Title: A Firm, Purposeful Stride

Author: Sybil Rowan

Summary: Klaus has a trait that annoys Taki.

Pairing(s)/Characters: Klaus von Wolfstadt/Taki Reizen

Rating: K

Warnings: None

Author's Notes: My first time writing a Maiden Rose fic. This was thanks to my husband teasing me over this same thing. I never really have dedicated a piece before, but this one is dedicated to my parents that were always annoyed with me over the same thing.

Disclaimer: Maiden Rose is owned by Fusanosuke Inariya and licensed by Digital Manga Publishing.

Beta Reader: none

Date: April 12, 2015, 01:04 am

Word Count: 4,494

Taki had been used to a nice, quite, peaceful morning. He enjoyed his tranquil mornings. That was, until, Klaus came to be his knight. The burly man had one very annoying personal trait that disturbed Taki every morning as he attempted to eat his breakfast and plan his day.

The man stomped.

It wasn't an average foot-step, even for a man his size. No, this was a loud, floor-shaking stomp that alerted everyone the knight was around. Taki and his attendants would give each other raised eyebrows and do their level best to maintain their polite, reserved mannerisms.

However, after months of this, Taki felt he had to address this issue. He feared never having a serene morning again where he could use his time to engage in intellectual pursuits to help defend his country.

He watched the surface of the tea in his delicate, china cup start to ripple. Klaus. It meant the foreign man was awake and on the prowl. Lieutenant Suguri was giving Taki a sharp look, castigating him with no words, but demanding he do something about the "Stomping Dog."

Taki didn't sigh, as he was want to do. That would be something an ill-bred person would engage in. Instead, he cleared his throat and ordered, "Bring my knight here."

Suguri gave a small bow and left the dining room as the vibrations grew stronger and stronger. Taki listened to the conversation in the hallway.

"His Highness requests your presence at his morning table."

"Yeah? But I was about to check on his equipment. We're about to launch the counter campaign."

Taki didn't miss how annoyed Klaus sounded. Good. Tit-for-Tat! Klaus could use some discomfort, too, seeing as how Klaus was made welcome in... Taki shook his head before he could finish his ridiculously false thought. Klaus was anything but welcomed here, but the man's endurance was something Taki respected a great deal.

Suguri reminded, "You took a sacred vow to His Highness and must obey his every request. It would be a grave dishonor if you..."

Taki tunned out the rest of the chastisement just like he knew Klaus was doing, too. The foreign man fully knew his obligations and had given up his known life to be here. He didn't need to be reminded in a insulting fashion about what his obligations were.

Taki knew Klaus had internalized his vow and lived by it. Otherwise, Taki wouldn't have accepted Klaus' vow. Finally, he heard Klaus grind out a, "Yes, Sir, I'll go see to His Highness."

Taki watched the surface of his tea ripple and ripple, more and more. Klaus was near. Taki felt the ripples up and down his spine grow, too, and a small corner of him was glad to see Suguri didn't follow as Klaus burst in and slammed the door shut.

Taki flinched in irritation and glared up at the hulking man advancing on him. Klaus gave a bow, as was expected, and said, "His Highness requested my presence?"

"Yes," Taki said in a cool biting tone. May as well let Klaus know he was serious! "The way you walk in the mornings has become a problem. You must learn to stop and adopt a softer way of walking."

Klaus looked totally baffled. Then he asked, "What do you mean? Walking?"

Taki furrowed his brow, annoyed that the man didn't even comprehend how he was irritating others around him. How could he be that oblivious?!

Taki took a deep, cleansing breath and said, "You don't walk. You stomp. Your footsteps are rather grading on the nerves of my soldiers and myself. I request that you stop... stomping... and adopt a more respectful footfall."

Klaus' eyebrow quirked and then the man gave a loud sigh as he crossed his muscular arms, which only amplified Taki's annoyance with the man. Ill-bred foreigner!

Finally, Klaus met Taki's eyes and smirked. "I don't stomp. I have a firm, purposeful stride. If it offends some sensibilities," Klaus shrugged, "that's how it has to be. I'm here to be your knight, not someone to kowtow to a bunch of arbitrary rules I didn't grow up with. You get everything that comes with me. The good and the bad. I'll bend for very important things that effect your position, but not for silly things I can't and don't want to change."

Taki knew he should punish the man standing before his breakfast table. He was just itching to, in a way. But the man had laid out how it was to be, and Klaus, Taki admitted, had been through some harsh treatment by this society.

Was stopping the stomping in the morning worth annoying Klaus?

"Fine," Taki snarled, putting a snotty sneer in his tone just to insure Klaus knew who was in charge. But did Taki know who was leading? Sometimes he didn't, and he was feeling anxiety over being even this permissive with Klaus. "Have your firm, purposeful stride. Just keep it after ten in the morning."

Klaus smirked, knowing he'd won this small battle. It really annoyed Taki all over again. The foreigner said in a patronizing tone, "Yes, Your Highness."

The End.