Konpeitou: I swear, my muse only strikes me like this when I have big tests coming up or a pile of homework to do! Well, I couldn't get anything done until I got this out of my head, so I apologize for any sloppiness and if it seems rushed… ::locks Kuja in a cage:: Comments are always very welcome! If there's anything not quite right with this maybe I'll try to go back and touch up… Anyhu! I hope you enjoy this little tidbit!

The room was dark and cold, but not unbearably so. The miniscule light floating in through the opened curtains lent enough visibility to avoid walking into any large furniture, but not so much as to illuminate the room completely. Wolfram walked in slowly, letting his eyes adjust to the darkness, and shivered slightly as the door closed with a soft click behind him. The room was silent, empty.

The blonde walked across the hard floor towards the wardrobe against the far wall, fully intending to change into some night clothes and collapse into the bed and sleep until morning came. Usually he would try to go to bed after Yuuri, but his featherheaded fiancée seemed to be nowhere in sight and Wolfram was too worn out to bother waiting. They had just returned from yet another of their silly king's little forays to explore the country when Günter hijacked the wayward ruler for more lessons, closeting him up in the study for the afternoon. Wolfram would've thought that things would have ended for the day already, but apparently not, given Yuuri's conspicuous absence from the bedroom.

Wolfram detoured to the window instead, resting one hand on the cold stone beside the window sill. The few clouds in the sky were a silvery-grey color in contrast with the deep sapphire sky, shining with a nearly-full moon and a thick spattering of stars. The clear, beautiful sky was misleading of the chill it held.

It's not fair! Wolfram cried internally, his chest constricting painfully as his fist clenched of its own accord against the wall. Why must this be my fate?

He raised his other hand to press against his forehead, fingers pushing against his scalp as if the pressure without could remove the pain within. It hurt. So many things hurt. Wolfram pushed himself against the wall, his uniform doing little to diminish the chill of the stone as he used its stability to supplement his own failing steadiness. What curse is in our blood that none of us can grasp happiness and hold it firmly within our hands?

His eyes stung, another pain to the rest that have been cumulating within him lately. Slowly, he let his body slide to the floor against the wall, cradling his head in his hand and feeling that it was simply too much effort to get up again.

"I don't know how much more of this I can take!" Yuuri, the newest Maou, complained audibly as he walked through the palace halls. Well, maybe walked was too general a term, more like he dragged himself wearily along as if his shoulders weighed more than twice their normal weight. Günter had monopolized his time far more than usual, and the young half-blood ruler was determined not to let it happen again. "Waaah! I just want to sleep!"

He was almost to his rooms though, so there was only a little farther to go. He had been honestly surprised to find none of the brothers waiting outside the study for him when he finished, but the reality of it drove in just how late that Günter had kept him locked up. At that point he had thrown a small tantrum and stormed off, demanding sleep. It's not fair that I'm the king and I can't even get out of lessons. What's the point, anyway?

Yuuri tugged at the collar of his uniform a little self-consciously. It was bad enough to have to wear the thing to school every day back on Earth, but to have a student uniform become his royal attire was just a bit much. It was like there was no way to escape except the times when they dressed as common humans. It's nice to be "just another human" again, sometimes. The thought was becoming a common one to him, but less worrisome as time wore on. When he stopped to think about it, it was kind of scary how well he was adjusting to his new lifestyle. His solution?

Try not to think and behave as normally as possible, whenever possible.

Irritated, he opened up the top of the jacket down to about mid-chest, breathing deeply with the released constriction around his neck. Yuuri turned the last corner before his room and hastened his steps as much as his weary limbs would allow. It was such a relief to reach his door that he half-feared someone was going to pop up on him and demand his immediate attention. Self-consciously, he looked around for any signs of Günter before opening the door and closing it behind him again just as quickly.

Safe! The dark teen congratulated himself with a sigh of relief. Even though he knew the basic layout of the room already, he made his way across the ill-lit room slowly, cautious of obstacles and waiting for his eyes to adjust. Why hadn't anyone left any lights on for him? It should have been obvious that he wasn't in his room yet. I wonder if they have anything like a nightlight in this world…

It was then that his eyes caught sight of a dark mound lying against the wall beside the wardrobe, and it took several full moments to realize that the shape was actually a person. Wolfram?! Surprise and tinge of worry made him forget his caution and rush to the other boy's side.

"Wolfram! Oi, Wolfram, are you alright? What's wrong?" Yuuri cried in a harsh whisper that was just a tone below actual speaking as he reached out a hand to rest on the blonde's blue-lad shoulder. The fabric itself was cold and he couldn't help but wonder how Wolfram must be feeling underneath it. Yuuri felt himself shiver in response and then dazed green eyes blinked open slowly, emanating confusion.

"Yuuri…?" the blonde asked, brows knitting together and seemingly very lost.

"Of course it's me! Who else would be in this room? Ah! More importantly, are you ok? Is there something wrong? What're you doing sitting here like this?"

During the incessant questions Wolfram regained his senses quickly, realization catching up to him in an embarrassing wave. He remained wordless as the king continued to rain questions down upon him.

