A/N: This short fic is set in the distant future, post-KKM. Yuuri has decided to give up on his life on Earth and now permanently resides in Shin Makoku. However, he has yet to come to a decision about his relationship with Wolfram but he soon finds that waiting is no longer an option… As usual, the lovely characters of Kyou Kara Maou do not belong to me but to their esteemed creator. ENJOY!
Mazoku – the Japanese term for 'demon'
Eternity in Death
The greatest gift of life is love…
…the greatest punishment is love unrequited…
…but greatest anguish is the loss of love…
…a love you never thought you had.
Such was the emptiness that filled Yuuri as the rain fell from the heavens, dancing on his drenched black locks, caressing his cheeks, pure icy water mingling with warm salty tears, cradling his chin and embracing the limp figure in his arms. Blond hair, usually glimmering with life, was tainted, stained with a crimson red liquid that filled Yuuri's vision. The emerald green eyes that Yuuri longed to drown in were closed, closed forever, trapped in the darkness of eternity, never to shimmer softly at Yuuri ever again. The body he cradled felt so cold, so icy, like every drop of warmth had been drained from it, leeched from it by the devilry of death. Yet, nothing could rival the frost that had completely enveloped Yuuri's heart, the coldness that had taken him into an inescapable embrace from which he could not break, at the loss, the loss of someone so dear, someone so much more than a mere friend, someone who had wormed his way into his heart, someone without whom Yuuri found his whole world collapsing. Amidst destruction, of the heavens, of his heart, Yuuri wanted only to scream his anguish, to scream and scream until he came back to him, until the growing emptiness in his being faded, until…
'What the heck are you doing, wimp?'
Yuuri looked up and there at the doorway of their bedroom stood a very familiar blond, whose golden locks glimmered in the sun, whose stunning features were a picture of curiosity and bewilderment, whose emerald orbs sparkled with concern, more brilliant than the most precious jewels in every universe. 'N-Nothing,' Yuuri stammered, closing the book with a loud snap. Inwardly, he cursed his active imagination. Which self-respecting boy would allow themselves to be so drawn into a book that they would feel themselves in the character's place? Yet, a shudder ran down his spine even as he tried to shake away the remnants of the disturbing images that flashed through his mind, the whirlwind of emotions that had mercilessly attacked him, tearing him apart from within. It had felt so real, too entirely real, the blood, the rain, the tears, that face. He shook his head again firmly, though whether to convince himself or Wolfram, he would never know.
If Yuuri thought that that alone would've deterred his fiancé, he was dearly mistaken. Wolfram frowned before closing the distance between them in swift graceful strides, bending over Yuuri and brushed a gentle hand against Yuuri's cheek, his light touch dancing across high-cheek bones, now dusted in the lightest of pink, brushing away the lingering tears that clung stubbornly to skin. 'You were crying for nothing,' murmured Wolfram, dropping his shields in the face of his loved one's obvious distress, 'I wouldn't call that nothing.' He dropped down elegantly beside Yuuri on the bed, watching carefully for anymore signs of pain or anguish. 'You may be a wimp, Yuuri but you would never cry for nothing.' He moved closer, his head tilted in confusion. 'So, tell me.' He smirked. 'I am your fiancé after all.'
Eyes wide with a slightly cornered look to them, Yuuri was hard-pressed in trying not to look like a gaping goldfish. While Wolfram was still a very passionate and volatile young man, maturity had taken the edge of his emotional outbursts, his fire now burning within his eyes rather than physically manifesting itself on unsuspecting victims. The raw metal had been tempered by the flames of fate, molded and sharpened by the hands of destiny, by suffering, by defeat, by determination into a blade strong and worthy of heaven's praise. Wolfram still occasionally burst out in childish fits, throwing irrational tantrums, but merely because it was a shield he preferred to use rather than expose the new deadliness and wisdom that the years had granted him. However, it was the man that peeked out ever so often from behind that mask that had entranced Yuuri. When Wolfram felt no need to hold up the mirror of the past, Yuuri would find himself catching a glimpse of his endless compassion, emphatic nature, his courageous persistence and his comforting security scattered between the shards. Gone was the temperamental mazoku and in his place was Yuuri's comforter and protector, in whose embrace Yuuri knew that he would be safe. Like now.
Unceremoniously, he shoved the book into Wolfram's hands. Eyebrows raised, Wolfram merely read the title aloud, 'Eternity in Death.' Relations with earth was a main part in Shin Makoku politics and so, as the fiancé of the King and a member of the High Court, Wolfram had been required to take lessons in understanding the languages and cultures, though Japanese culture was the most important, and he had picked it up like a duck in water, stunning everyone with his apparent sharpness when it came to foreign languages. He was now the official Public Relations Ambassador, his duties extending to visitations from foreign dignitaries, his fluency covering over 30 different languages. Yet, the meaning of the book slipped his mind. Questioningly, he looked over at Yuuri. 'And, what does this have to do with anything?'
