A/N: I wrote this fic for one of the contests at aarinfantasy forums. Thought I'd share it here as well, especially since there are not enough ConYuu fics and KKM fics in general on the web :(
Yuuri looked down at the moonlit grounds of Blood Pledge castle through the huge windows in his room. 'Another night without sleep…' His dark gaze traveled to his bed and he sighed wearily. A sleeping Wolfram lay spread-eagled in his pink nightdress, his bare limbs covering the entire mattress, muttering words like "wimp" and "cheater" at regular intervals. Yuuri sighed again.
A slight breeze wafted through the open windows. Gwendal had adviced the young Maou to always keep them shut for his own security, but Yuuri deemed it hardly necessary. He didn't like to keep his room shuttered. "Yu-chan, open windows reflect open minds…" he fondly remembered his mother's words.
Lost in his thoughts, Yuuri didn't notice the dark figure running across the grounds. Nor did he notice the figure leap lightly on top of a tree, hair billowing in the gentle wind and polished crossbow shining ominously in hand.
When the arrow struck him in the chest, he was taken completely by surprise. He screamed and fell off the window sill.
Lying on the floor, he felt an odd, dull ache at the point where the arrow contacted. Faintly he heard the sounds of what was probably Wolfram awakening from his sleep. Senses dulling, his eyes became heavy lidded till he could no longer keep them open.
'Am I dying?' were the last thoughts he had before the world faded to black.
~The Curse of the Sleeping Maou~
"There is no doubt about it. The arrow was poisoned with the Curse of the Sleeping Belle," Murata Ken announced to the little audience gathered around him and staring at him expectantly.
Gwendal frowned skeptically. "Curse of the Sleeping Belle?"
The Great Sage nodded, eyes closed and appearing deep in thought. "Legend has it that there was once a beautiful Mazoku princess who had many admirers. But she wished to marry only her One True Love. So she asked her most trusted and brilliant advisors to create a potion which would find her soul-mate. It took many months and they finally created it," he opened his eyes to gauge everyone's reaction. They were all looking at him with rapt attention, waiting for him to continue his story. He smiled.
"However, when she drank it, it turned out to be a poison…she fell into deep sleep…and she never woke again. For only the kiss of her One True Love could have woken her up and for her no such person existed. She was so vain and self-centered that her One True Love was none but herself!"
Wolfram snorted. "That's the most ridiculous, made-up story I've ever heard."
Murata shrugged. "It may or may not be true. But the poison she drank, known as the Curse of the Sleeping Belle, does exist. And now it's been used against Shibuya."
"So…so…does this mean that Heika will never wake up again?" Gunter asked, sounding extremely distressed at the prospect. "Oh Heika!" he exclaimed dramatically, swaying and falling at the feet of Yuuri's comatose form on the bed.
"That's not necessarily true. The Mazoku princess was extremely proud and vain, and Shibuya possesses neither of these qualities. His One True Love probably exists in this world…perhaps in this very room…and only he or she can wake him from his cursed sleep…" Murata let his eyes sweep over everyone gathered in the Maou's quarters.
There were several gasps and murmurs. In the corner, the maids conversed excitedly amongst themselves. Anissina smirked as a giggling Gisela whispered something in her ear. Gwendal rolled his eyes, obviously not believing the Sage's story one bit. Gunter stared at Murata with a glazed expression, thinking over the various possibilities presented by such a situation.
Cheri clapped her hands in glee. "Oh my! This is so exciting! This is like a fairytale…the gorgeous Maou can be awoken only by his true love…"
"Well, there is no doubt about it. I'm Yuuri's true love. I'm his fiancé after all." Wolfram crossed his arms and lifted his chin haughtily. "What do I have to do?"
Murata smiled enigmatically. "You have to kiss him."
Green eyes widened considerably. "Kiss him?!"
"In front of entire Shin Makoku."
"In front of…what??"
Murata looked calmly at the blond. "As a declaration of your love…to show everyone that you are the Master of the Maou's heart...his One True Love… Only that will break the curse."
Again there were gasps and murmurs around the room.