"I'm fine!" Wolfram snapped back peevishly. Part of him was glad that Yuuri seemed so concerned for him, but his better judgment got the final say. It's not just for me; he'd be like this for anyone. He's just being nice, as usual, so I shouldn't get my hopes up. The thought was a bitter one, but overall it was better than continual disappointment. Yuuri stared at him in surprise at his tone and Wolfram struggled to glare back. Don't give me your false sympathy, Yuuri. I don't want or need it.

"I…" Yuuri floundered, at a loss "I'm sorry Wolfram. I was just worried… when I came in and saw you lying here like this I thought something might have happened to you."

"Worried," Wolfram sneered back, all his pain and anger from before struggling to the surface, and this time he was too exhausted to fight it very hard. "If it were just a cat your worry would be the same! It matters not who it is, your feelings are always the same." He kept his teeth clenched together tightly in a vain attempt to hold in things he'd rather not say. "Spare me your manners and lies, heika, I have no desire to taste your empty words." Wolfram moved to stand up and storm out, but two hands clenched down upon his shoulders and shoved him roughly back to the ground before he had gotten more than an inch away. Shock momentarily replaced anger in the emerald eyes as they stared back into unreadable charcoal.

"What the hell is all that supposed to mean, Wolfram?" Yuuri snapped back, temper frayed to the breaking point. He was exhausted already and to have to come back to this at the end of it all! Was there no peace for him? The young Maou glared at his fiancée. "What is this all about? I've been locked up in a room all day alone with a man who has fantasies about me that I don't even want to think about, studying foreign writing and politics until my head hurt without a break to see my friends until this ungodly hour, and I come back to my room to see you lying in a corner! I worry, wondering what the hell could have happened to someone as skillful as you, but all you do is throw a tantrum and snap at me. What the hell did I do to upset you this time, Wolfram? If you're so upset about me being with Günter for so much time, then you find a way to get me out of it because I sure haven't been able to yet. If you're going to get angry, then at least tell me why, you jealous bishounen!" Yuuri stopped, panting slightly from the force of his vehemence, and waited for a reply that was a good time in coming.

"It's always the same," the blonde murmured, avoiding the piercing eyes of his affianced and his voice and posture becoming very subdued. "No matter who it is you're always the same to everyone – friend or enemy, it makes no difference to you. Everyone is equal, even those who should not be."

"Would you prefer that I were mean to others, then?" Yuuri asked, voice flat, and Wolfram was somehow afraid to look up and see his expression, so he kept his eyes fixed on his knees. "Is that the kind of Maou you want me to be?"

"That's not it!" the young noble protested. Baka Yuuri! Why won't you ever get it? "I don't want you to become that kind of king, it's just that… not everyone should be treated the same. Maybe you should treat some differently than others." Wolfram gave a frustrated sigh and gave up. You'll never understand what I mean, will you? he thought in the silence.

"I don't know how," came the soft and unexpected reply, and when Wolfram dared to look, there was a sad smile on Yuuri's lips. "I don't know how to treat people, so I treat them all the same. Mazoku, Ningen, friend or foe… I don't want anyone to get hurt to treat them all equally. I'm not from this world, and I'm just a nobody high school student on Earth. It's… overwhelming."

"Why us?" Wolfram persisted, perhaps a tad desperately. "Why do you treat those of us here the same as everyone else? Gwendal, Wellar, Günter, me… why are we the same as all those strangers out there to you? Why don't we mean anything more to you, after all this!"

"I do. I trust you all more than anyone else in this world. You're the closest friends I have."

"But I'm supposed to be more!" Wolfram cried out in anger and anguish at the others words. Friend? All I am to you is another friend to help you along in a new world? Baka Yuuri!! "At the very least you should treat your fiancée as someone more than a simple friend! Why?! Why do you put me through this, Yuuri?! You are cruel in your kindness and you don't even care!"

The two remained still in the silence following the blonde noble's outburst, suppressing shivers caused by both the coldness of the room and the words between them. Both resisted the urge to get up and leave, knowing that if they did, things might never be salvaged. As it was, both wondered if it wasn't already too late. Silver light from the window washed over both boys but could take none of the unease.

"Why won't you ever see how I feel?" Wolfram mourned weakly when it seemed Yuuri would not speak. His chest twisted itself into painful knots that made it ache just to breathe, but he bore it all as he had done before. "You never care what your careless words and actions do to me. You treat me the same as everyone else without any special considerations except to try and get away from me. You proposed to me, you self-centered cheater, and then bested me in the duel so that I could not even refuse the proposal. Then all you do is try to escape me at every turn… what do you give your fiancée except humiliation? You claimed me but you don't want me, so I have no choice but to resign myself to a loveless marriage or else suffer disgrace for the rest of my demonically long life…"

"Then I guess we are both guilty, Wolfram, because I don't think you really see how I feel either," Yuuri replied softly with an air of thoughtfulness. He reached out and gently brushed away a tear that the blonde hadn't realized had escaped and dropped his hands in his lap with a sad smile. "We look about the same age, but I'm still only 15 and you're probably my elder by several years since you're a full-blooded mazoku and grow slower. Where I come from, relationships like this are still rather taboo; not quite forbidden, but more tolerated than supported. Marriage between two of the same sex is illegal in most of my world. I have been pulled into a whole new strange world where it seems like everyone always wants me for something. Sometimes I just feel like a doll being played with for the amusement of others."

