To be perfectly honest, this oneshot is written out of boredom, and a need to put more description into oneshots in general. I can't really explain it…oneshots I write just seem like drabbles to me; with more dialogue than actual detail. Anyway, normally something written for this kind of purpose would be kept to myself, but my muses have compelled me to post it. Forgive me if this seems more like a first chapter to a continuous story than an actual oneshot.
It was a day in which Conrad would reel in astonishment at the events to come, even though he could have boasted about his astounding evenness, if he had been the kind of man to boast. It was a day in which Günter would, for once, cower from his beloved Majesty. It was a day in which Gwendal would burst out in hysterical laughter in front of eight other aristocrats, and would thus have to leave the room to compose himself.
It was a…meeting of the minds, so to speak; but as it involved every one of the ten aristocrats, the Maou, and the Maou's fiancé, one would be more inclined to call it a 'meeting of the money'. It reminded Yuuri much of his first day in Shin Makoku in the fact that it was to be a dinner meeting and he felt so nervous he wanted to hide under his bed. Meeting these aristocrats was going to put a lot more pressure on him than just introducing himself to a few people in his court. And that dinner hadn't gone so well anyway, if his possessive fiancé was any indicator. And since Conrad wasn't one of the ten aristocrats, the poor flustered king couldn't count on him to bail him out of a tough situation.
"Not to worry," Conrad had told him with his traditional smile. "Gwendal and Günter will be there to help you; and Wolfram would never allow you to get yourself in trouble."
Not entirely too comforting. Especially since Wolfram seemed to wish he could stay out of it, like Conrad.
"I do not control Bielefelt; my father does," he said hotly time and time again. "I shouldn't have to be there at all."
And then Conrad would remind him that he had a place there, as the Maou's fiancé. This did not help Wolfram's nor Yuuri's mood in the slightest. To be honest, Yuuri didn't think much of the blonde prince's foul disposition over this matter, but he thought vaguely that it was odd—Wolfram would usually jump at the chance to be at Yuuri's side to prevent 'the insufferable wimp from flirting with everyone in sight'.
Conrad had told them about the dinner a week in advance. Yuuri was having several papers piled on him just a few hours before by his faithful servant, Günter, leaving Wolfram alone to his own thoughts. Wolfram had spent most of the day staring out the window of their bedroom, dreading the whole event. He felt somewhat hopeless at that moment, watching the world enjoy itself from behind the glass. A carriage pulled up to the castle. The blonde Mazoku recognized the signature white horses from Bielefelt leading it. He sighed dismally, and went to fetch his fiancé and let him know that one of his guests had arrived. Yuuri's reaction was of surprise; the aristocrats were to arrive much later. He became less confused when Wolfram had explained it was his father—so Yuuri figured that Lord von Bielefelt would want to see his son as well. This brought Yuuri to drag the protesting blonde along to see his father. Yuuri was especially eager to see what kind of man Wolfram's father was.
He was not an unattractive man, but not nearly as pretty as his son. The man had a much sterner handsomeness about him, something that spoke of 'serious and good-looking ruler' (or in Lady Celi's case, seriously good-looking ruler). His face was hard, and he had sharp blue eyes. At first glance, he reminded Yuuri a lot of Raven in the way that everything about him looked professional, including his hair, which was a light brownish-gray and pulled into a stiff ponytail. The way he carried himself was the way a soldier would, and in this Yuuri saw his only resemblance to Wolfram. Otherwise he was nothing like the blonde at all—Wolfram's features were soft and admittedly angelic, while this man's features were rigid and dark.
"A pleasure to meet you, Your Majesty." He held out a white-gloved hand; a formal and respectful gesture. Yuuri returned it. "I am Lord Esel von Bielefelt. Forgive me for arriving early, but I just had to meet the man that could seduce my son."
Yuuri laughed nervously. "Well, I don't know about seduce…"
Wolfram's father turned to his son with a dark smile that seemed to have malevolent intentions. "Wolfram…you look just as beautiful as your mother."
Wolfram kept his head down. "Father."
"Well, in any case…" Yuuri cleared his throat, having sensed the tension and wanting to relieve it, at least for Wolfram's sake. "Dinner is not for a few hours, so if you like, Lord Esel, please make yourself at home."
The stern-faced lord turned a kinder version of his smile on the king, and politely bowed. "You are very generous, Your Majesty; I thank you. Perhaps I will…use this time to catch up with my darling son?"
"Mother wanted to see you," Wolfram said, with no room for discussion clearly placed in his tone. "I'll see you tonight, Father." He turned swiftly, headed for a moment's salvation in a bath before dinner. Yuuri watched him leave, totally puzzled.
Wolfram did not appear again until all the aristocrats had arrived, and then he hid amongst the bustling greetings until he could find his fiancé. He was displeased to see Yuuri already seated at the head of the banquet table, his father seated at an unfavorable proximity to the king. There was one empty chair between them, which was to be Wolfram's place at the table. Dinner was served then and Wolfram hadn't much choice but to take his place.
