Believe in Time
Disclaimer: Kyou Kara Maou does not belong to me and I make no money from this work of fanfiction at all. The song is from Tsubasa Chronicle, "You Are My Love". (Yes, I am obsessed with that soundtrack)
Pairings: Wolfram and Yuuri, others mentioned.
A/N: I have started this story before I finished Home Work, because it's been extremely hard for me to concentrate on that one. I want to get back to the angst, darnit. Humor is hard to write for long periods of time.
"I've nearly come to the end," Yuuri announced, quietly and thoughtfully, into the overcast midday of his office.
"End of what?" Murata Ken, former Great Sage, asked blinking at him owlishly.
"The journal you gave me. Though I'm not quite sure I want to."
Yuuri propped his elbows on the arms of his chair, leaning back and shifting his legs to get the circulation back. Yes, the book was that heavy.
"I don't want to finish your journal- because it's getting close to where Shinou was sealed away. It was hard enough reading through where he had to kill the Sovereign, but I knew it had to happen. It was the years afterwards… You really loved him, and it's not fair that he never loved you back."
Murata smiled sweetly, tilting his head to the side before going to light a few candles in the gloom.
A storm was coming.
"Shinou did what he had to, and I know he loved me in his own way. I think he knew that he could have fallen in love with me, but he loved someone else more."
"I wish I knew who that person was," Yuuri muttered, settling a little more deeply into the chair. "You two would have been a great couple." A stupid smile lit his face. "You would have been nearly as good as Wolfram and me."
Murata laughed. "That still doesn't explain why you don't want to end it."
Murata raised an eyebrow.
Yuuri sighed, eyes dropping to the last page and began to read aloud:
"And that was when he told me.
'My dear friend, I deserve this fate. There is nothing I can do to ever make things right. I know that it was necessary, the death of He who became the Sovereign- and other things. However, necessity will never absolve me.'
The sadness in his eyes deepened, and I wondered if the love I had felt could compare to that pain. I wanted nothing more to comfort him, to heal him with the love I had never given voice. Anyone else, I would have told to get on with their lives, to leave the past to die. Yet I could not, with him. I knew that what love I felt would be lost, drowning in his pain and never seen again. He could never forgive himself, and could never forget.
"I know you do not understand, but you will. There is no power that can forgive me. I have willingly sacrificed any grace given me; I have long since passed the point of no return. I will go into the Seal, and wait for the future. I do this, because without a doubt, the Sovereign will reawaken. I will be there to stop him."
I hated him then. I hated how he could speak with such absolute certainty. I hated how he would willingly throw away his own life for a person he had known for such a short period of time.
I hated how I could not let him go this path alone, and I knew that while he would willingly give himself into undeath, I would follow him, life after life. I could not let him go this path alone.
I hated myself most of all.
He smiled at me, kissing me on the cheek, and I never saw him again."
Yuuri's voice had turned scratchy towards the end, from overuse and encroaching tears. Murata hadn't been looking at him when he'd spoken, but had let his eyes go unfocused into the middle distance. A strange, almost-smile had bent his lips. It wasn't happiness at the event, but more like touching something old and familiar, and finding comfort in that familiarity.
"It wasn't that bad, was it?" he finally said, when Yuuri hadn't said anything for several moments.
"I just… when I first heard about Shinou and the Great Sage, I never really thought of them as people. They were these great historical figures… they did some really cool stuff, but it was like hearing about some guy in a comic book. Now they're real."
Murata cocked an eyebrow, getting up to find a snifter of brandy. Yuuri didn't drink… but Murata thought he would need a little help to cope with the rest of the day.
"I would have thought with the whole reincarnation thing they would have been," he said casually, taking a sip and coughing. Well, he was only a teenager in this lifetime…
"It was all pretty unreal," Yuuri answered, sheepishly, looking over at his sleeping son.
Murata smiled when he saw where Yuuri's gaze had turned. He could only imagine what it was like for Yuuri Shibuya, baseball boy, to suddenly become king, parent, and husband within the space of four years. The ancient history of another world, even if you had been intimately involved on a certain level, had to have seemed totally alien.
"But I knew what was going to happen and now… Murata, how do you keep doing this? How can you live with the past?" Yuuri's eyes were begging. "I'm glad I can't remember, because if I remembered hurting someone my past self adored…" Here he winced, and Murata realized that this was one of the few times the wheels in Shibuya's head were starting to turn.
"I mean, Shinou sacrificing himself for someone who would never get to really love him- because I really love Wolfram- and you did the same for Shinou, and he's stuck in the seal. It's just not fair, you know?"
Murata sighed softly.
"I think Shinou had his reasons, and so do I. I want to help my friend, if he ever decides to live again… maybe then, after that, I can rest."
