Disclaimer: I do not own Kyou Kara Maou!

It is mornings like this, when he is slow to wake, when the seductive malaise of dream hangs heavy over his consciousness, that he feels the ghost of his brother's touch.

It is these languorous, half-aware dazes, caught between the twilight of his sleep and the sunrise of awakening that he remembers a sturdy body, bigger than his own, stronger than his own, holding him and treasuring him.

It is only with the breaking of day that the shadows of memory lengthen, and a forgotten scent fills his nose, a haunting warmth settles over him, and he remembers the security of his absolute trust for Conrart. He remembers silver stars glittering in hazel eyes, mere inches from his own, as his brother smiles kindly and wipes away his tears with the slightly-rough edge of a thumb. He remembers comforting hands brushing his hair back from his forehead to plant a gentle kiss there, in greeting or farewell.

He remembers how Conrart used to smile with his eyes.

With the trickling, chirruping, babbling-brook flow of memories, he feels past aches throb to quiet life in his arms, his very muscles reliving the aftermath of his brother's enthusiastic swordplay lessons. Sometimes he shifts uncomfortably, his legs wanting to adopt the perfect stance that took him so long to learn, just so he can remember exactly the pride that glowed from Conrart when he first managed it.

He forgets again, of course.

He always forgets.

When he fully awakens, the fleeting glances are banished, once again, to the dim and distant, dusty corridors of rejected memory, lingering damp in the musty air of mental halls that he treads rarely, if ever. He is left only with melancholy, the ghost of ghosts. He is left with a pensieve, wistful longing for something unidentified, something at once foreign and familiar that his waking mind cannot identify, try as it might.

Sourness taints his throat, he knows not why, and he finds that when he opens his eyes, they spill treacherous tears down his cheeks.

Wolfram cannot remember his waking dreams of his brother, and his tears are not yet enough to drown the fires of his hatred.