Disclaimer: I do not own Kyou Kara Maou or its characters. Any original characters do belong to me.
A/N: Finally, this one-shot is done. It was not as easy as I had thought to get this out. I had looked it over so many times and there was always something that needed to be fixed. This has also been posted on my livejournal, if anyone's interested.
I hope you enjoy it!
Summary: Just as Yuuri and Wolfram prepare to welcome a new addition to their family, unexpected danger hits close to home.
A New Dawn
There really had been no choice.
The dark sky slowly lightened as the sun began to rise above the distant mountains. Red, orange, and yellow slowly chased away the darkness, announcing the arrival of a brand new day. It was a beautiful sight.
It did nothing to comfort the darkness that rested within Yuuri's heart.
While he stared at the rising sun from his bedroom window, dressed in his robe and barefooted, his mind thought of the men and women who were on their way to fight in a war Yuuri wished had never happened.
But there really had been no choice.
Dai Shimeron had gone too far this time, too far for Yuuri to be able to forgive and forget. Groups of men and women, all trained to fight and kill, had sneaked into Shin Makoku and four weeks ago, in one single night, those groups had attacked various villages all over his country, burning down homes, killing men, raping women, dragging children out of their beds only to kill them outside. The following morning, an estimated two hundred people were dead and three villages were wiped away.
It had been a blow to Yuuri's heart. For days afterwards, Yuuri had struggled on what to do. He had no idea why Dai Shimeron attacked so violently yet their unexpected violence couldn't be ignored. The idea of a war made him sick. How could he sign a declaration of war knowing that he was sealing the deaths of who knew how many people? One week ago, more villages were attacked, more lives lost. That had sealed his decision. Negotiations were worthless, his people demanded justice, Gwendal and Gunter told him that if he did nothing the people of Shin Makoku might rebel, and even Conrart said that war seemed the best solution.
There really had been no choice.
Yesterday, the soldiers had left to do what they were trained to do, fight for their country and their king. Gwendal and Conrart had gone with them, leading their soldiers. Yuuri had given a speech before they went off to war, explaining his reasons, expressing his regret that he hadn't been able to keep the promise he had made when he first arrived to Shin Makoku ten years ago that there would be no more wars between humans and demons. He had nearly been brought to tears when the soldiers cheered, expressing their understanding, their loyalty, their determination.
When Yuuri had left the castle to talk with his people, wanting to comfort the families of the soldiers who left and comfort the survivors from the destroyed villages, it was he who had been comforted when no one, not one, expressed their outrage at Yuuri's decision. They all understood, had known before Yuuri that a war had been necessary.
If there had been any other way, Yuuri would have done all he could to avoid the bloodshed he knew was about to happen and would continue to happen for who knew how long.
A hand touched his shoulder and Yuuri glanced back. Concerned green eyes stared back.
"What are you doing up?" Yuuri asked, turning to take a hold of his consort's hands.
"I should be asking you the same question," Wolfram answered softly, standing before him with his pale body covered in a pink modest gown that ended at his slim ankles.
"You should be in bed."
"So should you."
Yuuri smiled slightly and pulled Wolfram gently into his arms, holding him as close as Wolfram's bulging stomach would allow. He buried his face in Wolfram's golden locks, breathing in his scent, his warmth.
"I'm not the one who's pregnant."
"Humph!" was Wolfram's only response.
Yuuri inhaled Wolfram's scent, one that was so familiar and precious. "I'm so glad you're not out there fighting, Wolf," Yuuri couldn't help but whisper, tightening his hold around Wolfram's slim shoulders. Wolfram hugged him back, saying nothing.
They both knew that if Wolfram hadn't been eight months pregnant, he would be out there fighting alongside his brothers leading his own troops. Being King-Consort didn't erase Wolfram's background in soldiering, and protecting Yuuri and Shin Makoku was even more important to him now that he was married to the king. He would have gladly gone out there to fight against the soldiers of Dai Shimeron despite any protests Yuuri would have vocalized, and he would have protested a lot. Wolfram will always be the only one who could defy Yuuri's orders and get away with it.
Under different circumstances, Yuuri would have gone with the soldiers as well. He wouldn't have fought but he would have helped with the wounded or carried much needed supplies to the soldiers. He would have done anything except stay in the castle while most of his loved ones were out fighting. With Wolfram's pregnancy, however, Yuuri opted to stay home. This was their first child together and although Wolfram wasn't due for another month, Gisela had warned them that there was a higher chance of a pregnant demon male giving birth prematurely. They could give birth as early as seven months. She added that the survival rate of premature babies was less than babies that were carried full term. There was no way Yuuri was willing to leave Wolfram alone in his delicate condition. No one was around. Not Gwendal, not Conrart, both Gunter and Cecilie were doing their best in helping to rebuild the lost villages, even Gisela was gone, traveling with the soldiers for when her healing abilities would be needed.