Wolfram bit back a protest at that as Yuuri paused for a moment, reaching up and scratching at his temple. "You asked me what I give you… what about you?" the king continued "What have you really given me besides scorn and jealousy, both of which are rather unattractive emotions. You call me a wimp and a cheater without justification, jumping to conclusions when I adhere to the manners I was raised by. How are you really any different from me, in all this? You only cling to me so desperately to salvage your pride and make sure I don't do anything to disrespect you, right? Even to you this is just a formality."

"You're wrong, Yuuri!" Wolfram cried out in protest, leaning his weight forward on his arms. Blonde hair swayed as his head shook frantically. "Do you really think that what I said about love when we were with the bear-bees was all superficial? That I only said it out of formality? Did you honestly think I would get like this if I didn't care about you? Did you honestly believe that all this was out of vain pride? Yuuri…!"

The dark boy looked up at the moon through the window. What a mess this has become… and somehow it's always my fault when things go wrong. He looked back, but the blonde head was still down and the blue-clad shoulders tense with strain. I really don't want to hurt you Wolfram, even if I can't give you what you want. But maybe… he reached his hand out hesitantly, pausing for a moment before steeling his resolve and placing it delicately atop the golden tresses, feeling the softness as he moved down to press against the pale cheek. Maybe I can give you something, right now.

"I'm sorry, Wolf," Yuuri apologized quietly, brushing at a drying tear with his thumb across the cheek as the other boy raised his head again to meet his eyes. "You're beautiful and could probably get anyone you wanted, but instead you got stuck with someone like me, a silly little baseball boy. You deserve better, and I'm sorry." Wolfram opened his mouth to protest, but Yuuri raised his other hand and silenced him with a finger across the lips. "But I want to you know this, and believe it, alright? I don't hate you, Wolf. I don't even dislike you. You are a very important person to me and I want you to be happy, too. What kind of king would I be if I can't even keep my own precious people happy?"

"Even then, you would be better than most of the rest. Any of us would willingly sacrifice our lives and happiness for your sake Yuuri." Wolfram replied with a sad smile, savoring the moment and the warmth cupping his cheek.

"But that's a sacrifice that I don't want you to make, any of you, and I won't accept it. I refuse to be a king that cannot even protect those closest to him."

Then, before Wolfram could speak again, Yuuri poured the last strains of resolve into one more daring act. He had been deliberating and stalling, but he was determined to do this, so at this moment, it was all or nothing. Using the hand still touching that pale cheek, the darker boy closed the remaining distance and pressed his lips to those of the startled mazoku noble. The kiss was chaste and clumsy, but sweet in its honesty and pliant lips folded beneath Yuuri's own for a long moment. In the end, it was really Wolfram who pulled away first with a small whimper.

"Don't do this Yuuri," he pleaded, looking away again and refusing to meet the charcoal eyes. "Don't pity me and offer empty affections. Don't torture me like this. If I mean anything at all to you then don't toy with me like this…"

"That wasn't an empty affection, Wolf. It took almost all my willpower to go through with it. Now I have given you my trust before, I have given you my honesty tonight, and I have given you my first kiss just a moment before. Right now, I'm afraid that's all I'm able to give. I don't know if you can accept that Wolf, but I swear it's the truth. Right now… this is all I have to offer you, all that I'm capable of giving."

"I don't really have a choice, do I? I will accept what my king and fiancée gives me." Despite the words there was a sweet smile on Wolfram's lips, that smile that all three brothers seemed to share. Yuuri returned the smile and climbed to his feet, offering his hand.

"Wolf, let's go to sleep now, ne?"

The blonde accept the unnecessary hand up and they both quickly changed into nightclothes before climbing into the bed. Yuuri moved in a little closer to the center than usual and only smiled shyly at Wolfram's surprised look.

I wonder… the blonde thought hesitantly, staring at the dozing face of his fiancée. I wonder if there's maybe one more thing that I might be allowed. Deciding to be daring, and giving the risk a decent chance given the night's events thus far, Wolfram scooted closer to his bedmate and pressed himself up against the thin chest, tucking his head up beneath the other's chin. He froze when Yuuri chuckled slightly, but relaxed again when all he did was loosely drape an arm over his side.

"What's so funny?" he asked sleepily, cracking one eye open to peer at the other boy.

"Nothing. I just wonder if maybe this time I can avoid getting kicked off the bed again."

Wolfram blushed but did not reply. One didn't seem to be expected anyway.

"Yuuri…" he murmured as exhaustion finally took its toll and dragged him into darkness, "Don't let anyone else have your second kiss…"

Though he did not remain conscious long enough to hear it, Yuuri replied to the whispered request with a gentle smile before he was also claimed by sleep.

"Okay, Wolf…"


Konpeitou: Well, I hope you liked that… it'd be nice to know if you did, but no obligations! I just really needed to get my muse off my back. stares at pile of homework Thanks for reading! -!