them the way I loved you. And then when you suggested we pretend to be engage I was nervous because I didn’t think I could just pretend…”
“I didn’t think I could just pretend either… I’ve been in love with you for months, I never even tried to hide it.” Keith murmured as he rested his head on his shoulder. “And now I think about it, neither did you. I was just oblivious.”
“We both were Keith.” Shiro reassures him before smiling. “But that’s the past now.”
“You want to continue this?” Keith asked confused as he settled into Shiro’s arms.
“Why not? Everyone else thinks we’re already engaged, now we’ve just caught up to them and are no longer lying. It also means we can officially start to plan our wedding.” He brushes Keith’s hair back from his eyes, admiring his beauty as he talks.
“Which means we can share the same bed right?” Shiro laughs hearing that and stands up with Keith. He can see the grin on Keith’s face and it makes him happy that he looked so happy.
“Yes, yes it does.”