(Yuuri/Wolfram. Apologies ahead of time for extreme plotlessness and fluff. Takes place in the indistinct Future, perhaps three years or so after the beginning of the show. Rated for some swearing and intimate scenes. Naturally, I don't own them or any of the other characters.)
Every morning, Wolfram awoke to bright, shining light. This morning, when his sleep-glazed emerald eyes blinked open, they caught the sunshine pouring in through the window and it scattered in rainbow-colored fragments. As usual, another perfect prism morning in Shin Makoku. He sighed heavily, draping one slender hand over his eyes and listening to Yuuri's shallow breathing beside him.
For once I just want it to rain, he thought, already assuming his usual sour disposition. The goddamn sunlight was really beginning to get to him. Well, that and any number of things that were going wrong in his life.
Not the least of which was the lazy bastard sleeping next to him.
"Hey, Yuuri. Wake up," he said blandly, shaking him with one hand. The young king batted at it and turned over, muttering something about it being Sunday and how there was no school. Wolfram rolled his eyes.
"C'mon, your majesty, your kingdom needs you." He continued to prod at his sleeping fiancée, who had abandoned the pretense and was now simply ignoring him. He shrugged. "Fine, then I'll just let Gunter wake you up," he said impassively, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed.
That got the little brat moving. Wolfram allowed himself a small smile as Yuuri sat up grudgingly. "Fine, fine, I'm up," he drawled, stretching and already out of the bed before Wolfram had even gotten his slippers on. "What's going on today?"
"What do you think?" The blonde prince stood and shrugged into a blue silk robe. He ran his hands through his hair, trying fruitlessly to put it in some semblance of order. "Paperwork, no doubt. If you're lucky you might get to meet with some diplomats."
Yuuri groaned. He strolled over to the window and looked out into the bright morning light that Wolfram so despised. After a few minutes of silence, during which Wolfram dutifully made the bed, the young king spoke again.
"Hey, Wolf. Can you do me a favor?"
Wolfram paused, still clutching a handful of sheet. He gave his fiancée a hesitant look. "I guess that depends." The noble-born had learned long ago not to promise anything too readily. Well, with a few exceptions.
One such exception turned and grinned at him. The light from the window spilled around his silhouette, making it difficult to look directly at his face. Nevertheless, Wolfram swallowed, unable as usual to take his eyes off of that smile. He felt his eyes burn and shimmer in the glare.
Damn sunlight. "Don't give me that look. What do you want?"
Yuuri sighed, stretching his arms out wide. "I've barely left the castle in five days. I think Gunter is starting to invent paperwork for me. Can't you help me sneak out or something? Just for one day?" he asked hopefully.
Wolfram dropped the sheet he was holding, an appropriately scolding expression already settled onto his face. "No way. I have training today. And if you just disappear without an explanation, the whole place will be in an uproar in a matter of hours." He paused, a bit of guilt gnawing at him as Yuuri's face fell. "...Besides, my brothers would kill me."
"Aw, c'mon Wolf," Yuuri pleaded. He stepped forward towards Wolfram. "We'll leave a note or something. And can't you just say you're out sparring with me? That'd make Conrad happy, and get you out of training."
Wolfram gazed at his fiancée intently, trying very hard to resist, knowing that he should resist, fully intending to resist, and then flinching inwardly when he heard words of acquiescence dribble out of his mouth.
Gods, I need an emotional sippy cup, he thought in exasperation. He shut his mouth tightly, lest something even worse drip out.
Yuuri lit up. "Really? You're a lifesaver, Wolf!" He grinned widely and bounded forward, throwing his arms around Wolfram's shoulders in an appreciative hug. The young prince felt his cheeks color slightly as he turned his face away from Yuuri's sleep-mussed black locks. His hands twitched at his sides, wanting so badly to snake around the other boy's waist and return the embrace.
But I would never be able to let go, he reminded himself, and at his sides they remained. "Ah, Yuuri," he finally stammered. "I guess it's not a big deal. But let's get out of here before anyone else wakes up. It'll be easier that way."
Yuuri released him, smiling brightly up into his face. "Thanks, Wolfram. I mean it. I really needed a day off." And with that, he nodded and set off for the bath, snatching up his robe on the way out.
Wolfram stood where he was for several minutes, all-too-familiar worries and doubts drifting through his mind as he stared absently at the windows. "Yuuri," he finally said, bending down to finish making the bed. "I wish I could tell you what it's like to love someone that will never love you back," he murmured softly.
