ok you know that ‘make the princess laugh and you can have her hand in marriage’ thing?
imagine so many come in.
they try, so hard, to make her laugh.
she just sits there, morose, ignoring every man who tries to coax a smile.
one day she’s sitting on the balcony. she just looks so sad.
of course that little thief tries to make her smile.
a girl who goes through the (semi public) royal gardens every day to pick flowers, even though technically only the royal family is allowed to do that.
she sees the princess while she’s picking them up to sell on the streets, and she’s just… so sad. this princess needs someone to cheer her up.
and she tries. she’ll do silly dances when she comes in, she’ll bring up frogs from ponds and act out comedies, she’ll make flower crowns and exaggerate just how hard it is.
the first few days, the princess doesn’t even look at her.
then she starts noticing. this girl, trying so hard to cheer her up. she probably hasn’t even heard of the hand in marriage thing, she doesn’t know she’s trying so hard for nothing.
but she does it anyway.
one day, the princess starts talking to her as she does these things. “You do know that it’s useless?”
“What?” the thief says. “No way! I’m going to get you to laugh!”
“The best jesters in the kingdom have tried, don’t bother,” the princess declared pessimistically, staring down at the girl.
Then the thief puffs out her chest, “Of course I am! I’ll find the best jokes, even better than the jesters have found! I’ll… fight a fire breathing dog for them!”
There’s no laugh, but the corner of the princess’s mouth twitches. it’s sad how she thinks she can make me laugh…
the girl keeps trying, for years, making more silly stories and trading flowers for jokes rather than food or money. the princess slowly realizes the girl is getting closer and closer, asking her for responses in knock knock jokes and encouraging her to speak when she wouldn’t respond immediately.
the princess eventually had the girl hanging from her balcony, holding on tight to the rail and feet wedged between the columns, grinning and telling yet another iteration of that already old chicken joke.
the princess has been smiling, slightly, but she mostly just looks unresponsive. the girl is happy, it’s better than looking so sad, like she had been years before.
the girl moves on to puns, pointing at the exotic lunch the princess was eating. “Why do the melons have to go to get married? They cantaloupe!”
“You only know that word because of me,” the princess snarks, but there’s a small smile there, a bit of happiness. This little flower girl, this thief has grown into an amazing friend, a wonderful person who genuinely just wants to help. she doesn’t know of the deal, only nobles and jesters could know, not the commonfolk.
“Well, it makes quite the pun,” the girl says, proud of her joke. a smile! what an accomplishment!
“Say…” she continued, “What would you call a princess who got swept up in conversation a thief?” she pulled a flower out of her pocket, waving it in front of the princess’s face. the princess’s eyes crossed to see the flower before they rolled at the obvious setup.
though, it was interesting that it obviously involved them.
“I don’t know,” she admitted, sighing in preparation for another horrible pun. “What?”
the girl grinned. “A pretty theft!” she exclaimed, ticking the flower against the princess’s nose.
the princess froze for a moment, stunned. she had been complimented a million times over, called graceful by etiquette instructors, been called beautiful by many a suitor, been called wonderful by her mother before… she stopped thinking about that.
she had never been called pretty.
she burst into laughter at the commonplace compliment, as if she was some sort of milkmaid who had somehow grown up to be good looking! it was ridiculous, the notion, yet somehow it had her blushing all the same.
then she suddenly stopped, realizing what she’d done.
the flower thief was staring at her in amazement, a blush of her own speckling her cheeks. her flower tilted out from in front of the princess’s nose, as if it had it’s own amazement.
“Wow…” the girl breathed. she’d never heard something so beautiful in her life.
The princess was silent, knowing what she had just done. She had just laughed for the first time in years.
The girl may not have been aware of the arrangement, but she was quickly swept up in it. A maid had heard the laughter and burst in, to find the thief and the princess, caught up in each other’s eyes, reveling in what had just happened.
The wedding was beautiful, a flower filled affair, a wonderful nod to how it happened. The king was so happy to see his daughter with someone who made her smile for once, tearing up as they were wed.
