disclaimer: I don't own Kyou Kara Maoh. There's that. I always give a blanket warning that most, if not all, of my characters are OOC. Don't say I didn't warn you. And, yes yes, I know my writing has all the gusto of a fifth grader. I apologize for this story being murky. What can I say? I'm just a hack. ''
This takes place before 'Crush' and after 'The Crystal Decanter'. It's in that series of one shots. I really should come up with a name for them all.
YOUR RED HEART
And now you're mine. Rest with your dream in my dream.
Love and pain and work should all sleep, now.
The night turns on its invisible wheels,
and you are pure beside me as a sleeping amber.
No one else, Love, will sleep in my dreams. You will go,
we will go together, over the waters of time.
No one else will travel through the shadows with me,
only you, evergreen, ever sun, ever moon.
- Sonnet LXXXI by Pablo Neruda
'The bastard,' Yuuri thought, unable to keep a frown off his face. What was Wolfram thinking, letting that ... that man corner him. How could he look so beguiling and innocent? So beautiful just standing there, playing with a necklace.
Wolfram stood with his back to the dormant fire place, one arm slung over his stomach, the other bent to let him finger his silver chain necklace. He was wearing a silk shirt with a criss cross tie that went up his front. Just one good tug would send the whole thing flying apart.
He threw his head back and laughed at something Sir. Walter said. It took all of his willpower not to pull him away or at least come between them. Who could miss that leering look in the other man's eyes?
God! He hated these State Dinners. This one was especially important. There was border trouble between Shin Mokaku and Astoria. Apparently raiders had taken to the burn, rape, and pillage game (not necessarily in that order, sometimes they liked to mix it up for variety.) Rumors were flying that it was Shin Mokaku, that it was Astoria. Most likely, it was a group of rebels that desired the two countries to go to war.
Wolfram was using the man's obvious interest in him to gain his trust, gather him to their side of things. Yuuri understood this perfectly and on some level, he agreed.
Still, he wanted to strangle the man. He was just too good looking and Wolfram looked too interested in what the man said, hanging onto his every word. They danced together most of the night, a feat he hadn't yet managed to do much to his chagrin. That sealed Yuuri's low opinion of the man in his mind.
Abruptly, he turned to Conrad. "I think I'm going to turn in for the night. I'm going to collect Wolfram."
Conrad followed his gaze and nodded. He looked relieved. It was late and by protocol, no one could leave until the King did.
Yuuri walked up behind Sir. Walter. "Wolfram," he said, forcing a smile for the other man before turning to the blonde. "I'm going to bed. Will you join me or stay longer?"
A grateful smile spread over Wolfram's face. "I'll follow you," he said. "Good night, Sir. Walter." They shook hands. "It was great meeting you."
"The pleasure is all mine," Sir. Walter said, his voice thick honey.
Yuuri fought the urge to roll his eyes as he waited. Wolfram walked along side him for a pace or two before he stopped. "Go on ahead, Yuuri. I forgot to tell him something. I'll follow you."
Yuuri could've swore. Instead, he gritted his teeth and left the ballroom.
Yuuri wanted to be furious but all he could muster was a smile. Wolfram looked so tired and pitiful; as long as the evening had been for him, he had a sense it had been ten times worse for Wolfram.
"What's wrong?" Wolfram asked, turning around to face him once the door to their room was shut. He stepped into the cage of Yuuri's arms for a brief hug.
Yuuri's shame doubled. It wasn't bad enough that Wolfram looked like he'd been run over by a truck then kicked over an edge to tumble down sixty feet, but here he'd been able to tell that Yuuri was upset and was trying to comfort him. It made him feel petty and six inches tall. He sighed and pressed a kiss against Wolfram's forehead. "I just don't like all those men staring at you like that. You'd think they'd have an ounce of shame."
Wolfram laughed and stepped around from him, turning to stare out the window. "You stare at me like that," he said, his voice warm with laughter. "You're worse of all."
Yuuri sank down onto the edge of the bed and made a face as he pulled off his shoes. "I am not."
Wolfram turned to him and rolled his eyes. "Always. Always. Most of the time it's my ass. Who would've thought." He ran his fingers up and down the length of the cloth cords that held his shirt together thoughtfully, before tugging on them to loose the knot. The front of the shirt gapped open. "You know, I always thought you were so... saintly and pure. Up until the last year, I thought you'd never have sex."
