Popcorn Buttered Fingers

The first movie they see is Casablanca. Yuuri thinks it's lame and his mother shrills a 'Yuu-chan!' at him. Murata does a terrible impression of the lead's "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship." but he refused to stay, saying that once you've seen the premiere, the rest of the times are just disillusions. Yuuri wasn't able to decide if Murata was being a smartass or if it was true, so he just complained about watching a boring black and white movie.

"It's okay," Conrad says. Yuuri scores a little victory when the statement isn't followed by a 'Your Majesty'. "This was one of the first movies I saw when I came to Earth the first time. It brings back good memories."

"So you like movies?" Yuuri asks while his mom does popcorn. He likes this kind of small talk with Conrad, knowing that they can go from kingdom's stuff to baseball to movies to anything. Makes it easier to just be with him, if even for a moment.

Conrad smiles. His eyes wrinkle a bit, and he hadn't noticed before.

"Well, Rodriguez kept telling me I needed a hobby, and there was only so much Star Trek to see before running out."

Yuuri snickers, but he has to shut up when his mom thrusts a bowl full of popcorn against him, hitting him square in the solar plexus. He coughs, Conrad rubbing his back soothingly before Jen shushes him again. Conrad's eyes laugh as Yuuri pouts, and he'd try to glare except, he really likes it when Conrad laughs, anyway he does it. He doesn't laugh enough, not like this.

He doesn't like the movie, and he fell asleep with his head pillowed on Conrad's shoulder half an hour into it. Jen, still wiping tears from her eyes, sniffs at him and calls him insensitive. Conrad looked at him, a little concerned.

"Are you alright, Yuuri?"

Perhaps he didn't like the movie, but he knows he did like resting like that, which is a little unsettling in the way that it isn't, not really. "Perfect. Just, tired. But, we should do this again. Movies, I mean, not me drooling and snoring over your shoulder. You like 'em, right? You're like, fifteen years behind."

Conrad chuckles and nods, and then he picks the remote and puts a baseball game, so Yuuri forgets all about that weird feeling he got.

He does, however, remember the mental note to see more movies with Conrad. As many as possible.


He's embarrassed that he still gets misty-eyed over Disney. Not modern-day Disney but with the Lion King or Bambi. He doesn't bawl, like his mom, but he does sniff here and there.

Conrad just smiles at him and gives him the popcorn.


"So you went to see Star Wars how many times?"

"Rodriguez was a big fan, Your Majesty."

"Yuuri. And, okay. So he made you go the first five times or so. How many times did you see it after?"

"... I'm afraid I'm not quite sure."


Yuuri's not sure when things went blurry and when who Conrad was changed, because he's still the guardian that's always there, and the friend with whom he can play baseball even if he's the king of another country, but he's also the friend with whom he goes to the movies and having Conrad join such a random part of everyday life was even more surreal than being a demon king and a reincarnation and everything that had happened to him so far.

Not bad-surreal. Just weird.

And he likes that routine. Conrad loves movies. Even the bad gory-American ones that Yuuri likes to see because they are ridiculous, he seems to enjoy them. And they see old movies in new DVDs and Conrad would tell him about the movies he had seen. Most of the time he doesn't even remember the names, but Yuuri likes them better like this, anyway, with Conrad's voice going warm and amused and just happy without Conrad noticing.

Yuuri sometimes almost thinks that he likes that part of Conrad that only he gets to see; that he came too late really to be able to have anything else.

But it's just a half thought of nothing.


To his embarrassment – and some mortificated flailing – Yuuri finds out he's in love with Conrad while watching Sen to Chihiro.

Conrad had seemed tired so instead of going out to the theater as they had planned, Yuuri put a DVD and made some popcorn. Shouri was with his girlfriend and his parents had gone out, so the house was dark and quiet and Conrad had smiled as he took a fistful of popcorn, smiling and calm and Yuuri thought that he could even dare to say relaxed.

Yuuri had gotten immersed in the movie, since he had always liked stuff about other worlds and magic places even before he discovered he was half-mazoku, and now-a-days he kept the private thought that he could relate. When he turned to ask Conrad if he wanted more popcorn, he found Conrad half sprawled where he was sitting, mouth a little open as he breathed, completely sleep.

