This is a beyond dumb question but I need reassurance. Do you think Kaz cares that Inej is small chested? Like I'm trying to rack my brain of a scene where he could tell so that I know he doesn't care. Help?
i’m so sorry i took so long replying to this, but here ya have an imagine/headcanony thing to calm your anxious mind lmao (and tl;dr: he honest to god doesn’t give a shit)
- at a state reception in ketterdam that kaz decides to infiltrate in order to make $ (and also bc he’s started a side-line collecting intelligence for his new bff nikolai lantsov, oops) everybody obviously has to look the part, so the girls get bought (stolen) horrendously expensive ballgowns, while the guys take style advice from kaz or disguise as guards.
- nobody knows better than nina herself does just how much havoc she can cause with her looks and her body, so her dress accentuates her curves and is cut out deeply. She basically looks like a bona fide femme fatale, which she is. It’s a look that could kill. A++
- and inej knows it’s silly, but she somehow wishes her dress were more like that instead of being flowing and unrestrictive, because she needs freedom of movement. And she knows that nina doesn’t necessarily want the attention she gets, she’s just realised that since she can’t help the way she looks, she might as well use it to her advantage. And she also knows that slender lines of her acrobat’s body allow her to fly from gable to gable and traverse ketterdam on its rooftops, but just once, she would like to feel the self-assurance that she’d convinced nina draws from her body. She has known men’s desire in her life, but she wants to know that she can cause the weakness in their eyes as she passes. She feels that nina’s curves give her strength, a position of power, although she knows it’s silly.
- nina can tell something is wrong, as inej is unusually quiet in the pleasure boat on the way to the reception. She isn’t sure, but she thinks it may be envy and bitterness she sees in her friend’s gaze and she wants to talk to her, ask her what’s on her mind, but it’s a bustle and rush and the excitement washes over her as they sneak into the ballroom. When she turns to find inej, she has already disappeared into the crowd.
- they are all supposed to shadow different people during the reception and cause distraction while jesper and kaz sweep in to steal a fjerdan diplomat’s dinner jacket, because nikolai suspects it has important diplomatic documents sewn into it. Inej is assigned a watch position. As soon as she sees wylan fiddling with the lights, making them flare up and extinguish, she has to dart around the room stealing ladies’ jewels, etc. to cause confusion.
- she sees nina elegantly move from one side of the room to the other, drawing glances all around. She watches her eat chocolate covered strawberries and drink champagne which is handed to her by various important-looking admirers. As much as she tries to push it down, she feels her envy flare up. She knows that if she looked more like nina, if she had a chest and hips like hers she wouldn’t be consigned to the shadows. She could work out in the open.
- kaz, in conversation with one of nikolai’s advisers, sees inej walk out onto the dancefloor in front of him. He can’t help his flare of anger at her not being on her position. He excuses himself from the conversation in order to follow inej.
- he draws her into an alcove outside. her pained gasp at the unexpected, possessive grip of his hand on her arms sends a shiver down his spine. He isn’t deterred, however, and hisses at her: “what are you doing? You are endangering the whole mission. Why aren’t you on your position?” There is a flash of anger in her eyes in response. “You would think that after years of experience in the pleasure house i could be trusted to incite distraction in that way.” The words are bitter and kaz knows she doesn’t mean them.
- “i don’t have much time inej. What is it? We are on a job, in case you had forgotten.” His tone is harsh, but his eyes soften as they look down at her face that is turned away from him. Kaz sees a faint blush creep into inej’s cheeks. “Just because i don’t have a chest like nina’s doesn’t mean i couldn’t do what she’s doing. They always liked the suli for our slender frames. They would ask after us especially. I-”
“Inej, would you really want to do what nina’s doing, when we both know you can hardly bear a man’s touch? Do you really want to go back to selling yourself, even if not fully? This is what you’re good at. I need you to work in te shadows for me. I need you to be my Wraith. I need you, inej.” His words are spoken hastily and harshly. But they hang there between them “i need you”
- “i don’t need you to be any different to the way you are. I don’t need you to be built like nina. For saints’ sake, i wouldn’t-” he swallows, “i wouldn’t care for you any more, if you had a chest like nina’s. Now get back to work.”
- inej leaves to do her bit in the plan, but turns to steal one last glance at kaz. She sees a look of confusion on his face, a look of something like resentment for what she does to him, a look of longing. All this directed at her. She feels the heat rise up her neck for the danger she put the plan into because of her insecurities. If the person, who never looked at anybody but to see how to make profit from them could look at her like that, perhaps there was something alluring about her.
- “oh, sweet, had i known, i would’ve sworn not to be so very liberal with my cleavage for at least a week. No, inej, you really should have told me.”
“It was silly, it was a moment of weakness. You know i could never truly resent you. I - saints, i don’t know what it was that came over me.”
“You are the Wraith. All shadows and ethereal things, while i’m an earthy beauty from ravka. It is what it is.”
Inej smiled at te teasing note in nina’s voice.