Hi! I'm EDM and this is my first KKM fic, so please be gentle, and enjoy!
Morning had come, indicating a new day in Shin Makoku. Though just because it was a new day, it didn't mean it had to be peaceful. Especially when you had a certain king bored, and an equally bored priestess.
"Ulrike, do you know how the people at Blood Pledge Castle are doing?" Shinou asked, unnecessarily because he always knew everything, but he wanted to hear the answer from her.
"From what I heard from the Great Sage the last time he was here, they're nervous" She answered "It seems that, even though Heika had brought peace to Shin Makoku, there are some complications in human territory, and they're even expecting a battle"
"I see... But the battle won't come" Shinou stated "I know Shibuya Yuuri enough to know that they won't have any problems, so all that stress is for nothing"
"If you say so, Heika"
"Oh, I'm sure" Shinou said, smirking "By the way, I've heard a very interesting wish from him a few moments ago, and I think that I'll help him with it...but I need your help. Are you in?"
Ulrike's eyes sparkled with anticipation and mischievousness.
"What do you have in mind, Heika?"
"Ah, everyone is soooo busy today" Yuuri sighed while walking through the garden "Even Günter had find something to do after I managed to escape"
The situation was this: they've heard about an army gathering in human territories and preparing to attack them. If Yozak was correct, and the rumors he'd heard as well, the army was pretty big, so even though Yuuri was totally against a war and that they were going to wait until the rumors of the attack were confirmed before deciding what to do, they were preparing for a possible attack. As a result, it have been at least two weeks since the last time he and the rest of the castle slept properly, everyone submerged in their duties. And the stress that resulted from that was showing even in the forever-calm Conrad, his brow twitching every now and then like his big brother's.
And Yuuri knew that this couldn't stay like that any longer.
But what could he do? If he asked everyone to relax and have a day off, the only thing he'll get were glares and a shout of "wimp!" from Wolfram. But still...
"The ones who are taking this harder are Conrad, Gwendal and Günter" He mused "So I guess they're the ones who need to relax more...but unfortunately, they're precisely the ones who will not do it, no matter how many times I beg" He paused, then sighed, running a hand through his brown-colored hair and rubbing his itchy eyes because of the contacts he put on because of a desire to have a nice walk through the village "I just wish something happens to help them relax, at least for a day...specially after that conversation I heard last night..."
The day had been really hard, and Yuuri was so tired that he only had the energy to climb the stairs and literally fall in his bed, not opening them even when the door opened.
"He really is tired"
Yuuri recognized the whisper as Conrad's voice.
"Heika had worked really hard today, he's so responsible!" Obviously, Günter.
"Not only today, but since the news came and everything started" Conrad added with a sigh "And the tiredness is beginning to show on him...I'm worried. He's not used to this level of stress"
"Maybe, but it's his work after all" A gruffy voice added, obviously Gwendal's "And there's nothing we can do about it"
"Come on Gwendal, stop pretending" Conrad said, amusement clear in his voice "You're as worried as we all are. Haven't you been taking the majority of the work so His Majesty could take a rest here and there?"
Yuuri suppressed a gasp when he heard that. Gwendal had done that for him?
Now he understood why his work seemed a bit less than the others...
"Hmph, whatever gave you the idea, brother" Gwendal mumbled.
The was a silence after that, and Yuuri peeked from behind his eyelashes to seed Conrad and Günter smiling amusedly at a lightly blushing Gwendal.
"Well, we should leave now and leave Heika to rest. We have more work to do" Gwendal said in an effort to escape the smiles.
And with that, the door closed. Yuuri stayed in silence for a while, and then sat up, his tiredness momentarily forgotten.
'So Gwendal have been doing the majority of my work while doing his as well...' He thought, guilt dancing in his chest 'Am I that useless?'
He mused this until he finally fell asleep.
"The least I can do for them is helping them enjoy even one day without any concerns...but how?"
"I'll take care of that, Heika!" A childish voice chirped, startling him. Yuuri tured around, and paled at what he saw.
Because standing there was Ulrike's soul, that is, her childlike version. He still remembered all the trouble she gave them that day, and how Günter and Wolfram were before being caught in her spell...though Wolfram didn't change a bit, he secretly chuckled.
