Title: Reason To Stay
Anime: Kyou Kara Maou (fan subbed version)
Pairing: Pre-yaoi for Murata/Yuri.
WARNING: Spoilers for end of series.
Summary: The night following Yuri and Murata's return to Shin Makoku, leaves Murata wondering why he returned. What reason does he have to stay?
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2,500
Disclaimer: KKM does not belong to me, I'm just borrowing the characters with no profit to myself.

Reason To Stay

It felt very strange to know nothing.

For four thousand years his mind had been filled with nothing but his promise to Shinou. Their plan that would expand over time itself, doing everything to make sure that the eventual death of that being so filled with hate would come to pass when the new stronger Maou would appear. Now that that stronger Maou had appeared and that relentless evil was dead, fulfilling the plan set such a long time ago, Murata felt empty.

For the first time in thousands of years his mind was at peace, not knowing anymore what would become of Shin Makoku's future, and it didn't feel right. He'd never known a time where he wasn't planning ahead in Shinou's shadow, and now his once Kings sprit was gone he didn't know what to do with himself.

It was only yesterday that he and Yuri had returned to Shin Makoku, with everyone welcoming them back with shouts of glee and hugs and promises. A large feast and celebration had continued well on into the night, which was fine while everyone was talking and dancing and having fun. While Murata busied himself in the celebrations, his mind didn't have a chance to ponder on what would become of him now. But when the guests gradually faded into the night, and Murata watched as Wolfram dragged Yuri back to the bedchamber despite Yuri's usual protests, he found the quiet that surrounded him quite unsettling. Almost suffocating.

He had spent the rest of the night wandering the castle alone in thought. He'd been given a grand bed chamber himself in the castle now he was no longer needed at the Shrine, but he didn't go anywhere near it. It felt too strange to have his mind blank and quiet, and knew he just wouldn't be able to get to sleep.

He must have walked down every corridor in the castle, with nothing but the echoing sounds of his own footsteps to accompany him, until now where he found himself outside in the gardens. The half moon was bright and high in the sky, the familiar stars that had never changed through those thousands of years blinking back at him.

He sat down on one of the stone steps half way down from the castle doors, resting his arms on his knees. He looked out at the grounds, that bright moon painting everything a pale silver in the twilight. If he was to be honest with himself, he almost felt a little insecure. His purpose for being here had been fulfilled; there wasn't really any reason for him to be here any more. He was no longer The Great Sage, that part of his life was gone now. He could only be considered now as the Maou's best friend. It was the only reason for being here, and it wasn't really that much of a worthwhile reason. For the first time in his life, he didn't have a purpose, and he hated the feeling that came with it. He didn't know what to do anymore.

Taking off his glasses and placing them on the step beside him, he pinched the bridge of his nose and rubbed his eyes, stifling a yawn. It must be almost dawn now surely. Looking up at the moon again, he wondered what Yuri would say if he asked him to send him back to Earth for good. After all, transportation between worlds was up to Yuri now, but Murata knew Yuri all too well and knew he'd probably pout and ask why he wanted to go, then proceed to argue his worth for staying and Murata would just end up giving in. That was the thing about Yuri, and part of what made him such a good king. No one could say no to his requests, but his requests always turned out for the best anyway. But no, Murata knew he had no real purpose here anymore. At least back on Earth he had high school to finish and a real career to build, it may not be much, but it was more than he could do here in Shin Makoku. He was useless here now.

Perhaps if he got a good nights sleep first he'd be able to think of a good strong argument against Yuri to convince him to send him back. After all it wouldn't be the last time they'd see each other, Yuri could visit Earth whenever he wanted to see his parents and family, and Murata would be sure to pop his head round the front door and say hi.

Yes, that was the best idea. His time in this world was over, and after being reincarnated so many times, it was about time he led a life he wanted to live himself. It would have been nice to stay with Yuri, but Yuri's place was here, and Murata's place to belong was somewhere he needed to find himself.

"Murata? What are you doing out here?"

Murata almost jumped off the step in fright at the voice so close behind him, and he spun around on the step to look behind him only to see Yuri standing there.

"Shi-Shibuya." He laughed nervously, his heartbeat racing in his chest from shock, "I thought you were asleep."

Yuri was fully dressed in his black uniform, and Murata watched as he smiled kindly and stepped down beside him, sitting down on the same step.

"I can't. Wolfram fell asleep the second his head hit the pillow, but it just feels weird to be back here again." He paused, looking up at the dark sky, "Everything felt so final when we left before it's almost like this is all a dream. I keep excepting to walk round the corner and find myself in my bedroom back home. It doesn't feel real."

Murata watched him for a moment, Yuri's face bathed in the silver light from the moon, before smiling and closing his eyes, opening them to copy Yuri and look up at the sky.

"It doesn't does it?" he said softly, "It feels strange for me to be here at all now." He could see out the corner of his eyes Yuri turn to look at him, but Murata continued to stare at the sky, "I've done everything I was reincarnated to do to. There's nothing left that needs me to be here anymore." Murata almost felt like slapping himself. What happened to the plan of thinking up a good argument for going home? As soon as Yuri walks into his line of sight he starts automatically spilling his heart out. Oh well, that was the affect of Yuri Shibuya he supposed, might as well see what his sleep deprived state can come up with.

Picking up his glasses and placing them back on his nose, he continued on. "Everything's so quiet here now, in my mind. Nothing to plan ahead, no ancient promises to keep. I don't…really need to be here anymore Shibuya. There's nothing left for me to do. There's no reason for me to stay in this world anymore." He closed his eyes again, letting the cool night breeze ruffle the bangs of hair over his eyes and glasses. "I…I'd like you to send me back to Earth."