/ Or kick your ass for being anal retentive about it// a voice echoed softly in Murata's mind.
/ Pot and kettle, old man. /
Shinou's voice went silent again, and the conversation abruptly changed when Lawrence woke, whimpering.
"Ah, does the baby have a wet diaper?" Yuuri cooed, heading over to the boy, and Murata smiled.
He could feel the wistful sadness in Shinou's mind, and the smile slipped off his face.
Something was definitely wrong, and Murata thought it had to do with the fact that time was counting down.
Two weeks, and four days left.
Wolfram bolted upright in bed, panting and sweat drenched, and noticed that Yuuri had his upper body draped over the foot of the bed, lower body barely holding on.
"Ouch, Wolfram, that is the last time I try to comfort you having a nightmare…"
"Yuuri!" he yelped, diving down to haul his husband up back on to the mattress. The dark haired king had an impressive bruise blooming on his cheek and Wolfram wanted to cry.
"Are you okay? I'm so sorry!"
His husband's black eyes were crossed, but he managed to focus them on Wolfram's flustered face. "N-no… I should be used to dodging you."
Wolfram whimpered, pulling his husband up to his chest.
"Hey- Wolfram, you okay?" Yuuri asked, wheezing from the bone crushing hug. His husband's grip loosened and he could relax. Not that he objected to the cuddling but it was almost desperate. "That had to have been some nightmare."
His husband made a choppy nod.
Pulling away, Yuuri shifted their positions so that Wolfram was cuddled against him, and carefully petted his hair.
"Hey, it's all right. I'm here, you're here, Lawrence, Greta, everyone; we're all okay."
Wolfram didn't say anything, but buried his face in Yuuri's shoulder.
"Back before we were married- remember those dreams?"
Wolfram laughed, breathlessly. "Right before you were…"
Yuuri chuckled. "You were there for me." He gently pressed his lips to Wolfram's hair, letting his hands slide down the larger man's form. "You helped me get back to sleep."
The bright green eyes seemed all the brighter in the faint moonlight.
"Yuuri, you'll never forget me, will you?"
"Yuuri… when we were married, I meant it. I will be faithful to you, and only you, for the rest of my life." Wolfram was talking into Yuuri's neck. "I'll fall with you. But if I couldn't come back to you… find someone else." His voice creaked. "Lawrence will need another dad, and so will Greta. You could even find a wife and I'd not be too mad…"
Yuuri sputtered. "You are not going to die and leave me and everything is just fine and if you ever DID die, I'd wait for you. I'd have Shinou take my soul and keep it in a bottle until you were reborn and then we'd love each other again. I promise you that."
Wolfram started to laugh, rubbing his eyes, before kissing his beautiful husband softly, pushing him backwards. Yuuri smiled up at him, threading their fingers together as they moved against one another.
"I love you," he said, between kisses, Wolfram's lips moving to his throat.
"And it was all worth it," he heard his husband whispered, nipping his ear. "All of it."
Yuuri would have questioned that- had he been able to think beyond the feeling of Wolfram's lips on his skin and his hands, memorizing his body once again.
Time moved forward at a predictable pace, the earth twirling about to face the sun once again.
The brown haired half human looked at his little brother, giving him one of his rare true smiles.
"Feel like a match?" he asked, and Conrad blinked. His little brother's carriage sagged.
"All right." Conrad was finished with his duties for the day… Together, they went to the practice courts, drawing their blades.
There was little noise as they went about unlimbering their weapons. They were always sporting, always contentious of their opponent. Fencing had become a ritual between them in the past years, one that Conrad had come to cherish. Baseball was something he shared with Yuuri, but he and his brother had the sword.
He was a shade off that day.
"Is something wrong?" Conrad asked, fending off another half hearted attack. Wolfram gave him a funny little smile.
"You spoke to Shinou when he possessed me… What did you think of him?"
"He said a lot of things. He was very sad… and a pompous bastard." It was probably the first time he had ever spoken ill of the Original King.
Wolfram nodded, ducking. They were closer in skill now- Wolfram had come a long way from where he'd begun when Yuuri had arrived. However, he was not yet Conrad's equal.
"He tried to get me to… understand. I think he regretted a lot of things. He said he had taken Julia from me, and-"
Conrad stopped dead, staring at his little brother as something occurred to him.
"Wolfram, he told me that he would take you from me. Yet here you are."
His brother's eyes widened before he plastered Conrad's own smile on his face. "What are you-"
"Wolfram, I mean it," he said with quiet intent. "You aren't like this normally- you're distracted, and you're asking me strange questions… What's happening?"
Wolfram didn't answer, but sheathed his sword, grabbing Conrad around the waist, pulling him in for a hug. The soldier blinked, nonplussed, putting one of his callused hands on his little brother's head.