Cheeks flushed in high colour, Yuuri didn't meet Wolfram's eyes, his hands fidgeting with loose threads on his bed. 'It's a romance book belonging to my mother,' he mumbled, embarrassed to be caught reading such a thing. It was probably a good thing that he couldn't muster the courage to look up or he would've definitely been deterred by the decidedly amused expression adorning Wolfram's face. 'She said that I could afford to be a little more romantic and demanded that I pick a book out of her collection to read. I just grabbed this one because it seemed a little less flowery than all the others.' Yuuri winced at the memory of pink, pink and more pink flowers that had filled his vision and until now still filled his nightmares. 'I…' He trailed off, words completely escaping him as he attempted to explain the scene that had been the cause of his tears.
'And?' prompted his fiancé, curiosity piqued. Yuuri gulped. 'T-there was this one part,' he stammered, his face rivaling the ripest tomato in his mother's garden, 'the main character, the prince, saw his lover die. He had sacrificed his life for the prince.' Now, Wolfram's eyebrows had climbed so high up his forehead that they had vanished under a blond curtain. 'He?' Yuuri nodded, though not offering his explanation at his choice of reading material. Wolfram didn't need to know that it was in exasperation that his mother had asked him to pick out a gay book, exasperation at her son's own indecisiveness concerning his relationship with the blond. Yuuri had protested vehemently, saying that he found it highly offensive and a little disturbing but his mother had insisted. So, he had given in and taken the book. What he never expected was to be sucked into a world of romance, cynical love, betrayal, political unrest and a plot so intriguing that he had been unable to tear himself away. But, the feeling of unease never faded. Where he was once uneasy because of the sexual relation between the two main characters, he was now merely uneasy that he found himself completely drawn into their complex love, unthinking to the genders of the parties involved. His prejudices, not shared by his family, was being battered and destroyed with every word, every page that he read. And, with every line of bittersweet hope, his thoughts would turn to his own love, his own bittersweet relationship that to his immense shame was more bitter than sweet.
A gentle nudge brought Yuuri out of his musings and realizing that Wolfram was still waiting for the rest of his explanation. Clearing his throat, Yuuri looked up at Wolfram. 'T-The lover that died, he was blond,' he said softly, his eyes completely blank, 'I-it reminded me of you.'
'It was just your imagination,' scoffed Wolfram, pulling away but not before Yuuri caught the look of confusion, insecurity and a dark emotion that he couldn't place, 'It was nothing to cry about.' He got up and brushed off imaginary dust from his uniform, trying to hide the sudden trembling of his slender hands, the shock that had flared at Yuuri's unexpected revelation.
Something about his words tugged at Yuuri's heartstrings. At the back of his head, they sounded ominous, a sudden feeling of dread welling up within him as Wolfram got up from the bed to leave the room. His hand shot up and snagged the sleeve of Wolfram's military uniform, the feeling of emptiness coming back full force, hitting him like a bucket of freezing ice water, suddenly knowing that if he allowed Wolfram to leave, he would never see the blond again, their souls would never see each other again. Wolfram looked back, his eyes questioningly on Yuuri as he protested but fear lent Yuuri a burst of strength as he firmly, bordering on violently, pulled Wolfram back down to him. 'What do you mean it was nothing?' Yuuri demanded, eyeing his fiancé. Wolfram's questioning eyes darkened as he averted them. 'It wasn't real, you wimp,' he retorted, though his eyes never left the bed sheet, 'nothing to cry about.'
'Nothing? Are you telling me that the thought of you dying is nothing? Are you telling me that you truly believe I wouldn't cry if you died?' A fist clenched tightly around Yuuri's heart, making it hard for him to breathe. Despair, desperation and dismay overwhelmed him, suffocating him. 'That I would go on living like I hadn't lost anything? That you mean so little to me that your death would not affect me?' There was no answer but to Yuuri, Wolfram's silence was answer enough. Even now, he could feel Wolfram rebuilding his shields, withdrawing from Yuuri, the previously comforting silence becoming one of heavy alienation. Even now, Yuuri could feel the distance growing between them, as if he had already lost the blond, as if he had already lost his love. In dawning realization, his eyes widened.
The greatest gift of life is love…
Spurned on by need, Yuuri nearly pounced on Wolfram as he cupped the blond's cheek to look him in the eye. 'You can't seriously believe that?' he demanded. Wolfram's eyes remained shuttered, filmed over and murky, something which stirred dangerous emotions in Yuuri, emotions that he had locked away for fear of the destruction they wrought on his soul. 'Do you remember,' Wolfram asked distantly as if he was not quite there, 'what you told Conrad about me, about our engagement?' Though there were many instances, Yuuri's mind immediately flashed back to his most recent conversation with his godfather. The horror that seized him was nothing compared the guilt that assaulted him. 'You heard?' he whispered, his voice barely audible, strangled by fear. Wolfram nodded. 'You said that your life would've been so much better if you were never engaged to me,' Wolfram recalled, the surreal quality still tainting his usually passionate tones, 'You said that your life would've been so much better if you had never met me.' He moved, tugging his hands slightly, though weakly, as if he still lingered in a dream, a terrible nightmare. 'You said that you would love to have me out of your life.'
