Title: Pretty
Author: The Inspector

Rating: G, Pg at the most. But I think it's only G
Pairing: Slight Yuuri/Wolfram
Genre: General
Chapter: One Shot
Comments: Just kind of turned some of my musings on Wolfram into a short thing. Mazoku age 5 times slower than humans, so if I'm saying he's 15, that means he's three, 50 is 10, and so on. At the opening of the anime, Wolfram is supposed to be about 82. I wrote this years ago when the show first came out, and just never posted it here.


For as long as he could remember, he had been told that he was pretty. His nurses, his mother, even his older brothers would lift him into their arms and marvel at his beauty. "So pretty, Wolfram," his mother would say with a warm smile, "My pretty little boy."

He was kept hidden from strangers in his youngest years to keep the temptation of stealing him away a distant threat. Still, there were times when a maid or cook simply hadn't been able to resist and he was once missing for a whole week before soldiers beat down the door and dragged him from the sobbing woman's arms.

But excluding those rare times his person was in danger, he was pampered and kept like a pet with everything his little heat could desire. One tear in his large eyes could make the whole world cry and so he never knew unhappiness.

He was his mother's companion and live doll to dress up and play with. Her favorite thing was to clothe him in some ridicules outfit made of something too expensive for his few years and show him off to her friends.

It wasn't until he was twenty-seven that the careful order of his content life began to break down. It started when he was playing a game with his brothers and Konrad accidentally knocked him over. Bumps and scrapes are expected elements of childhood, but his nurse shrieked and gathered him into her arms, checking the little skinned palms and glaring at the older boy as though he had tried to kill his younger brother.

"If he scars," the nurse swore at Konrad, "I will see to it that your mother has you so badly thrashed that you'll never sit again!"

On Wolfram's part, the incident was forgotten quickly enough and the next day he wanted to play with his siblings again.

But for the first time in his young life, he was refused something.

"You can't, Precious," his nurse said apologetically, "You might get hurt, and you're much too pretty to get all roughed up anyway."

So he pleaded and begged and cried, but she remained firm and he had to watch the other boys play through the window.

That was the first time he realized that being pretty might not be a good thing.

And things only got worse from there as he started wanting to explore his life beyond the nursery walls. But if he tried to bring in a frog he found by the pond, it was taken from him with a, "No, Precious, that's not pretty." It he got his clothes dirty, it was, "Please Precious, that's not pretty." Even his behavior, "Don't look at me like that, Precious, that's not pretty."

At the age of thirty four, he decided that he didn't want to be pretty anymore. He kicked and screamed when his nurse or mother tried to dress him, threw things, and hid from his caretakers. He learned quickly that temper tantrums could be used to his benefit and used them to their full power.

He started hearing other things now, "Pretty, but a horrid little brat," "Terribly spoiled, but pretty," and "Such a pretty child, but a living terror." He didn't mind being called a brat, but they still called him pretty. And sadly, he seemed to grow lovelier with each passing year as his features morphed from the soft and babyish towards his stunning adolescence.

In a fit of childish rage, he ran from his nurse one day and rubbed mud into his blond hair and all over his face. Konrad found him hiding by the stables a few hours later, crying his heart out.

"Don't cry, Wolfram," Konrad said softly, sitting next to his younger brother and putting his arm around him. "Tell me, what's wrong?"

With a sniffle, Wolfram looked up and asked quietly, "Am I pretty?"

And Konrad looked carefully at the mud stiffened hair and wide green eyes behind the dirty strands. "Yes," he said at last, hoping it was the answer he wanted to hear.

But it only caused Wolfram cry harder. "I don't want to be pretty," he screamed, "I don't want to!"

Konrad sat with him until he cried himself to sleep and then carried him back home. The nurse fairly shrieked when she saw her precious charge's state and took him away to be cleaned, but Konrad followed his mother to talk to her.

Even she had seen the change that had come over her youngest child, and he proposed a way to help him. No, Wolfram was pretty, there was nothing they could do about that, but Konrad insisted that he be let to play and do things that other boys his age did. He wasn't made to be locked away like a glass statue, his soul burned for freedom.

After a lot of pouting and protests, their mother agreed and the next day the old nurse was let go and the majority of Wolfram's care was handed over to his brothers. They taught him to play and to fight and he shrugged off the mantel of dress-up puppet for good.

But even then, he was still pretty.

In the years that followed, he was still praised for the loveliness of his face above anything. It was always Gwendal the Serious, Konrad the Kind, and Wolfram the Beautiful.

But he was the youngest of three boys. In all honestly, the only thing he had to look forward to in his adult life was being a nice looking fixture around the palace and an eventual marriage. His skills and magical abilities meant nothing; his looks were still what anyone noticed about him and he attracted the attention of both males and females alike. Someone once told him that he could have anyone he wanted in the entire kingdom and that he was so lovely that he'd never know heartbreak.

He was just past fifty when someone first had hinted at a proposal. It had startled and scared him, and he wanted nothing to do with the older woman and had clung to Gwendal for the rest of the week to make sure she didn't try to approach him again.

He got better at dealing with his admirers as he got older and learned how to scornfully refuse the coy glances over lace fans and goblets and the lecherous gazes of the older population. His tongue is sharp and barbed and everyone knows better than to offer marriage to him. They had to wait for him to approach them, and they knew he wouldn't.

Even the youngest child of the ruler is still the child of the ruler and there is power that comes from his blood relation. It would have to be someone very bold, and very stupid who would believe themselves actually to be worthy of Wolfram.

Maybe that's why Yuuri is so special, because he's nothing like what he expected to marry. Dopey, stupid, wimpy Yuuri. Kind, sweet, and so cute that his heart flutters like a floundering lark when he smiles at him.

He knows that he's not very good with people or expressing his feelings. He was not raised to be showy with what he's feeling and the only way he knows how to express his affection is his odd 'this is mine and I won't share' way.

But he feels that he's justified in being possessive. If Yuuri is not trapped by his beauty, then there is a chance that he could lose him to someone else. And he doesn't want to lose him because he feels something different when he's around him.

With Yuuri, he's not a prize or object of lust. He's not a title or a face or the youngest son of a powerful woman. He's a person, a friend, Wolfram. And he realizes that he cares about Yuuri like he hasn't felt for anyone else before.

And it makes him feel stupid and weak and wonderful all at the same time and he can smile again like he hasn't since before he knew what it meant to be pretty.