HEELS OVER HEAD
A ConYuu Fan-fiction
Beta-reader: ProudSnapist a.k.a Sherlockian Slytherin
Alternate Universe. No spoilers.
A sequel, entitled 'Axiomatic' where the relationship between Conrad and Yuuri gets more serious can be found in my profile.
Standard disclaimers apply.
Yuuri opened his eyes to find that his surroundings had gone upside-down. While he was trying to recollect his scattered thoughts, he steadily lowered his feet from above his head, where they had somehow ended up during the night. Even after his body performed a full-360, he still hadn't regained his mental equilibrium. He just sat there, on the floor, resting his back on the wall while glancing at a pair of droopy emerald eyes in front of him in utter confusion.
"Such a flexible body you have…" Wolfram remarked with an unimpressed expression, clapping his hands soundlessly, "…to be able to remain sleeping in that position during the night. You truly are the most gifted Maou we've ever had."
"…Thank… you…" Yuuri blinked again, taking the sarcasm as a compliment. He still hadn't quite understood what was happening. Where was he? Why was Wolfram there? What was he doing on the floor? What had just happened? There were so many unanswered questions in his mind, and all he could do was blink, again.
The blond looked exasperated as he climbed down the bed and approached the confused king to help him stand up.
"Come on. You can't possibly intend to stay there forever." He extended a hand and waited patiently until Yuuri was awake enough to help him up. "What kind of dream was it last night that you somehow got in to that kind of position?"
"Something horrible… again… I guess…" Yuuri yawned, taking some time to stretch. Like yesterday, the day before yesterday, and the day before the day before yesterday, and the day before the day before the day before yesterday, his sleep hadn't felt nice at all.
Wolfram folded his arms and frowned, "You know, I think we should discuss this with Gisela or Ulrike-sama. This is getting serious."
"What are you talking about?" the king only laughed at his fiancé's serious face, "It's nothing important. It happens to everyone."
"It's okay when it happens occasionally, not when it's every single night." Wolfram retorted, "It has been a week. Try to take this more seriously. It's damaging your health."
Yuuri sighed. He knew that Wolfram was right. Although he had intended to keep the predicament to himself, he was starting to feel uneasy about it. It was strange, because he had never had any sleeping problems before. His sleep used to be nice, long and dreamless, but lately, he had been disturbed by a series of nightmares, its contents varying from chasing black shadows, alien-invasions, stormy floods to flunked math exams. It wasn't limited only to when he was sleeping at night either; the dreams happened during his midday naps too. At first, he had thought that it had been just a common nightmare; but after suffering it for days, it started to tick him off. Thanks to those night-terrors, he only slept for approximately five hours a day, and he found it hard to control his own body while he was sleeping, which had caused several cases of waking up to 'weird morning positions'.
He tried to not show it in front of his family, but he was also at his limit. Both his mind and body were fatigued. He always felt sleepy, worn-out, depressed and bad-tempered. Wolfram's words gave him the confidence to share this problem with the others. It just had to end soon, or he would go insane, sooner or later!
Most people in the meeting hall seemed to find the phrase foreign. As for Yuuri, he had once heard about it from a magazine.
"One of several types of sleeping-disorders." He repeated from what he had read, "Disorders that intrude into the sleep process and create disruptive sleep-related events. I think it's what is happening to me right now."
"It includes sleepwalking and night terrors." Wolfram added, "As for Yuuri's case, it was a series of nightmares that occur every night."
"Every night!" Cheri exclaimed, "Poor His Majesty!"
"So that's why you haven't been looking well lately." Anissina nodded, "I have also read some articles that is related to this problem. I heard that it was quite serious."
Gwendal remained silent and knitted his brows, looking deep in thought.
"I'll go get Gisela right away to get you examined!" Gunter stood up and rushed to the door.
"Well, I don't think that common doctors are useful in handling this type of case." Anissina spoke in her usual calm stance, "We need a psychiatrist. An excellent one."
"I also think that it's the right time to improve our medical department." Cheri remarked with a rarely heard prudent tone, "All we have here are doctors for physical injuries. They are not enough. We need the ones for our mental health too. What do you think, Your Majesty?"
"I agree." Yuuri nodded, "I have never paid enough attention to this type of problem until now, since I'm suffering through it myself. Now, I can understand why we would need psychiatrists also."
Cheri turned to her first son, "Gwendal, do you think we need to find some…"
"There's no need to." The dark-haired mazoku's words surprised all the people in the room.
"Do you intend to overlook our king's health?" Wolfram seemed disappointed at his big brother's impassiveness.
"Let me finish," Gwendal, still looking calm, lifted up his head to see everyone's faces and started his explanation, "Conrad had asked for my permission to leave the castle two days ago because he was worried for His Majesty's health and seemingly unnoticed disturbed rest. Conrad told me about his concerns and observations, and I refused to believe him. But it seems that all the things he said were true."
Yuuri was surprised. Conrad had also asked for his permission to leave two days before, but the man had not mentioned that his errands had had something to do with his sleeping-disorder.
"I'll come back in three days."
Yuuri could still remember how lonely it had felt when he had had to see Conrad leave, but hearing the real reason made him feel even more touched. He really hoped that Conrad would come back soon. He could remember even now, the warm tone that was purely Conrad as he bid his farewell:
"Don't worry, and take care of yourself."
Yuuri shook his head and brought his attention back to Gwendal's words.
"What did he say?"
"He said that he wanted to meet an old acquaintance, who was also the best psychiatrist in this nation." Gwendal explained, "He was the first to sense His Majesty's illness. He was worried, so he intended to personally see his friend to learn about the proper treatment for this case."
"Oh, always so considerate! That's my son!" Cheri squee-ed happily.
"That's good. Then it means that all we have to do is wait for his return." Anissina smiled, "I'll reread the articles and learn more about this."
Yuuri nodded and smiled. The fact that Conrad was handling this problem for him made him feel a lot better than before. He believed that when the man returned, the nightmares would also vanish.
"You know, Your Majesty, you can always come to my room at night when you're not feeling well." Cheri winked at the flushing boy, "I can cuddle you to sleep. It always worked before with Wolfram."
"Mother!" Wolfram protested, blushing heavily, "That was more than sixty years ago!"
"Ara? Is it true? It feels just like yesterday to me…"
Yuuri tried to hold back his laughter as Wolfram turned and glared at him.
"Let's leave, wimp!"
And he was dragged out of the room without given a chance to protest.
Yuuri blinked and turned his eyes to the blond to find that Wolfram was frowning at him with a look that he had never seen before. The tense expression on his face made the king feel both uncomfortable and guilty.
"If I had a psychiatrist friend like Weller…" Wolfram's emerald eyes glinted, "I would have gone to find him too."