The only person left around to help Wolfram with his pregnancy was a midwife who Gisela hired before she left. The midwife was nice but she was a stranger and Yuuri just couldn't find it in himself to completely leave Wolfram in her hands. Besides, Yuuri wanted to share that joyous moment with Wolfram when his consort brought their baby into the world, and he wanted to know if the baby was a boy or a girl.
He wasn't going to allow Dai Shimeron to take that away from him.
"Let's get you back into bed," he said to his husband.
Wolfram dutifully allowed Yuuri to put him into bed, watching him carefully. Yuuri knew Wolfram could sense his regret about the war, the turmoil. Yuuri sat cross-legged on the bed, reaching out to brush the blond bangs out of Wolfram's eyes. "Go to sleep," he whispered. "It's still early." He glanced out of the large window, the sun more than half way up now.
"Will you be able to go to sleep?" Wolfram asked.
"I'll try," he allowed, although he knew he wouldn't be able to.
Wolfram must have known it as well because he struggled into a sitting position, leaning back against their numerous pillows and crossing his arms over his large belly. "I'll stay up with you."
No one knew him better than his husband did. "You need sleep," Yuuri insisted. "Think—"
"If you say 'think of the baby' I swear I will run you through with my sword. Besides, I won't be able to sleep if you're awake."
Yuuri sighed, deciding to give up while he was ahead. He didn't want to start an argument. That would tire Wolfram out more than the lack of sleep would. "All right, fine." He put a hand on Wolfram's belly, rubbing and caressing, smiling when he felt his baby give a hearty kick. They had discovered that the baby grew more active whenever Yuuri was around, as if it knew he was close by and tried all it could to get his attention.
"Did you decide on a name?" He asked softly, glancing up at Wolfram.
The blond pursed his lips. "Alys if it's a girl, Alrik if it's a boy."
Yuuri blinked. "Those names weren't on the list of names we came up with."
"I know." Wolfram shrugged. "But I like those names."
Yuuri rolled his eyes. "Wolfram, do you realize that you keep adding names to the list every other day? Two weeks ago, we had about eight. Now we have twenty."
Wolfram glared. "What do you expect, Yuuri? I want my baby to have the perfect name. This isn't a task to be taken lightly. We have to make sure the baby has a name that other kids can't make fun of and we have to make sure it's a name suited for the prince of Shin Makoku."
"Of course, of course," Yuuri quickly agreed before Wolfram could work himself into an emotional state. Wolfram had been quite an emotional person before he got pregnant; now he was worse. It was pretty easy to upset him. If Yuuri didn't do what Wolfram wanted, the blond would either bite his head off or burst into tears and accuse Yuuri of not loving him. Yuuri had to walk on eggshells around him just to avoid being burnt to a crisp. Hell, everyone walked on eggshells around the pregnant King-Consort.
For several minutes, they said nothing, Wolfram's hand joining his on the blond's stomach.
Then Wolfram whispered, "You had no choice, Yuuri."
Yuuri briefly closed his eyes. Sometimes he wished Wolfram didn't know him as well as he did. "I know," he whispered. "Everyone tells me that. Gunter, your mother, your brothers told me before they left, even I tell myself that."
"But you feel like you could have done something more," Wolfram said softly. "Something different."
"I promised no more wars. I wanted my baby to be born in a world where there was peace and love and happiness." He looked at Wolfram. "Do you think I was naïve?"
Wolfram immediately shook his head. "When you first came here I thought you were. I couldn't imagine a world where humans and demons coexisted peacefully together, not when I grew up hating anyone who carried human blood. Then you came along and I saw how happier people were when you began your campaign of peace. The war that happened thirty years ago was so horrible that I think many people on both sides were ready for change. You changed people, Yuuri." He paused. "You changed me."
Yuuri had to smile at those words. Wolfram had let go of all his prejudice against humans a long time ago. Wolfram and Conrart had grown closer and Wolfram was now open to establishing friendships with the humans without complaining about them.
"You weren't naïve; you were hopeful and optimistic, qualities I love about you. Now I'm hopeful and optimistic that we will have peace in this world. Our baby might not be born into a peaceful world but he'll grow up in one. I have faith in you and what you believe in."
Yuuri felt a spark of hope chase away some of the darkness in his heart at Wolfram's words. Maybe Wolfram was right. Peace will happen in this world one day; Yuuri would make sure of it. "I love you," he declared softly.
Wolfram smiled. "I love you, too." He leaned forward slightly and offered his lips for a kiss.
Yuuri obliged him, leaning forward to give his husband what he wanted. They kissed briefly but passionately.
They lounged in bed for a while before Yuuri took him to their private bath, helping the blond wash before washing himself. Bathing was always a sensual moment for them, even more so now that Wolfram was pregnant. His consort had felt fat and ugly when he first started to show but Yuuri had never found him so beautiful, with his stomach round with their child. Wolfram's face was always glowing, his green eyes always twinkling with happiness whenever they talked about the baby. It was still embarrassing for Wolfram to be naked in front of Yuuri with his big belly but Yuuri took every opportunity available to show Wolfram just how gorgeous the blond was.