Yuuri snorted and leaned back on his hands. He couldn't tear his eyes from the verging expanse of naked skin and the coy smile that curved Wolfram's lips told him he knew it as well.
With hooded eyes, Wolfram let the shirt pool around his feet and toed off his shoes as he stepped outside the silk circle. He slid into Yuuri's waiting arms and kissed the spot just under his ear before relaxing. Yuuri's fingers teased the tension out of his shoulder. "That's wonderful," Wolfram purred. He nibbled on Yuuri's ear.
Yuuri pulled away, distracted, not bothering to notice the annoyed look cross over Wolfram. "Maybe we should send Sir. Walter home tomorrow morning..." He paused, brow furrowed in thought. "Maybe... no, I can't kicked him out tonight. That would be rude."
Wolfram pulled away and gave him a black look.
"And why did you allow it?" Yuuri's annoyance rising to meet Wolfram's. "You were letting his hands roam all over you! You danced every other dance wit him! Was he really that interesting?"
A sudden, threatening silence feel between the two of them. As calm as Wolfram could manage, he inhaled slowly and muttered something suspiciously like, 'oh God, why did it have to be him?' before he slid from Yuuri's lap and crossed the room to the wardrobe. He returned a minute later, clad in Yuuri's oldest and ugliest pajama sets. He paused long enough to hiss, "the only reason you're getting off easily tonight is that I'm tired," before diving under the covers.
Yuuri frowned, reluctant to follow. He brushed his teeth, spent several extra minutes brushing out his hair, made certain which clothes to wear tomorrow, and blew out the candles. Still, he lingered by the bedside. After a long moment, he sighed and followed suit.
"Don't you dare," Wolfram hissed, when Yuuri tried to cuddle.
It hurt worst that a kick to the crotch. They always cuddled -- always, always cuddled -- for the past year, at least. Yuuri didn't know what he could've said to warrant such a horrible punishment. He placed a hand tenderly on Wolfram's shoulder. "Wolf, I --"
Wolfram, furious, shook off the hand and turned to him. Even in the dark, Yuuri could see the tears shining in his eyes. He ducked his head and wiped at them before turning his gaze back to the petrified King. Yuuri, for his part, had never seen Wolfram in such a state. He'd only seen those tears once before and those tears had been the "happy to see you" kind. Not even after that disastrous first night had Wolfram cried.
"Don't," Wolfram hissed, moving away from his grasp. "If you touch me again, I swear I'll cut it off."
Yuuri paled and brought his hand back.
"Why do you think, oh Greatness, Sir. Walter was all over me? Hm?" Wolfram didn't wait for Yuuri to answer. "No one in this Kingdom actually believes our engagement is valid. You know what he wanted? He said he was more a man then you'll ever be. He would've gotten on his knees in front of everyone if that was what it took to get me to marry him." Wolfram's choked laugh sounded suspiciously wet. "God, why did it have to be you? Would ever all the people in this world..."
But Yuuri didn't hear that last bit. He was too caught up with the marriage purposely. "He what? In front of us all? That's bullshit!" He sat up, intent on murder. It took all of his willpower to keep the darker aspect of his personality in check. He couldn't let it lose now, not with a whole castle full of sleeping innocents.
Wolfram hand grabbed him, kept him in bed. "Don't you dare do anything to him!"
"How can you defend him?"
"This is all your fault! At least Sir. Walter wanted to give me a future, give me some more hope that being the countries laughing stock."
"We are engaged," Yuuri said, very quietly and slowly, belaying his growing anger. What the Hell was wrong with Wolfram? Why was he being so pig headed about this of all things?
"Not according to you," Wolfram shot back. "You've denounced our engagement every port we've traveled to. At best, I'm some pathetic love sick puppy. At worse, I'm your personal whore." He sniffed, turning his face away. "What am I talking about? I am your whore."
"Wolf!" He covered Wolfram's hands with his own, trying to squeeze some sense into him. "That's not true and you know it!"
Wolfram pulled away as if burned and flopped back on the bed. He snuffled once more before turning his back to Yuuri. "Let's just go to sleep. We have a long day tomorrow."
