Make a prince out of him
"Ashe, will you marry me?"
Vaan, down on one knee in front of the reigning Queen of Dalmasca, was actually proposing marriage! She loved him, of course...and he'd been playing...midnight courtier, swooping in when most were asleep, then leaving again before most were awake. But there was one MINOR problem with this. She was a QUEEN, dangit! And putting him on the throne next to her would take...the most political manuevering she'd ever done. And she'd get to make him jump through hoops, too!
"From my heart, yes. I will."
As expected, he'd embraced and kissed her on the spot. She was only too happy to return such passioante embraces. But she knew there'd be a whole lot more to this then two people getting married. Still, she was glad he'd kissed her. It let her be romantic before the impending practicality.
Finally, though, he came up for air. "I'm so happy I don't know what to do with myself..." Vaan said.
"I can think of a few things..." Vaan took that in the usual way, though, and missed the seriousness in it. He started kissing her neck in preparation for another night of pleasure.
"Vaan, I am serious. I am Queen, remember?"
He stopped, as if it'd never occurred to him that might be a problem.
"I cannot just tell the world we are getting married, you know. You are not exactly noble birth. I am going to have to make a few royal declarations, and then YOU are going to have to learn how to be a noble and live in a palace."
From the look on his face, it was if it somehow never occurred to him he was going to have to do all that fancy stuff. She giggled at him for it. "Oh, this is going to be fun, I can tell."
Now Vaan started to realize what it meant to marry the reigning Queen. It would...change him all the way around. Change him into something different then he was. Sure, it was easy to run around slaying monsters and being a Sky Pirate, no problem there, but he was out of his league with this kind of stuff.
"I don't have the first clue how to be a Prince Consort."
"I noticed, do not worry. Besides, I am going to have to declare you nobility. You HAVE rid the world of such dangerous fiends as the Hell Wyrm and Yiazmat, not to mention lesser fiends. More important to Dalmasca, though, you helped save us all from Vayne and Bahamut. So I can at least Knight you for that. I may be able to give you a higher rank then Knight, I will have to see what my advisers think is possible. The higher up you go, the easier it is for me to go ahead with the marriage."
"...Do I have to do anything to get a high rank besides what I've already done?"
"You bet you do, young man. Oh. Ratsbane is going to have to go. Hell Wyrm and Yiazmat were dragons, so Dragonsbane it is. It is nobler sounding."
"No arguing, Vaan. I must create a political miracle or two so I can tell everyone we're getting married without bringing political disaster on myself."
He sounded resigned. "So, what else am I going to have to do."
She rubber her hands with anticipation. "Oh, let me see...there are noble dinners, how to address foreign royalty, foreign nobles, how to deal with the Royal Council without offending anyone, there are royal balls..."
He had one of those 'help me' looks on his face.
"Oh, there is more. The more of that you know how to do before I propose making you nobility, the higher up I can reasonably put you, so do your best."
"This is gonna be harder then Yiazmat, isn't it?"
"When I am done with you, you'll pray for Yiazmat's ressurrection."
"Well, if it isn't proof beyond all doubt I love you, I dunno what it is."
Ashe smiled at him. "I got my proof when it became clear you were ready to do whatever I asked, and not rejecting the idea out of hand. I was afraid I would have to convince you to do it."
Vaan says, "...yeah, well."
Ashe gave him a sultry look, "And I will make sure you get your nightly...positive reinforcement. If you do well and do not blow this stuff off. It IS important for us to really be wedded. I know the difference between trying hard and taking some time to get it right versus not caring. Believe me, I know you very well."
Vaan grinned, "Well, suddenly, I'm more motivated!"
Ashe replied, "That, young man, was the plan."
Vaan said, "Well...how, exactly, am I going to be...trained?"
Ashe said, "I have people here in the palace. I will tell them to put together a meal for you like there was going to be a 100 person feast. And then you will have to learn to eat it without making any mistakes. For Royal Balls...I get to coach you there myself. It IS dancing, after all. I think I can do the what to call whom material myself too, but again, you would need practice. Oh, and you will need new clothes! I know what you are wearing is practical...I wore similar when I was out fighting things. But that just will not do in a palace. You will have to look the part."
Vaan looked down. "Farewell, clothes. We had some good times together..."
Ashe smirked at him, "But better times when you were not together. You will get keep your gear, though. Any sword fit for taking down Yiazmat is fit to wear in court. At least at functions wear wearing swords is permitted. If you remember, Rasler wore his armor and sword most of the time, though I admit your gear is a good deal more functional then what he was wearing. It reminds people how you got your position, anyway."
"Even the ribbon?"
"Especially the ribbon. It protects you from court intrigues, like poison in your food. I wear mine all the time. Wear that even when functions do not normally need gear."
"Well, that's something. But what kind of clothes are you gonna put me in?"
"I will have my tailor look into getting you a wardrobe."
"When will I have to be by for that? And the meal you're going to have to train me to eat?"
"...Great. I'll be there." He didn't sound full of enthusiasm, but he would be there.
She kisses him. Hard. "Once more, with enthusiasm!"
"...I'll be there!" Vaan was so easy to convince sometimes.
"Good boy. Oh. Obviously, you can't tell anyone we are getting married till I'm done making you a noble, and I officially declare it. Not even our 4 friends. Rumors...get around. Especially for stuff like this."
"Right. My lips are sealed..."
"With a kiss." She gave him another big smooch. She had the feeling he could get used to those. Even Vaan would keep his mouth shut now. He'd better get used to keeping secrets. Royalty does that all the time.
"Is there, like, a book I can read or something? It'd save you some time." He's trying to work with her, here.
Ashe was very pleased, "Actually...yes, there are a few. Hide here in my bedroom, and I will retrieve the books for you. They are in the library, but I cannot take you in there yet."
She dashed out, to retrieve the books. Which gave Vaan time to think. He was really going to be a prince? He was really going to sit on a throne and watch Ashe make proclimations and have snooty affairs and royal functions and listen to council members blather on about supposedly important matters? The thought was scary to a young man who loved his freedom. The more he thought about it, the scarier it was. No wonder Ashe was worried she'd have to convince him! To keep from cutting and running, he kept saying 'I love Ashe' in his head. After that happened a few times, he felt he needed something strong. 'I love Queen Ashelia.' She's not just Ashe anymore. Except, of course, in bed. She's the Queen. And it's time he got used to thinking of her as a Queen. Lost in thought, he didn't even notice Ashe get back in till she tapped him on the shoulder.
"What were you thinking about?"
"How much I must love you to think to read a bunch of books you didn't even ask me to read."
She had a couple books to set in front of him...but then she locked the door. And put them on the table. "We will talk about it tommorrow. In the meantime, you get positive reinforcement for taking this seriously."
And no more words were said for the rest of the night, as the now secretly engaged couple shared their love as those to be wedded enjoy doing.