Unbeknownst to Wolfram, a forgetful young king was standing in the doorway, an expression of deep sadness on his face and the towel he had left behind heavy in his hand. For what seemed like ages he could only stare wordlessly at his fiancée's back. Finally, he shook his head, regaining the presence of mind to retreat silently and make his way back down the hallway to the bath.
A half-hour later, after taking hurried baths and throwing on loose, casual clothes, the two boys snuck quietly out of the castle. The staff was just beginning to stir, so Wolfram quickly scratched out a note in his immaculate handwriting and left it tacked to Gunter's door. "Taking the wimp out for some sparring practice," it read. "Be back later today. -Wolfram"
The day was indeed beautiful, and Yuuri announced he wanted to head to a meadow not too far to the east of the castle. For appearance's sake, Wolfram had brought their swords, but he carried both of them himself, trailing a few steps behind the enthusiastic king. It relieved him that they weren't going to wander far. As nice as it would be to get Yuuri out of the castle for a while, it was a bit dangerous for the king to leave without an escort. There was only so much Wolfram could do by himself, zealous though he was. He blew a piece of hair out of his eyes with a small huff.
"What's that, Wolf?" Yuuri threw over his shoulder. The castle was already disappearing behind them, hidden behind a stand of tall elm trees. "Something wrong?"
"Eh? Oh, no, it's nothing." Wolfram hefted the sheathed swords awkwardly, adjusting their configuration in his arms. "Is it going to be much farther?"
"Hmm, I'm not sure. I only saw this place on Gunter's maps, and it didn't look like it was very far..."
Blonde bangs kissed the bridge of Wolfram's nose as he shook his head exasperatedly. "Stupid wimp. Things look smaller on paper, you know..."
Yuuri stopped and turned, a warm expression on his face. Wolfram saw it and came to a halt himself, a few feet away from his king. He let their swords slide off of his shoulder to come to a rest on the ground beside him. "Yes?" he said, not a little irritation in his voice. "What is it, then?"
"Oh, it's nothing," Yuuri said with a smile. "I was just thinking that it's okay if we get a little lost." He looked up, pointing over Wolfram's shoulder to one of the spires of Blood Pledge Castle. "As long as we can see the tower, we'll know how to get home. Right?"
Wolfram blinked. "Home...?" He had never heard the young king refer to the castle as 'home' before.
Yuuri flushed and looked to one side. "Well, yeah. I've been here kind of a while now, haven't I? Minus the occasional trips to my world, which - now don't give me that look, you know it's not my fault - which aren't ever very long, and... what?"
"Nothing," Wolfram said, a rare smile gracing his face. "It feels good to hear you say it. I bet the others would be glad too."
"Really?" Yuuri gave a small nod of appreciation. "Thanks, Wolf. It wouldn't..." he hesitated. "It wouldn't be the same without you. And the others of course." A cool breeze passed and stirred their hair, and the leaves in the treetops ruffled above them. For one rare, enchanted moment, Wolfram felt relatively at peace with himself. He bent down to pick up their swords and nodded pleasantly towards a path that stretched on to the east.
"Let's just follow this until we get to a clearing," he suggested, jogging up to Yuuri's side. "And we can stop there. That's far enough away for you, right?"
Yuuri smiled and nodded. "Sure, Wolf. That sounds great."
Wolfram had to admit that it did.
It was farther than they expected to a suitable place to stop. The forest that fringed the castle was dense, and the path grew harder and harder to follow. Wolfram expected it had been at least an hour since they left the castle. He glanced over his shoulder, making sure the tower spire was still visible behind them.
A cry from Yuuri caught his attention, and he whipped his head around, one of the swords already half out of its scabbard. He relaxed when he saw the boy waving his arms in triumph.
"Hey Wolf, check this out!" Wolfram propped their swords against a nearby tree and advanced to where Yuuri was standing. He caught his breath at what he found there.
They were standing in a small clearing, the ground clear except for a think blanket of moss and soft ivy. A large boulder stood to one side, covered with thick vines that curled around the stone and bore dozens of yellow, bell-shaped flowers. Several blurry green and blue dots hovered around the flowers, darting in and out of the underbrush. A pleasant humming sound filled the clearing.
