I want a girl who doesn’t mind if I get anxious or worried about things. I want a girl who will work through anything to make things okay. I want to girl to give me cuddles and kisses and tell me things will be alright. I want a girl who’s all in.
Summary: You’re unwillingly engaged to the Crown Prince of another kingdom, whom you had known as a child but then lost contact with. Time, deceit, and politics brings you two back together, but it’s a dramatic stretch to the ascension of the throne.
Word Count: 2k
A/N: happier times after this guys, I promise. enjoy (:
Grant is still standing with the Princess Rebecca in the throne room when you storm into it, Prince James on your heels.
“Where is my mother?” you demand, and Grant’s eyes widen.
“(Y/N),” he says, and then corrects himself, “My lady, what is wrong?”
“The Prince and I have been lied to,” you tell him shortly, not caring for the guards’ prying ears or the unawareness of the young princess. “My mother is the one that arranged this marriage behind my back, not by the necessity of my people but by her own wishes.”
Grant gapes. “I don’t…I’m unsure-”
“They’re in the conference chamber,” Princess Rebecca cuts your advisor off.
“Follow me,” Prince James says, turning on his heel and stalked out of the room, back into the hall with the stained glass. He moves quickly through corridors until you’re passing under his country’s flag as he throws open a pair of wooden doors, ignoring the guard standing at his station before them.
“Mother,” you snap, not caring for manners as you walk up to her. “How could you?”
Your mother stands taken aback, a quill in her fingers dripping with fresh ink as she leans over a document on the table in front of her and the other monarchies.
“My dear?” she asks, standing straight, and you scowl.
“You sent a message to this kingdom, to Prince James, telling him that I wished his hand in marriage, knowing that he has to fulfil this request because he is lower in rank,” you accuse her. “You deceived me, and you have tricked the Crown Prince.”
The elder Barnes look between each other and then at their son, who stands at the head of the table, arms crossed as he glares at your mother.
“(Y/N),” Queen Winifred says, drawing your attention from your mother’s face. “Your mother was not alone in making this decision.”
Prince James’ lips part, and he scoffs. “You planned this for me as well.”
King George nods his head, and gestures down at the paper your mother had been bent over moments before.
“We have agreed that in uniting our children, we would be allies under any circumstance, using each other’s resources and becoming stronger,” he explains.
“Are you mad?” Prince James shouts. “Have you even considered how (Y/N) and I may feel of this?”
“We have,” your mother answers him, “and we decided it was not in your best interests to be informed of our plans, but instead only be a part of them.”
“You used us as pawns,” you say, and your mother shakes her head.
“We are bringing conflict to two countries to an end and gaining power, (Y/N),” your mother says, reaching to touch your face, but you pull yourself away from her hands, disgusted.
“You are not the queen,” you tell her, raising your chin, rage in your veins. “You are not anything but the mother of me and my brothers and sister and certainly not the one at my side to give me my best strategies! You had no place to arrange this!”
Your mother glares at you. “And you believe Grant has those best interests in his head alongside you, as your advisor? He is blinded-”
“Grant would never betray me as you have!” you shout. “You have impersonated your queen and been disloyal to your daughter!”
“I have already signed the treaty!” the former queen declares. “Your duty is to your country to bring it peace, not to bring pleasure to yourself. Grant will never bring you as far as I have just now, and you will comply to this document.”
“I will never,” you snarl.
“(Y/N),” Prince James speaks up, and you turn to him. He’s walked around the table to read the paper, taken a widened berth around his parents, and looks up at you now, a variety of emotions on his face.
“What James?” you ask heatedly, joining his side to read the document.
“Your mother has signed your name as my parents have signed mine,” he breathes, looking at you with an astonished look on his face. “There is nothing we can do.”
Your eyes drift from his to the paper in front of you, reading the large and fancy written letters.
Upon the agreement of a joined ally force between the Country of Sokovia and the Country of Romania, the marriage between (Y/N) (Y/L/N), Queen of Sokovia, and James Barnes, the Crown Prince of Romania, is sanctioned by the people of the respective countries, and ratified by both corresponding religions.
Your name, drawn nearly as if you had done it yourself, is at the bottom of the page, written beside your title, and then James’ under it, by his own.
Your trembling hand raises to your face, and you gasp.
“What have you done?” you ask your mother harshly, and flee the room, tears shedding from your eyes as you run past Grant and the Princess.
Grant sits with you in the silence of your chambers, head bowed and hands holding his face. You stare at the wall, seated across from him, tear stains having dried on your face hours ago. You feel robbed, robbed of your freedom of choice, and the trust you thought existed between you and your mother. Anger, dread, and sadness churn in a muddy cocktail of emotions inside of you, not having ceased for a moment since you’d read your name and the document that bound you to Prince James.
“I’m married to him,” you croak, throat constricted with disbelief.
Grant looks up at you. “Not officially.”