Yuuri blinked again with the same puzzled face.
"I just want you to know that."
After saying it, Wolfram quickened his steps and ran away, leaving the king alone in a world of perplexity.
That night, for the first time since his first nightmare, Yuuri went to bed without thinking about his parasomnia.
Wolfram's weird behavior in the morning also kept Yuuri occupied for a while. Lately, especially after his recent accident, the blond had been acting a bit odder than usual. Sometimes he would be very caring and considerate, while at other occasions he would be a real annoyance with his moodiness and unreasonable anger. Despite all the exasperating mood-swings, Yuuri still appreciated the way Wolfram stayed by his side, listening to his problems and gardening with him.
Inhaling deeply, Yuuri opened his eyes again and listened to the silence around him. Due to his sleep-deprivation, he was used to feeling really sleepy at night, but that night, his eyes were wide open. He couldn't stop thinking about the predicaments he were facing. The major one was, surely, his parasomnia, right before Wolfram, and the last...
"I'll come back in three days."
Yuuri turned to his side and looked outside the window, frowning. Conrad had promised to come back in three days. It was the third day, and he hadn't returned, nor did he send any news about his whereabouts.
"Don't worry, and take care of yourself."
How am I supposed to not worry? He glowered at the blinking stars. If you are going to be late, at least send a letter!
Yuuri could imagine Conrad smiling at his mental scolding, as if he wanted to say that there was nothing he could do.
"I'll come back in three days."
Yuuri closed his eyes tightly, trying to calm his own nerves down. He didn't understand why he was getting so agitated by Conrad's departure, since Conrad was obviously capable of taking care of himself.
"Don't worry, and take care of yourself."
He opened his eyes in astonishment as he felt a tear run down his face.
Wolfram could only sigh as he saw Yuuri's worsened face in the morning. The dark shadows around his eyes were more visible, his skin was paler, and he looked more spaced out than usual.
"Hnn?" The king turned his droopy eyes to the frowning blond, sipping on his water impassively.
"…That's my glass."
"Oh—cough-cough—sorry—cough—" In between his coughs, Yuuri tried to put down his glass back on the table, but ended up letting it slip through his grasp and break in to pieces after smashing on the floor.
Both boys and all the people in the room watched the scene with a heavy feeling in their chests. It had been the fifth day. Conrad hadn't returned, and Yuuri's condition was getting worse each day. Gwendal was unsure if they should wait for Conrad, who hadn't sent any news regarding his whereabouts at all. He believed his brother would eventually return, but would their king be able to wait until that time?
"I'll send a messenger into town to find a psychiatrist for His Majesty today."
The sudden remark from the dark haired mazoku surprised his comrades.
"But, aren't we supposed to wait for Conrad?" Cheri asked, looking concerned, "Hasn't he sent any news?"
"He hasn't. And we can't let His Majesty suffer more than this." Gwendal calmly spoke as he sliced his bread with his knife, "Gunter and I will take care of this. Hopefully, tomorrow we will have a good psychiatrist to cure His Majesty."
"Let me join you."
Wolfram suddenly stood up, staring straight at his brother's eyes intensely, "I want to make sure that my fiancé gets the best psychiatrist."
When Wolfram spoke of Yuuri as his fiancé, even Gwendal was helpless to cross him. As they were engaged, Wolfram had a special right to interfere with Yuuri's matters. Gwendal could understand about his little brother's concern and didn't think it over too much.
"I understand." He answered, "We'll leave the final decision to you. Do your best."
"Thank you." Wolfram nodded and sat back down, stealing a glance at Yuuri who seemed to be having a hard time chewing his food. After a moment of struggling, the king finally gave up and put his fork down.
"…You haven't finished your food." Wolfram told him, looking worried. When Yuuri started losing his appetite, it meant that the illness had gone up to the next level of severity.
"I bit my own tongue last night. It hurts so much. I can hardly taste anything now." Yuuri could still smile even with the bitter tone in his voice. "I got Gisela to look at it before breakfast though. Don't worry."
The blond turned his eyes back to his half-finished food and put his fork down as well. He had also lost his appetite.
That morning, nobody managed to finish their breakfast.
Yuuri watched quietly as Wolfram, Gwendal and Gunter had an intense interview with one of the psychiatrists. Psychiatry was not common in Shin Makoku, so there were just about twenty of them gathered from neighboring towns, and most of them were poorly skilled.
"What do you mean you don't exactly know how psychological disorders occur in a patient!" Wolfram seemed to get more and more agitated at the trembling man's unsure answers, "Don't you know that you're about to be picked to take care of His Majesty Maou! Do you know the consequence of putting the Maou's health at stake! Can you uphold the responsibility!"
Yuuri cringed and slowly drifted his eyes outside the window. The situation got worse and worse each time as Wolfram progressively got angrier at each failure, that Yuuri felt sorry for the twelve psychiatrists who had been kicked out of the castle in dishonor, despite their nearly zero ability. Most of them hadn't had a proper education in the psychiatric field and relied mainly on their intuition when dealing with their patients.
In less than four hours, all twenty psychiatrists had been sent back to their hometowns. The best had not been found, and the three judges looked quite distressed about it.
"As I expected," Gwendal reached for his stuffed bunny to relieve his nervous tension, "nobody is qualified around here."
"Oh, Shin Maou, why won't you help us?" Gunter struck another saintly pose and was soon lost in the depths of his poetic prayer.
"I'm so sorry, Yuuri." Wolfram looked disheveled and perturbed at his failure, "I'm so sorry…"
"Hey, it's okay." Yuuri tried to smile although each word only caused another sting of pain inside his mouth, "I know Conrad will be back soon and I'm sure he'll be able to cure me."
The blond turned his eyes away, "…I know he will."
"Your Majesty! Your Highness!"
All the people in the room turned their eyes to the door, where an officer carefully stepped forward with an envelope in his hand.
"What is it?" Gwendal asked, frowning.
"This is a letter from Sir Weller, Sir. His messenger has just arrived to deliver this."
Gwendal received the letter, and opened the envelope quietly. Yuuri had risen from his seat and stood beside him, looking eager to read the letter although he could not read Mazoku's letterings well.
After staring at the foreign letters in the paper for a while, the mazoku turned around to Yuuri with a sigh.
"It's for you." he remarked, before lowering his tone in distaste, "Only for you."
Yuuri stared at the piece of paper as if it was the most valuable treasure in the world. His fatigue just vanished as Gwendal handed the letter over to him. How he hoped that it was not one of his dreams!