This was something that needed to be done, he needed to go. Yuri didn't need him anymore, this world didn't need The Great Sage's memories anymore. It was for the best if he just left.

"What are you talking about?"

Murata opened his eyes and looked at Yuri quizzically. Yuri's expression was a mixture of sadness and shock, as if Murata had said something quite offensive.

"There ton's of stuff for you to do here!" he exclaimed, "Gunter's already been telling me he'd love to have you around, he's planning to re-write all the history books with the right information and wants to learn everything from you. Though that may not be a good thing." Yuri added in thought, imagining Gunter keeping Murata locked up in his study and squeezing every last piece of information out of him, "Conrad's said that he's looking forward to teaching you how to use a sword, which would be good because then they'll be someone else as bad as me." He laughed sheepishly, "Hey we could practise on each other! And Greta's already suggested that she was hoping you'd become a teacher so you can teach her everything she needs to know and she can grow up to be a good person. I think she thinks you'd be an easier teacher to get along with then Gunter." He whispered, as if Gunter may appear at any moment, and nudged closer to Murata so their shoulders were touching. "Ulrike was so happy to see you'd come back with me, she'd missed you a lot, and even Gwendal mentioned before the party finished that it would be a nice change to have a mature young man around. Though that may have been more of an insult towards me." He added in thought again, but that smile still on his lips, "And besides!" he said happily, looking at Murata excitedly in the eyes, "We need a good manager for the baseball team!"

He exclaimed this last point so enthusiastically it was as if it was the most obvious reason for staying in the world. Never mind friendship and loyalty, BASEBALL! Murata blinked at him, blinked again, before a small smile spread across his lips and he burst into laughter.

"Hey…" Yuri pouted, as Murata circled his arms around his own stomach from laughing so hard. But Yuri found his own lips twitching into a smile too as Murata continued to laugh. He so rarely laughed it was a lovely sight to see when he did.

"You're right." Murata said at last as his laughter subsided, "I guess I can't let your hot baseball temper get the better of you on the field." He wiped away a tear from his eye, his smile radiant as he looked back at Yuri.

The two boys stared at each other for a moment, Murata still smiling wildly, before Yuri's smile faded slightly and he looked away, his cheeks a little redder than they were before.

"And anyway, despite everyone else wanting you to stay, I…I wouldn't want you to leave either." Murata's wide smile faded too, and he watched Yuri carefully as he stared at the steps below them. "You've helped me through so much, done everything you can to help, and I've got so used to you being here in this world with me that it just wouldn't feel right without you here." he bowed his head even more as if trying to hide his face, "It wouldn't feel like home here without you."

Murata stared at him, his own heart beat seeming to beat louder to his ears, and he smiled softly, "Some people might say that's a pretty selfish reason for wanting me to stay."

He watched for Yuri's reaction, but Yuri did nothing, just continued to stare at the steps. After a moment though, he took a small breath and spoke, "I don't want you to go Murata. You may not be needed specifically as The Great Sage, but you have your own personality too, and there are people here who want you to stay. You are needed, even if you think you aren't." he paused again, the blush on his cheeks more prominent, "I need you. I…want you to stay. Please."

Whether intentional or not Murata didn't know, but Yuri's knees fell slightly to the left, leaning lightly against his own. Murata watched them and felt a sudden urge to put his arm around Yuri's shoulders, but he didn't. Shoulder to shoulder and knee to knee they sat in the moonlight, and Murata inwardly smiled to himself. He really did know Yuri too well, for just as he had predicted, he was about to give in to him completely.

"Well I guess if the Maou still needs me, I can't really refuse."

Yuri smiled lightly, still staring at the steps below, before taking a deep breath apparently trying to rid the blush off his cheeks. Yuri really was cute, Murata had always known that, and he noticed how warm it felt to be sitting here next to him.

"Hadn't you better be getting back to bed? If Wolfram wakes up without you there he may end up killing you when he finds you, especially as it's your first night back."

Yuri chuckled, "Yeah, wouldn't be a good start would it?" he turned to look at Murata, the redness in cheeks at bay for now, "But you promise you won't go anywhere?"

With both looking at each other their faces weren't that far apart. Murata's throat suddenly felt tight as he felt Yuri's breath on his cheek, but he didn't acknowledge it, and instead just smiled, "I can't go anywhere without you letting me, and besides, I don't really want to leave now."

Yuri grinned back, "Good."

Putting his hand on Murata's shoulder, Yuri hoisted himself up off the step and stood up. But as he turned to leave, Murata could have sworn his fingers lingered just that little bit longer than normal against the strands of his hair by his neck, and was well aware of the tingling sensation against the touched skin as Yuri walked away towards the castle doors.

"Shibuya?" He found himself calling out, and with a "Hmm?" Yuri turned around.

He didn't really know what to say. He'd been kidding himself all along, trying to find a reason to go back to Earth. It may feel un-natural to have no plans to organise for the first time in four thousand years, but his empty mind now had a chance to think of other things. To be filled with something else. To care about someone else.

Murata smiled, "Home right?"

Yuri grinned back at him, "Right!" and with one quick lingering look, his dark eyes showing perhaps a little something more than just happiness, Yuri turned back into the castle. Murata watched him go and sighed softly as the door shut behind his King, and turned back around to see the first pink rays of an early morning sun just beginning to pale the dark sky.

Although it felt strange to be thinking of nothing, it gave a chance for normal things to appear, for somewhere in the darkness, somewhere in a little corner of his newly restful mind, a little face that looked suspiciously like Yuri Shibuya was smiling brightly.

"Look's like I'm never going to get away from you." He said softly to the slowly colouring sky, but the smile on his lips as he turned to look at the door Yuri had just walked through, told the world that he really didn't mind at all.

The End.