"Ulrike! What are you doing here?!" He exclaimed "Return to your body now! If you don't your body..."
"I know, and don't worry, Heika!" She smiled "This time I have permission! And now, let's grant your wish, shall we?" And she started to glow pink. Suddenly, three small, pinkish balls were fired from the now pink-flared Ulrike towards different parts of the castle. Then, the glow disappeared, leaving an evil-grinning Ulrike.
"What have you done, Ulrike?" Yuuri asked, already dreading the answer.
"Oh, you'll see" She said, her eyes twinkling with mischievousness "Just know that the effects will take a whole day to wear off, so they won't be normal until tomorrow morning..."
"Wait! They? Who are you talking about? And what have you done?!"
"Treat them well, Your Majesty! Bye bye!" And with that, she disappeared, leaving Yuuri trying to understand what she meant and fearing whatever she had done.
But he didn't have to wait much to know, because as soon as Ulrike disappeared, he heard childish giggles running towards him. He turned around and saw three children. One of the looked likea five years-old, and had brown hair and silvery-brown eyes. The second one looked a bit older, eight or nine years-old, and had shoulder-length silver hair and violet eyes. And finally, the third child who seemed to be in the middle of the two, with seven or eight years. He had long, dark-gray hair tied in a low ponytail and intense blue eyes.
'Aw, how cute' Yuuri thought, the realized something 'Wait, what are they doing here?'
And when they talked, he knew.
"Yuuri!" The brown-haired boy said, reaching him first "Hello Yuuri! C'mon, let's go play!"
"Heika!" The silver haired boy cried, throwing himself to give an air-squeezing hug to Yuuri "Heika, play with me! Gün-Gün loves you!" He said, sparkles shining and dancing around him.
"He...heika" The third child said, approaching him slowly and with a cute, innocent glow in his blue eyes "Will you play, Heika? Please?"
Yuuri's jaw dropped to the floor, staring at them. He stayed like that for a while, unable to do anything more, until the brown-haired child waved his chubby hand in front of his fave for the fifth time, and the other two called his name for the seventh time.
"Wha-wha..."He sputtered finally "Conrad?! Günter?! Gwendal?! What happened to you?!"
"We don't know, heika!" Conrad answered happily "There was this wi...wai..."
"Weird" Gwendal supplied.
"Yes! This 'weiard' ball of light, and when it hit me, I was like this!"
"The same happened to Gün-Gün!" Günter chirped.
"Same here" Gwendal added quietly.
'So that's what Ulrike did!' Yuuri thought 'And if what she said was correct, they'll be like this until tomorrow morning! What can I do now?"
He briefly thought about asking Anissina to help him turn them into adults again with one of her inventions...but that lasted less than a millisecond. Apart from being dangerous to him, he just couldn't leave the three innocent, cute children in her evil clutches. He didn't have the heart...but what could he do now...?
"Let's play Heika!"
Yuuri looked at the children, who were looking at him with puppy dog eyes, and sighed, not able to resist them. Well, there he had his answer.
"Okay" He said, making the three cheer in delight, and Yuuri couldn't help but smile at that "How about we go to the town?"
"Yes!" The three cried.
"Okay, okay, let me give a word to a guard and we'll go" Yuuri said, chuckling. He then called a guard and told him to notify Anissina the she was in charge of the castle until tomorrow morning while him, Conrad, Gwendal and Günter were out doing some "investigation". After that, the four of them took off towards the town.
The walk was really nice and fun. The three children's attention was focused on him, and they were talking and laughing. That was making Yuuri feel a strange warmth in his chest seeing them so carefree, specially Gwendal, who didn't have any wrinkles on his face. Yuuri was also surprised to discover that, of the three, Gwendal was the shyest and the quieter, but also the most innocent along with Conrad. That made a jolt of pain travel through his heart. That innocence, that pureness, had disappeared with time, and he had seen so much deaths, so much pain and suffering...if he was this innocent, how much had it pained him when he discovered that the world wasn't as nice as every child thought? How have that happiness that shone in his blue eyes morphed into the sadness that Yuuri saw in his eyes, even when Gwendal was trying his damnest to hide it? The only times Yuuri found softness or happiness in his eyes was when he was with Greta, knitting, baking, or watching both of his brothers play with Greta and him. The latter was the one which happened less, but when it did, he could see fondness along with the happiness, and he even left a small, soft smile show. It made Yuuri's heart flutter in his chest strangely when he saw Gwendal like that for the first time. And every time he sees him smile, he felt an odd warmth heating his cheeks. And he didn't know why he had those reactions when he was near...it was so damn confusing! Especially because he was feeling it now looking at little Gwendal laugh because of something Günter had told him.