Since he had been waiting for so long, Yuuri couldn't help feeling deeply disappointed as he read the letter. There was not even 'dear, Yuuri' in the beginning, and 'love, Conrad' in the end. It just contained a short instruction of how to use the package he had sent along with the letter. Although the brief note was quite disappointing, the package was actually not that bad.
"Here, I hope it's going to work."
Yuuri's eyes gleamed at the sight of the crystal container with the oily liquid in it.
"That one is for daily use. It has the lightest scent. Smell it whenever you start to feel anxious or upset." Gisela explained, "I'll arrange it so the same scent is also going to be used in your bath."
Yuuri nodded, still glancing at the jar excitedly. "What smell is it?"
"I can't be sure. I think it's a mix of various scents." The girl smiled, "I think Sir Weller's friend is the one who created it."
"Really? Is he that good?" Yuuri inhaled the sweet scent again and swooned at the tranquility he felt. He IS good…
"He is a multi-talented man, a wonderful psychiatrist. I have met him once three years ago before he moved out to another town. He used to come here to see Sir Weller." Gisela spoke as she packed up her medical equipment, preparing to leave, "He was obsessed with making the most unique scent, so he experimented for years before coming up with this scent."
"Whoa, so you've gone through years of research! No wonder you smell so nice!" The king told his new jar-friend. "But is it really that unique? It smells kind of familiar to me."
"Of course you'll find the scent familiar." Gisela chuckled in amusement, "Because in the end, the man presented the scent to his best friend, Sir Weller, who had helped him a lot during the making. He regularly sends various types of scented bath sets, oils and candles for him. He has even made him swear to wear the scent every day."
Gisela's answer brought Yuuri's slow mind to realization. Yes, how could he have forgotten? It was the scent he smelled everyday when he was around Conrad! Of course it was much fainter, but Yuuri was now sure that it was the same scent.
Conrad's scent... he inhaled the sweet aroma again and smiled in delight. He could feel the older man's presence just by smelling it. He felt refreshed and healed, but the scent also made him miss Conrad even more. He wondered why the man hadn't come home to deliver the package himself. Did he still have other things to do over there? Or did something happen and delayed him so he couldn't come home?
"I wish Conrad would get home soon..." He glanced at the doctor, unable to hide his disappointment, "I wonder what's taking him so long. He didn't say anything in his letter. He could have returned with the package."
"Maybe he wants to spend more time with his friend. After all, they haven't met for years. There're a lot of things to reminisce about." The girl said reassuringly, "Don't worry. I'm sure that he'll be back soon to make sure that your condition gets better."
Yuuri smiled and nodded as he reached down for Conrad's letter. Although it had sounded cold in the beginning, it was actually not that heartless. He could still feel the man's overwhelming concern in each clumsily-written Japanese word.
He has especially written it in Japanese letters so I can read it, Yuuri could not stop smiling as he read each word over and over, to think about it, only the two of us know how to read and write Japanese here. It's kind of like a secret code…
"Anyway, I noticed that you talked a lot." Gisela titled her head and returned his smile, "Your mouth doesn't hurt anymore?"
Yuuri blinked. "My mo--oww!" He hissed and promptly brought his hand up to cover his mouth as he was reminded of his pain.
Gisela only laughed in response as she opened her pack again to find the medicine, "I have a feeling that you've been cured. I think you won't have to be worried about those nightmares again tonight."
The king remained silent, still pressing his palm on his lips. He couldn't possibly tell her that he hadn't been worried about nightmares last night. Still, the idea of getting a long, dreamless sleep was indeed tempting. His eyes felt heavy just by thinking about it.
"All right, Your Majesty," Gisela was finally ready with her medicine. Refilling the glass with water, she picked up the small pill with her right hand and turned around to find Yuuri, "Here's your…"
Glancing at the slumbering king with a smile, she quietly repacked her things. Her eyes fell on the piece of paper Yuuri was cuddling as she stood up to leave.
Her smile widened.
As Yuuri opened his eyes and saw the scenery in front of him, he knew that his nightmare-session was over. It was probably time for nice dreams, finally.
The first thing he did was stand up and scan his surroundings. All he could see was the blue sky and white clouds. He looked down and saw no ground supporting his feet. It kind of felt both strange and pleasant to not be affected by gravity or any other natural laws, so he just stared down for a long time although the everlasting blue-ness was all he could see.
"Finally, I get to meet you again."
Yuuri was surprised that he could actually face the person in front of him with such a calm expression. All the questions he had been keeping in his mind flooded back to him, but he was not in a hurry. He waited until Murata was close enough to him.
"…Murata… I think…"
The fairy paused his steps and looked up to see Yuuri's suddenly tense expression. Something felt unusual.
"I remember everything."
The remark felt like a bucket of icy cold water pouring on Murata's head. He stopped breathing for a while to manage his thoughts. He had known that the time would have eventually come, but it was way earlier than he had expected. Yuuri's power as a Maou shouldn't be underestimated, he guessed. Then he looked up again at the king's overcast eyes and tried to come up with something. If Yuuri really remembered everything, then he must've been feeling very awkward at the moment.
"How do you feel about all of it?" he finally asked carefully, "Are you going to be okay?"
Yuuri closed his eyes for a moment and inhaled deeply, "Well, what do you think?" He turned his face away, still with a cloudy expression on his face. "You know that I'm not exactly happy about it. It was a terrible experience."
Murata held back an urge to gape. 'Terrible'? Was that how Yuuri thought about his brief visit to dream world? Was Yuuri really that homophobic?
"That's why…" Yuuri continued, folding his arms, frowning, "I need your apology, right now."
"Apology?" Murata remarked in disbelief. Why would he have to apologize to Yuuri? Well, it was true that he had done a few things to annoy him, but still…
"Yes, an apology." The king emphasized, seeing no proper response from the fairy, "For making me feel miserable for days, I think I deserve it."
"Well, I still don't quite get it how something like that can make you feel so miserable. I thought you enjoyed it." Murata replied, still looking puzzled.
"Which part of it is enjoyable anyway?" Yuuri retorted, "The part when the giant UFO came over my head? Or when Uchida-the-bear swung his bokken around and accused me of cheating in a national Math exam? Or maybe you think because I've been getting used to being swiveled under water than I would appreciate getting drowned in a tsunami?"
Murata made another long thinking face before turning his eyes back to the furious boy and asked quietly, "Are we talking about the same thing here?"
Yuuri stopped and gave him an equally confused stare, "…Are we?"
"Nightmares? Parasomnia?" Murata raised his tone, "And you're blaming me?"
Yuuri only grinned and bowed his head down and clapped his hands together in apology, "Sorry, sorry. I'm so sorry. I thought it was you for sure, since it happened right after you sent me the picture. I wasn't really mad. It was just a joke. I had wanted to pay you back for that huge picture of me and Conrad you pinned up on the wall."