Yuuri laid down and stared at the ceiling, unable to sleep. He turned his head when he heard the last tottering sigh that always indicated Wolfram having finally fallen asleep. He didn't have a snowballs chance in Hell to fall asleep tonight. His mind reeled and ran up the walls, down the halls, jumped over the western garden walls, and screamed at the top of its lungs. Yet, he couldn't follow any trail it left.
He sat up quietly, as to not wake Wolfram, and slid out of bed. All his thoughts settled on one word: marriage. He didn't particularly want to get married, but the thought of another man draped over Wolfram like that -- for the sake of international peace or not -- made his gut clench. And Wolfram was technically free of him?
The thought should've made him happy but instead it brought a whirlwind of panic that stole his breath and threatened to cave in his reality. The one thing for certain was that he couldn't even allow the possible of Wolfram being with another man to exist. Just the mental image of another man's hands cupping his ass was enough to make him shake.
He found himself in front of Murata's closed door before he knew it. He blinked at the cold wood and allowed, for just a moment, a bit of the doubt that wanted him to reconsider his decision. He pushed it back out with a deep exhale and knocked on the door.
Murata clamored to the door, half dressed, and growled at him. "Is the castle on fire? I know you would be knocking at --" he leaned into the room for a moment -- "One in the morning if it wasn't a fire." Yuuri opened his mouth but Murata cut him off. "You can't sleep here."
Yuuri waved him off impatiently. "Get dressed! And wake up Conrad and Gwendal and bring them both to my drawing room." At the dark look, he added, "it's very important." He must've sounded authoritative because Murata turned, grumbling. "Oh, and don't bring Gunter. Don't let the others wake him either."
It wasn't that he didn't want to involve Gunter but the older man always tended to wail and weep, and that would surely make him lose the most important element of his plan: surprise. Wolfram would probably insist on another wedding, something horrible and stately, later on but that was WAY in the future. He'd worry about that later.
Yuuri had no doubt that Wolfram wanted to marry him. He knew this marriage would make him deliriously happy and it was a noble sacrifice, if it kept other men off him. It was just that Wolfram had gone to bed angry and he'd probably wake up angry, once he truly woke up.
That was his trump card: Wolfram took a very long time to actually wake up. He could do the zombie thing, moaning and groaning and somehow clothing himself, and still be asleep an hour or two after he'd woken up. He could talk and walk as if he were fully awake, yet have no memory of it when he truly did wake. It was the strangest thing Yuuri had ever seen. Wolfram never believed this, not until he had him write out some lines of poetry and then showed it to him later on did he realize it.
It was all part of that noble sacrifice thingy, he thought then stopped in the hallway. Once married, he could TELL Wolfram to stop dancing and flirting with those men. TELL! He tasted the power of the word on his lips and found it to be very pleasing. Screw politics and the whole blasted system, Yuuri would be only too happy to make sure he didn't dance with another Sir. Walter for the rest of his life.
A smile curved on his lips as he reached his room. He slipped within and found Wolfram sleeping quietly, a rarity. 'Ah well,' he thought. 'It would please him at least.'
He crossed over to the other side and pulled back the blanket. "Wolfram," he whispered. Wolfram had turned his body facing inward, probably searching for him. Somehow that lightened the mood and made him feel better. He gathered Wolfram in his arms, a surprising light burden.
With that, he headed for the drawing room, not bothering to close the door after him. His three friends, all in various states of undress, looked a mixture of exhausted and curious with a dash of anxious worry and annoyance added for flavor. They all waited for him to speak.
Yuuri set Wolfram in a chair by his desk and straightened. He was about to announce the good news when he stopped. "That night hat is cute," he said, pointing to Gwendal's knitted cap that had a long tail of thick weave and a swinging bear? cat? attached to the end.
A blush flushed over his features and he caught the swinging animal, pulling the cap off. "I came because Geika said it was important."
Yuuri coughed. "Right. We want to get married. Tonight."
His three closest comrades stared at him as if searching for that second head and a couple tails to go with it. Gwendal, with his brotherly urge of protection, stirred first. He folded his arms and frowned down at the King, then unfolded his arms and wondered when this joke would come to an end. He was horribly tired.
