when am i gonna stop
he'd been warned beforehand what things were acceptable to do and say in the company of the faunus king. he was to be prim and proper, as he was brought up to be, and that was easy. however, his new betrothed made that kind of difficult, all things considered. neptune was expected to keep up his appearances, to be coy and demure, and he was all those things, but he was constantly being encouraged to break out of his shell. that was hard for someone that was raised as he was, and from day one he knew that he was being groomed to be bartering chip for some kind of trade or land agreement, some kind of unification of his naval-based kingdom and the faunus of the jungle. which, by the way, he was so unused to being in, and it was hot and sticky and he was always dressed so proper. as it was, being in the jungle was a bit better than being in a kingdom surrounded by water, because neptune was terrified by bodies of water. after almost drowning as a child, he'd kept away from the beach and even lakes and rivers. it was one thing to appreciate the beauty of such a landmark, but he wouldn't be caught swimming anywhere. that being said, it made him kind of a lame member of their kingdom, since everything they did was based on water activities. at least he liked fish. but being here was a stark contrast to what he was used to. that's not to say that the faunus of the kingdom and even in the castle itself--rustic and open as it was--weren't proper. it was just his intended was much less formal than he anticipated.
"informal" didn't even really being to cover it. he was not shy, flirty even, and he made neptune feel kind of anxious. from what neptune had heard through the grapevine, he wasn't scheduled to rule for another ten years, but something had happened and forced him into the position too quickly. he supposed he could kind of sympathize with that. this was definitely a kind of rushed thing, though he always knew that he'd be betrothed to someone in the wukong family, it'd been spelled out very early in his adolescence. he'd met the faunus a few times on business trips with his parents, where it was proper to start introducing their children. he'd found the only wukong child to be...boisterous, far too rowdy, while he would stand by his parents and be silent, the faunus really wanted nothing to do with that. as it was he still couldn't use the other's first name, despite insistence that they were going to be married, the least neptune could do was 'be a bro'. he had absolutely no idea what that meant. terminology, slang, even the way they did things around here was confusing to him. obviously he was willing to learn, and he was trying, but he couldn't help but try and look his best at all times. even in the warmth of his new jungle home, he adorned himself with the proper fixings from home, including his golden rings and ear cuffs. his clothes had been the hardest adjusting to, because he was not about to wander around shirtless and in any state of undress, so he still wore his full attire; that was also why he didn't do as much, because neptune could surely not handle the heat.
all in all it...wasn't terrible. it wasn't really bad at all and he got along pretty well with this too-young monkey king of his. he was flattering enough to cater to neptune's vanity and also his insecurity--which was why he needed to feel put together and pretty all the time. mostly, what neptune wondered, was if they were going to be expected to act the part of loving couple. neptune had approximately zero knowledge on any kind of romantic intimacy, seeing as how he'd been set out for one specific person his whole life, so just the thought of getting there with someone else was kind of daunting. not to mention, it would be kind of terrible if his king wasn't actually interested in him and was doing this out of necessity--which, sure, neptune was as well, but he was also far, far softer than he let on. and maybe the faunus knew that already, had seen neptune at some vulnerable moments. all in all, the other was endearing, he'd give him that, but the idea of them getting to a point where they felt more for one another, he didn't know if it could happen. well, he could see himself getting there, mostly because he was certain he felt some kind of affection for the silly monkey king; and silly was an understatement.
they were out now and neptune watched him interact with people he had surely known his whole life. there were some kids around neptune, they were chattering at him, and he smile warmly at them, trying his best to listen to everything they had to say. there was a cat faunus with big white ears, a little boy that had fabulous rainbow scales across certain parts of his body, and what he could only assume was another kind of primate with a twitchy tail. the smallest of them, a little rabbit it seemed, had drooped ears and she sat a little ways off. the others were louder, interested in hearing what neptune had to say about where he lived, but he took note of her, playing carefully with a little project she'd been working on using all the wildflowers around her. someone called for the kids and they all went save for that little rabbit girl, and neptune--despite everything that told him not to--got to his knees on the grass in front of her. she seemed timid, a little frightened, and he sat there a moment, watching small fingers work on weaving stems around a thicker vine.
"what's that?" he asked, though he could already see what it was. she flushed and looked away as her small voice told him it was, indeed, a flower crown. the way she worked was reminiscent of what he watched loomers doing with ornate fabrics back home, and she couldn't be more than ten. it was fascinating, especially for someone that had no real talents like that. "you're really good at that, who are you making it for?" as if he'd said some magic word, big brown eyes looked up at him, full of wonder. as though she was unused to people talking to her, to anyone complimenting her. she hesitated before a small smile lit her lips, and it was his turn to be shocked to hear it was for himself. "oh, me? you're making it for me?" she nodded emphatically and went back to work, this time quicker, more agile and proficient. that was one interesting thing about faunus, on top of all the other interesting things; they took on the traits of the animal they were part of. for her, being a rabbit, she was quick and nimble. preening under his attention, she finished up quickly and held it out in both hands, presenting it to him.
clapping softly, he tilted his head so she could bestow it upon him, and he adjusted it around his side-swept hair. he asked her name, getting a slightly more confident beatrix from her, before taking and bending her fingers carefully around his own, bestowing a very formal kiss to the back of her hand. she blushed then, red upon her tanned skin, and seemed to grow too shy and flustered to speak to him, her eyes downcast. "thank you beatrix, i'll wear it every day until it withers." wringing her small fingers, she intoned she'd make him another one when that happened, and neptune called it a deal. with her unable to take the attention anymore, she stood up and bolted away to her mother, clinging to the woman's legs. the small group of people were leaving now, and he watched the king turn back to him and, like beatrix, he found himself suddenly flustered. licking his lips, he stood slowly, bending to dust off the knees of his pants, mostly to avoid eye contact, as he seemed to now have the faunus' full attention. and he was suddenly at a loss for words.