"Conrad… I love you. Remember that."
It depends on the contract made.
Daikenja-sama's words echoed through Conrad's mind.
Would you allow others to make the same sacrifice?
"What did you promise the Original King?"
Wolfram didn't answer immediately.
"It was a fair trade, Conrad."
Breathing seemed to be a forgotten option for several moments.
The blond shook his head. "Conrad, I did this willingly. Just please… understand. Please understand. I didn't do this to hurt anyone."
"Little brother, please, answer my question," Conrad pleaded, dropping his sword to grab Wolfram's shoulders.
"I can't tell you," Wolfram couldn't look at him. "But I'm happy that you're my brother. I'm happy I know you'll look after Yuuri and Lawrence and everyone else, because that's just who you are."
Conrad's jaw dropped in dawning horror, grabbing Wolfram around the shoulders and pulling him close.
Wolfram's smaller hands pushed him away.
"I understood and accepted this burden, Conrad," he murmured, looking down. His older brother's jaw snapped shut and tightened.
"We can lock you up and not let you go."
"It is the will of the Original King. Could you honestly refuse him?"
Despair crawled up Conrad's spine, making it hard for him to breathe. "How long?"
Wolfram hesitated. "From this moment, I have one week and six days." He reached up and touched Conrad's face, fingers lightly brushing over the planes and angles, like a blind man.
"We who are full blooded Mazoku never really think about how short life can be until something like this happens, but I've been so happy in these past few years. Conrad. Thank you for everything."
His lungs loosened, but it didn't help because his throat had closed up and he couldn't speak.
Wolfram smiled at him, even if it didn't reach his shadowed eyes.
"I love you, Wolfram." Somehow Conrad managed to drag words from his stiff lips. "I always will."
What did that old bastard ask of you?
Wolfram smiled. "I'll come back if I can. If you still want me."
"Always, Wolfram. Always."
Wolfram's fingers gently caressed the keys, playing for his three year old son, who was sitting on a blanket and absently chewing a hard cookie. His eyes were wide and enchanted by the music his Papa was making.
He remembered, clearly, pounding on the door to where Yuuri and the Keys were gathered.
Desperation had fueled him beyond sanity. The words left his lips before he could realize the implications-
And he heard the words of the Original King.
/Anything? Would you give Yuuri up, after saving his life?
Would you give up the remaining of your own existence to live some time far away, never seeing the family you love?
Would you give up your grace, willingly becoming something unworthy of forgiveness//
The thought had been appalling, but he had felt the urgency behind those words.
Could he do it? Would he? Could Wolfram willingly leave the one he loved beyond everything else?
The purely selfish part of him wanted to say no- if he couldn't have Yuuri, what was the point of saving him? Then he told the selfish part of him to go to hell, because it didn't matter. At least if he did this, he knew Yuuri would live and be happy. It didn't matter if he lived or died- but a king who could bring peace and make others thrive; that was worth more than he would ever be.
Yuuri's life was worth his soul.
/Those are your terms, to save Yuuri? / he had asked the voice of the Original King.
He received wordless confirmation.
There was no going back now.
Aloud, he had spoken, but he really only remembered one part: I understand. I accept.
Celi-sama entered the room, silently picking up Lawrence to sit in her lap. Together, grandmother and grandson watched Wolfram's hands wind through the song.
The ex-Queen's eyes darted down to the baby- he was a full blooded Mazoku, and was still little more than an infant. His eyes had turned heavy, and he had been fighting sleep tooth and nail, even if he was losing.
By the time he had finished the entire song, Lawrence was fast asleep on his Grand-mama's lap.
"Such a sad song," she murmured, fingers stroking the baby's fine black hair. Wolfram turned around, smiling faintly.
"It suited the weather," he answered, tilting his head towards the window and the overcast sky beyond it.
Mother and son eyed each other for several moments.
There had always been a lot left unsaid between them.
Wolfram wished he had something to say. She was his mother, she had been the one to give birth to him, she had been responsible for his own son, and... She was a horrible mother.
He had hated her, he had adored her, and he now he had the chance to say those words to her.
They refused to come.
"Wolfram," she murmured, still stroking her grandson's hair.
Still, more silence.
"Mother," he replied.
They were too much alike, Wolfram and Cecile. They could sense that this was an important moment, where true words could finally be said…
"Dinner will be served soon. You should probably change."
Wolfram nodded. "I'll give Lawrence a bath."
The moment passed.
Murata sat, looking at the calendar he had carefully plotted out, sipping yet another glass of brandy.
"One week, two days."
To be continued.
A/N: I'll continue writing Home Work, and Sunshine, but I've hit a rather nasty patch of creativity block… If I didn't work on something that was bouncing in my skull, it would never have been written.