"I'm not kidding," Yuuri said, as if reading their minds. "We really are getting married tonight."
Gwendal opened his mouth to protest this bizarre play that seemed to be unfolding (he must be having some kind of weird dream -- and from the confused looks of the others, knew they thought they same), when Wolfram let out a small meep of protest.
Yuuri dropped to his knees. "It's alright, Love. I'm right here," he cooed, in effort to keep Wolfram asleep until the preparations were complete. He'd wake Wolfram up just enough when it was needed, but he didn't want the blonde accidentally overhearing his brothers or Murata. That might be all he needed to truly wake and ruin his plan. His arms encircled Wolfram's waist and the blonde leaned over, nuzzling his neck before sighing as he fell back asleep. He shot the others a look of blue fire, threatening them to defy him further.
Now Gwendal was sure he was in a dream. Had Yuuri just called Wolfram 'love'? The way he cradled his baby brother was more than a little unnerving as well. It wasn't just the tenderness, it was something else, something he couldn't quite name. And then there was his baby brother, who appeared so defenseless. Wolfram was anything but defenseless. Though he might not be the brightest (intellectually, at least) of the three, he was definitely the fiercest. For Wolfram to be so defenseless with Yuuri meant he'd put all his trust and confidence in the King. It was a side of his brother he, himself, hadn't seen since... Well, had he ever seen that side of him? Had Wolfram ever let his guard down around him? He didn't think so.
A thought hit him then. The rumors must be true, he thought, of those two actually being together. If that were the case, Yuuri no longer had any choice in the matter as far as he was concerned. He'd force the issue if he had to.
He gave a brief nod. "I'll get the official book." Yuuri gave him a grateful smile as he left the room. It took only a moment for the other's to catch up with him.
"You're going along with this," asked the Great Sage, his eyes studying him. "Without putting up a fight?"
Gwendal frowned. "Yes," he said for that was easier than trying to explain something he didn't quite understand and he didn't want to share with him his suspicions about how far their relationship must've gone. "We'll have to keep our eyes on them for the next couple days."
"I'll be sure to post extra guards," Conrad sighed.
"You're okay with this, Lord Weller?"
Conrad smiled his usual down at him. "Why does it surprise you that we're okay with this?"
The Great Sage arched a brow. "Lord von Bielfield's two very protective brothers allowing this obviously forced marriage to take place with their own blessings? Why would I be surprised?"
"I think Wolfram will be able to punish Yuuri as he sees fit for taking this, ah, liberty with him." They walked in silence for a minute before Conrad continued. "Besides, I highly doubt we all would be safe until Sir. Walter leaves, unless something like this happens to sooth Yuuri's beast. I don't think it would look good for our international politics if Yuuri flays Walter alive."
"They must've had a pretty bad fight," Geika mused.
Gwendal grunted and then they were at his office, rummaging around for his book.
Marriage in Shin Mokaku is essentially a very simple affair. Oh, there are lots of traditions to be had. The bride wears this and the husband can't see his soon-to-be for a day before hand. There's a traditional dance that involved the women trying to lure the men away (symbolic of the fabled wedding night) and only foods red or white are eaten. But if you get right down to it, it really only take a couple words and both parties writing 'I, name, marry name name in love and good faith' three times, signing their names after each line, with three witnesses who would sign their own names.
"I thought you three abandoned me," Yuuri greeted when they filed back into the room.
Murata snorted derisively. "Wake him up, then."
As the three cleared a space on the desk in silence, Yuuri crooned to Wolfram. "Wake up, Honey. Only for a little bit, okay?"
Wolfram muffled his yawn against Yuuri's shoulder. "Wha time it?"
Yuuri cupped his face with his hands, forcing the half asleep Wolfram to look at him. "I just need you to do one simple thing for me, okay? And then I'll take you back to bed."
Wolfram nodded and smiled a simple, joyful smile. It made Gwendal uncomfortable and it was Lord Weller's glance that stilled him. He stepped forward.
The Great Sage put a hand on Gwendal's arm, stopping him for a moment. "Wolfram, are you awake?"
"Can you sign this paper?"
"Yes," came the response.
He nodded at Gwendal to continue.