Murata rolled his eyes and sighed. Half-relieved, since Yuuri hadn't actually regained his memories for real, and half-exasperated at the fact that he, the supposedly master of trickery, had almost been fooled by the Maou's Oscar-worthy performance.
Still smiling at the king, a pair of fangs appeared between Murata's lips as the fairy made a mental note to give as good as he got when he got a chance.
"Strange..." Yuuri muttered and made a thinking face, "If it wasn't you, what could have caused the nightmares?"
Murata looked up to the glorious blue sky with a choir singing gospel in his ears. Keeping his smiling poker face on, he looked back down to meet the king's puzzled face.
"I think I know why."
"Really?" The Maou blinked in excitement, "Can you tell me?"
"Uh… but…" The fairy feigned the hesitancy on his face, "Since I'm in some way at fault here, I don't know if it's a good idea to tell you…"
"I'm not going to blame you!" Yuuri quickly answered, "Please just tell me what it is. I won't be mad."
Making a cross sign with his fingers behind his back, Murata began his long, long tale...
Early that morning, some of the people in the castle saw the odd sight of Wolfram running down the corridor towards a certain direction. Some of them might stop for a moment only to make sure that their eyes weren't playing tricks on them, some were conscious enough to send their greetings (despite getting no response), and some of the more curious ones readied themselves to follow him to confirm their suspicions.
"His Majesty's room, for sure." One of the maids whispered to her friend, still spying on the hurried blond, "He misses him so much that he can't wait until breakfast time!"
She and her two friends paused for a while to squee before resuming their spying, like professional ninjas on a reconnaissance.
Wolfram was more annoyed than surprised as he stumbled upon Gunter in front of the king's chamber. He wanted to be the first person to know about Yuuri's condition after his first day of the treatment, and the older mazoku in front of him seemed to have the very same motive.
"You're going to see Yuuri?" he asked, despite the obvious answer.
Gunter only nodded weakly. His rumpled appearance and the dark lines around his eyes indicated how he had spent his night worrying over His Majesty. Wolfram was sure that if he hadn't been deep in his slumber, he would've somehow heard the man's theatrical sound system from across the castle.
"What are the two of you doing here?"
The two devoted members of the Maou worshippers-club turned around to find Gwendal already with a frown on his face.
"Brother!" Wolfram exclaimed, not expecting his brother's presence here.
"And what are you doing here?" Gunter shot back, causing the other man's cheeks to flame.
Stepping forward between his brother and the snickering man, he finally answered, "…I just wanted to make sure that the treatment worked. It might work for other people too."
"I see…" Gunter didn't seem very convinced, especially after he spotted a cute handmade 'pig' doll with a 'Get well soon!' greeting card attached to it that Gwendal had been hiding behind his back.
"Ooh, another cute piggie!" Cheri, who suddenly appeared from behind, deftly seized the doll from her bewildered son and cuddled it lovingly. "Oh, I'm sure that His Majesty is going to love this cute little thing! Right, Buta-kun?"
Gwendal's expression remained stoic as he skillfully snatched the stuffed animal back, "Usagi-chan is a rabbit."
Wolfram rolled his eyes.
"Well then, since everybody is here, let's just go in and see how His Majesty is doing." Anissina, whose arrival had been undetected, suddenly took control of the doorknob and pushed it open.
As the door was finally open, everyone seemed to refrain from rushing in. But in the end, curiosity won the battle. Setting troublesome dignities aside, they raced towards the Yuuri's bed.
"Your Majesty!" They choired, ignoring the fact that they were all barging in to the king's chamber, "How are you…"
And all of them froze at the sudden gloomy, cold aura in the room. Gwendal seemed to be the luckiest, since he still had his cute Usagi-chan to keep him from being frozen to death.
"W-w—what---in Shin Maou—" Wolfram gritted his teeth and looked outside the window to see if the sun was still there. It indeed was, but it didn't seem to be sending any warm rays into the room. "H—How about His Majesty?"
Then all eyes were immediately turned to a certain figure in the bed. The cold aura seemed to be converged there, where their king was sitting up, glaring at his right forearm as if he wanted to burn a hole there. Faintly, they could hear him muttering something about 'no way', 'it's not like that', 'it can't be happening', and others of that kind.
As Yuuri turned his head up and glared at them, they simultaneously took a step backward, as if they were afraid if he might discharge a laser beam from his eyes.
"H-how are you doing—Your Majesty?" Gunter managed to voice, although it had sounded much weaker than usual.
They took another united step backward as Yuuri slowly rose and climbed down the bed. Better safe than sorry. They were not even sure if it was still their goofy king or the infamously temperamental Maou.
The group held back a gasp as their king raised his hand and stumbled towards them.
He's possessed! Wolfram screamed in his mind, and he soon realized that he had also screamed it out loud. His comrades gaped at him before turning their eyes back to the king and gasping in unison.
"So, what do we do now!" Gunter asked, looking terrified.
"Exorcism!" Cheri blurted out.
"Anissina Soft's Anti-Stupid-Ghost 1.98 BETA!" The other woman firmly suggested.
"Not the BETA version!"
"Call Ghostbusters!" (…)
"Van Hellsing!" (… …)
"Abel Nightroad!" (… … …)
"Vash de Stampede!" (… … … …?)
"Uzumaki Naruto!" (………………………………………?)
Fortunately, one person was still sane enough among the chaos.
"Forget those people. Let's just get Ulrike-sama and ask her how to help His Majesty." Gwendal remarked calmly. In a moment, they had all exited the room and had sprinted towards the same direction, while a certain king was still standing in his place, wondering what had happened while he had been asleep.
The wildflower field had become Yuuri's secret hideout for some time. He always secretly went there by himself when he wanted to be left alone for a short while. It was located at the back of the castle, not far in the forest. Although it was an open field, the breeze felt cool and the trees were sheltering him from the stinging midday sun. Yuuri always felt grateful that he had been able to find such a nice place to relax. Since he hadn't told anybody about the place, it became even more private than his own room.
As his eyes were diverted from the blossoming flowers to his right arm, his frown returned. He could hear Murata's voice challenging him:
"Are you going to bet on it?"
He carefully folded his sleeve, making the handwritings visible to his eyes. Then the event from that night dawned back on him.
"Are you going to bet on it?"
He didn't know if he could trust Murata, but everything he had said made sense. It was hard not to believe, although it was equally difficult to accept it. If only it had been a mere 'nightmare', it would have been a lot easier to ignore it. But the handwritings Murata had placed on his arm had come true. He could see it clearly with his very eyes. And he knew that it was not an ordinary dream.
"The breeze feels so nice here."
