Disclaimer: Kyou Kara Maou is the property of creator Tomo Takabayashi and licensor Geneon Entertainment, Inc.
This fic is dedicated to my brother, Christopher Michael Cleveland (September 15, 1981 – June 24, 2007). I'm sorry I can't do more for you, little brother.
The afternoon sun shone down upon the gardens, its warm rays erasing the last traces of that morning's rain shower. The air was so fresh and the whispering breeze so cool that the day, even in the height of summer, felt comfortable and welcoming.
It was one of those days when even nature knew that the world was about to change.
The entire castle was buzzing with the chatter of nobles and servants alike, the excitement of tomorrow night's ceremonies crumbling the last of the formerly strict protocol dividing social orders within Covenant Castle. Of course, that change had started when Yuuri had arrived; in Yuuri's eyes, everyone was equal. The strata of Shin Makoku still weren't as united as Yuuri probably would have liked, but they were getting there. As if in honor of their King, this afternoon they were closer than ever before.
It was ridiculous, Wolfram told himself, to get overly concerned with the coming of a single day, a day like any other, but even he found himself anticipating what tomorrow would bring. Although he told himself that it was beyond childish, Wolfram couldn't help the way a soft smile would touch his lips when he thought about waking up in the morning and knowing that the dawn would be just a little brighter. After all, tomorrow would be Yuuri's sixteenth birthday. Tomorrow, Yuuri would decide what he was to do with the rest of his life.
Today, though, the most exciting thing that required Wolfram's attention was the picnic in the gardens that he and Yuuri had been coerced into attending by their lovely daughter's adorable smile. Greta had been spending quite a lot of time with Wolfram's mother over the last month; working on a secret surprise, she had said.
"Come on, this way!" Greta called back to her fathers before hurrying ahead. She rushed past one of the large fountains, her yellow sundress flowing behind her.
Wolfram looked back at Yuuri, who was walking a bit slower than usual, a pensive expression on his face. It was far too serious of an expression for someone about to enjoy a beautiful afternoon with his daughter and fiancé, especially considering that Yuuri typically wore a wide, innocent smile that was entirely unfitting for royalty, let alone for one about to take his rightful place as an adult. The thoughtful look was closer to what one might expect of a King, but that other smile was so becoming.
"Something on your mind?" Wolfram asked, knowing fully well that there was. Yuuri was nervous about his birthday, because all he wanted was to please everyone and make them happy. For once, his birthday was forcing him to think about himself, and it was all too obvious that Yuuri was a bit discomfited by the idea.
Yuuri shook his head once, giving Wolfram a gentle smile. Wolfram smiled back and continued walking, the full picnic basket feeling lighter in his hand. He loved Yuuri's smile, always...but there was something about it today in particular that made Wolfram's heart skip a beat.
The two of them rounded a corner in the path, Wolfram wondering why his fiancé was being so atypically quiet today. He stopped when he spotted Greta standing in front of a newly planted bed of peach flowers - ones he had never seen in the garden before. Each flower was thick with row after row of round, delicate petals, some of which had a streak of soft red along the rim. Wolfram thought about how soft those petals would feel beneath his fingers.
"Surprise!" Greta chirped. "Do you like them?" She spun around in front of the flowers, which were swaying in the slight breeze. Wolfram could smell a hint of fragrance on the wind, the scent both calming and inviting. "Grandma Cheri and I worked so hard on them, but we had to make the perfect flower for your birthday!"
Wolfram couldn't help but smirk; it was just like his mother to create a new flower for such an occasion. He walked over to Greta with a few strides, placing the basket on the path. "They're lovely, Greta," he told her fondly as he patted her on the head, "what a thoughtful gesture. Isn't it?" he asked, turning again to Yuuri.
Yuuri's smile was wider this time, as he stepped forward to embrace his daughter. "They're incredible, Greta. I'm honored, thank you."
Greta beamed as she accepted Yuuri's gratitude. "They're called 'Yuuri Moves the Sunrise.' Grandma Cheri told me that I could name them all by myself," she told her father proudly. Yuuri seemed a bit taken aback for a brief second, but the expression changed into a look of loving appreciation so quickly that Wolfram wasn't entirely certain that it had been there at all.
"They're wonderful," Yuuri said to Greta. "They look just like flowers called 'roses' that we have on Earth, which are prized for their beauty and meaning. I couldn't have asked for a better gift." Wolfram had never seen their daughter look happier.
