Kyou Kara Maou
Theme: 30. It hurt to see you cry
Disclaimer: I do not own KKM. Kind of wish I did so I could translate the novels into English…
Summary: Sequel to Tears. Some things are rather unexpected, and emotions are hard to predict.
Shibuya Yuuri was confused. After two years of a supposed engagement with another boy, he was finally free of that accidental contract and could now marry anyone he wished as soon as he was ready. It should be a huge weight off his shoulders, and he should be incredibly happy and relieved, right? And yet, here he was, starting to wonder whether his actions had been a good idea or not.
The thoughts started during dinner, when he noticed Wolfram's absence from the table. And when he asked about it, the others gave him dismissive comments along the lines of "Wolfram's probably just in one of his moods again" before going back to discussion of party preparations. But that just made him feel guilty, knowing that it was more than likely his fault if that was true whether he wanted to admit it or not.
Playing with the food on his spork more than eating it, Yuuri half listened to the dinner conversation going on around him while the rest of his mind replayed what happened just hours ago.
"Ah, well… Uh… Wolfram? We really need to talk about this whole engagement thing."
He'd practiced this into the mirror at least a hundred times already, but when it actually came down to saying it in person right in front of the blond, Yuuri felt butterflies swarming around in his stomach. But he was the Maou, and he had to be strong, and he wasn't going to let some spoiled prince make all the decisions anymore – at least, that's what he told himself anyways.
Watching Wolfram's eyes shift and the slight smile fade from his face almost made him falter. "Oh, really? Finally going to take me seriously after all this time?"
"Wolfram…" i Well, he hasn't tried to hit me yet for even suggesting it… /i Instinctively he reached his hand out to grab Wolfram's as a means of comfort, but even Yuuri could tell that it wouldn't be able to work that way. "We've been engaged for over two years now... A-And I'm getting older and have to really start worrying about my future as the Maou, and… we need to stop pretending."
"What's i that /i supposed to mean?" The icy look in Wolfram's eyes forced him to bring out all the determination he possibly could, even though it couldn't shake his almost overwhelming nervousness.
"You know we're never going to get married… It was just a stupid accident! And… We're guys, right? I-It just doesn't work that way. And we'd never be able to have children… Well, yes, there's Greta, but I mean not our i own /i anyways, and it's just… We'll always be friends, right? I like you, j-just not like i that /i , and please don't hit me Wolfram?"
There. He'd said it. Any minute now Wolfram would start calling him a wimpy cheater and tell him to stop coming up with such pointless excuses and how he should really behave like a good fiancé…
When his ramble was met with silence as Wolfram stares at him, he continued. "If we could just call off this silly engagement, then you'd be free to be able to find a wonderful girl to love who'd be much better than me…"
As he kept going, he started to realize a couple different things. First of all, he wasn't going to be killed by an angry rampaging blond. Next, as he finally trailed off, he started to realize that he's never seen Wolfram's eyes lack that much emotion as long as he could remember. Why was Wolfram looking at him that way? It didn't make sense… Maybe Wolfram was sick, and now wasn't the greatest time to be telling him this…
"Wolfram! Say i something! /i "
Yuuri's eyes widened in surprise as Wolfram looks towards the ground. "Yes… It is probably for the best. You may announce that our engagement is officially off at your birthday. Now if you'll excuse me, Your Majesty, I have more of my own work that needs to be done."
On no, Wolfram must be furious with him if he was using his title… With a sharp gasp of breath, he tried to put a hand on Wolfram's shoulder, wanting to reassure him that he wanted to keep their friendship no matter what. But Wolfram would have none of it.
"Please don't touch me, Your Majesty," Wolfram warned him darkly. "Good day."
Yuuri watched helplessly as his now ex-fiancé walked away without looking back. Part of him wanted to run after him, but he had nothing else left to say, so it would have been kind of pointless.
But if Yuuri had gotten exactly what he wanted without any arguments in return whatsoever… then why did he feel so completely lousy now that it was over?
Dismissing himself from dinner when only half of his food was gone, Yuuri gave Conrad a quick smile of reassurance before sneaking off himself for a while. He wasn't certain that the middle brother completely believed that he was fine, but Yuuri also knew that Conrad wouldn't pressure him, and would let Yuuri come to him instead whenever he was ready. Conrad tended to be wonderful like that.
Yuuri hadn't told anyone about what had happened yet. Something was keeping him from saying it. For now, he'd let them be left in the dark, and part of him was confused why he was so reluctant to say anything.
