Disclaimer: I do not own Kyou Kara Maou. The song is "Here Comes the Flood" by Peter Gabriel, as covered by Tyler Owen on the album Boathouse.

I took the old track
the hollow shoulder, across the waters
On the tall cliffs
they were getting older, sons and daughters

The jaded underworld was riding high
Waves of steel hurled metal at the sky
and as the nail sunk in the cloud, the rain
was warm and soaked the crowd.

It had been Wolfram's dream ever since he had learned the word 'soldier' and its implications as a child. The last war lingered only on the very edges of his memory as he had still been so young, unaware of death but powerfully conscious of the sadness that clung to everyone like a second skin. As age brought knowledge, Wolfram wished bitterly that he could have ridden out like his brother and returned transformed from mere mortal into hero of war and the thing of legends. But Conrart, as Wolfram saw it, never understood the passion of his longings, that desperate need to prove that he was more than just the beautiful doll and the spoilt third son. He knew war was a terrible thing; the shadows in Conrart's eyes had frightened him when he first returned, but should the knowledge that he had served his country well have been enough to console him?

Wolfram threw himself into his training as soon as he came of proper age, first wanting to be just like his beloved older brother, then wanting to surpass the traitor that had replaced him. He worked until his young muscles cried in protest, until he was drenched in sweat through and through and Conrart had to carry him from the field. For all his petulant tendencies, no one could say that Wolfram was anything but a disciplined solider and a magnificent wielder of fire.

Now his time had come. He sat on his white horse before a flank of his men, the fierce wind throwing his hair this way and that before snatching the banner bearing his crest, pulling it taut against the silver-gray sky. The sword gleamed cruelly in his hand, winking and glinting as though it were alive, hungry for sacrifice. Wolfram was beautiful even on the precipice of battle, a gleaming, golden sacrifice that gave heart to his men and left Conrart sick to his stomach. Beneath the austere and disciplined façade of a soldier lay the little brother that had been cradled so tenderly against his chest, the small, fragile child he'd promised to protect from all harm.

Wolfram turned his head, feeling Conrart's gaze upon him. Their eyes met and everything that needed to be said was understood through that last moment of silence before it was shattered by the blast of trumpets.

And as the seas of men charged forward, the first raindrop fell from the sky.

Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
in any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.

Wolfram stumbled as he ran, struggling to keep his balance on the slick ground as the downpour slowly turned the earth under his feet into mud. His hair was plastered to his sweat-stained forehead, his uniform glued to the sharp lines of his trembling body. Sword clutched in his right hand, he scrambled up the side of a hill, slipping and sliding, clawing at the sodden earth with his left hand until he stood on the crest and his uniform was stained a bloody brown.

The battlefield stretched out before him like a vision of hell, all steel and smoke. The shriek of steel and against steel and the screams of steel against flesh, rending souls from bodies, drowned out the rasping of his breath and the pounding of his heart until he wasn't certain they were even there.

The carefully drilled formations had disintegrated into graceless slaughter so that it was impossible to tell side from side, let alone which was emerging as the victor. Blood mixed with the smell of wet earth, newly tilled by battle, and of rain until Wolfram could taste it on his lips, unaware of the blood dripping down his face from his temple.

Somewhere in the confusion before him were Conrad and Yosak. Were they still fighting or had they already fallen? Were their uniforms soaked through with rain or with blood? Had they been separated from their men, like he had been, and trying to orientate themselves as he was?

Blood trickled between his parted, trembling lips and the young soldier doubled over, gagging and wrenching. The stench of death was all around him, thick as oil, drowning him and the bright guiding light called honor. There was no honorable death on a field of war. Wolfram learned that the moment he felt the sickening crunch as the face of some young cadet, human or mazoku he didn't know, gave way beneath the heal of his boot.

Wolfram straightened, drooling. Men were being pushed towards the hill. A troupe was either being forced back towards their lines, or off in some direction not yet traveled. It didn't matter; it was impossible to tell where they had originally formed their ranks. The proud banners of bright, bloody colors they had flown before them were lost somewhere in the churning sea of mud, trapped beneath the carcasses of fallen horses and the corpses of butchered men.

A battle cry to his left and Wolfram raised his sword arm, his body moving for him. The power of blade against blade sent shivers down Wolfram's arm. He moved through the crush of men as the tidal wave of bodies broke over him, dancing and weaving and killing like an avenging angel. His fire settled warm and familiar in his palm a second before he let go.