Lord Stoffel, who had been temporarily released of House Arrest to attend the banquet, spared no expense in kissing up to the king, ulterior motives pervasive. "I thank you, Your Majesty, for being so gracious as to allow me to attend. Words cannot express my gratitude for this release of my sentence."
"Hmph. It's only temporary, Lord Stoffel," Gwendal grumpily pointed out.
"Oh, but surely, with my recent behavior…"
"A sentence is a sentence, Lord Stoffel," Yuuri said calmly and ever-smiling, cutting off Gwendal in the process. "Please, just enjoy the dinner; any matters like that can be discussed later." Frowning, Stoffel conceded.
Lord Esel was also quick to agree. "Yes, Your Majesty; I want to hear more about the relationship between you and my son. Tell me Wolfram—" the blonde notably tensed, "—do you get along well with your fiancé?"
Wolfram said nothing, so Yuuri replied for him, "We get along fine."
"I do hope there is some show of affection; at least from you, Wolfram; I would expect." He paused, a reedy smirk spreading across his face. "Not even a touch of intimacy? Wolfram, I'm surprised—"
Yuuri was beginning to greatly dislike where this conversation was going, and furthermore, how it was getting there. "Lord Esel, if you please—"
"Oh, my apologies, Your Majesty. I do suppose I was being a bit rude."
"Let us not speak of such private matters," Gwendal said testily. "The relationship between Wolfram and His Majesty is to be left to their own hands."
The dinner resumed in silence. Wolfram soon felt bold enough to strike up conversation again.
"So, Father…are things well in Bielefelt?"
"There is some tension from those along the border," the man replied, nonchalantly. "But it's nothing I can't handle. A simple matter for one like myself, hmm, Wolfram?"
Wolfram regretted ever opening his mouth. He grew quiet once more. Yuuri's frown deepened, but that went unnoticed by mostly everyone. Günter, however, looked upon His Majesty's expression with deep concern.
A few moments later, Wolfram dared to try again. "Did you say hello to Mother?"
"Yes, I did. She's still as lovely as ever; just like you, Wolfram. You've always looked just like her, you know; delicate features and all—" He continued with the questionable praise. Wolfram felt tears pricking at the corners of his eyes.
'Don't cry, don't cry…don't let him see you cry…'
The distinctly malicious leer was back in Lord von Bielefelt's eyes once more. "Do you remember, Wolfram, how the boys used to flock after you so? Always mistaking you for a female—"
"Lord Esel." Yuuri hadn't looked up from his meal. But he'd addressed the roguish aristocrat with a calm anger that made him appear cold. Günter, who had been staring at His Majesty intently, now riveted his eyes to his plate, considerably paler than he had been.
Lord von Bielefelt glanced at the king with sly curiosity. "Yes, Your Majesty?"
Yuuri said nothing; but he picked up his glass and slowly brought it across to gently tap the aristocrat's glass with a soft clink. Wolfram gasped and dropped his fork, letting it clatter on the plate. His father stared with the same astonishment for a moment as the king calmly brought his glass back to drink. He set it down and stared expectantly at his still bewildered guest. Finally, the man stood and bowed.
"Of course, Your Majesty." And he left. His footsteps echoed in the silence. The careful shutting of the doors closed off the rest of the sound. Günter sat in absolute silence, too petrified to look at His Majesty for fear of catching a cold gaze.
The silence was suddenly broken by a light, "Ha" from Gwendal. This was followed by, "Ha, ha," and shortly after, "Ha, ha, ha." Soon he was in hysterics, pounding the table and nearly unable to breathe. After one long-awaited breath, he stiffly stood, forcing a frown onto his face.
"Excuse me. I must go." He then swiftly marched out of the room, hastily slamming the doors, and then, though no one in the dining room could hear it, continued into his howls of laughter.
Dinner became extremely awkward and silent for the rest of the evening.
Conrad had almost been shocked into a coma at the mere sight of his older brother pounding on his desk just a few hours later. When the normally very grouchy man had composed himself and explained what had happened in the dining room, Conrad felt very sure the world had ended, and was curious to know if the king had known what he was doing. The way Gwendal had explained it, it seemed that Yuuri had known what he was doing, and had carried out the act with little mercy. He therefore felt quite proud of Yuuri, and perhaps later he would feel sorry for Lord von Bielefelt.
Walking to their bedroom, Yuuri proceeded to ignore Wolfram's ranting and took of the coat he had been required to wear during the banquet. It was hot and heavy, and after the evening's events, Yuuri was ready to toss it aside and sleep.
"—something so clueless and irresponsible—!" Apparently Wolfram was still at it. Yuuri began to unbutton his uniform as he and Wolfram entered the bedroom. Still ignoring the long-winded lecture, Yuuri kicked off his shoes and dug around his dresser for his pajamas.
"—that's the most humiliating—are you listening to me!"
Yuuri sighed. "Wolfram, please, I'm tired; I just want to go to bed." He slipped his shirt off to emphasize his point. Wolfram still wouldn't let up.