Though now he thought about it, he realized that the feeling wasn't exactly the same. While being with adult Gwendal made his heart flutter and feel safe, child Gwendal made him feel just affection, and a powerful rush of protectiveness. But why? Strange...
Anyway, the thing was that everything was going fantastically. That is, until they reached the town.
"Damn, I lost them!"
The village was really animated that day. There were many people walking and chatting, and everything seemed so lively. But suddenly, Conrad saw something and ran off, making Gwendal follow with a cry of "Con-chan, wait!" and Günter follow, also worried about his friend. Yuuri tried to follow, but he lost them in the middle of that mass of people. After a while looking for them, he began to panic and ask people about them, but no one was paying attention to all the children running around.
"I don't know about the other two, but I saw that silver-haired child" A woman told him "The poor thing was crying and calling Heika, but when I tried to help him, he just said that he was 'waiting for Heika to find him'. I don't know why he was waiting for the King, though..."
But Yuuri didn't hear that. As soon as the woman pointed at the direction where she saw Günter, he started running. Soon enough he heard him.
"I'm here, Günter!" Yuuri said, reaching him "Are you okay? Were you hurt?" He asked worriedly.
"HEIKA!" Günter cried, throwing himself into Yuuri's arms "Heika, Gün-Gün was so scared! I fell while running after Gwen-chan and Con-chan, and then I couldn't find them! And I didn't know where I was! Heika!" He sobbed.
"There, there, is over now" Yuuri said, hugging him "Come on, Günter, don't cry"
After a while, Günter's sobs stopped.
"Are you ok now?" Yuuri asked gently. Günter nodded and smiled at him.
"Thank you Heika" Günter said.
"Glad you're better" Yuuri smiled, the noticed the amount of people looking at them curiously because of someone calling the double-black in disguise 'Heika', and whispered to Günter "But please, stop calling me 'Heika'. We're attracting attention"
"Eh?" Günter asked, his eyes showing confusion "But then how do I call you?"
Yuuri blinked at that.
"Well, I have a name, you know?"
Günter's eyes widened.
"I-I can call you by your name?" He asked "B-but why? Heika hates me!" He said, crying again.
"W-wait Günter! Don't cry! I don't hate you!" Yuuri exclaimed, starting to panic.
"B-but it's true!" Günter said, looking at him with teary eyes "You avoid me every time you can, you escape whenever we're together, and you don't pay me the same attention you pay to the others! You're kind to everyone and look for their company, but don't do the same with me! You even try to escape when I hug you! So Yuuri-Heika must hate me!"
Yuuri froze at this. Günter really thought that?
'It is said that only children and drunk people say the truth' He thought 'So he really feels like that...and I must admit that what I do can be seen like that, like hate. But I don't hate him! I must make this clear'
With this decided, Yuuri took Günter's hand and walked towards a nearby fountain, where he sat with little Günter in his lap.
"Listen Günter" Yuuri said, looking seriously at him "I do not hate you. I consider you one of my friends, someone close to me. Yes, I admit that I try to escape your lessons some times, but that's just because I'm one of those teens who can't stay sitting down for a minute. I need to move, Günter, that's why I sometimes find your lessons a little too much. And about your hugs, you give them too strong, I can't breathe and the only thing I can do is try to escape. I won't do it if you're a bit more gentle" He paused here, then added with a small smile "But I'm sorry I gave you that impression, I should've explain myself sooner. Just know that I don't hate you, Günter. Never had and never will. You're my friend."
While Yuuri was talking, Günter's tears had been falling less and less until they stopped completely, his eyes widening.
"Are you...are you saying the true?" He asked.
"Absolutely" Yuuri assured, making Günter smile widely.