An orange and red swept around him like Armageddon.

He smelled burning flesh.

He heard a scream on the howl of the wind.

He pressed forward.

When the flood calls
You have no home, you have no walls
In the thunder crash
You're a thousand minds, within a flash
Don't be afraid to cry at what you see
The actors gone, there's only you and me
And if we break before the dawn, they'll
use up what we used to be.

He didn't remember the attack.

He had felt no pain, rather had only seen the quick glint of bronze and then the nothingness of the gray sky. Even now, he only felt the rain falling onto his cheeks, lips, and forehead. He wasn't cold; he would have to feel his body in order to be cold.

There was no strength left in him to move, nor breath to shout. He stared up at the unending sky and the roiling of the storm clouds above until the living and dead had blurred together and he didn't know which side he fell on, until he thought he had gone blind.

He blinked once, twice, darkness, and then Conrart's face, haggard and relieved and terrified all at once. There was blood on his face from a slash in his cheek. His lips were moving quickly, but all Wolfram could think was that he wasn't blind from the sky, after all.

A silver streak of lightening.

A crash of thunder.

Nothingness, and then…

Pain. Suffocating, searing agony like nothing he had ever felt before. Stabbing, pulling, burning, burning, until his throat and mouth were full and he was choking and a cacophony of voices was screaming words and orders and a name that might have been his. His mouth was empty again, but his lungs had forgotten how to breathe. 'Dead' and 'alive' drifted in vertigo as his eyes opened but showed him nothing but a blur of colors and shapes so intense that perhaps he had not opened his eyes at all. The a picture burning in a fire, pin holes appeared in his vision and quickly began growing, eating the colors in his sight like a cancer.

And just before the blackness came… a terrible cry was wrenched from the indecipherable roar.

"Wolfram!"

Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
in any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.

The nothingness was familiar now, a weighty feeling, and the lingering in the embrace of sleep as the first pricks of consciousness descend. There was something soft beneath his torn body, something warm settled lightly above it, and the steady drip, drip, drip of something on his right hand.

Slowly Wolfram opened his eyes, surprised and not surprised to see the canopy of his bed above him and his dark fiancé beside him, cradling his hand and weeping without a sound. There were shadows as dark as bruises beneath his black eyes. His hair had grown longer and his face, thinner. A lifetime had etched itself onto his boyish face and Wolfram didn't know what to do, not exactly certain yet whether he was still among the living or simply a restless spirit lingering in its mortal shell.

Wolfram's hand twitched in Yuuri's grasp and the double black looked up to where Wolfram knew his eyes were. Yuuri shuddered with a sob before pressing the hand he held against his lips and then his forehead, cradling it as though it would slip through his fingers like fine gains of sand.

Then he was apologizing. He was sorry, so sorry. It was all his fault and that if he hadn't been such a naïve dreamer perhaps he could have found a way, found any way that would have better than what happened and, oh God, Wolfram, so close, what would he have done if he'd lost him?

And Wolfram listened silently over a song echoing across his memory that some old soldier had been singing the night before the battle, his voice weary and resigned. It had annoyed him, but Conrart's hand resting heavily on his arm had stayed his tongue.

Wolfram weakly tugged against Yuuri's hands and the double-black followed, coming to rest besides the soldier's battered body. Yuuri's arms fluttered uselessly, wanting to hold him close but afraid of causing the blond pain. "I'm so sorry," he began again.

"Yuuri…"

His voice sounded strange, as though it wasn't his own, but what was now? Stripped of his honor, who was 'Wolfram'? What voice should he use? What was his purpose?

There was only one dream left within him, dim as an ember. Yuuri understood as he looked into his eyes and slowly closed the distance between their lips. It was timid and ardent, carrying with it the bitter remembrance of blood and dirt and the salt of hundreds of tears. Wolfram's eyes shut slowly. He knew nothing, not whether or not they had won the war or if it was still continuing or the extent of his injuries. But as Yuuri's trembling lips closed over his a second time, the unanswered questions faded away like nightmares in the daylight.

He had escaped the sea by casting off the heavy shackles of right and wrong, of dignity and duty that had bound him and come back to what mattered most in the world.

"I'm home."

Lord, here comes the flood
We'll say goodbye to flesh and blood
If again the seas are silent
in any still alive
It'll be those who gave their island to survive
Drink up, dreamers, you're running dry.