082. Elephant

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It's been weeks. Months.

Yuuri promises that they'll see each other again, after the beginnings of her royal studies conclude overseas. Gwendal saw to the arrangements personally, on both the ship's journey and where to live so she wouldn't be afraid.

Her seventeen-year-old father sniffles along with her, when Greta jumps childishly into his arms.

Wolfram embraces them both, when Yuuri blindly reaches for him like a habit, chuckling and taking the time to kiss both of their faces. "We love you, so much," Wolfram says, smiling so sincerely.

Cavalcade's kingdom is lush with farmlands and gardens and terraces, manned by seaside ports on the northernmost point of the continent.

A light, airy snow drifts to the pointy, marble-white towers of Beatrice's castle. A real castle — and Greta can hardly believe it sometimes. She's no longer a begger or an orphan, but a princess now, and so is her best friend in the whole world.

Greta feels her homesickness dwindle the longer she stays, Beatrice and the older serving girls who attend them play and chase after her, through the golden-lined arches and corridors with pale blue walls and floors and alcoves.

Beatrice shows her the collection of exotic toys, and items resembling stuffed, bejeweled animals.

They pretend to live in the wild, in the middle of the evening, surrounding themselves in finely stitched blankets and the frosted, ivory chamber-canopies, making loud, alarming screeches and growls, crawling on all fours. Greta discovers a silver kettle, holding it up, stomping and braying like an elephant, until the guards peek in, helplessly confused by their relentless energy.

Lessons are difficult. Her mentors are even sterner and more beady-eyed than Gwendal or Gunter, scathing and imposing.

Because she wasn't born into nobility.

"Don't pay them any mind," Beatrice tells her, and Greta adores her voice all whispery and sweet. "I'm told you are a quick learner. Be proud."

Underneath the flowery, marble-shining gazebo, sheltered any from prying eyes, Greta cups the side of her face with thrill and haste, kissing Beatrice's soft, perfumed cheek for a second longer than what was considered polite.

Beatrice's cornflower blue eyes light up.

"Oh," she mumbles, smiling in a coy and understanding manner when Greta's brown skin warms.

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Homesickness returns, churning Greta's stomach when a new ship waits along the coast for her.

"We will see each other again," Beatrice promises, teary-eyed as her companion, noses and mouths bumping together, their foreheads leaning in.

Greta nods, not daring to cry when Yuuri and Wolfram observe them, grasping their hands and ducking her head to press a lonesome, shy kiss to Beatrice's naked ring-finger. "I love you."

She doesn't expect it back, and Greta's heart leaps when Beatrice returns the kiss, to her palm.

"You have a lot of explaining to do," Wolfram points out amused, wrapping an arm around Greta's shoulders as they walk to the shore.

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Kyo Kara Maoh isn't mine. If yall knew me back pre-2010, you knew I loved my Yuuram and GretaBeatrice so guess what I STILL DOOOOOO. VERY MUCH. It's a tragedy that GretaBeatrice was slept on but I swear to god I will keep making it all if I gotta asfetwyrh okay thanks for reading and comments/thoughts appreciated!