And Yuuri had stared at him, ignoring the movie, not even thinking. Just feeling. Something. It was hard to explain, and he had never been good with words, not really, but he knew.

Yeah. Yuuri really hopes no one ever asks him when he knew he was in love. Somehow, it sounds really uncool to say 'while I was watching anime'.


The other thing is, he's just terribly at this whole thing of having a crush or being in love or whatever you want to call it. It's okay. Yuuri knows this. And, even if he doesn't, his ex-fiancé is glad to step in and inform of the fact.

So finding out that he sort of... well. That the likes Conrad makes him not know what to do. Which isn't unusual, mind you, but it's even more frustrating.

He likes their routine but he sort of wants more. Yuuri wants, perhaps, to be a little possessive. Just a little, which doesn't make sense because Conrad already spends enough time with him. It should be enough.

"Yuuri, you're spilling your soda," Conrad tells him, trying to not sound amused. Yuuri gives him a sheepish grin and puts the soda on the floor. Conrad hands him a napkin and their fingers graze for less than a second.

Really, it's all the little details that make him love him.

And he's screwed if he's already thinking Hallmark-lines.


First time Conrad doesn't hold his hand, they're watching Space Jam. Conrad laughs hard through the movie and Yuuri has always had a soft spot for the Looney Toons so it fits.

Once he's talked himself into it, he moves his hand to touch the back of Conrad's hand and he's almost feeling it before Conrad moves his hand to cover his mouth, and then he crosses his arms for a while. By the time he puts it down on the couch again, Yuuri is too chicken to try again.


Second time, it's Matrix. It's one of Yuuri's favorite movies and since Conrad's such a fan of Sci-Fi, he agrees happily to see it with him.

He knows this really isn't the kind of movie to hold hands, but he's feeling great and happy and he thinks 'maybe'... and when he tries, Conrad moves his hand to the popcorn bowl.

It's also the third time. Thinking nothing of the two previous times, he waits, talking himself into it, but Conrad moves his hand to his lap, closing it lightly. He seems... sorry. Annoyed, perhaps? He's not sure. He's seen the look a thousand times on Gwendal's face when Anissina is near. Yuuri isn't sure what that look is, but he knows it's not good.

Yuuri isn't stupid. He's naïve and a lot of things, but he's not stupid, so he realizes that maybe Conrad doesn't want him like that. And then he thinks that maybe this is nothing more than a crush. Maybe he's been not-really-watching too many of his mom's movies and they got into his head.

Maybe it's nothing.

Yuuri suddenly understands what Neo felt when he realized his world wasn't what he thought, even if just thinking that sounds too dramatic.


For the first time ever, Yuuri is happy about exams. Conrad is still wearing that look around him and Yuuri hates the way he's talking with him, so being busy is actually great for him to decide he's beinr ridiculous and that he so can get over whatever grand revelation he had over watching a movie.

So he tells Conrad there's this flick he wants to see and is he free, and when Conrad says of course Yuuri thinks nothing of it. Yuuri gets two small sets of popcorn , one for each to stop those almost graces of hand against hand (because if he wants to stop with the delusions he needs to go right to it, right?) and because, really, most of it was going to waste anyway. Conrad says thank you with a smile and Yuuri smiles too and tries not to think about anything else but how nice it's to spend some time with a friend, and he stops the bitterness from dampening his mood.

Near the middle of the movie, Conrad leans towards him.

"I'm out of popcorn," he whispers, breath soft against his skin. Yuuri doesn't turn to look at him – in the movie the kidnapper is getting close to the lead – and just tilts his still half full bag towards Conrad. Conrad whispers a thank you and picks the bag from his fingers. Then, his own fingers slide between his, buttery and a little rough.

Yuuri doesn't see when the kidnapper is seen for the first time. He's busy not breathing as he turns to stare at Conrad, who does has his eyes over the screen. Conrad's fingers squeeze his a little. Conrad, he thinks, looks almost scared. As if he didn't know if this was okay. As if he was expecting... well, he's not sure what.

Yuuri smiles a little and squeezes back before leaning back on his seat to see the rest of the movie.

Neither of the move their hands for the rest of the movie.