Yuuri quickly turned around in horror to find his predecessor standing there, smiling gently at the wind blowing through the forest.
"You have found a nice spot, Your Majesty. Can I go to this place too sometimes?" The lady asked as she walked to his side and sat down, for once, ignoring the fact that her beautiful dress was going to get stained.
Yuuri nodded, almost absent-mindedly. He hadn't expected Cheri's presence at his hideout.
Realizing that the ex-Maou's eyes were fixed on the writings on his forearm, he protectively held it back and pulled his long sleeve down. He knew that Cheri couldn't read Japanese letterings, but still, it still felt awkward to let another person look at it. She would have fainted on the spot if she had been able to read it. Murata's voice kept on with their persistent echoing:
"Are you going to bet on it?"
Yuuri closed his eyes and mentally blamed Murata for everything.
"I was supposed to stay and watch over you while the others went for help." Cheri explained, "Then I saw you walking to this place. So I followed."
"What happened anyway? Why were you all looking so terrified at me?" Yuuri asked.
"We came to see if the treatment worked. But you were acting strange. So we thought you were possessed." The lady replied, brushing some strands of blond hair out of her eyes, "Are you feeling okay now?"
"Yes, of course. But next time, ask me before jumping to conclusions."
Cheri only giggled before turning her eyes back to the flower field.
Yuuri took some time to look into Cheri's eyes. The lady looked so similar to Wolfram. She spent most of her time traveling to find 'love' (as she had said), so he had never had a lot of chances to be alone with her before. It felt a bit awkward to find something to say.
…Wait; did I say 'love'? Yuuri turned his eyes back to the smiling lady beside him, blinking at disbelief.
Now, here was a love doctor beside him! How could he not use this chance to ask?
"…Umm… Cheri-sama…" He started hesitantly, "…You… you're so beautiful… so… you must have a lot of experience with… love."
"Oh, you've learned to talk like Conrad. It's so sweet." The lady giggled as she placed an arm around the trembling king, "I think you'll make a fine gentleman like him. You'll make me proud."
"Uh… yes… thank you…" Yuuri continued, inhaling deeply, "Umm… can I discuss something private with you?"
Cheri blinked and smiled widely, "Sure. I'll keep it a secret. You have my word."
"Well… uh… actually… this is about a friend of mine…" Lame. So lame. Yuuri knew it. But he had no choice. He was really embarrassed. "He… has a person… he likes. I mean, as a friend… but the person is away at this moment and he kind of misses him… Even before the person left, he has been having a problem… sleeping at night."
The queen's expression didn't change. Still smiling sweetly, she listened to the story carefully.
"He was so troubled with his sleeping problem, so he went to ask a friend of his about it…" Yuuri brought one hand to his right forearm, clutching his sleeve nervously as he talked, "Then that friend of his said…"
"Actually, nightmares come to people with troubled minds. They are reflections of your anxiety and your fears. That's why easy-going people rarely have nightmares."
"Hmm… okay then? What did you… I mean, your friend say?" Cheri asked.
"Since he didn't think that he had any big problems at the time, he said that it wasn't true. There had to be another cause." The king took another deep breath and tried to relax, "But his friend insisted, and he also said that he knew what the problem actually was."
The lady nodded and smiled again, "It has something to do with love?"
Yuuri turned his eyes away and nodded sheepishly, "He… he said…"
The fairy's voice rang loud and clear in his mind, reminding him of Murata's implications.
"The nightmares started right after I sent you the picture. Although you tried to ignore it, your subconscious mind kept thinking about it and reflected its apprehension in nightmares." Murata really enjoyed the terrified expression in Yuuri's face. "You were worried because you actually liked what you saw in the picture. You were worried because you were not supposed to like it. But you could not suppress your own feelings. In other words…"
"…Because my friend loved the person who he misses so much… but my friend didn't want to admit it… and that was what was causing his nightmares."
Yuuri had rendered the ex-Maou speechless. She only stared at the king beside her with a disbelieving expression.
So what Anissina said is true… She soon regained her smile, the person he actually loves… is…
"So," the king, still looked nervous, turned his eyes to the unblinking lady, "do you think what the friend of my friend said is true? My friend has really fallen in love with… that person?"
Overcoming her recent shock, Cheri gently brushed Yuuri's back with her hand, like the way she had always done to soothe Wolfram during stormy nights. She smiled in relief as she felt the king relax at her touch. He seemed to really need it at the moment.
"How about you?" She carefully asked, "How do you see this problem?"
"Well, I…" Yuuri sighed again, "…don't know. Because… my friend has known this person for a long time… and he has never felt anything like this before… can those feelings just emerge from nothing?"
"My twentieth boyfriend was my childhood friend." Cheri explained, "And I had just recently realized that he was cool. I fell instantly in love with him."
"So, it's possible?"
Cheri pitied Yuuri's pleading eyes. It seemed that he was hoping for her to answer negatively. But she couldn't possibly lie, for his own sake.
"Yes," she gently replied, "but I have to say that those feelings do not emerge from nothing. Maybe he has adored the person for a long time, but he had never thought of him as anything other than a friend."
It seemed hard for Yuuri to accept it, but he also could not find any real flaw in her words.
"Then, when something made him look at the person in a new light… Poof! Like magic, those feelings suddenly surfaced, and he was shocked." Cheri spoke so carefully like she was speaking to an eight-year-old who had just experienced his first crush. "It's normal to feel strange. Especially when we realize that we have fallen for our own friend we have known for a long time. It must be quite awkward."
Yuuri nodded, almost subconsciously.
"Still, whether it's a stranger we barely know or a life-long friend… love is still love." The lady brought a hand up to brush the king's reddening cheek, "Do not deny it."
Cheri's last words gave Yuuri the strongest blow to his chest. He felt like a prisoner who had just regained his freedom. His eyes were opened, so was his mind. It didn't take long for his genuine smile to return.
"Thank you." Was all he could say, glancing at the beautiful queen's eyes lovingly, "For everything."
With a rare wisdom in her tone, the blonde replied, "You're welcome."
"Are you going to bet on it?" Murata magically produced a marker with his magic wand. "Whether you love Sir Conrad or not?"
Still having many colors on his face after his recent shock, the king braced himself to nod. "I'm going to win for sure. How are we going to do it?"
"It's going to be simple…with this," The fairy held the marker like a salesman who was trying to advertise his newest product to the customers, "The Magic Marker, an easy way to answer your doubts, special from Fairy World."
Murata didn't let Yuuri stare at the marker for too long. Deftly, he reached for Yuuri's right arm and folded his long pajama sleeve to his bicep. Ignoring the other party's shriek, he brought the marker down and started scribbling something on Yuuri's forearm. When Yuuri finally managed to release himself, Murata was done.
