Letting Go.
"So… are you gonna do it?"

Yuuri sighs, hanging his head, and after a few moments he nods. Murata is eating an apple and it sounds too loud, as if every time he chews he's going 'cheater cheater cheater'; the fact that there's no one to cheat somehow makes it both worse and better. Better because he'll be able to see Wolfram to the eyes, more or less. Worse because he has no excuse other than the fact that… he doesn't feel the same.

"Are you sure, Shibuya?" And there's concern in Murata's voice. Yuuri sighs and tries to smile, turning to look towards his friend, just a little.

"No. But what would you do?"

"… what would I do if I had a hot fiancé?"

"No!" Yuuri shakes his head and turns over, leaning against the fence of the baseball camp as he looks towards the sky. It's gone considerably darker than it was before he told Murata his decision, a few hesitant starts lingering were the blue is not quite dark yet. Soon, someone from the castle will come to look for them. He kind of hopes it'll be one of the maids, or Dorcas, or Yozak.

The idea of looking at Conrad or Greta, or worse, Wolfram, makes him feel sick.

"What would you do if one of your best friends was in love with you, and you didn't feel the same way?"

Murata sighs. Yuuri sighs, too, and he kind of wishes for a magic answer for this whole mess, for a way to make it so that he doesn't hurt Wolfram at all. Yuuri's stomach churns awfully at the thought and he squirms a little, moving to sit down against the fence. After a few seconds, Murata follows.

"Well, Shibuya… are you sure?" Murata asks. Yuuri looks at him from the corner of his eyes. "Sure you won't ever feel that way about him?"

Yuuri sighs, because he has had years to think about that, to try and wonder, and there's nothing. Well, no, not nothing. He does love Wolfram, deeply and honestly. He cherishes him and their friendship very, very much… which is exactly why he has to do this, and it's also exactly why he hates that he has to do this.

"I… can't keep giving him false hope," he sighs again, rubbing his neck where it itches with guilt, because his guilt can't settle on his stomach, but has to crawl all over him, non stopping. "He's a great guy, and he deserves someone that… well, that can see it."

"Mmm," Murata says, but his eyes are serious before he gives a small nod and stands up dusting his trousers. "Well then, Shibuya. If you're sure you won't regret this…"

"Oh, I'm gonna regret this," Yuuri says, but he can muster enough strength to stand up just yet, and for once he doesn't mean it in a I'm-gonna-get-flamed-way. "But not like that. I just… wish there was a way to break up with someone without… you know?"

"Without breaking up with them?" Murata says with a small and kind of sad smile. Yuuri gives him the same smile and nods. Murata sighs again, and his eyes do the thing where they're really old looking. "Well… be honest. Don't give excuses, no matter what… try not to say the 'it's not you, it's me'. Neither the 'I hope we can be friends'."

"But I want us to be friends!" Yuuri says, feeling his throat tightening for a second. "He's one of my best friends, Murata."

"I know, Shibuya… but you won't get that for a while."

"Won't get what for a while?"

Yuuri chokes on air and quickly starts coughing as Wolfram strolls towards them, arms closed and eyebrow raised in what translates as 'What have you been doing all this time alone without me knowing, you wimp?' and of all the persons he doesn't want to see, Wolfram's the first on the list.

"Air," Murata cheerfully lies before turning to look at him. Yuuri's thankful that his eyes are already watering or he'd be trying to ignore what Murata's eyes are telling him, and he doesn't want to, not yet. "I'm going back first. See you later!"

Yuuri looks at Wolfram and he feels the guilt settle again, inches thick, inside his throat and in the bottom of his stomach. When Wolfram looks at him, he still has his eyebrow raised, pretty much saying that he's not fooling him, before Wolfram rolls his eyes and looks away.

"We should get back inside before the dinner gets cold." Wolfram mutters, and Yuuri realizes that there's no case on delaying things further than he has already. For weeks and weeks every time he has talked with Wolfram he has felt That Conversation pending between them, making things awkward between them and he's tired of that, too, tired of not being able to talk with one of the persons he likes the most.

Just… not like that.

"Actually, Wolfram…" he stands up, sensing that this is one of those weird moments where both have to be standing up, at the same height and in equal footing, more or less. Yuuri takes a deep breath and tries to feel as a king and not as the biggest asshole that has ever been born. "I think… no, I… we need to talk."

Wolfram snorts and crosses his arms. He's still looking away. "Are you finally going to tell me what's been bothering you, wimp?"

But there's worry in his voice, and concern, and relief, and Yuuri can't do it, he just can't and he has too because he's an awful liar and he doesn't want to lie. Not like this. Not on this.

He should've done this ages ago, Yuuri realizes. Not because he hates Wolfram, not because he wants Wolfram to suffer but because if he had done this before any of them cared about the other, then the only thing that would've been hurt would have been Wolfram's pride, and not his heart.

Yuuri takes a deep breath and fights to keep his eyes open as he says it.

"I want to call the engagement off."

He does want to close his eyes afterwards, stop himself from watching the pain registering on Wolfram's eyes and face, and then how a wall that hasn't been there in ages starts placing himself on Wolfram's face, how he stops crossing his arms and his hands seem to dangle to his side to then form fists, and he's losing Wolfram, forever and for good, and that's exactly what he doesn't want to, so panic settles along with the guilt.

"It's not… there's no one else, I promise! I'm not dating anybody else and I don't like anybody else and I should like you, I really should, and I should love you the way you want me to, because I do love you, Wolfram, and I hate that I'm hurting you but… I'm… not in love with you, and I know it's my fault and that I'm a wimp because I should… and you're a great guy, Wolfram, really, and you deserve someone that's not a wimp and that can –"

"Yuuri, stop it." And he does, because he has only heard Wolfram's voice sound like that a couple of times before and Yuuri hates to know that it's because of him that Wolfram's voice sound so thick, trying so hard to remain in control. Wolfram's trembling and Yuuri wishes he could hug him and say everything it's a lie. "I'll move my things."

His chest aches and his eyes are stinging. Wolfram's not looking at him, eyes downcast and Yuuri tries to swallow around the knot that has formed in his chest and can't.

"… I'm so sorry, Wolfram… I… I tried…"

He stops talking when he thinks he sees Wolfram flinch and he bites his lip. Wolfram slowly unclenches his hands and nods, and after a few moments turns towards the castle and Yuuri has to stop him, because even if he's the world's greatest ass he cares about Wolfram, and he needs to know he's going to be okay.

"Wolfram, I'm so sorry, really. You have to… well no, you don't have to believe me, but I promise I never wanted to hurt you… you're very important to me, and I… I know this is selfish, but I wish we could still be friends."

Wolfram doesn't shake off his hand, but Yuuri sees him draw a deep breath and then glance at him. His eyes seem liquid with tears and the guilt eats slowly inside Yuuri, as painfully as possible before Wolfram shakes his head a little.

"… not right now."

Yuuri lets him go then and he stays there, watching his once fiancé and once friend walk towards the castle with measured steps. He wonders if once he's inside, Wolfram breaks in a run to their… his room, if he'll search for someone, if he'll cry like he feels like doing, except for the fact that he guesses that it's not his right to cry, since he's the bad guy this time around.

So he sits down and looks at the starts, trying to convince himself that if he's shivering its because the summer-weather suddenly went cold, and that the sting in his eyes comes from looking to the stars without blinking for too long.

And when Murata comes out of the castle and sits by his side, they don't say a thing at all.