Gwendal cut the traditional speech, which sometimes ran upwards of thirty minutes depending on the priest, down to under a minute. It went by so fast that Yuuri only caught snippets of it. Something about love and honor, being together for a lifetime, more about love, and then it was over.
Wolfram yawned in an almost continuous stream of yawns during all this. Yuuri whispered in his ear what he had to write out and the blonde took up the quill with all the expertise he used when completely awake. Yuuri quickly followed, letting Wolfram sink back into the chair as he did this.
The three blew on the ink to dry it before they all signed as well.
"Congrats Shibuya," said his best friend. "When Lord von Bielfield kicks you out, don't think about coming to me but we will try to keep you alive. That's the least we can do."
Yuuri paused in the act of picking up Wolfram, turned and glared at him. "He won't kick me out. This will make him very happy," he said in a tone that broached no argument.
Conrad coughed. "Well, we should get back to bed then. Good night Heika."
Yuuri woke smiling and he knew the day would be good and that everything would be fine. Wolfram was still sleeping, the side of his face pressed against his chest. He spent a moment running his hands through the fine silk of Wolfram's hair before he tightened his grip, gently moving his head. "Wake up, Wolf..."
Wolfram groaned and yanked free of his grip, settling down besides him. He yawned and rubbed his face with his palm. "Morn," he murmured.
Yuuri shifted so that he could face his new Wife. He grinned, feeling suddenly silly. "Are you mad at me?"
Wolfram took a long time to answer this. He found himself holding his breath. "The fight?" Wolfram's brows crossed, trying to remember. "No," he said after a long moment. "It was a stupid fight."
Yuuri kissed him; a slow, dragging kiss that made Wolfram curl up against Yuuri before he realized it. He couldn't help himself.
"You have morning breath," Wolfram laughed, brushing a hand down Yuuri's chest.
"You're not much better," Yuuri said, kissing the hollow of his neck. It didn't take much else to convince Wolfram to stay in bed a little long.
A long while later, Wolfram slide out of bed and went to the wardrobe. He sent Yuuri a glare. "I don't even have time to bath before breakfast," he accused. "I didn't bother last night because I was so tired."
Yuuri grinned lazily at him. He sat up and draped his forearms over his knees. "Listen, we need to talk," he started then paused, unable to continue. How was he supposed to continue? Congratulation, we're married? I have a surprise for you? Three guesses, Dear?
Sudden fear slammed into him. What was he thinking, lazying about in bed, when he hadn't even mentioned their marriage yet. It was obvious that Wolfram didn't remember. Oh God, his mind screamed.
He closed his eyes and mentally berated himself. What the Hell had he been thinking? A sense of panic rose up in him, swarming any lingering good feelings he had. Wolfram was going to kill him and he deserved it. The others wouldn't save him this time.
Wolfram folded his arms patiently for a moment before turning back to his task. He grabbed some slacks and a shirt, and threw them at the King. "Get up, Wimp. We have work to do."
"Wolfram," he tried again, but Wolfram had already crossed to the door.
"Hurry up," Wolfram called back as he slipped out.
His heart skipped a beat and he threw himself into action. If there was a God, those three hadn't told anyone and he could explain himself this evening. Oh God, please! Oh God! He pursed his lips, toeing on his shoes. Oh Shinou, please!
Yuuri knew immediately that there wasn't a God. Everyone he passed on the way to dining room stopped to stare at him, whispering behind their hands. He rushed into the dining room and found Wolfram standing very still as Gunter wailed about how unfair they all had been to not include him.
"Wolf," Yuuri panted, suddenly scared. He edged closer, careful to put the table between them. Wolfram turned an unreadable stare on him. It made him shiver with fear. "I can explain..." He couldn't. He had no idea what he was thinking last night, but it sounded better than saying 'I was half out of my mind'.
Wolfram looked away as he took his seat, expertly side stepping the wailing Gunter. "Please don't talk to me. I'm not sure I can handle it right now."
"Ah, ah, okay," Yuuri murmured, then realized his mistake. He was numb by the time he took his own seat. He'd thrown away everything, he now realized. Wolfram would insist on a divorce and he couldn't stop that. He'd be more of a monster than he already was. His only consolation was that Gretta wasn't here, but that was a small one indeed.