"Master of the Maou's heart?! This is ridiculous!"
"Oh, so romantic!"
"This is going to be interesting…"
Murata's gaze turned to Yuuri, who slept unaware of all that was going on. He had a peaceful expression on his face. Running a hand through the Maou's hair, the Great Sage sneaked a glance at the one other person in the room who had not spoken a word all this time.
Conrad appeared calm and composed as he stood beside Yuuri's bed. But Murata knew better. The straight line of his lips and the look in his eyes showed just how worried he was.
Murata barely managed to suppress a smile.
Greta pulled at Gwendal's sleeve. "What is going to happen to Yuuri? Will he be alright?"
Gwendal grunted. He wondered if it was a good idea to allow Greta to watch her two "dads" lock lips in front of the entire Demon population. He further wondered if this whole farce was a good idea in the first place.
It was bad enough that the Maou had been attacked inside the castle. But no one seemed bothered about the identity of the attacker. They were all too excited about the "cure" suggested by the Great Sage.
Even Conrad, who usually started swinging his sword at the slightest ruffling of Yuuri's hair, was strangely quiet and watched the proceedings in silence.
The wooden platform that had been built for the "ceremony" was quite huge and the make-shift bed that had been made to lay Yuuri upon looked tiny compared to it. Gwendal watched as the soldiers carried the Maou on a stretcher and laid him gently on the bed adorned with flowers (courtesy the maids).
"Yuuri looks like a princess who wants to be kissed awake. Is Wolfram going to kiss him?" Greta asked cheerfully.
Gwendal stared at the little girl in disbelief. Without answering, he moved away, deciding that it was best to put some distance between them before he was subjected to any more embarrassing questions.
People had already started arriving, craning their necks to take a good look at their comatose king. They were all whispering excitedly amongst themselves as though this were some happy celebration. Gwendal scowled.
He noticed a huge group of people gathered around Anissina. They were raising their hands eagerly, yelling and shouting. But standing on the platform, Gwendal couldn't understand what was going on. "What is Lady von Kabernikoff doing there?" he asked one of his soldiers.
The soldier brought his face close to Gwendal's ear and whispered conspiratorially, "She's taking bets, Sir. About whose kiss will break the curse on the Maou. Currently, the young Sir von Bielefeld has the best odds…"
Gwendal felt an eyebrow twitch and a nerve pop on his forehead.
"Ah, I see. The preparations for the ceremony are nearly over."
Gwendal turned around to scowl at Murata Ken who was now standing behind him with a smug smile on his face. "Ceremony? You're calling this charade a "ceremony"?"
"Why the sour face, Sir von Voltaire? This is a quest to find Shibuya's One True Love. Surely this is an occasion to celebrate…?"
"Celebrate? Celebrate what? That the Maou got attacked inside his own palace? That a spy from Big Shimaron probably found his way in and is still present in the castle premises? And what if Yuuri doesn't wake at all? What then?"
Murata smiled enigmatically. "I'm pretty sure that Shibuya will wake up. Don't add any more wrinkles to your face worrying over that."
It finally began two hours later.
Wolfram walked on to the stage amidst cheers and screams from the huge crowd. He was dressed regally in his blue uniform, head held high and looking every bit the prince he was. Gwendal didn't understand all the fanfare, since the unconscious Maou himself was dressed only in his striped pajamas.
"Sweep him off his feet, my beautiful son!" Cheri called out from the little box constructed beside the stage for the royal Mazoku.
Gwendal let out a weary sigh.
Wolfram walked up to the sleeping Maou. Ceremoniously he got down on one knee, threading a hand through Yuuri's dark locks. The crowd fell completely silent.
He paused before swooping down and capturing his fiance's lips with his own. He released them after a few moments, green eyes now staring at Yuuri expectantly.
Yuuri stirred. His lips moved slightly. The crowd held its breath.
Few seconds later, a soft snore escaped his lips and he lay motionless.
Wolfram blinked, mouth agape. A beat later his expression turned furious. "What the…? You're supposed to wake up, you wimp!" he yelled in a very un-princely fashion.