He thought about the puzzlement in his mind briefly, trying to figure the situation out. He'd been completely honest with Wolfram, which usually got him nowhere. Why did it work this time? Why hadn't Wolfram fought back with all his strength like usual, and gave him icy stares and blank expressions instead? It didn't make i sense. /i Perhaps it wouldn't be a bad idea to try and talk to him again, now that Wolfram had had time to think about it as well.
Unfortunately, Yuuri felt a hand tug at his jacket, and all thoughts of Wolfram left him instantly when Greta begged for him to play with her. Yuuri knew that he couldn't say no, especially since they didn't get much time together with him performing one kind of duty or another, and he felt bad for always having to leave her behind all the time. And they really did have such a wonderful daughter…
By the time he'd finished playing with Greta, it was late and dark outside. So he tucked the girl into bed, wished her goodnight, and yawned as he made his way to his own room. Gunter would certainly be making him get up bright and early tomorrow for his studies, so sleep sounded particularly nice… Part of him was tempted to go back to Japan to avoid this whole giant mess that was his birthday, but he didn't want to disappoint anyone after going through all of this work just for him.
Flopping down onto the bed after changing out of his clothes, part of his sleep-induced mind wondered why the bed felt a lot bigger than usual.
It was also a lot colder than usual. Or maybe it just seemed to be that way. Shivering, Yuuri woke up a few hours later and started to tell Wolfram that he should get up and check to see if the window was open…
…Wolfram. The blond had never ended up in bed with him. Sitting up, suddenly much more awake, Yuuri looked at the empty spot next to him with a frown. It had never occurred to him that not being engaged anymore would mean that he'd lose the Mazoku as a bed partner as well. He'd never admitted it, but despite his constant protests he'd grown comfortable with the situation, and it was hard to think of it being any different.
Of course, realizing this made him come to a different conclusion – If Wolfram had never came to bed, then where was he? Overcome with a sudden urge to find out, he snuck out down the hallway, still in his pajamas, quietly making his way to Wolfram's room. He thought briefly about bringing him a snack, since it had been hours since dinner and knowing the blond's stubbornness he probably hadn't eaten at all since that morning, but in the end decided against it and pressed to get there faster.
The door to Wolfram's room was unlocked, and when he stepped inside he noticed that the blankets were ruffled as though someone had been lying on top of them, but there was no sign of the prince anywhere.
Wolfram wouldn't have taken off, would he? Yuuri knew that he could be bold and impulsive at times, and then there was that very unnatural lack of emotion in the way Wolfram had looked at him the last time he'd seen him… It was possible that Wolfram was just finding peace somewhere in the castle, but Yuuri had to make sure. And the fastest way that he could think of to check was to make sure that there was still a white horse in the stables.
Yuuri barely realized that he had no shoes on as he made his way outside in nothing but his pajamas, his mind focused on finding Wolfram. He decided to take a short cut through the gardens, knowing that it was the quickest path to reach the stables. Although, he thought to himself, he should really have thought to bring a sword or something with him, because who knew what kind of crazy people might be outside in the middle of the night just waiting for a young unarmed Maou to come wandering out. But it was too late to go back, not without finding out if Wolfram was gone. Every minute would be that much longer of a lead that he might have…
…But in fact, as Yuuri quickly found out as he stopped abruptly in his path through the garden, Wolfram hadn't left the castle at all. And it was all Yuuri could do to stand there and stare in helplessness and disbelief as he painfully watched Wolfram shaking with sobs, still unaware that his king was looking at him. Yuuri wasn't prepared for this at all, and it made him hurt inside in ways that he never would have expected. An angry and yelling Wolfram he could deal with, but this was…
Where to even start?
The voice was so quiet, so stunned, that Wolfram almost didn't hear his own name. But his training kicked in, and he quickly spun around to find himself face to face with Yuuri.
As if he could handle letting Yuuri see him like this, let alone be able to talk to him. Eyes wide with horror, he panicked. "S-Stay away! Y-You shouldn't be here t-to…"
i How dare you see me when I'm this weak… It's all your fault I'm like this. /i
He tried desperately to wipe the tears from his eyes with his jacket sleeve, which didn't seem to work considering that he was still making more as fast as he could get rid of them. Shaking his head, Wolfram looked away in a vain attempt to keep Yuuri from seeing any more than he already had, knowing it would probably do no good.
Wolfram felt a pair of hands on his shoulders that didn't leave when he tried to shrug them off. "Wolfram… Do you hate me for today?"