"There," he smiled widely, looking satisfied at his handiwork, "You're all set."
"What… what have you done to me!" Yuuri glanced at his forearm in panic. The clumsy hiragana writings on it made his eyes widen in shock. A big 'DO I LOVE CONRAD?' statement was written on his forearm.
"What the-" He lifted his face up and glared at the grinning fairy, "-What's the meaning of this! If Conrad sees it, I'm dead!"
"Wait, relax. Listen to me." Murata calmly remarked, "I haven't explained the use of this marker to you."
"It'd better be really useful!" Yuuri still looked infuriated.
"In fact, it is." The fairy smiled victoriously, "The marker was specially made so that it would be able to read your genuine feelings. Unlike your tongue, it does not lie."
"And your point is?" Yuuri frowned. He also didn't like to lie.
"All we have to do is write our question on a part of our body, and then read it when we're ready for the answer." Murata explained, "There are only two answers: yes or no. If the writings disappear, the answer is 'yes', and if they remain, the answer is 'no'. As long as you don't ask, it will remain, but I have a special spell to know whether you have really asked or not. So don't think about cheating. If I win, you will have to confess as soon as possible. And if you win, I will never mention this case anymore."
Yuuri gaped down at the writings. He hadn't expected such a frontal, direct confrontation!
"It's actually okay to try it when you're alone, but I recommend you to do it in Sir Conrad's presence. It'll make a more accurate answer if you do it that way." Ignoring the obvious horror on his master's face, Murata continued, "I'll come back in three days to see if the writings are still there or not. Then we'll decide who the winner is."
Yuuri was still staring down at the writings in silence. At times, he would look up to the distance to see if the man he had been waiting for had arrived. But like yesterday, and the day before yesterday, there was no sign of Conrad's arrival at all. His messenger had been sent back to him with a letter regarding the failure of the aromatherapy set (Gwendal wrote, "His Majesty's condition gets worse. He acted like he was possessed. Come home NOW or else…"). The recent letter was also the last trace of Conrad's presence, since he hadn't sent anything else since then.
Feeling the stress building up, he reached inside his pocket for his precious jar. Even in the worst circumstances, it could always make him feel better.
This is the last day of the deal, Yuuri glanced back at the writings on his right forearm, if Conrad does not come home tonight, I'll have to confirm it myself.
He rested his back on the wall again and sighed. The guards had offered him a seat and shelter from the sun several times, but he had rejected both offers politely. Sitting made him feel more fidgety, and the shelter made it impossible for him to see Conrad's arrival from faraway. Since he only had his chance to wait there during his breaks from Gunter's lessons, at least, he wanted to use the time more efficiently.
"…There you are, again."
As the king turned to his back and saw his frowning fiancé, he mentally moaned. Wolfram had been the only one who had been complaining about this the most. "You'll be tired!", 'You'll get sunburn!", "It's stupid to stand outside when you can wait inside more comfortably!", "Ask somebody else to wait here and report to you when he comes!", he had heard them all from his mouth. But he hadn't budged from his spot. He was determined to stand there and wait for Conrad, even if it meant sacrificing his break time. He could only feel relaxed when he knew that he'd be able to see Conrad as soon as possible.
"The break is over?" He asked.
"No. But this time, I intend to get you back inside, even it means that I have to drag you."
Yuuri tried to remain calm at the threat. Wolfram's temper just got worse and worse ever since he had told him about his plan to wait for Conrad there. Eyeing his waist and seeing no sword, Yuuri felt a bit more relieved.
"Please, let me stay here a bit longer," he tried using his oldest and most surefire method to make Wolfram change his mind: begging. "It's cloudy today. The weather is not too hot. I'm not going to get sunburn."
"No." The blond glared at him threateningly, "In, NOW."
"Just what are you thinking! Why should you wait here, hurt yourself, only for that heartless bastard!" Wolfram snapped, "He promised he'd be back in three days, but he isn't here! He lied to you!"
"Listen," Yuuri inhaled deeply, collecting the pieces of his patience in his mind, "I'm sure that Conrad has his own reasons for coming home late. I don't mind at all. Besides, he sent a letter and the package for me."
"We sent a messenger and asked him to come home. It's the third day and why do you think he isn't here? He's ignoring us!"
"No, he's not like that!" Yuuri raised his tone, "The messenger said that it took two days to reach this place. Even if he rushes, it will take at least one day and a half to get home!"
"If you knew that, why have you been waiting for him since the very first day?" Wolfram retorted, "You knew that he would not be back until at least the fourth day! So why wait here now?"
"Just in case he returns earlier than expected," The king quickly replied, "I want to meet him as soon as possible."
The answer only enraged Wolfram more. Flushing and trembling in anger, the blond grabbed his fiancé's hand and tried to drag him inside. But Yuuri stood firm at his place. Wolfram's ferocity had caused him to lose his already thin patience. He became even more determined to win the battle and stay there.
"That's enough!" He finally snapped back. Wolfram looked shocked at the way he had yelled at him. "I know that you're worried about me and I appreciate it, but it's my decision to stay here! If you really care about me, you should be able to understand!"
"How am I supposed to understand! You've never told me the reason!"
Wolfram's glassy eyes returned Yuuri to his senses, reminding him that he shouldn't have yelled like that, since the boy was only concerned about his well-being. It was true. He had never told Wolfram the real reason for his efforts, but how he was supposed to? Wouldn't it be a painful betrayal? Dear Shin Maou, he was too young for this complicated love predicament!
"Uh… Wolfram… Listen," He inhaled deeply and tried again, "I am so sorry for losing my patience. I can understand about your concerns, but… I'm not going to go inside until my break time is over."
"And," Yuuri resumed before Wolfram had his chance to protest, "please don't talk like that about your brother again. I know, you know, we both know that he's not heartless. He cares about you, and me. He doesn't deserve such treatment from you. I'm sure that it hurts him deeply."
For a moment, Wolfram looked like he was about to snap. But after another moment of silence between them, Yuuri exhaled in relief to see that the blond had calmed down. Little did he know that Wolfram was struggling to keep his legs steady. He didn't see how the blond pitifully trembled at his previous remarks. He didn't see. He couldn't feel it. Nothing hurt Wolfram more than that fact.
I can't stand this anymore, Wolfram decided in his mind, as he slowly took a step backward and turned around to leave.
Yuuri only noticed it when Wolfram got out of his range, "W-wait, Wolf---"
"…You've never stopped thinking about him, have you?" Wolfram muttered weakly before raising his speed and disappearing in to the castle.
As the guilt started to pollute his mind, Yuuri reached down for his jar again.