"I love you, Yuuri!" He exclaimed, hugging him. Yuuri found, relieved, that Günter had taken his advice, so the hug wasn't bone-crushing, but gentle.
"Thank you Günter" He smiled "Now let's find the others, shall we? And when we find them, we'll play all together, okay?"
"Yay!" Günter cheered "Then let's go find Con-chan and Gwen-chan!"
Günter, Yuuri decided after walking hand in hand with him for a while, hadn't change much since he was a child. He was hyper, cheerful and dramatic, and the admiration and idolization he had for him were even more noticeable. Also, he was really cute!
'I wonder if he'll remember this day tomorrow.' He thought, listening to Günter's rambling 'If he doesn't, I'll have to talk with him and explain that I don't hate him. He's so gentle, and cares about the people who are important for him...in his own, unique way' He added with a chuckle 'But still, he doesn't deserve being treated like that without an explanation.'
He was about to answer a question from Günter when he suddenly stopped, hearing a loud cry.
"It can't be..."Yuuri said, running towards the direction of the cry with a bad feeling, Günter following him.
Yuuri was prying it wasn't who he feared, but for nothing, because when he arrived, his fears were confirmed.
There were three men cornering two little children. One of them was crying loudly, while the other stood protectively in front of him, glaring at the three men.
"Leave my little brother alone!" Gwendal, the one protecting the other child, Conrad, shouted, rage nd fear shining in his blue eyes.
"Why should we?" One of the men sneered "He's the one who entered our territory without permission!" And he punched Gwendal, throwing him to the floor.
"Gwen-niichan!" Conrad cried, going towards him.
The three men turned towards the direction where the shout came, and saw a kis with brown hair and eyes glaring angrily at them. Two of the men took a step backwards, scared of the intensity of the glare, but the one who punched Gwendal (the leader, it seemed) just smirked.
"Hey brat, do you want to join the fun or what?" The leader said with a chuckle "This is our territory, so unless you want to have your pretty fave made again, go away. We're busy"
Okay, that was it. Yuuri had given them a chance to stop, but seeing that they had no intention to do it, his temper flared.
A blue light started to come from him, and his disguise disappeared, showing his ebony hair, which was growing long, and his cat-like black eyes.
"T-the Maoh!" The three men said, eyes wide and trembling.
"The children are the future of our world" The Maoh said angrily "Yet you dare to hurt them when they have done nothing to deserve it. That is a thing that deserves punishment! I don't usually draw blood, but you let me no other option" Two water dragons appeared in front of him "Let justice be done!"
And with that, the water dragons attacked.
"Are both of you okay?" Yuuri asked worriedly, kneeling in front of Gwendal and Conrad.
"Heika!" The two children exclaimed, hugging him while crying loudly.
"Don't worry, those bad guys won't hurt you again" Yuuri said, trying to calm them "Now let me check if you have any injuries"
The two children nodded, and disentangled themselves from him. When Yuuri saw their faces, he wished those bullies were conscious again, as both of their faces were already darkening from bruises made because of the punches of those bastards. He quickly made a ball of healing energy in his hand using his maryoku, and healed their bruised faces.
"There, all healed" He said when he finished "Do you have any more injuries?"
Both childs shook their heads, and Yuuri sighed before drawing them and Günter into a hug.
"I know it was scary" He said "But I promise you that I'll never leave anyone hurt any of you again. So don't worry"
'And please stop showing that pain and fear in your eyes' He added in his mind 'Even Günter had that look, and after seeing the happiness and innocence in their eyes, it pains me to see that'
"Y-you promise, Heika?" Conrad asked, teary eyes making the same question.
"Of course I do" Yuuri smiled "And it's Yuuri, Nazukeoya. Don't forget it, or you'll be punished!" And he started to tickle Conrad mercilessly.
"O...okay, okay!" Conrad cried between giggles "Y-Yuuri!"
"Okay, I'll forgive you" Yuuri said, grinning and happily noticing that Conrad's eyes were happy again "But don't you dare to forget it!"
Conrad giggled and nodded. Yuuri looked at the other two, and was relieved to see the same happiness in their eyes...and in Gwendal's, there was also that mix of fondness, innocence, happiness and softness that made Yuuri want to hug him and never let go.
