no but like. imagine being nicaise, all of ten years old and terrified as he’s admitted to court knowing what he is to become (’pet’) but having
no idea what it actually entails. imagine him taking in glimpses of the
Veretian court as he’s flanked by guards along with all the other new
candidates and led through the palace to the throne room for the
Regent’s official viewing - of the opulence, the nobility staring at all
of them like hungry wolves, the painted pets who already have a
resentful gleam in their eyes as they look at the procession - all with a
gradually coalescing dread in the pit of his stomach. he’s smart enough
to know he’s going to have to fight to survive here, but all he wants
is to go home.
imagine him being almost at the throne
room when he sees laurent for the first time exiting from it, young,
beautiful, a dark bolt of blue cutting through the dizzying complexity
of his surroundings and unmistakeably, heartbreakingly royal with his
golden hair and the elegance of his face and bearing.
being nicaise as laurent pauses to look at all of them - then as their
eyes meet, blue on blue. imagine nicaise experiencing a sudden
thrill of attention and awe, caught up in the brief and desperate hope
that this will be his new master; this young god, the Prince
and nicaise will serve him so faithfully and work so, so hard because he’s everything nicaise has always wanted to be-
nicaise as laurent’s face goes cold, a half-bitter smile forming on his
face (nicaise is too young to realise none of this is because of him but because laurent knows exactly what will await him on the other side of the door - him specifically because the other boys will not do).
and imagine nicaise before laurent turns and walks away without a backward glance.