If you’re writing things for those royal AU prompts could you pretty please do Nikolina - “i grew up not knowing i was royal and now i guess i’m heir to a throne and you’re the guy who’s supposed to be teaching me how to be royal bc i suck at it and oops we made out” ✨
Sorry it took so long, but it is finally done and ready for posting :D
Rated T for expected making out sesh. (also on ao3)
“Again.” He said, a bit tired after three hours of trying to get the princess to recite the Constitution’s first three and most important points. So far she wasn’t doing terribly, except when she’d say it right three times and then wrong five times. By this rate she’d be thirty before she would be able to glare to cinders anyone that dared to pass a stupid law in council.
“I got it right five times already. Can’t we take a break?” She groaned from her sofa, her petite frame lost somewhere within the layers and layers of her pale golden dress.
He walked up to the music player, “All right, princess, I guess for today it is enough of Constitution.” He hit play and a soft, jazzy song filled the room, “Now, etiquette rules. You know the drill, all of them.”
She groaned again, “Really?”
Amusement tugged at his lips, “Alina, love, you have to be ready before the Winter Solstice or the council and all the old white men in it will run you into the ground.”
Her head snapped up and fire burned in her eyes, “Don’t call me love, Nikolai.”
The smirk he flashed had her insides flipping like acrobats, “All right, princess. What should I call you then?”
She sat up, back straight, head poised, hands on her lap. Just like he’d taught her, “Princess is fine. Alina is fine as well, as long as it’s behind closed doors.” His eyes sparked with a private joke and her cheeks heated up, “And all those royal titles you keep calling me.”
He arched a brow, “Your highness?”
For a moment she was lost, why was he calling her ‘etiquette’? But then her brain kick-started and she groaned again. Saints damn the man, all he had to do was smile a little longer at her and she would lose grip on her carefully groomed self-control. Why did he have to be her coach? Why this insufferable exemplar of a man? Just because he was the only one close to her age in a wide pool of royals in Ravka? It wasn’t because of his lineage, the Lantsovs had long lost any right to the throne, all thanks to some Vasily losing everything in some stupid situation of… Oh what was the point? She couldn’t even remember important points in Ravka’s history! Still, the point remained. Why was Nikolai her coach and not some old lady? It would be so much easier.
Because the truth that she would never admit out loud was that Nikolai Lantsov happened to be the biggest distraction in the room. And she could never concentrate properly when he was around. Which was always.
Why? Because he was an insufferable git. Obviously.
He raised both brows, “So…?”
“What? Oh. Right.” And again she’d lost track of things… “Can’t we do something else? Something less theoretical?” Maybe go for a run. Or ride the horse. Not that she enjoyed it that much, but it would be preferable over trying to recite rules of etiquette when her mind was already too tired. And distracted. Saints damn her, there it was, that smirk again! Wait… Something sank in her stomach. This was the mischievous smirk. The one that had gotten her in that big, poofy dress the first time. The same that had gotten her in trouble with Baghra.
“All right, princess. I guess we could do something more… practical.” He turned to the music player again and chose another track.
He offered a hand, “Waltz?”
She cursed herself. Why couldn’t she accept her fate and stick to etiquette? Whatever, what’s done is done. Resigned, Alina walked to him and took his hand, willing her body to not tremble, nor sweat, nor blush during this dance. She really didn’t need that. Nikolai would never let that go. He might even do more things just to get her all worked up.
Nikolai pulled her in, his other hand settling on her waist. A gasp escaped her self-control, surprised as she was with the soft touch. His eyes shined but silence remained. And then, finally, the dance started. One, two, three. One, two, three. So far so good. Alina hadn’t stepped on him, neither had she blushed too hard. And Nikolai was quiet, which meant death threats were kept on a low number today.
One, two, th—
Nikolai hissed as Alina missed a beat and stepped forward too late. Despite the stumble, Nikolai continued dancing, shaking softly his head, a chuckle on his lips, “Something distracting you today Alina?”
She looked away, “What? No. Why?”
“Well,” his voice was laced with humour, “You never step on me this early in the waltz. Always after ten steps. Today it was a lot earlier. Something must be occupying your mind.” He turned her outwards, her skirts rustling with the movement, “Do share.” Following the momentum of the step, Alina twisted back into his arms.
She really shouldn’t have, but the second she was back in place, her eyes locked on Nikolai’s. Those beautiful, hazel eyes that always seemed to have a playful spark ready to ignite. Today they looked particularly golden, the brown overtaking those specks of green that always had her thinking of emeralds. She’d always thought blue eyes were the best ones, but that was until she’d seen Nikolai’s. No blue eye could ever compare. No! She shouldn’t be thinking this. She really, really shouldn’t. She had to look away. Now!