"Bumblebirds," Wolfram breathed, his eyes wide. He held out one hand, and a tiny bird alighted on his long fingers. It strutted up and down, leaving a sticky trail of nectar and pollen. "How cute!"
He turned he head to see that three of them had settled on Yuuri's shirt. The boy made a small sound of delight. "Hey, I think they're trying to pollinate me!"
Wolfram smiled brightly. Bumblebirds were rare in this part of the country, and he'd never seen one up close. The bird on his hand grew bored and flitted off to return to his companions. Wolfram strode over to Yuuri and placed a hand on the boy's shoulder. "This seems like a pretty good place to stop," he said with a chuckle.
Yuuri grinned and nodded, sending the three little birds into a shrill tittering. "Oh," he said with concern. "Did I disturb them?"
"No, it's okay," Wolfram said, holding out his hand. The bumblebirds hopped into his palm, taking great interest in the sticky residue that the first one had left behind. "I think they're just hungry. Here you go, little guys," he murmured, carrying them back over to the flowers. "Plenty of food for you here." The birds finishing cleaning the nectar off of his fingers and flitted off to land heavily on one of the vines, tucking their tiny beaks into each other before falling asleep in one fuzzy lump. Wolfram grinned. "Guess they were full."
Yuuri watched his fiancée tend to the birds gently, his expression growing warm. "I didn't know you were so good with animals," he said in a teasing tone. "I would expect you to get jealous or something."
Wolfram turned and stuck out his tongue. "I've been trying, you know," he said, only half-joking.
Yuuri frowned. "Wolf? I'm sorry, I didn't mean it that way -"
"No, forget about it." The young noble took out a handkerchief and wiped off his hand, hiding his face behind his long blonde bangs. He had no desire to get in a fight and ruin the outing. "Did you bring food in your pack? I'm starved."
Yuuri's eyes lit up. "Sure did! I found leftover sweet rolls in the kitchen. And there were water skins too." He swung his leather bag off of his shoulder and let it fall heavily to the ground. He knelt in the soft undergrowth and produced some wrapped bundles. He handed one to Wolfram, taking the other one in his lap. Wolfram plopped to the ground, opening his package delicately.
Yuuri eyed him, already halfway into his first roll, his fingers sticky with sugar. "Hey, um... I forgot to bring silverware, you know..."
The young noble humphed. "I know that, but it still doesn't mean you have to eat like a barbarian." He picked up one roll by the packaging and sank his teeth into it.
Yuuri grinned. "Old habits die hard, eh? Here, want some water?" With his clean hand he tossed over one of the water skins.
Wolfram looked at the markings on the bottle, then rolled his eyes in annoyance. "Yuuri, that isn't water. Those are wine skins."
His fiancée stopped mid-chew. "What?" he said, around a mouthful of bread. Wolfram wrinkled his nose. "You're kidding, right? No water?"
Wolfram shrugged. "Wine is fine. Just don't drink too much."
"But I'm underage!"
He cocked an eyebrow. "Are you? Well then, I guess I'll just have to drink it myself then."
Yuuri snatched at the skin, failing to grab it away from his friend. "Hey, you are too, you know!"
Wolfram sniggered. "We have no such rules here. Besides, I'm five times older than you. Forget that already?"
He watched the young king's face flush in embarrassment. "Well, yeah. You don't exactly look it."
"It's okay," he shrugged. "Mazoku live long lives. For my people I'm still young."
"Wolfram," Yuuri mused, sitting back on his heels. "Am I going to live that long? I mean, if I stayed here?"
Wolfram paused, keeping his eyes fixed on the roll in his hands. If he stayed here...? "I hope so," he said, after a moment. "It wouldn't do to outlive my husband by hundreds of years."
There it was. He'd been dutifully avoiding the subject for some time now, and now that he'd mentioned it again, he found he couldn't bring himself to look at Yuuri's face. I don't want to see that look again, he thought. I don't want to see that look of... distaste. Wolfram knew full well that Yuuri had no intentions of marrying him, but he intended to take what he could get in the meantime. What he could get... meant not scaring him away. Gods, he cursed silently. Why did I even bring it up?
"Wolfram," Yuuri finally said. Sunlight filtered down through the canopy, throwing mottled shadows around them. Wolfram watched them dance on the mossy undergrowth. His appetite faded, and he set down the rest of his roll, wrapping up the package carefully and setting it to one side. That wine was sounding pretty good to him right now.