The princess’s laugh was still incredibly rare. She still had a hard time smiling. But a well timed joke from the girl– no, her wife– and another flower that had a hidden meaning behind it, than maybe, maybe you would hear it.
After all, the princess had finally laughed with the one she loved.
date a boy who can’t sit still. date a boy who’s a mechanical genius. date a boy who respects your autonomy. date a boy who will always support you. date a boy with an asshole older brother. date a boy who fed a rival captain’s fingers to his dog. date a boy who is the Ravkan king. date nikolai lantsov.
i find it hilarious when i see posts that are like “every other country is gonna give the uk so much shit for brexit in eurovision and give us 0 points” and i’m like…. compared to what?? every other year when you usually get like 3 points or what………..
Because I can, and because Kim Woo Bin’s still my #1 Kaz.
The reason Kaz doesn’t directly go up in the ranks of the Dregs? He doesn’t look like the rest of the recruits. But Kaz uses this to his advantage; he pretends not to understand Kerch for a whole year before Per Haskell and his cronies find out. They’ve been speaking in Kerch so Kaz won’t understand them, but once he starts speaking fluently as any other Ketterdam boy, they feel a jolt of unease at the discovery of how Kaz overheard and understood every one of their conversations.
The first time another boy tells him to go back to Shu Han, Kaz gets his gloves stained with blood for the first time. Since then, no one in the Dregs questions his genealogy.
Word about the Shu Kerch boy with the devil’s blood spreads across Ketterdam. One day, Heleen Van Houden pays a visit to Per Haskell, offering Kaz a position at the Menagerie and promising a much more lavish and comfortable life than the streets, since he has an “exotic factor”. Kaz looks at her coldly, and then says, “I’d rather die on the streets than suffocate in the sheets with everyone pretending not to notice, like your Zemeni girl did the other day.”
This memory pops up in his head when he sees Inej run her thumb over her Menagerie tattoo.
Speaking of Inej, she’s the only one who doesn’t ask about his ambiguous ethnicity, like it isn’t important to her. He respects her greatly for that.
Kaz sticks out as the only biracial gang leader in Ketterdam. Every new gang member wonders about this, but they all keep silent because they value their lives. Unbeknownst to them, Kaz doesn’t even know why he looks so much like the Shu, but he suspects he inherited from his mother, who’s been absent from his life since his birth.
When the gang springs Matthias from Hellgate, Matthias has even more misgivings about Kaz, since he presumes that Kaz plans to give Bo Yul-Bayur back to the Shu. Kaz shuts down these thoughts with a simple brawl that leaves Matthias sprawled out on the floor.
Unlike Inej, Jesper asks about his Shu origins. Before he can stop himself, Kaz answers shortly: “My mother.”
He can’t find himself to lie to Jesper about this, for some reason. But when Kaz sees an understanding gleam in Jesper’s eyes, he’s glad he didn’t lie.
Kaz runs into a Shu servant girl when he attempts to break into a Council member’s house for the first time. She takes one look at him and just glides on by. To Kaz’s surprise, he soon realizes that the Shu servants and help that serve corrupt individuals will willingly pretend he’s not in their masters’/mistresses houses. Some even become his inside spies.
After the chaos of Crooked Kingdom, the Shu in Ketterdam get accused of working with the Shu attackers that flew in and bombed the city in search for Grisha. Kaz steps in and acts as the voice of the Shu Kerch, confirming that none of the Shu knew about the attack and never planned something so drastic.
Whenever the Shu come to Ketterdam for a crucial business venture post CK, Kaz acts as a mediator between the Kerch and Shu delegations. Everything goes four times faster because Kaz is a better businessman than any self-respecting merch on the two delegations.
He doesn’t speak Shu at all. Kuwei tries to get him to speak it once, but fails miserably. Despite this, Kuwei and Kaz get along better than people think. When Kuwei comes back and joins in on a heist, he and Kaz pretend to be lost Shu boys who don’t speak Kerch. It works every time.