…the greatest punishment is love unrequited…
Yuuri's soul ached, in guilt, loneliness and pain, pain that it was he who had put such a despairingly blank expression on Wolfram's radiant features, complete anguish that it was he who had taken a vibrant and proud mazoku, reducing him to a mere shadow of his former self, a numb mazoku who saw no escape from the cage fate had trapped him in. They were so close, noses inches apart, that Yuuri could see the faint smudges that bruised Wolfram's eyes, speaking of sleepless nights, spent in the agony and dread of facing tomorrow. He could see the faint lines that lingered, screaming of stress and emotional torment at the whirlwind that was their non-existent relationship. Behind the shield of mist, he could see the tortures that Wolfram's soul had faced, the anguish that was embedded so deeply it had become a part of the mazoku, the distress that had not faded but had clawed at Wolfram's heart, its sharp shards digging deeper and deeper.
…but the greatest anguish is the loss of love…
Was that why the blond had pulled away? Was that why Wolfram had distanced himself so much, casting a wedge between him and his fiancé? Yuuri racked his brains, trying to recall the last time he had spent a fair amount of time with his fiancé. And, when his only meager memory was a faint dawn morning when they had both lazed in bed, for once contented to be in each others presence, making no demands of each other, a soul piercing frost chilled him to the very core. The blond had stopped sleeping in his bedroom nearly two years ago.
...a love you never thought you had.
No. Yuuri refused to think of Wolfram out of his life. His subconscious had already demonstrated how clearly he regarded the blond mazoku. The soul-wrenching emptiness that had clawed at his heart with icy hands was not something he wanted to give into. His fear of change, his denial of his own tumultuous emotions, his own cowardice in hiding behind a wall of prejudice, had pushed the blond away, so far away that Yuuri had actually lost sight of who the blond was. The piece of Wolfram's soul he held in his hands had been fading, shattered by despair, slipping through his fingers like trickling sand. But, Yuuri had ignored it. He had ignored their relationship. He had ignored him. His refusal to deal with everything, to deal with such strong emotions that he knew would bring him to his knees, had driven the one he had come to love away. Wolfram was standing upon the edge because of him, frayed by his callousness. Yuuri knew that if Wolfram went over the edge, he would pull Yuuri along with him. No, loving the blond was no longer an option. It was a necessity. Yuuri needed Wolfram to live.
And, damn if he only just realized it now, after all the torture that he had put Wolfram through. Damn if he only just learnt to accept his true emotions, his true regard towards the blond. Damn if he was going to stand here and watch as Wolfram slipped away from him.
Damn if he was going to lose the blond to his own stupidity.
Sensing the blond withdrawing, this time physically away from him, Yuuri pulled Wolfram into his arms, embracing him in a tight hug of love made painful by their anguish. Ignoring the startled gasp, he squeezed the blond even closer, wanting to feel the blond completely melt into him, trying to recover the bond that had reached the point of dying a painful death. 'Damn me for realizing it now,' he choked, burying his face in Wolfram's hair, inhaling the masculine scent unique to his fiancé, giving him a heady feeling, 'I know I don't deserve this, I know that it would probably be a little too late, but please, please I promise you that I won't run anymore, I won't hide.' Taking a deep breath and mustering all the courage he had, Yuuri looked Wolfram in the eye, 'So please, give me another chance.'
Time stopped. Yuuri's breath hitched in his throat as he waited, watching the play of emotions in those precious emerald jewels that flashed from surprise to a sudden flare of joy with a mixture of a darker shadow. But, above all, there was love, a love so encompassing, so unconditional, so true directed at him, that it took Yuuri's breath away. All Wolfram's walls were gone, all his barriers shattered, and all that was left, was the young mazoku who had chased Yuuri around the world, crossing oceans despite his seasickness, whose devotion and loyalty nobody could contest, whose love and passion was deeper that anything Yuuri had ever experienced. Every curtain, every obstruction had fallen away to reveal the young mazoku who had given his life for his King, given his heart to his fiance. Every wall had fallen away to reveal the young mazoku who had fallen for Yuuri, the same mazoku that Yuuri now knew he had fallen in love with.
The King had barely recovered before he found soft warm lips caressing his, a simple gesture meaning so much more than a thousand words. Eagerly, he deepened the kiss, wanting to shower on Wolfram the burst of ecstasy that welled up in him, wanting to erase the dark shadows he had witnessed. He poured everything he had into the kiss, his anguish, his guilt, his apologies but above all his love and the promise of forever, eternity even in death.
He had love, and he wasn't going to lose it.