It was nearing midnight, Yuuri was wide awake and the writings were still there. He had been too busy thinking about Wolfram (who had refused to speak or look at him throughout the day) to fulfill the bet and ask.
Stupid bet, he glanced at his arm in disgust, I should have never agreed to this nonsense.
Deciding to not ask and tell Murata to abort the bet, he rested his head back on the pillow, closing his eyes, trying to fall asleep.
Just when he was about to fall asleep, he jolted awake as he heard the sound of a horse from outside. There was only one thing on his mind: Conrad was finally home!
Forgetting about his previous intention to ignore the bet, he ran outside, going straight to the front gate.
He could feel both his heart and his stomach quiver as he spotted the man he had been achingly waiting for standing there. Although Conrad looked worn out, it seemed that he was not injured. It brought so much relief to Yuuri's tightening chest.
Not wasting anymore time, he looked down at his arm and muttered the question.
The expression on Conrad's face when he noticed the presence of his king was simply priceless. He stood there gaping at Yuuri's state of undress. Especially that Yuuri was still wearing his pajamas, and had gone out bare-foot. Was it one of the 'possessed attitudes' Gwendal had mentioned in his letter?
Unfortunately, he didn't have much time to think. A moment after he made his first step to approach the king, Yuuri looked up at him and smiled in utter joy. And before he realized it, the boy was already in his arms, embracing him so tightly that it hurt.
"…Yuuri?" His tone was questioning. His arms had betrayed his mind as they were wrapped around the slender frame gently. "What are you doing here?"
He could hear the soft, repeated mutter.
"It remains… it didn't disappear…"
Conrad looked down at the boy in puzzlement, but Yuuri couldn't care less. He just wanted to savor the moment and share his happiness and relief and everything with the man.
"Yuuri?" The brunet tried again, "Is something wrong? Are you feeling better now?"
Yuuri nodded, still burying his face in the other man's warm neck. "Where have you been? I've been waiting for you for so long."
"I…" Conrad opened his mouth to answer, but never resumed his statement. "…Sorry."
Yuuri smiled, closing his eyes, feeling relaxed with the strong arms around him, "Don't apologize."
"Sorry… I mean…" Conrad awkwardly shifted as Yuuri pressed more of his weight on his body, "I…"
It took him a while to realize that the king had fallen asleep.
As soon as he managed to regulate his pounding heart and uneven breaths, he carefully carried the boy up and entered the castle.
Behind him, a group of ConYuu worshippers cheered, celebrating their recent victory.
Yuuri really enjoyed the look on Murata's face when he showed him the writings were still on his arm.
"See?" He grinned widely, "It's still right there. Maybe you want to see it more closely? You can glare at it as long as you want."
"This is not possible…" Murata moaned in disappointment, still glancing at Yuuri's arm in disbelief, "Okay… I guess… I lost."
Yuuri whooped happily at the admission of defeat. "Great! Yes! I won!"
The fairy sighed again as he rose up and folded his arms, "As I have promised, I will not mention this anymore. I will never send you something like that picture again."
The boy nodded happily, "Great! You'd better keep your promise!"
"Of course I will." Murata regained his smile.
"By the way, how do I make these writings disappear? I can't possibly have them on my arm all the time." Yuuri asked.
"Just wash it with this." Murata handed over a jar of some mysterious liquid. "But be careful and don't lose it. Other than getting a 'yes' answer, it can't wear off with common liquid."
"It's almost dawn. I have to leave now. I have to cook breakfast for my brother." Murata looked down at his imaginary wristwatch, "He's really busy, even busier than me. When he has the time, I'll take him with me to meet you. Is that okay?"
"Sure," Yuuri smiled and waved his hand, "Take care."
"Take good care of yourself too, Shibuya." Murata returned his smile, "Say hello to Sir Conrad for me."
As if the previous event was not enough, Conrad was once more shocked by the presence of his little brother in front of his room. He knew that Wolfram was not there to greet him 'welcome home' from the moment their eyes met.
Should I give it now? He looked down to his pack.
Wolfram was still glaring at him, seeming to have difficulties to let his feelings out through words. They only stood there and stared at each other for the next minute, before Wolfram decided to take his leave without saying anything. But it seemed that Conrad wasn't planning to do so.
It felt so exasperating to Wolfram that he could not control his reflexes. Despite their broken relationship, the man was still his older brother. Especially after what had happened between he and Yuuri, it was probably the only reason why he paused and waited there until Conrad reached Wolfram and stood in front him.
"…Here, for you."
Wolfram widened his eyes in disbelief, before lifting his head up to meet his brother's eyes again. He hated how his anger faltered at the sight.
"What are you---"
"The reason why I stayed there for so long…" The half-mazoku calmly explained, "…To finish this for you."
The small crystal jar was already in his hold, but Wolfram still looked confused.
"Because you need it, even more than His Majesty does." Conrad smiled at him, "I hope you'll find it useful… to soothe your feelings down."
Wolfram's hand was trembling as he brought the jar up to his nose. It smelled so nice that his eyes started to water.
"You…" The more he tried to brush it off with his sleeve, the tears just kept falling down, releasing his anger and frustrations out. "You…" He quietly sobbed, not wanting Conrad to see him crying. "I… hate you so much…"
"…I know." Conrad reached for his handkerchief and gently brushed the tears off his little brother's pretty eyes, ignoring his weak struggle.
"Don't move. It's hard to see."
"I don't want you to see!"
Conrad let out another sigh, this time, followed by an amused smile. "I know. Then I won't look."
Wolfram stopped struggling, still pouting cutely. His voice sounded like the ringing of church bells to Conrad as he weakly muttered.
"…Thank you… Brother."
Yuuri had never woken up with such a light feeling before. He felt like he could do anything.
I'll apologize to Wolfram today, he firmly made up his mind as he climbed down his bed, and I'll also visit my garden. Maybe the flowers have also blossomed…
Getting excited about his plans, he didn't realize that one of his feet was still tangled on his blanket. His eyes widened in horror as he felt his body tumble down. He fell flat on his face.
"Ouch…" He slowly looked up to meet a pair of emerald eyes, looking down at him mockingly. "…Wolfram?"
"…Something is definitely wrong with your sleeping style." The boy commented impassively as he extended a hand to the bewildered king. Yuuri accepted the offered help gratefully. It made him feel so relieved that Wolfram had seemed to have regained his good mood.
"Thanks," Yuuri cheerfully remarked, "Huh? You smell different today. What are you using?"
"It has nothing to do with you." The blond turned his face away, folding his arms in his usual superior stance. "It's late. Hurry up get dressed and go to the dining room. Everyone's waiting."
"Oh, okay." Yuuri rushed to his dresser to find his usual attire. Knowing what was coming next, Wolfram flushed and turned around.