"Yuuri, do you even know what you did out there! It was a humiliating thing you signified, and my father—!"
"I know what I did, Wolfram. Please, stop yelling about it; I'm tired." Yuuri slipped his pajama shirt over his head and flopped down onto the bed. Wolfram looked disbelieving.
"What do you mean, you know?"
Yuuri sighed once more, and decidedly looked Wolfram straight in the eyes. He really did look very tired. "Tapping your glass against someone else's signifies that they have personally insulted you and you wish them to leave the room. There, happy?"
"But…but…how do you know that?"
Yuuri pouted, not seeing sleep in his near future. "Before the banquet I asked Günter to teach me more of your customs, so I wouldn't do something outrageous like I did last time." He looked at Wolfram's slightly put-off expression and frowned. "I know it was a humiliating thing to signify, alright? But he deserved it; for the way he was treating you. When he tells you you're beautiful…it's nothing at all like your mother says it. I didn't like it."
Wolfram was curling into himself, feeling a bit insecure. He sat next to his fiancé on the bed, wringing his hands nervously. It somehow made him look small.
"He's always been that way to me. He has a very strict view on what a man should look and act like…I just never fit his views." He laid back, hair splaying out on the sheets. "In his opinion, a man shouldn't look like his mother, and he shouldn't have other men flocking after him, like I always did when I was little. He'd bring it up a lot, and he'd tease me about it. Mother told me I was beautiful all the time, and it made me feel better until he started saying it too. I'm just…a mockery of a son to him. A woman in a man's body. That's why I…" He began to tear up. "…why I hated it when you proposed to me…why I got so angry when you'd won the duel…his voice flashed through my mind; mocking me." He smiled bitterly, tears streaming down his face. "I'll never be the son he wished for…will I?"
Yuuri had been listening quietly as Wolfram poured his heart out to him. He showed nothing on his face; nothing except for some light understanding and compassion. Now he gently wiped the tears from Wolfram's face. "Your father can wish forever in vain for a son that doesn't look the way you do. I can't say he's right or wrong in choosing his views—we each have set images in our mind. But if he does not see you as a man, then he does not deserve to see you at all. Do you understand, Wolfram?"
The tone was so stern, Wolfram was almost uncertain that his fiancé had said it. But he looked into the eyes of his king, and found comfort, and contradiction to every hurt he had endured from his father. He looked deeper, wishing to find love buried in the blackness…and he found a glimmer. One small, dancing lovelight. He smiled, content.
Yuuri somehow managed to pry himself from the unusually clingy blonde in the morning and ducked out the door to venture to the bath. He was caught sometime later by his fiancé, who was irate at finding Yuuri gone. The two were squabbling in the hallway by the afternoon. They were surprised to run into Lord von Bielefelt, who appeared to have been looking for the king for quite some time. Wolfram's instant reaction was to lower his head and step lightly behind his fiancé.
"Your Majesty, I just wished to apologize for my behavior last night; it was entirely uncalled for. I do hope you'll forgive me." The aristocrat bowed, accentuating his apology. Yuuri frowned, which did not go unnoticed. "Your Majesty…? Did my apology not satisfy you?"
"No, it did not. I am not the one you should be apologizing to." He looked to Wolfram. The blonde still did not look at his father, who frowned somewhat in distaste. Yuuri caught the look and glared at the older man. "Wolfram does not deserve to be spoken to the way you spoke to him last night, especially since he is your son. If you cannot recognize that, then you don't deserve to be called his father. Am I understood, Lord Esel?"
Lord von Bielefelt took this time to look at his son's face. The boy was clearly hurt. So, as sincerely as he possibly could, the older man bowed to his son. "I apologize for my rudeness, Wolfram. Please, forgive me."
Wolfram looked at his father in surprise. The older man was still bowed before him, waiting for a response. "I…I am satisfied, Father." The man rose with no expression on his face.
"Very well. I must return to Bielefelt shortly. Tell your mother I said goodbye, Wolfram." He bowed to both of them. "Farewell." And he promptly turned on his heel to leave the castle.
Wolfram watched his father leave, and then slowly snaked an arm through Yuuri's, and laid his head on the other boy's shoulder. Yuuri looked at him.
Wolfram smiled. "Thank you…so much."
It was a day in which Wolfram would fall even more in love with his fiancé than he ever thought he would.
Well, what'd you think? I wrote this in three days…the power I wanted to lace into the words came little by little, and now it's done. I do feel that Yuuri wasOOC. However, I'd like to look at this as later onin the series. In the begining, Yuuri would have moments where he seemed like a wise and powerful king (even without the Maou), but notbefore hegotangry, or threw a tantrum over war. This, I think, shows a more grown-up Yuuri; thekingly moments without the tantrums beforehand.I still don't plan on continuing this, so I tried to put plenty of closure into it. Please, review and tell a friend; I will greatly appreciate it.
P.S., Reviewers: Who knows what "Esel" is German for? ((giggles)) Tell me if you do! (I'll give you a hint: think of a donkey!)