"Yeah, what?" he said, trying to sound nonchalant. The low buzzing of the bumblebirds filled the silence between them. He heard Yuuri shift, and was startled to find himself suddenly staring at the other boy's knees. "Yuuri-?"
"Quiet," the young king said, kneeling in front of Wolfram. "Just look at me, okay? I think we need to talk."
Wolfram humphed and crossed his arms over his chest. He stuck his nose in the air, annoyance masking his insecurity. "I'm not in the mood right now, Yuuri," he said. "I already told you I'm not letting you take it back. There's nothing else to say about the matter."
Yuuri shook his head, holding his hands out palm-up as a sign of peace. "This isn't about that. I promise."
"Yeah, well," Wolfram spat. "You're not very good at keeping your promises, are you?" He regretted the words the moment they came out of his mouth. Oh, wonderful, he thought scornfully. Good work, Wolfy.
Silence fell over them. He looked away, not wanting to see the hurt in Yuuri's gentle eyes. "I'm sorry," he muttered. "I didn't mean that."
Then he felt Yuuri's hand, touching the side of his face gently. "Wolfram," the boy said gently. Startled, Wolfram looked up into his fiancée's eyes. They were warm and kind, not a trace of anger or hurt in them at all. He was even smiling. Gods, that smile. They were close enough for their sugar-scented breath to mingle in the space between them. The sound of wind ruffling the leaves, the chirps and buzzes of the forest, the soft hum of the bumblebirds... all of these suddenly fell into the background, far, far away from the place he was in now. He swallowed.
Yuuri sighed softly, removing his hand. Wolfram replaced it with his own, the empty space it left behind all but unbearable. "You did mean that," the young king said softly. "And you have every reason to." He settled back, scooting forward so that they were both sitting facing each other, their knees touching. He hesitated for a moment before reaching up to take Wolfram's hand in his own, enclosing its warmth with long fingers. The noble caught his breath. This was completely new. As natural as it may be to the kind-hearted Yuuri, he had never allowed himself to be in this position with anyone else, and he had no idea how to proceed. So for once, he just shut his mouth and listened.
"This morning, when I... well, I realized that this must be very hard on you. You've always been there to look out for me, and don't try to tell me it's just because of the engagement." Yuuri sighed, stirring his long bangs gently. "I'm not sure how to say this, but I think there are more than a few times I would have been completely lost without you. Sure, Conrad and Gunter and were supportive right from the start, and I need them too, but... ah, I can't really figure out the right words. I'm sorry, Wolf. You deserve someone different. I guess that's what I wanted to say."
Wolfram stared at his fiancée openly. "Are you kidding?" he finally stuttered out. His voice sounded shrill in his ears. "Why are you apologizing to me? Why now?"
"Listen, Wolf," Yuuri smiled and squeezed his hand gently. "You're beautiful. You're strong and brave and loyal. You have a lot of love to give, and anyone would be lucky to have someone like you. There must be a better -"
"How can you say that? There isn't anyone better than you!" Wolfram felt hot tears burning in his eyes, streaming down his cheeks. He knew what Yuuri was trying to do. The boy had tried to back out of their accidental engagement before, but this was different. This was about more than just the engagement. "Don't you get it, Yuuri? I know you don't want to marry me, but... but..." His voice broke. "I don't care about that! I just want to be with you however I can... Don't try to take that away from me!"
"Hey now -"
"Don't -" The blonde snatched his hand back and tried to get up, only to be slammed back down by strong hands on his shoulders. He struggled against them, but Yuuri had the advantage of position, a baseball player's upper body strength, and a very resolute look on his face. "Let me go," Wolfram said sullenly.
"No. Not this time. You're so used to always getting your way, aren't you? Why can't you just listen to me?" Anger and frustration were beginning to seep into Yuuri's voice. The dappled light around them suddenly dimmed, and Wolfram looked up in surprise. The sky, perfectly clear and beautiful a moment before, had filled with dark storm clouds. A single drop of cold, clear rain splattered on his cheek.
"Yuuri," he murmured in awe. He'd seen the young king get this angry a few times, but he'd never been the cause of it - at least, not when he wasn't threatening his life. As a chill wind whipped around them, a sick kind of satisfaction bubbled up in his heart. I didn't know you cared, he thought sardonically.
"Wolf," Yuuri growled, his voice low and strangled in his throat. He was obviously trying to resist the change, and his grip on Wolfram's shoulders tightened as he struggled to keep control. "I'm tired of hurting you... Wolfram..."