There were gasps and murmurs all around.
"What…what happened…?" Greta asked worriedly. "Why isn't Yuuri waking up?"
Cheri wore a look of confusion, Conrad had the slightest of frowns and Gunter's glazed expression from earlier was back.
Gwendal shook his head and rolled his eyes. Wolfram was now shaking his unconscious fiancé by the shoulders, calling him names and ordering him to get up.
"Well, well, well…looks like we have a situation here." Murata pushed his glasses up. "It seems Wolfram can't break the curse…which means that everyone else who is close to Yuuri will now have to give it a try…" he surveyed everyone present,"…to see who truly is the Master of the Maou's heart…"
'If I don't get any grays by the end of this it would be nothing short of a miracle,' Gwendal decided. He wondered if he was the only sane person left in entire Shin Makoku.
If the Maou were awake, he would probably be extremely disturbed by what was happening. Ever since the Great Sage announced that now everyone would get a chance to kiss Yuuri, they had fallen all over each other just to get a taste of the esteemed Demon King's lips, Gwendal's mother included. Murata, Josak, Annisina, Gisela… Gunter had been particularly enthusiastic. Gwendal had to restrain the man from molesting the Maou in front of everyone.
But through the entire drama, Yuuri hadn't even stirred. Wolfram's kiss had been the only one that had caused the slightest reaction.
Gwendal himself had stepped up to give Yuuri a peck on the lips on Annisina's insistence (read as threatening glare). And had felt slightly, just slightly put out, when the boy hadn't moved an inch.
"This is bad…" Murata remarked.
Gwendal gave the Great Sage a dirty look. "You think?"
"If no one from the royal family can wake Shibuya, we'll have to give the common people a chance…"
"What?!" Wolfram glared at Murata thunderously. "Like everything that has happened so far hasn't been enough!" he shook his fist. "Why don't we just throw some cold water over him? That will wake the wimp up good and proper! I bet he's just pretending to be asleep just so that he gets to kiss everyone, that little cheater!"
Gwendal felt inclined to agree with his brother. All this obviously meant that the Great Sage's tale was nothing but that. A tale. There was no "Curse of the Sleeping Belle"…if no one from the royal family could wake him up…
The realization that Conrad had not kissed Yuuri hit Gwendal suddenly.
But it faded the moment someone in the crowd yelled, "I'm the Maou's One True Love! I want to kiss him!" which was followed by several protestations by others in the crowd, "No, I am the Master of the Maou's heart!" "No I am!" "Oh shut up, it's me."
'Grays and a lot of wrinkles,' Gwendal decided.
All this time Conrad had not spoken a word.
The moment he had set eyes on Yuuri's unconscious form he had been reminded of the time with the demon mirror. That time he had been confident that Yuuri would come back. This time he wasn't so sure…
It worried him immensely. The Curse of the Sleeping Belle…he had never heard of it before. He had only hoped that the Great Sage was right and that Yuuri would wake from Wolfram's kiss. But that was not to be.
Then he helplessly watched from the sidelines as the others tried to revive him…to no avail. He knew it was his duty to step up as well, to try and wake up his master even if the attempt was futile. But he just couldn't bring himself to do it.
For the first time in his life, Conrad Weller was scared.
It was so much easier to see Yuuri as his king, his master…and nothing else. Conrad was nothing but a servant given the responsibility of protecting the Maou at all costs in all situations when his life was in danger. This situation, however, was something entirely different.
Kissing Yuuri wasn't the problem. Conrad had often wondered, in his moments of weakness, what those delectable lips would taste like. Thoughts which he would push firmly to the back of his mind immediately.
What scared him was what would happen after he kissed Yuuri. Despite Yuuri's engagement to Wolfram, despite the fact that Yuuri probably saw him as an older brother, a small part of Conrad had always held on to his love for Yuuri. Because Yuuri had never rejected him. This time, if Yuuri didn't even stir due to his kiss, it would be nothing short of blatant rejection. And that thought scared him.
