Status: One-shot.

Servant Boy

one of one

Vic knows he’s not supposed to associate with the servants. Really, he wouldn’t dare. But sometimes he sees a particular kitchen worker, and he thinks of breaking that rule.

The worker is fairly new, and his name is Kellin, Vic’s pretty sure, though he’d probably be in enough trouble simply from calling a servant by his name. They’re probably not supposed to be on a first-name basis. Vic can’t help but overhear the servants when they’re talking to each other, though, which is also bad. He shouldn’t be showing interest in what the servants are doing. He is of royal blood, after all, and of a much higher status. He is to be focused only on people of his own “kind,” never acknowledging the servants beyond telling them what to do. He certainly isn’t supposed to be thinking of them as equals.

Still, Vic finds himself staring for a longer period of time than he should at the worker, automatically looking for him whenever he nears the kitchen or whenever there’s a meal. The palace is huge, but since Kellin mostly stays around the same area, Vic can often find him quite easily. This is a problem, because Vic should not be thinking about how easy it is to find Kellin. He shouldn’t care.

Vic tries to be subtle about this newfound interest, and he thinks it’s working for the most part. Kellin’s not dumb, though, and considering that a large part of his job is to pay as much attention to Vic (and the rest of the royal family) as possible, he seems to notice it when Vic stares at him a lot more than he probably should. Judging by the way Kellin lifts his eyebrows at Vic or smiles at him slyly, the way he nods or winks or simply makes eye contact with him, it soon becomes evident that Kellin is at least somewhat aware. It’s as if they’re sort of dancing around each other, the prince and the servant, neither knowing what to do with the other. It’s one of the quietest events to ever happen in Vic’s memory of the palace, right under the noses of the rest of the household. He’s not quite sure what to make of it.

It’s a bit early in the morning—Vic often wakes up before other members of his family, though the servants are almost always awake before he is—when he has one of his first actual conversations with Kellin. Vic’s just taking a stroll around the palace, checking up on everything even though his family tells him that there’s no reason for him to be doing so (it’s the servants’ job to make sure the place is running smoothly anyway), when he hears a light, airy voice call out from the kitchen, “Good morning, Your Highness!”

Vic automatically stops and turns toward the sound, and in the main doorway to the kitchen stands Kellin in his working outfit with a cute little smile. In the distance, Vic hears another voice, belonging to a person unseen: “Kellin, how many times do I have to remind you to bow in the presence of the royal family?”

Kellin’s face changes into an expression of panic and embarrassment. “Oops.”

Just as he’s about to stumble to the ground in a clumsy, desperate attempt at a bow, Vic interrupts him, the words that come out of his mouth surprising even himself: “You don’t have to.”

Kellin glances up at him, narrowing his eyes. “Huh?”

Vic waves a hand nonchalantly. “I’ll, uh, I’ll let it slide. Don’t let my family know, though, or else they’ll wonder what’s gotten into me.”

Kellin’s expression changes again, back to a smile, though this one holds amusement and possibly a hint of something else, something playful. “I feel special,” he says, leaning against the door in a more relaxed manner.

Oh, yeah, he definitely knows that something’s up with Vic. Strangely, though, Vic doesn’t really mind it. He likes this. He likes it a lot.

“Let’s just say that you haven’t disappointed me as a servant,” he replies, a similar smile making its way across his lips.

Kellin looks like he’s about to respond, but the same voice from earlier calls out once again, “Kellin, are you being productive at all right now? We’ve got work to do!”

Kellin rolls his eyes. “When don’t we have work to do?” he calls back. Then he turns to Vic, sighing in mild exasperation. “I should, uh, get back to doing what I’m supposed to.”

Vic nods, trying to ignore his disappointment. “Yeah, me too. I’d like to speak to you again sometime, though.”

“Absolutely.” The knowing smile is back again, and at this point, Vic thinks he can pinpoint the word he’s been looking for: flirtatious.

Within the next few weeks, Vic takes to visiting the kitchen and chatting with Kellin before the rest of his family is awake. He knows he shouldn’t, and he knows that he’d be in trouble if anyone else found out, but he can’t help himself. Kellin is way more interesting than anyone else in the royal palace, and Vic loves talking to him on a regular basis. Many of the other kitchen workers know about what’s going on, but they don’t dare to say anything about it. They have to listen to the prince, and as the prince, Vic makes sure that none of them say a word. Besides, he’s pretty sure they get a huge kick out of this whole situation.