"Yuuri, please calm down," Wolfram urged, raising his hands to press reassuringly against his fiancée's chest. "I'm sorry I yelled at you. You don't hurt me, Yuuri... I love you. Every day you make me happy. So please... just calm down."
Yuuri looked up then, right into Wolfram's shimmering emerald eyes. His own, darker and yet still so innocent, grew wide. Suddenly, Wolfram could see his king's soul there, laid right out before him, and the abbreviated breaths between them hung in the air. He thought he felt his heart stop, and time seemed to stretch out for the rest of ever. He saw the power of the Maou there, the strength of conviction, the love of creation, and pure youthful courage warring with insecurity, fear, shame and doubt. The mask had cracked, and now it fell away, spinning, forgotten, toward the ground.
After hours or seconds, Yuuri's shoulders fell and his dark eyes filled with tears. His grip on Wolfram's shoulders had changed from holding him down to simply holding on. He hung his head, and when the first of his tears hit the ground, the sky above them gave a mighty crack. A second later, the deafening noise of clear summer rain pounding the leaves and branches of the forest clamored around them. Wolfram leaned forward, encircling his fiancée with his arms, halfway protectively and halfway reassuringly. He looked up in awe at the impossibly green canopy, saturated colors bleeding in the blue-gray rain that poured down around them. In his arms, his king continued to sob, strong shoulders now hunched and shaking.
"Yuuri," he finally murmured, trying to draw his fiancée's face up to his own. They had been soaked instantly in the downpour, and black hair was plastered across the boy's forehead. Wolfram tried to brush it back, and Yuuri looked up at him with red eyes.
"Wolf," he said, his voice deep and thick in his throat. "What's happening to me?"
The blonde boy blinked, then smiled warmly, tucking a long strand of hair behind Yuuri's ear. "It's okay. We all need to cry sometimes. Maybe you're just letting go -"
He didn't get any further into it, because the hands on his shoulders had slipped behind his neck and without warning, he found himself being kissed for the first time by the man he had promised to marry.
Unable to pull back even if he had wanted to, Wolfram blinked twice in surprise, then growled and threw himself into the contact he had been yearning for for years. His hands slipped around Yuuri's waist, and he leaned forward until they were both stretched out on the soft undergrowth, sopping wet and slick from the warm rain that continued to pound around them. Over and over again their lips met, tentative at first but before long long passionate and experienced as though they had been doing it for years. Wolfram ran one hand up his fiancée's side, fascinated and enthralled by the feel of his body, the way he shivered at the touch and leaned into their kiss. He lost track of time again, and after some amount of it Yuuri broke away, panting and flushed, tendrils of black hair fanned around his face in the lush ivy.
He didn't say anything, just looked up at Wolfram with new eyes, no less bright than they had been hours (or days, or minutes) before. Enchanted, Wolfram looked back down at him, then to the sky as the rain stopped as abruptly as it had come.
"Beautiful," he whispered, watching the clouds part and the sun filter through them, then again through the dewy forest canopy, to finally settle in dappled patches around them.
Yuuri never looked up, simply gazed at Wolfram's upturned face, his clear green eyes filled with light, and smiled. "Yes," he said softly. "But you knew that."
He was stilled by a gasp from Wolfram. "Look, Yuuri!" He exclaimed, pointing up through a hole in the leaves. A bright, crystal-clear rainbow stretched out above them, shining in millions of colors. Yuuri sat up, threading his arm around his fiancée's waist. For a while they looked up at the rainbow, smiling and basking in the warm sunlight, letting it dry their skin and hair somewhat.
"Oh no!" Yuuri said suddenly, looked down at their clothes. "We can't go back to the castle like this, can we?"
Wolfram poked him in the side and grinned lecherously. "Would you rather go back naked?"
The young king flushed a deep rose color. He started to stammer something out, but Wolfram wasn't particularly interested to hear it, and silenced him with another kiss. He was much more gentle this time, not trying to prove anything or get Yuuri's attention. It was just a simple sign of affection, and his heart trilled when it was returned, if hesitantly, by his fiancée.
He pulled away and smiled, tangling the fingers of one hand in Yuuri's hair. "You're a mess," he admitted, laughing quietly.
"Hey," Yuuri frowned, crossing his arms in mock annoyance. "We can't all be pretty-boys, you know."