"Okay now!" Yuuri said, standing up "How about I buy you something and then we'll go to the park to play?"
The children cheered at that, and Yuuri turned around to start walking...only to have his path blocked by a familiar orange-headed man.
"Yozak!" Yuuri exclaimed, happy to see him "Why are you here? Weren't you on a mission to know about those rumors?"
"I was" Yozak explained "But when I wanted to report you, Taichou or von Volatire-kyo, they told me that they were out at the village with von Christ-kyo, so I came here to find you...which was easy when I saw the water dragons. Why aren't I surprised that you encountered trouble?" He asked, grinning "Oh, and by the way, what were you investigating that required you bringing Taichou, Gwendal-san and Günter-san? And where are them?"
"Oh, hehehe, it's a long story" Yuuri answered, smiling sheepishly at him. Then Yozak noticed the three children.
"Oh, who are them?" He asked, smiling at them amusedly "They certainly remind me of people I know...and that one is exactly as Taichou when he was young!"
"Well, they're part of that long story I mentioned before..."
(A FEW MINUTES LATER)
The park was really peaceful that day, and Conrad, Günter and Gwendal were playing happily with the other children. Then, a disbelieving gasp came from one of the benches.
"You may not beleieve it, but that's exactly what happened" Yuuri said. Yozak just stared at him with wide, shocked eyes.
"So are you telling me that those kids are von Voltaire-kyo, von Christ-kyo and Taichou?"
"Why do you think they're so similar to the adult versions of themselves?"
Yozak looked at the children and whistled.
"Incredible" He said "But why do the strange things happen when you're around?"
"I find myself asking the same question more often than not, believe me" Sighed Yuuri, holding Günter's new poetry book. It was one of the gifts he had bought the children to help them with the fright. He had also bought a cute teddy bear to Gwendal, and a wooden sword to Conrad, as well as some candy for the five of them (the three children, Yozak and himself).
"Well now, what should we do?" Yozak asked, looking at the children play. Yuuri looked at them too, thoughtful.
"I think we should let them be" He finally answered "They need this, and thanks to Ulrike, they can finally relax for a day a d play without any worries. Besides, they won't return to normal until tomorrow, right? So they're useless to the castle until then"
Yozak nodded, agreeing with the king and joining him in watching the children.
It was then when Yuuri noticed that, even though he believed Gwendal was playing with the rest, he was actually watching them play hidden behind a fountain and with a look of longing in his azure eyes.
"It seems that our dear general is shy" Yozak said, amused "Who would've guessed?"
"I'll go see what happens" Yuuri said, rising from the bench and walking towards Gwendal.
"What's the matter?" He asked gently once he reached him "Why aren't you playing with them?"
"I-I don't know" Gwendal said quietly "I don't think they want to play with me"
"Aw, come on, Gwendal, don't be silly. Of course they want to play with you!" Yuuri said in a voice high enough for Conrad and Günter, who were running near where they were, to hear.
"Yuuri is right, nii-chan! Come and join us!" Conrad exclaimed, grinning at him.
"Yes Gwen-chan, join us!" Günter added "Gün-Gün wanna play with you!"
"See?" Yuuri said "They want to play with you. Now go and join them, ne?"
"O-kay" Gwendal said, then seemed to gather courage anad added, looking at him "But Heika..."
"Yuuri" Yuuri corrected him
Gwendal looked at him, confused, and Yuuri explained.
"We've been friends for a long while, Gwendal. I think that, like Conrad and Günter, you can call me by my name now. Okay?"
"Do you mean that?" Gwendal asked, surprised.
"Of course! When have I said something that I don't mean?" Yuuri asked, grinning and making Gwendal smile at him in return "Now go play with the others, ne? They're waiting for you!"
"Okay!" Gwedal said, then turned serious "But only if Yuuri joins us!"
Yuuri blinked at that.
"Me?" He asked "But I..."
"You promised, Yuuri!" Günter protested "You said that we would all play together once we found Con-chan and Gwen-chan!"
The other children also encouraged him to play, saying that they "wanted nii-chan to play with them too".