Ironically, as Vic is getting to know Kellin, his parents have been talking to him about finding a nice princess in another nearby kingdom to marry. They’ve been giving him all sorts of names and suggestions, discussing days when he may be able to meet potential wives, but Vic isn’t interested in any of them. He’s interested in Kellin. Which is bad.

Unfortunately, whether Vic likes it or not, his parents end up planning a party and inviting all of the royal families with princesses that they think would be a good match for him, along with some other close royal friends. Vic dreads it, mostly because he’s going to be forced to dance with and pretend to admire the princesses when he’d much rather be admiring and dancing with Kellin. He can’t tell his parents that, though, so the morning of the party, Vic finds himself waking up extra early to allow himself as much time to talk with Kellin as possible.

“Today’s gonna be busy,” Kellin says, looking like he’s just woken up. “What with the party and all.”

“Yeah,” Vic agrees, sighing. “I wish I could just spend my night with you instead.” He smiles at that, trying to act like he’s joking.

Kellin rolls his eyes, suddenly blushing. “Of course you would. Of course you’d rather hang out with a peasant servant over all the pretty ladies and distinguished royals.”

“I would, though,” Vic says truthfully. “I like you more. Plus, I know you. Half the people coming over I’ve never even met before, and have no interest in meeting.”

Kellin laughs a little, clearly disbelieving. “You’ll have fun.”

Vic just shrugs. Maybe he will, but he’d have much more fun with Kellin.

The day goes by far too quickly, and before Vic knows it, the sun is starting to set, and it’s soon time for people to start showing up. Vic watches the kitchen workers set up all their food, subtly flashing Kellin a smile or even a wave whenever he rushes by. Kellin returns the favor, and a few of the other workers share a knowing glance, though they wouldn’t tell a soul. It’s their own little secret.

It’s been less than two hours since the party officially started, and Vic already wants everyone to leave. He’s been introduced to probably hundreds of people by now and he’s never going to remember all their names. Most of the princesses seem nice, and maybe he wouldn’t have a problem marrying one of them if he had no other choice (and, well, he really doesn’t), but this whole thing is nothing less than torture. The only enjoyable part of it so far has been the food, which, as always, is exceptionally cooked. He’ll have to thank Kellin and the rest of the workers later.

As he’s standing against a nearby wall and mostly just taking a break from all the socializing, Vic catches movement out of the corner of his eye. When he turns his head, he catches Kellin peeking his head out of one of the doors into the main ballroom, where the party is mainly taking place. “Psst,” Kellin whispers, a playful glint in his eyes. “Would anyone notice if you left?”

Vic snorts. “Probably. I’m the prince.”

“Even if it was only for, like, five minutes? Some of the other servants told me I could take a quick break if I wanted to talk with you.” He makes a pouty face.

Really, Vic can’t argue with that, and he’s ready to jump at any opportunity to get out of here for some time, especially if it involves Kellin. “Okay, sure,” he says, looking around to make sure that nobody is watching him before he follows Kellin and slips out the door, closing it behind them as quietly as possible.

As soon as they’re alone, Kellin spins around to face Vic, biting his lip and shifting back and forth on his feet. “I know you’re supposed to be focusing on the princesses and all,” he says slowly, “but…”

When he starts to lean forward, hesitantly and shyly, Vic immediately realizes what he’s trying to do. “It’s okay,” he replies, his heartbeat starting to quicken in anticipation. “I like you better.”

With that, Vic closes the distance between them in a soft, innocent kiss, hearts fluttering and lips ghosting across each other. It’s by far the highlight of his night.

When they pull away, Kellin just stares at him in wonder and awe. “I’m—” he stutters. “Your Highness, I—”

“Kellin,” Vic interrupts, smiling at the shocked expression that crosses Kellin’s face at the use of his actual name. “Don’t worry about it, okay? When we’re alone, you can call me Vic.”
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kingdom au ayy !!! plus random bits of 21st century slang bc my continuity is shit and i have no idea where this is supposed to take place. some fictional kingdom that happens to exist in this time period. or something. whatever idc it was fun