Wolfram huffed. "Is that what you think I am? It's just genetics, you know."
"Yeah, right. I've seen how long it takes you to get ready in the morning. You think I don't know you powder your nose?"
The blonde boy paled. "Y-You saw that?"
"I was watching you in the mirror," Yuuri admitted, blushing a little. "In my defense, you're not bad on the eyes, when when you're always around, a guy is bound to notice eventually..."
"Eventually?" Wolfram teased, his eyes narrowing suggestively. "If I remember right, you said it the very first time you saw me. And then you proposed. Of course, I wasn't expecting the new king to be so forward..."
Yuuri laughed. "So you're the victim here?"
"Naturally. But don't get any ideas."
The young king held his hands up. "I'm a perfect gentleman. I've been doing a good job of it, haven't I?"
"Too good, I would say," Wolfram huffed. He fell back on the moss, draping one hand over his forehead. "Can I ask why your feelings changed?"
Yuuri lied down beside him, propping himself up on one elbow. He played with a piece of ivy thoughtfully. "I don't think it was my feelings that needed changing. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't attracted to you, in one way or another, from the very first day I arrived here." He looked over at Wolfram's surprised expression and laughed softly. "Does it shock you that much? Haven't you noticed the way people follow you around?"
"Well," Wolfram said, turning to face Yuuri and propping his head up on his hand. "Attention from giggling maids in the castle is one thing... from the king, that's an entirely different thing..." He trailed off, flushing prettily in the dappled light. Yuuri grinned.
"Well, I've told you that relationships like... this are not very common where I come from. I ignored it when it was simple attraction... and when it slowly turned into more... all I could think about was how much it would hurt you if something ever happened to me. I was keeping you at arm's length for your own sake." He gazed up wistfully. "Or so I thought. And yet, so much has become clear to me today," he said, halfway to himself.
"Hmm? Like what?" Wolfram said innocently.
Yuuri shot him a look. "Hey Wolf," he said, sliding his arms around the other boy and rolling on top of him. He ignored the gasp of surprise and leaned down so that their noses were almost touching. Wolfram swallowed, trying very hard not to think too hard about their bodies pressing closely together through loose and sopping wet clothes.
"Yes?" he croaked, wincing inwardly what he could only imagine was becoming a rapidly more obvious condition.
Yuuri smiled, his eyes focused on his fiancée's, one hand creeping up to stroke the tousled golden locks that framed the boy's face. "What are wedding ceremonies like in your world?"
Wolfram stopped breathing. After a few moments, a concerned look from Yuuri prompted him to draw in a long, shaky breath. "W-Why?" he asked, all eloquence lost to him.
The young king gave him a predatory look before leaning down and taking his lips in another long, deep kiss. Wolfram's cheeks burned as Yuuri's tongue flicked across his mouth, coaxing it open and claiming it completely. He felt his heart fall open and fill with him, his best friend, his love, his fiancée, and his king. Whatever resistance he had left dissolved, and he grabbed fistfuls of Yuuri's wet shirt, gasping desperately when the boy finally broke the kiss and pulled away.
"Because I'm tired of waiting," Yuuri said breathlessly. "Aren't you?"
Wolfram had to admit that he was.
Gunter gazed out the window of his study, surveying the surrounding kingdom that seemed to be an even brighter and deeper green after the burst of rain. He sighed happily at the appearance of a magnificent rainbow that stretched from horizon to horizon.
He did not turn at the sound of the door behind him. He didn't have to look to know it was Conrad, no doubt come to see how their young king was doing. "They left a note. It's on the desk," he said, unable to keep amusement from ringing in his gentle voice.
There was a rustle, then after a moment, a deep and hearty laugh filled the room. Gunter found himself laughing too, his shoulders shaking beneath his long hair. When their laughter died down, he turned around, wiping the corners of his eyes with his sleeve.
"It's about time," Conrad said with a knowing smile.
"Indeed so," Gunter responded. "A few more days and even I would have had trouble coming up with more paperwork for him to do."
"Do you think it went well?"
"Hmm," Gunter mused, looking over his shoulder at the rainbow gracing the bright blue sky. "Well, that does seem to be a good omen, don't you think?"
Conrad approached the other man and placed a hand on his shoulder. "I'm sure it wasn't easy for him," he said sympathetically.
Gunter smiled and looked back at him. "The best things in life never are."