He knew he was being selfish and cowardly, two words which no one had ever used to describe the Lion of Ruthenburg. Even though the chances of his kiss breaking the curse were low, he knew he had a duty towards his master. He took a deep breath to calm his nerves.
There was a huge commotion going on in front of the stage now. Gwendal and his soldiers were trying to control the impatient crowd of people who also wanted a chance to kiss the Maou. Wolfram was yelling furiously at Murata, who was trying to pacify the Fire Mazoku with his words. Anissina stood in the corner, now taking bets about whether the Maou would wake at all.
No one noticed Conrad resolutely stepping forward and walking towards Yuuri. He told himself it wasn't the longing combined with the tiny bit of jealousy gnawing inside him that was taking him to Yuuri's side, but his sense of duty.
He knelt down and gazed softly at the young Maou. "Heika…" he said softly. Yuuri looked peaceful and calm, unaware of the chaos around him. He breathed evenly, lips parted slightly and dark eyelashes making a pretty pattern on his cheeks. Conrad brought his hand up and trailed his fingertips lightly down the side of the dark-haired boy's face.
"No matter what happens, I'll always have this…" Conrad smiled sadly as he lowered his head, bringing his face so close that he could inhale the scent that was so inherently Yuuri. He closed his eyes. "I'm sorry…Heika…" he whispered before giving into temptation and pressing his lips to Yuuri's.
It was as if time froze in that instant. He felt the noises around them vanish, till he could hear the pounding of his heart and the rush of blood to his head. He opened his eyes and pulled away in surprise.
Yuuri was glowing with the Maou's blue aura. The aura extended and enveloped Conrad as well. Brown eyes widened in shock as the raven-haired boy slowly opened his eyes.
As if in slow motion, the young Maou gradually sat up, gazing straight ahead. He tilted his head to look at the kneeling man beside him. "I've lost count of the number of times I've told you to stop calling me Heika. Call me by the name you gave me." The words didn't contain the usual impatience, but were spoken gently, dark gaze soft.
Conrad stared at the boy before him, mouth agape. "…Yuuri…"
Yuuri smiled. "Conrad…" He lifted one hand to touch the young man's face. "I love to hear you say my name…"
Conrad found himself getting lost in those dark pools, completely forgetting where he was and why he was there. The Maou's aura now enveloped them completely, shielding them from the rest.
"The Maou is awake! It's Conrad! Conrad woke him up!"
"With my own brother?! Yuuri, you little cheater!"
"So does this mean that Sir Weller is the Master of the Maou's heart…?"
"Oh Heika! No…Heika…how could you…?"
"Oh my! This is so exciting!"
The sounds were nothing but white noise to Conrad's ears. He couldn't look away from the young Maou's gaze…it was like they both were under a spell. There were a myriad of emotions swirling through his head and he saw them mirrored in Yuuri's eyes. He had never been so sure of anything in his life as he reached over and hungrily captured those pliant lips once again. Yuuri moaned and melted into the embrace, wrapping both arms around his neck. All inhibitions were gone, all fears melted.
'My master…my king…my love…'
The crowd went wild.
'It's about time. Took them long enough.'
Anissina flipped her hair back with one hand and smirked. The plan had worked brilliantly. All thanks to her ingenious new invention. She fingered the little vial in her pocket, still half full of potion. The Curse of the Sleeping Belle.
Just a couple of drops on the tip of the arrow and her exemplary skills with the bow did the rest. The arrow had been right on target.
Now not only had she managed to bring the clueless couple together, she had made tons of money in the process. Conrad had been the dark horse and nearly everyone in Shin Makoku had placed bets on Wolfram, Murata and Gunter. Now Anissina's bags jingled with money. It took care of her finances for conducting more experiments for the next five years.
She had been quite certain that only Conrad's kiss would be the antidote to the poison. Her love detector was never wrong. And of course she also had the reassurance of a very wise man.
She gazed at the Great Sage who was currently trying to hold back an enraged Wolfram from causing serious injury to the Maou. Catching his eye, she gave him a thumbs up.
Murata smiled and gave her a surreptitious wink.
A/N: Would love to hear what you thought :)