Summary: Gwendal decides to find out more about himself and how those around him view him. To do so lets just say he goes to the extremes. So this is Gwendal paired up with a lot of people. Want to know who he ultimately ends up with, keep reading.

Romance/ Humor

Rating: M

Disclaimer I: Standard disclaimers apply

Disclaimer II: Lyrics belong to the artist of the song

Authors Notes: A little sad in the beginning but lightens up soon. In this story I portray Gwendal like an éclair, hard on the outside but soft and mushy on the inside.

Gwendal's Quandary

Gwendal was used to the intrigue and secrecy that characterized political dealings. Since moving into the castle, when his mother had become Maou, he had been learning the ins-and-outs of ruling a kingdom, so that he could help his mother out and protect his family. Stoffel had done everything he could to dissuade him but Gwendal was what his teachers had called a natural. He knew how to command and he also understood the responsibility that lay behind the power.

As true as that was, his innate nature was contrary to these new found talents. He loved animals and cared deeply for them. He enjoyed children; his mother used to tease him and call him little mother because of the way he tended and cared for his little brother Conrad. He used to dream of one day tending the land around his father's castle, where he would keep a great variety of animal and his home would be filled with children.

He had put those dreams on hold when his mother had became Maou and applied himself to learning how to rule and become the best for his mother and brothers' sake. Nobody knew of his dreams, neither did they know that he disliked ruling and all that it entailed. Those first few years were a constant struggle between his nature and what duty demanded out of him. He hated sending soldiers out to war knowing that he was asking them to kill and that they themselves could be killed. Every night he would be plagued with nightmare's where the families of the men he had sent out would point at him and blame him for their loss. He would see the battlefields were the enemy lay dead. Were blood of both the young and old were spilt because of his orders. Those dead would open their eyes and reach for him. The horde would chant one phrase, "Your Responsible", again and again. He used to wake up screaming and sweating.

But it was his duty to do the job, so he had taught himself to act contrary to his nature. He learnt to bury his fears deep and blame all the death and destruction on the humans. He learned to hide his feelings and never let anyone see what he really thought or felt. What had started as a necessity to earn the respect of those under him and to command obedient had eventually become his personality. Through the years it was so ingrained in him that he had become the epitome of the intrigue and secrecy that characterized politics. So much so that he himself no longer knew who he truly was. All he knew was the job. His only other outlet was knitting; the repetitive metallic tap of needles soothed him. He owed Anissina his sanity for teaching him, which was probably why she kept trying to drive him insane with her crazy inventions. But, in spite of being his childhood friend, even she did not know him.

He never questioned why it was so. He never stopped to wonder how he got here or where he was going, till now. Till the 27th Maou of Shin Makoku had begun his reign. The first time he had seen Yuuri, all he could think was that he was just a kid, a half-human kid at that, how could some one this insignificant rule the country. But rule the country he did with such a carefree and natural ability that Gwendal realised that this was who a natural leader really was. He himself might have been able to pick up strategy and planning easily at a young age but he did not posses this… this… instinct that the Maou possessed.

One might call it sheer luck, he himself had in the beginning, of how the boy managed to settle even the most precarious problems. But he had quite soon come to realise that it was the boy's convictions that saw him through, not lady luck. For the Maou, right was right and wrong was wrong. More importantly The Maou - Yuuri ruled from the heart.

He wanted to know how to do that - to for once let his heart decide.

Yuuri had also put Gwendal in a position he hadn't been in for a long time- where his heart and head were at war. The crazy suggestions the kid had were to his mind, training and experience dumb and sometimes downright silly. But in his heart of hearts he always felt like cheering the kid on. Yuuri's rule appealed to all of Gwendal's natural instincts and the peace that his reign was bringing, was healing Gwendal's battered heart. When the kid looked at him with those puppy dog eyes and pleaded, he could all but feel his heart melt. But the scary thing was that it was like the Maou could look straight through his mask and see the real him.

Now he wanted to know what the kid saw. Who is Gwendal? He no longer had any excuse for hiding behind a mask. There was peace in the kingdom, and though some unsavory aspects of the job still remained, he could handle it without his conscience rebelling. Because the cause was just, this time around and his king was worthy. So who was he? How did he really feel about those around him? These were questions he had started asking himself, and now he intended to find out. The latter question seemed easier to figure out than the former so he would begin there and hopefully one would lead to the other.

He therefore had a new project- He was going to discover himself. But he was pitifully at dealing with affairs of the heart, so he would approach this like he would any other project, in a logical and reasonable manner. He needed an action plan. The best he could come with was a three step process: First, he would follow the most straight forward route and directly ask the person straight out how they felt about him, if that did not work he would terrorize them, no, no that was the General talking, hmm… what would a person who cared do. He could always kiss them. That was sure to get a reaction and it would tell him what he needed to know. Furthermore, it would be completely out of character, so he could see how comfortable he was acting contrary to his normal demeanor. If even that did not work then he would just wing it, another departure from his usual approach. Now for his victims, those closest to him were the best option.


Authors note: Hope this story makes the holiday season merrier. You could do the same for me and please… review.