Prompt: In an effort to save two kingdoms, an arranged marriage was made. At his request, Prince Lin-Manuel Miranda was to be wed to you, the youngest daughter in your royal family. RoyalAU. Written for the hamwriters’ write-a-thon Day 1 prompt.
A/N: So you’re going to give me a backhanded compliment and then insult me by telling me my fics are shitty? Well here’s ANOTHER one for you. Two in one day, will ya look at that? *clears throat* Anyways, hope you guys enjoy this chapter and let me know what you think. Thank you for proofreading @how-could-i-do-this ! Also, I’m leaving for a trip soon, so I’m not sure if I have time to write. @nesthemonster - this is for you.
Thanks for reading!
The Miranda kingdom was breathtaking.
Though you’d already seen the scenery – the sprawling green plains, mountains and hills that decorated the horizon, and the fields littered with farmers that tended to their crops and livestock – experiencing it once was not enough for you to appreciate its beauty. As you neared the first village, you noticed that children, boys and girls alike, were running alongside the carriage, waving their tiny arms in greeting. You automatically waved back, giggling when their eyes went wide.
Without much thought about your prior spat, you tugged on Prince Lin’s sleeve to catch his attention. “Say hello!”
He gave you an amused stare but acquiesced, lifting his hand in acknowledgment to the sprinting children. You laughed when they shrieked in delight, their bright smiles shining under the sun despite the growing distance between them and the carriage. “I imagine that you are very popular with the children in the villages,” you teased, tucking the loose tendrils of hair that the wind toyed with behind your ear, “they are quick to idolize people that they admire… and your similar temperaments must be appealing to them as well.”
Prince Lin scoffed and propped his chin on his hand, elbow resting against the window of the carriage. “Are you calling me a child, Princess?” he questioned, regarding you carefully.
You leaned back against the seat, purposely not meeting his gaze as you grinned. “Maybe.”
“I am anything but a child,” he murmured, shifting close, “would you like a proof of my manhood, Princess?”
IN ADVANCE I AM SORRY BECAUSE ANGST.
(Disclaimer: I set a five minute timer for flash fiction but I will go past the timer if I need to finish an idea to my satisfaction. This is an idea I’ve been mulling for a while.)
There are many things Cassandra Cain can handle but this might not be one of them. She is a weapon, a polished and precise edge against the world, but there are some sorrows that cannot be trimmed away.
She sits for a long time watching the woman from a distance, letting others offer comfort. Cass cannot offer this– she knows she is frightening, a masked and shrouded reminder of the city’s failure. And aside from that, what could she say? Words do not come easy but this is a situation beyond words and Cass has the wrong body, the wrong arms. She is a stranger and she is a weapon, she is paralyzed by the emotion that also mutes the woman.
They are both silent and they are alone, divided.
Eventually, Cass leaves. She makes her way back to the manor, silent to the core. This is not a time she wants Stephanie’s words or Tim’s attentive but sidelong company. Her heart is a torn thing, a tattered and ragged insult in the grief of the night. She wants someone who will understand so she goes to Him.
But she cannot go to Him.
What would she say? What could she mean with her hands or her face that would speak the brokenness inside? That would whisper her failure and her comprehension of it?
So she sits in the hallway in the plain clothes she changed into in the cave, the clothes that make her a person she does not deserve to be. She sits in the darkness with a darkness inside her, a black and hollow void that makes her skin wet and sour.
There is crying from her eyes, damp dripping from her chin, and He is the sort of man who can hear a thing like weeping even when it is hushed.
The door opens and he looks down at her, his own eyes bleary with sadness and sleep. He always has that sadness; it is why she came to him. Not wanting to add to it is why she stayed in the hall.
“Cassandra?” he asks, sitting next to her.
“The baby,” she says, and her body that is a controlled tool betrays her. It shakes against her will, a motion of falling off chilled rooftops and into gravelled alleyways, a thing that cannot be put into language. “There was a tiny one and I couldn’t save it.”
This is where Tim would jerk away and stay with her, but give his eyes and hands to other things. This is where Stephanie would hug her and words would pour out against Cass’ hurt that is only a small hurt compared to the woman’s hurt that she also carries, Steph’s language a waterfall against the rocks of the woman’s wailing.
But He wraps an arm around her, sitting beside her on the floor, and he is there and he is quiet. He is a tombstone, sturdy and remembering. Curled beneath his arm like a desperate bird, she makes his shirt wet with the pain that is hers and Gotham’s alike. A teardrop falls on her neck and she does not brush it away; it is a way that they are not alone, carried on threads of salt and knowing.
When she is not breaking but merely broken, he lifts her chin and in the darkness of the hallway there is something that pushes against the blackness she carries.
“We can’t save everyone,” he says. “It’s not your fault.”
“It is,” she insists. “I could be faster.”
“No,” he says sternly. “You’re just Cass. It’s enough. We can send the mother flowers and a card.”
“Flowers,” Cass says angrily, black and red at war within her, gone to fight with banners and spears. “Flowers are not a baby.”
“No,” he agrees. “But it helps to know we aren’t alone.”
And she nods as the armies of grief and fury go home, dividing her heart into pieces. They are not gone but they are calmed. He is right. He usually is.
“Flowers,” she repeats.
Curling yellow petals and silk green buds will not fix things, they will not be oxygen in dying lungs, but it does help to be not alone with the dying inside while you figure out how to go on alive without your world.
On a tree-lined block of Elizabeth Street in Soho stands a quiet boutique with a simple sign out front. Kurt Hummel, Men’s Clothing. It’s been there for over ten years now: one of a few high-end boutiques on this block at first, now surrounded by flashier neighbors, stores with big plate-glass windows facing the street and no one behind the counter who could tell a half-Windsor from a four-in-hand. The sort of people who shop in those stores might peer in the window at Kurt Hummel, but they keep on walking. Which is fine with Kurt Hummel, men’s clothing designer.