Yuuri didn't receive an answer. It was too hard to form what he was truly feeling into words anyways. Hearing the dark haired boy sigh, he worked at catching his breath to help silence the tears. "I only said those things because I didn't think we should joke anymore about something like that…"
"JOKE? Do you think that this is just a damn i game /i to you?" It was easier now more than ever to be angry, and he did glare at Yuuri while wet streaks made their silent mark on his cheeks. "Yuuri, I i love /i you! I don't k-know what else to do to make you see that it's i n-not /i a joke to me…"
He watched as Yuuri's eyes grew quite large and then turned away, expecting (or perhaps hoping) that the other boy would leave him be in his misery for a while. Yuuri had looked completely shocked, which really shouldn't have surprised him considering how incredibly oblivious their king could be, even after all this time.
But Wolfram soon found himself pulled into a tight hug from behind, and while he squirmed and scrambled to gain control of the situation, his struggles were only half-hearted – even after hurting so much, he couldn't help but want to be close to Yuuri.
"…This hasn't been a joke… has it?" Yuuri's voice sounded soft, painful. "You haven't been constantly nagging about our engagement just for your stubborn pride."
"S-Stop it," he begged. This whole mess couldn't possibly get any worse than it already was. "D-Don't want your pity…"
"No. Not pity." When Wolfram turned his head sideways to see Yuuri's face, he soon found that he was no longer the only one crying. "It just… really hurts me to see you this sad. I guess… I've been a horrible fiancé for you, huh..?"
Wolfram couldn't take it any longer, and seeing matching tears on Yuuri's face caused him to turn enough to hide his face against Yuuri's shirt, trembling as Yuuri tightened his hug and went back to sobbing quietly for a while. He couldn't make himself think, much less talk, for what felt like forever. He felt Yuuri crying with him, which didn't make much sense at all because he'd finally given Yuuri what he wanted and he should have been pleased.
When Wolfram finally managed to stop, his chest was aching from lack of oxygen, and now he had the hiccups. But Yuuri didn't tease him, and refused to let him go even after they were both quiet for the most part.
"..I haven't told anyone yet." Yuuri's voice surprised him again slightly.
"Told them what…?" Wolfram managed, eyes closed to keep them from burning.
"That I'd asked you to end this. No ones knows, Wolf. They think we're still engaged anyways."
Wolfram didn't respond to that, because he'd been certain that Yuuri would tell the entire kingdom as soon as he'd left before. He slowly looked up and saw that Yuuri was smiling sadly.
"I think…" Yuuri started, his cheeks slightly pink, "…that maybe I was trying to rush my decision to get it over with before my birthday. Wolfram… You're a guy, a-and it's not easy to get used to that. With you, everything's different, things that I don't understand at all." He reached up to run a hand through Wolfram's hair, pausing only long enough to make sure that the action won't cause him death. "…And it still might take me some time to get used to it, but… I don't think I've been trying very hard to. So I wouldn't be surprised if you hated me."
It was the most that he'd gotten out of the dark haired king in almost a year, so Wolfram couldn't help but be sparked with a glimmer of hope. His voice was barely loud enough for Yuuri to hear, which is a bit unusual for him. "How could… I hate such a pathetic wimpy king?"
Yuuri laughed out of relief, causing Wolfram to blush. " i That's /i the Wolfram that I know. I think I missed you calling me that all day."
"But it's true," Wolfram looked up at the stars that were slowly starting to fade with the coming dawn. "Someone needs to be there to remind you of these things. Brother wouldn't do it, and Conrad is much too soft on you."
Eyes widened as the blond felt Yuuri's arm loosen just enough to move. And very soon after, he felt a soft sting on his left cheek after being slapped lightly.
It was all he could do to stare at Yuuri in shock.
"I'm still not ready to marry you…" Yuuri admitted, "And I'm honestly not sure what my feelings are just yet. And I know it's going to be really hard for a while. But… I want the chance to find out. That is, if you'll let me?"
Yuuri was rewarded with the most painful but most happy smile that the blond had shown in a very long time, and Wolfram nodded in response.
They were both shivering and covered in sweat, and chances were that they'd both have colds in the morning for staying outside like that. But it was a start, and a good one at that.
The two managed to drag themselves back to Yuuri's bed after sneaking into the kitchen for a snack, Wolfram quite worn out physically and emotionally and Yuuri wasn't fairing much better. They separated long enough to change into warmer clothes before crawling underneath the covers. Neither said much… that would be dealt with later. And for the first time since Wolfram had started sharing a bed with him, Yuuri didn't pull away when Wolfram got too close. They stayed locked together, Wolfram using Yuuri's shoulder as a pillow as he quickly fell asleep. Yuuri watched him for a minute or two before joining him.
Wolfram had a fever by the time they were woken up again, and Yuuri was allowed to miss part of his birthday planning to rest with him longer.
The rumors started rather quickly, but no one could really confirm or deny anything. And neither of them were willing to talk.