"…Wimp…" He called, almost soundlessly.
"Yes?" Yuuri replied as he buttoned up his shirt.
Yuuri turned around to find that Wolfram had left the room.
His smile bloomed.
Everyone in the dining room looked happy that their king's spirits had been renewed. They could already feel it through his vibrant 'good morning', and the way his eyes shone at the sight of that day's special breakfast.
"Where's Conrad?" Yuuri asked the moment he noticed one empty seat.
"Maybe he's still sleeping." Cheri answered him, smiling brightly, "He just arrived last night. He must be very tired now. I asked the maid to send the food to his room."
"He arrived when you were still asleep." Gwendal frowned at him, "So how did you know that?"
"Uh…" Yuuri rolled his eyes and smiled playfully as he got seated, "…Intuition?"
Nobody clapped their hands but Gunter.
A moment before breakfast officially started, the last member of the family entered the room, smiling at everyone's curious eyes on him.
"Sorry, I overslept." He calmly explained as he approached his seat, "Did I miss anything?"
"Oh yes, you did!" Gunter replied before everybody else could, "His Majesty knew about your presence before we informed him! Such sharp insight! He's so wonderful!"
Conrad chuckled softly as he turned his eyes to the grinning Maou, communicating their amusement without a word.
"Okay, can we start now? I'm starving!" Yuuri glanced down at his food and tried to grasp his fork. It slipped off his grip and rolled to Wolfram's side. Both boys noticed it and held out their hands to reach for the fork. It was when Yuuri's hand accidentally knocked Wolfram's glass over and drenched both his sleeve and Wolfram's lap.
"Argh, look what you've done!" The blond glared at him angrily as he stood up and stormed out of the room to get changed.
"Your Majesty, are you okay?" Gunter attentively approached him, "You have to get changed."
Yuuri looked down at his own sleeve and smiled, "It's okay." He folded his wet part of the sleeve up, "It's just…"
The writings are still there! He quickly pulled the sleeve back down and turned his eyes to Conrad nervously. Lucky for him, the man didn't seem to notice.
"I---I'm going to get changed!"
He stood up and rushed out of the room, ignoring everyone's puzzled look at his sudden change of mind.
As he reached his room, Yuuri quickly approached his bed to find the cleanser Murata had given him. His eyes shimmered as he spotted the precious jar under his pillow.
"There you are!" He grabbed his number two jar-friend and spent some time staring at it happily. It was lucky for him to have knocked the glass over that he had been reminded about it. As Murata had said, the writings would only disappear with a 'yes' answer or that liquid.
He carefully opened and sniffed it. He couldn't smell anything. It was like normal water to him.
…Let's give it a try.
He folded his drenched sleeve to find his stained forearm. But he found nothing.
He spun his arm around, and still couldn't see the writing.
"No way…" His heart started to race as he folded his other sleeve and once more, found nothing.
He froze at his place, staring down at the floor disbelievingly. Murata's words came back to his mind.
"Other than getting a 'yes' answer, it can't wear off with common liquid."
Yuuri glanced down at his right forearm again to confirm it. His untainted skin seemed to be mocking him. Suddenly, he couldn't feel his legs anymore.
"Your Majesty, are you okay?"
Yuuri could have sworn that he heard the sound of cheery laughter somewhere near him when Conrad entered the room and approached him.
No way… He braced himself to turn around and meet the brunet's eyes. I can't be in love with…
The loud pounding in his chest betrayed his mind. It was like his inner organs were having a summer festival down there.
"Yuuri, what's wrong?"
The king held his breath as Conrad drew closer and closer to him. It felt like his whole body had refused to cooperate with his brain. His heart would not listen to his frantic command to calm down. His legs turned down his order to stand up. His lungs kept drawing short breaths no matter how sternly he told them to not make him look so pathetically torn.
"What happened? Please, talk to me."
Yuuri mentally groaned as Conrad knelt in front of him, looking at his desperate expression with utter concern. He was not helping at all! Of all days, why did he have to choose that cursed day to look more handsome than usual!
…That's not what I should be thinking about!
Yuuri clutched his head in exasperation. And now, even his brain seemed to have chosen to side with his disloyal organs! What kind of king was he? He couldn't even control his own body!
"I… I'm… okay…"
Conrad was now looking at him in slight puzzlement. He wondered what kind of face he was showing at the moment, but he was sure that it had to be ugly enough to make the man's face blink so cutely—Arrgggh! When did he start calling another man 'cute'! Stupid brain! Stupid mind! Stupid thoughts! I don't need any of you anymore!
"Maybe you'll feel better after getting some rest."
Yuuri gasped loudly as he felt Conrad's arms on his body, carrying him up bride-style to the bed. He used the very brief chance to snuggle closer to Conrad's broad chest and feel his strong muscles. Conrad was so well-built that it had often made him feel envious, but that day, all he wanted was the moment to last.
Sadly, there was an end to every beginning. It didn't take Conrad very long to reach their—I mean, his bed. Yuuri bit back his disappointment as the warmth left him.
"Here, use your blanket." The brunet considerately pulled the previously folded blanket over the king's body and made sure that Yuuri was comfortable with it. Obviously, he was not aware of the way his patient's eyes were roaming various parts of his body, and that he was the very reason for Yuuri's flaming cheeks.
Is he still sick? But he looked just fine a moment ago… He ran his fingers over the king's forehead, roaming down to his neck to get a better measurement of the rising temperature.
Looking at how sincere Conrad was worrying about him made Yuuri feel guilty for having those immoral thoughts about the chaste touch. But it was out of his control. His eyes and his mind did their job without consulting whether it was proper or not.
"How are you feeling?" The man asked, the back of his hand still feeling for the king's temperature.
"Uh… I feel kinda…" Aroused. "…sick."
"Are you cold?"
"Well… actually…" It's as hot as hell here! "…Yes, a bit."
Yuuri nervously watched as Conrad drew back his hand and made a thinking face.
"It seems that you caught a cold…" He mistook Yuuri's apprehension for his concern about his health, "Don't worry. It will be okay. I'll go get Gisela-san right away to get you examined."
Yuuri nodded weakly, while repeating the same prayer in his mind over and over for Gisela's absence.
Still being totally oblivious to the circumstances, Conrad stood up and was about to walk away. Then his eyes suddenly fell on Yuuri's still-drenched sleeve. Without a second thought, those magiccal words just flowed out easily from his mouth.
"Do you want me to help you undress?"
The last blow was more than Yuuri could take.
He fainted on the spot with swirling eyes and a major nosebleed.
Meanwhile, far away in Fairy's World, a certain fairy and his stepbrother were looking down on Shin Mazoku and laughing their hearts out.