Wolfram moved slowly the rest of the day, avoiding Yuuri, avoiding any work he might have, avoiding people in general. Yuuri tried to give some kind of explanation several times, but Wolfram would shake his head and retreat.
By night time, Yuuri felt like he'd burst. He was certain Wolfram had packed his things and wouldn't be there when he returned, but he forced himself to follow the routine. When nightfall came, he gave up the pretense and rushed into their room.
He nearly died of relief when found Wolfram sitting on the edge of the bed, studying the carpet. He looked up when Yuuri entered, that unknown expression on his face. "Just tell me why you did it..." His voice was so quiet it made Yuuri choke.
Yuuri rushed over to him and knelt before him. "I, I don't know why I did it." He tried to gather Wolfram's hands, but the blonde resisted. "I swear, I wasn't thinking right. I was..."
The hurt look that stole over Wolfram's face made any attempt to save face die. Still, Wolfram remained still, his green eyes never wavering from his face.
"I..." He swallowed the lump in his throat. "I thought you would leave me," he managed, his voice barely above a whisper. At the incredulous look in Wolfram's face, he went on. "I, I mean, why would you want to stay with me, huh? You said it yourself: 'Oh God, why him?'" The million different fragments were finally becoming something he could grasp. Yuuri leaned against Wolfram and encircled his waist, rubbing his face in the soft material. "You said our engagement was invalid. You said that Greek God offered to marry you."
"Greek?" Wolfram broke into the tirade quietly, his hands in Yuuri's hair, trying to calm the shaking King.
"Mr. Chiseled Face and Perfect Hair." Yuuri inhaled Wolfram's scent. Oh God, when he thought how sure he'd been that Wolfram wouldn't be here... He shuddered.
Wolfram's laughter was gentle and teasing.
"How can I compete with that? And... And..." His voice wavered. "I'm so helpless. You'd be happy with him but I couldn't get by without you. I'd be lost! I can't sleep without you next to me. I can't put on my own damn tie without your help. Hell, I get itchy if I don't see you daily. That trip last month nearly broke me. I'm so fucking pathetic. I just... couldn't allow it."
Wolfram's laughter stopped him once again. He slid off the side of the bed and sat in Yuuri's lap, hugging him tightly. "Yuuri, you can be so --"
Yuuri winced at the tenderness in Wolfram's laugh. "I'm a pathetic wimp!" He turned his face up when Wolfram tugged his hair.
Wolfram kissed him, gentle at first. He allowed Yuuri to work off his fear before deepening his embrace. "You're cute," he finished, pulling away for air. "How could you think I'd go for that man?" he asked, wrinkling his nose. "All you had to say was that you were jealous."
Yuuri growled as he stood, taking Wolfram with him. "I wasn't jealous." He flung Wolfram onto the bed and climbed on top, kissing every spot of bare skin.
Wolfram laughed, pushing him away. "I want a real wedding," he said, his voice suddenly very calm and dangerous.
Yuuri swallowed, pausing. "Of... of course. I thought you would."
Wolfram nodded, the smile returning. He beaconed to Yuuri with a nod. "If you're ever worried, I want you to talk to me about it, okay? We're married now." He poked Yuuri's cheek when he didn't answer. "Remember that, Yuuri."
"I will," he promised, nibbled on the finger. He paused for a moment, staring intently at Wolfram's beautiful eyes. "You won't... I mean, you don't want a divorce?"
Wolfram laughed. "You have me now for good. I won't give you up. Not for anything." He trailed his fingers down the side of Yuuri's face. "I was just shocked, Yuuri. I could hardly believe it."
Yuuri smiled, albeit tentatively. "I'm glad then because I wouldn't have given you up either."
I'm in a writing funk so I'm writing a lot of nonsence fluffy one shots. I realize this and do want to whip my muse, but the whip has disappeared. I've got one more of these planned (dealing with the 'L' word) but there might be more. This came out very long. I originally thought it would be 1,000 words or less and it came out utterly different than I first thought. You gotta love that, right?
Oh, and can anyone beta for me? I'm horrible, I know. I could use the help. A lot of help, really. :) I'd love you forever... What? That's not good enough? Okay! I've got cookies! Store bought cookies so no food poisoning. How's that?