"I'll be right back," Greta announced, "I'm going to gather a bouquet of all Grandma Cheri's flowers for the supper table."
Wolfram nodded as he took a seat on a bench next to the bushes with the peach flowers. "Don't go too far," he cautioned, and Greta nodded her assent. With that, their daughter bounced off into the garden, skipping along the path, her face still lit with a smile.
Yuuri sat down on the bench next to Wolfram. "She's really an amazing little girl," he said softly, seeming unaware that he had spoken aloud. His eyes fell upon the flowers, and Yuuri's smile faded into a wistful expression. "Wolfram? Do you think I'm strong enough to be the King?"
Wolfram scoffed just slightly. "What kind of question is that? You already are the King."
"I know that," Yuuri said with a sigh. "It's just...I wonder, sometimes, if I can live up to what everyone expects of me. And sometimes I think that maybe I can't. I don't know if I can be what people think I am." Yuuri reached up to run his fingertips along the petals of one of his flowers, gently, as if he feared it would break beneath his touch.
Wolfram looked at his fiancé's face, at his expression of uncertainty. His eyes drifted down to where Yuuri's fingers still lingered on the rim of a peach petal, his movements slight and careful. Greta and his mother had done a remarkable job with these blossoms; they were proud, yet graceful; unique, yet natural; beautiful, yet modest. Even the name, so pure and sincere, was exactly faithful to who Yuuri was. It might not have been Yuuri who made the sun rise every day, but it was he who made Wolfram look forward to it each morning. Yuuri couldn't change the way the sun moved across the sky, but he had changed the way Wolfram saw it. It wasn't Yuuri who had created the sun, but it was absolutely for his sake that it was there. Wolfram knew that beyond any doubt.
Wolfram looked at the sun, which was hanging high in the clear blue sky. "These flowers," he said softly, "they suit you perfectly."
Wolfram felt Yuuri relax next to him. "You really think so?" Yuuri asked, his voice full of childlike amazement.
Turning his head to look at Yuuri, Wolfram could already feel a reassuring smile forming on his face. But before he could do more than that, he felt a gentle touch on his hand and saw a flash of light in deep black eyes, and then Yuuri was leaning forward and planting a soft, tentative kiss on his mouth.
Wolfram froze, surprise and shock and a thrilling shiver rushing through him in an instant. Yuuri pulled back, his eyes filling with a hint of apology - had he been able to move, Wolfram would have laughed at the absurdity of apologizing for kissing him - but there was no doubt, no hesitance in Yuuri's shy smile.
For a long moment, there were no thoughts in Wolfram's mind; only feelings of joy and awe and gratitude. He could barely believe, as everything swelled inside him, the love that he saw shining in Yuuri's eyes or the slight flush that was creeping up Yuuri's face, seeming equal parts bashfulness and warmth. But then, the moment passed, and Wolfram leaned forward and watched Yuuri's eyes flutter closed as Wolfram pressed their lips together.
Yuuri sighed as Wolfram's lips parted slightly, moving against Yuuri in slow, soothing motions. He felt Yuuri respond, and it made his breath catch in his throat as Yuuri leaned in further and didn't pull back as Wolfram kissed him harder, his tongue grazing Yuuri's lip and sweeping across it. Wolfram shivered slightly at the feeling of Yuuri's breath brushing along his cheek as they moved together, slowly and sweetly and perfectly.
It was several long, wonderful moments before Wolfram pulled away, ending his and Yuuri's first kiss with a long, deliberate sigh. Yuuri groaned slightly as they separated, his disappointed noise making Wolfram's chest tighten in elation.
Wolfram pulled back slightly to smile at his fiancé. "So," he began, "have you decided what you're going to do with the rest of your life?"
Yuuri nodded and smiled at Wolfram before turning to look out into the gardens. "I'm going to live it."
Author's Note: The title of this fanfiction comes from the name of a hybrid rose, the very one described in the story. My brother, Chris, lived in Guatemala and his fiancée worked in a hotel where the owner had created a peach rose hybrid which he had named Sensación, and was the signature of the hotel. When Chris died, we stayed at the hotel and the roses were all around, and they will forever remind me of him.
Regarding Concrit: I would love any comments on this fic; I wouldn't have posted it if not. And, usually, I adore concrit. However, due to the raw feelings I have surrounding Chris's death, I would respectfully ask that you not leave any concrit on this story. Thanks for your understanding.
Thanks to Parsnipchan for the excellent Beta job.