To the outside world, the relationship between Princess Alliara and the supposed Sir Darion was a rapidly blossoming one: initially strangers, Alliara revealing her buried insecurities led to the surreptitious prince doing just the same. This, in turn, led to a healthful rapport in which both parties found themselves discussing anything and everything they could—the dialogue came about with staggering ease. The two were fast friends.
They were also horny teenagers.
Jon wanted nothing more than to be far, far away from here, slamming his head into a table until freed from this disgrace of a memory. Unfortunately for him, Allaria was rigidly locked into the scene; any and all attempts to even consider leaving were met with staunch failure. This isn’t for lack of trying, but Jon quickly found that most actions he took would be translated for the couple’s benefit, not his own.
The first thing the poor boy had attempted was to stand, and, with the masterful precision of an assassin, run away screaming.
The initial steps were translated with surprising accuracy: Allaria stood from her feminine criss-cross and began a casual meander to the just-so-close exit. Jon was even feeling some pre-emptive excitement, despite the higher part of his consciousness expecting this to not end well. It didn’t; just before the exit, Jon’s small, traitorous hands reached for the door’s handles and dragged them shut.
“There! Finally some peace and quiet from all those meddling servants.”
The escape route was sealed off. Jon was stuck in the lion’s den. With nothing to fend for himself but panicked desperation and vague genre savviness, he turned to face his vile foe.
Darian looked at the princess with tender eyes.
“I know not of Elven traditions, m’lady, but Hawre customs frown upon circumstances such as this. Are you not… troubled? To find yourself alone with a strange man?”
Hell yeah I’m troubled, asshole.
“You are indeed strange, Sir Darian. You are just so clumsily strange…” It came out all cute and shy and oh lord stop walking towards him, “But so kind and honest. I find it… refreshing.”
Trope upon trope pawed at Jon’s dignity like some perverse beast teasing its prey. Jon had read enough of his father’s extensive fantasy collection to know exactly where this was headed… The Story wanted love. Boring, shitty, hammered-in romance that would largely define Allaria as a character, instead of, say, any actual scraps of personality she might have lazily floating in that near-empty head of hers.
Think Jon, think. You’ve bullshit your way out of too many problems to let yourself lose to something as laughable as this…
Sprawling in a frenzied introspection that he couldn’t even spell, Jon grasped at answers so desperately that he very nearly lost track of what Allaria was doing.
Finally, a burst of clarity. Jon couldn’t get himself out of this situation, he was the princess. Princesses didn’t do “agency,” they waited for their hero to come save them. Fitting for what he had in mind; if this story was as bad as it was supposed to be… Could he force tropes to happen himself?
What does all good-bad fantasy try to put off for as long as possible? Which one action, shitty and inconsequential as it’s supposed to be, get played up as the climactic resolution to chapters and chapters of vapid filler?
The main characters never kiss in the first act. But they can try. And whenever they try, they get interrupted by the worst possible outcome—the one person who wasn’t supposed to see them together.
Karen’s never gonna let me live this down, is she?
Jon anchored himself back to reality—Allaria and Darian were talking about the animals from their kingdoms or something, he really didn’t care—and he pressed his will forward. The attraction was there, as was Allaria’s fundamental obligation to be naively sexy. The following action may not have been completely “in character,” but it wasn’t necessarily out of it, either.
God, I hope this works.
Jon stared straight into horrid beast that had vexed him, all but consumed by anxious dread. Darian warmly gazed back into the eyes of Allaria, completely enamored with her.
Jon went for the kiss. And, somehow, Allaria followed along.
A lurid sense of urgency creeped at Jon. While he had been feeling a novel form of disgruntled humiliation with the ongoing events, this was… Different. This was not his. Something was watching, and it was hysterically doing whatever it could to pull the princess back to her original path.
What the hell was—
“Allaria! Stop conglomerating with the human at once!”
Jon welled with happiness—despite whatever fear Allaria was now expressing. As planned, and as hoped, his friend had been summoned.