Yuuri just stuttered, not knowing what to say. And Yozak was just amused at the whole scene. Out of curiosity, he had gotten near when Yuuri went to talk with Gwendal, and smiled at the shyness of the normally stoic general. Then, when he heard the words Gwen-chan and Gün-Gün, his jaw dropped, and it was all he could do to not fall back in laughter. But after that last bit, he couldn't contain himself anymore.
"Aw, come on, nii-chan" Yozak teased "Go play with the kids! You promised, right?" And then started to laugh.
Yuuri glared at him, then paused and grinned mischievously.
"Okay, I'll play" He said, gaining the cheerings of the children "But uncle Yozak has to play too!"
"Wait, what?!" Yozak exclaimed, sobering immediately "No way!"
"Oh, it seems that uncle Yozak doesn't wanna play" Yuuri said "Then we'll have just to convince him, don't you think?" Yozak didn't like Yuuri's evil grin nor the grins of the kids. His fears were confirmed when Yuuri gave the order.
Before he could escape, Yozak was surrounded by a mountain of children begging with teary eyes for him to play, until he had no other option but agree, earning as well the cheers of the children and Yuuri. He shook his head, amused. Really, Yuuri could be like a kid sometimes...
Dawn found Yuuri and Yozak in charge of three sleeping children and an empty park.
"I have to admit that it was fun" Yuuri commented, carrying Gwendal in his arms.
"Just because you're just like them" Yozak said, grinning while carrying little Gün-Gün and Con-chan.
"Oh, come on Yozak, don't pretend that you didn't enjoy it too" Yuuri teased, grinning back "After all, everyone ended adoring 'uncle Yozak'"
Yozak snorted, but didn't answer.
They reached the castle in a comfortable silence.
"Wait a minute" Yuuri said, stopping and making Yozak stop as well "We can't enter the castle. At least, not like this"
"Beacuse only us know about their condition, and I'm sure that if people know what we'd been doing all day, there's bound to be a scandal, specially with Wolfram" Yuuri answered "And I don't want their shouts to wake any of them" He added, looking at the sleeping childs in their arms "I simply don't have the heart to. And besides, this is the first decent sleep they've gotten in a week, so..."
"I see your point" Yozak said "Then we'll have to sneak inside. Fortunately for you, you have an expert right here!" He added, grinning "So follow me, kiddo"
And with Yozak's expertise, they managed to get inside the castle without anyone knowing.
"Okay, could you please bring Günter and Conrad to their rooms while I do the same with Gwendal?" Yuuri asked. Yozak nodded, and both of them separated. Once they had tucked the children in their respective beds, they met again in Yuuri's office.
"Now Yozak, could you tell me what news you have to report?" Yuuri asked "Are the rumors true?"
"Nope" Yozak said, grinning "I went to investigate where the rumors said the army was hiding, but fortunately that "great and huge army" was just the trick of a few bandits to make us nervous. Don't worry about them, they're in the hads of the local justice" He added after seeing a certain gleam in Yuuri's eyes.
"Really? That's great!" Yuuri exclaimed, relieved "So we don't have to stress ourselves anymore!"
"I told them so" Yozak sighed "But von Voltaire-kyo wanted to be sure"
"I know, but it doesn't matter now" Yuuri said, grinning "Please spread the word through the castle so everyone gets a well deserved full night of rest"
Yozak nodded and moved to exit the room. Then, realizing that Yuuri wasn't following him, he turned to see him sitting down and picking one of the papers in the huge stack on his desk.
"You aren't going to bed?" Yozak asked "You've also had little sleep, and you seem exhausted"
"Don't worry about me, I have to finish this" Yuuri said, smiling "Besides, I've had more rest than enyone in the castle, so it's time to face my obligations...by the way, could you make someone bring me the stack that is in Gwendal's desk too, please?"
No matter how concerned Yozak was, he knew that tone in his young king's voice. It was the "don't-try-to-convince-me-because-I've-already-made-up-my-mind" tone, so he had no other option than to bow his head and obey.
But of course, that didn't stop him from drugging the tea he brought him at three in the morning, and lying him on the couch of his office with a blanket over him.
"You also deserve a good rest, kiddo" He whispered before closing the door and going to his room with a yawn. He supposed that what he had just told Yuuri could apply to him too.
Well, how did you find it? Please tell me! And sorry for any mistake you find, English is just my second language :)