You swallow difficultly. “The document was the agreed alliance of our countries and the agreement of our marriage in one.”
Grant looks away from you.
“Grant,” you whisper, voice shaky. “I feel so powerless.”
He won’t meet your eyes. “I was supposed to protect you from this. That is my job.”
“Your job is to advise me,” you respond, breathing out.
“I’m your closest friend,” he snaps, standing up and beginning to pace in front of you. “I’m supposed to be the one to keep you out of danger and away from people like your mother.”
“No one would have guessed it,” you mumble.
“I should have,” Grant says. “I was the one who took the message from her when she told me it was from you and sent it. I should have recognized the seal as her own, not yours.”
“Grant,” you say, standing up and touching his shoulders from behind. “It is not your fault.”
“But it is!” Grant exclaims, stepping away from you. “Your mother gave your hand away right under our noses and I never suspected anything!”
“Then it is my fault as well,” you respond defiantly. “I was the one who agreed to come here, and make it easier for her to sign these papers. If I had never come here, she never would have had the opportunity to fake my signature.”
Grant halts, gradually turning his head back to you.
“She faked your signature,” he repeats slowly.
“Yes,” you respond.
“(Y/N),” he says, grabbing you by the shoulders, hope in his face. “She faked your signature! This means you’re not married to James.”
You shake your head, eyes watering. “They invited a priest to view the document after James and I left the chamber. It has been seen and signed by the priest himself as verification…James and I are wed in the eyes of God, just not by the eyes of our countries.”
Grant lets go of you, and walks away. The room stays silent, and you watch your greatest friend shake his head, his anger thriving as he snatches his jacket from your bed.
“I need air,” he says, dismissing himself and slams your bedroom door loudly. You take a shaking breath, trying to find your control, and sit back down on the chair you’d originally been resting in.
You still could not believe what your mother has done, nor that you were truly living your greatest fear, by being married off to a man you barely knew. Save, seven years out of your twenty, but it had been thirteen years since you’d seen Prince James before today. There was only one man you could ever imagine yourself willingly allow to take the throne beside you, and that was Grant, the thirteen years he’d spent with you making him the only person you trusted enough with your kingdom.
You stand, shaking the thoughts away from your head and retrieve your warmest coat from your belongings before opening the door to your room and gently shutting it behind you. The pair of guards you had told to forbid your mother from entering your chambers stand waiting for you, heads tilted as you pull your shawl around your shoulders.
“Your advisor has gone to his chambers,” the one on the left informs you. His name is Lincoln.
“Thank you,” you reply, “please do not tell anyone I’ve left my room.”
“But Your Majesty,” the one on the right, Bruce, protests, but you raise your hand, silencing him.
“I ask you as your queen, and not as your friend,” you say, and they both reluctantly nod their heads.
“Yes ma’am,” they echo each other.
“Be safe,” Bruce warns you, and you nod.
“I will be,” you assure him, and head off in the opposite direction of Grant’s chambers, walking the route you remembered to the throne room. The hall full of stain glass is still beautiful past nightfall, the candlelight from overhead wrought iron chandeliers casting shadows on the tapestries mounted on the walls.
You walk down the steps and open the doors into the courtyard, moving under the protection of the dark to the passageway that would take you out to the watchtower by the cliffs.
The journey is one you remember well, distant memories of chasing Prince James and Steven up the stairs and down the walkway to the farthest tower of the seaside fort, your caretakers not far behind.
You make this trip alone and in the dark for the first time, breathing in the salty sea air as you closer approach the end of the lookout. The waves crash on the cliffs below, and creating a spray strong enough to mist over your face.
You stare at the dark waves below, illuminated by the torches set out by the guards who you knew occasionally made their rounds out here, and wonder if anyone had ever leaped from the structure you stood on to escape the life behind them. You think it would be possible, to do it now, while you were alone and escape your commitment and responsibilities. If you did, though, you left behind the entire country of Sokovia with no legitimate heir and three bastard children born from your mother and father.
You would also abandon Grant, who had been there for you since the seconds before your coronation as a reassurance you would still be the child you were already after the ceremony, the guard of your life, and also your most trusted consultant.
As you think of this, lightning flashes above the ocean, momentarily bringing extra light to the fort and you glimpse a flash of red that does not belong to any burning flame. You pause, unsure if you should move away from your high and obvious position, because that momentary sight of red could have been anything from a fox to an assassin, but your heart jumps when the sound of sudden sharp draw of a breath reaches you over the roar of the waves breaking.
You squint into the darkness before the sea, and see the form of two darkly dressed figures beneath you, close to the lower wall of the fort.
The torches along the upper section of the fort cast faint light down onto the ground, and you can see the face of the Crown Prince and the red hair of a young woman standing in front of him, crying. You can’t hear their conversation, but when Prince James gathers her into his arms and kisses her, you can tell that she means something of importance to him.
You sigh and look out across the ocean as lightning cracks above your head, realizing your mother had destroyed more than just your own life.