Yuuri dried them both off and slipped on black pants and a long-sleeved black shirt. He helped Wolfram slip on a blue gown. "What do you want to eat for breakfast?" Yuuri asked as he helped Wolfram back into bed. "I'll bring you whatever you like."
"I really prefer to go downstairs and eat with you there," Wolfram muttered.
"You know what Gisela said. We have to keep you off your feet as much as possible to hold off premature labor."
"If getting pregnant means practically being bedridden in the last couple of months of the pregnancy then there's no way you are touching me ever again, you insatiable beast."
"If you recall," Yuuri said hotly, "this baby was conceived in my study after you had seduced me. So who's the insatiable beast in this marriage?"
Wolfram pouted. "You were always working, signing papers, going off to negotiate with people. I understand you're the king but I needed attention too, at least for a little while. I am your husband after all. So can you blame me for seducing you?"
Yuuri chuckled, feeling a lot better than he had a few hours ago. "And I have since ensured that I don't let work interfere with my marriage again. Now what do you want for breakfast?"
"Fruits and yogurt."
Wolfram nodded and Yuuri left to get what his husband wanted.
Wolfram relaxed against the pillow, humming softly as he caressed his belly. He couldn't wait for the baby to be born, anxious to meet and hold what has been growing inside of him for the past several months. Yuuri often teased him about how he was going to be a 'mommy' and while technically it was true, Wolfram wasn't too thrilled at the idea of being referred to as 'mother' when that word was clearly meant for females.
The door creaked opened.
"Well that was fa—" Wolfram frowned when the midwife—what was her name?—entered the room, closing the door behind her. She was a thin woman, with tanned skin and freckles across the bridge of her nose. She wore soft pants and a form-fitting shirt. There was a leather belt around her waist and she had one hand behind her back. Her blue eyes eyed him with pleasure, her lips curved in a creepy smile.
Something was wrong. When he first met the midwife—Isa—she had been sweet and kind. Now she looked . . . different. Uneasy, hand moving protectively over his stomach, he asked, "What are you doing in here? Did Yuuri send you?"
The midwife shook her head. "No." Her voice was soft and as she stepped away from the door, her hand appeared from behind her back, hand brandishing a knife. "And as for what I'm doing in here . . . You and I are going to have a little chat."
Yuuri made his way back to his bedroom with a tray in his hands. A bowl of mixed fruit and a smaller bowl filled with vanilla yogurt sat on top of the tray with a tall glass of orange juice. There was another bowl filled with cereal for himself. He didn't have much of an appetite this morning. He felt better about his decision to declare war, but it still loomed large over his head like a dark cloud.
Carefully balancing the tray in one arm, he opened the door of his bedroom. "Okay, here's your—" Yuuri's words died when he entered the room. The tray wobbled and fell on the floor. He barely heard the soft sound the tray made and he didn't even notice the food and juice spilling across the carpet.
"Shut the door, Your Majesty."
Yuuri silently did as told, eyes not leaving the horrible sight of his pregnant husband standing by the windows, the midwife standing behind him, one arm across Wolfram's chest, the other attached to a hand that was at the moment holding a knife aimed right at Wolfram's neck. Yuuri locked eyes with Wolfram, could see the fear in those green eyes, fear for their unborn child. He was sure that fear was reflected in his own eyes, fear for their baby and his husband.
"I tried to escape before you came back," the midwife said in a calm voice. "But your husband was slow and didn't cooperate the way I wanted him to."
"What do you want?" Yuuri demanded, taking a step closer. "Let him go!"
"Don't come any closer," the woman warned, inching the knife closer to Wolfram's vulnerable neck. Yuuri immediately froze. "I don't want to kill him, but I will if I have to, Your Majesty."
Yuuri's title was sneered and it was clear the woman didn't think much of him as a king. "Who are you? You're not a midwife, are you?"
"On the contraire, I am a midwife. My name is Isolda and I am from Dai Shimeron." Isolda's eyes narrowed. "I knew when you declared war on my home country that your healer would go with the soldiers. I had already built up a reputation as a dependable midwife. I had little doubt that Gisela would choose me to be your consort's midwife while she was away."
Wolfram was trembling and Yuuri felt helpless. The man he was supposed to protect was being held hostage and Yuuri was at a loss of what to do. How could he save Wolfram without risking his or the baby's life?
"What do you want?" he asked, repeating his earlier demand. "Whatever it is, I'll give it to you, okay? Just let my husband go."
"But your husband is what I want. Well, technically, what I want is what's inside him. It doesn't belong to him."
"Inside him?" Yuuri's eyes narrowed in on Wolfram's stomach and understanding dawned. Wolfram must have understood what the woman was talking about too because slim hands slipped around his belly in what Yuuri had come to recognize as a protective embrace. "What the fuck are you talking about? Of course it belongs to him! The baby belongs to the both us."
"No." The word was sharp. Isolda shook her head; the hand holding the knife was steady and aimed at a deadly angle. "It's not his baby and it's not yours. It's my baby! He took my baby away from me."
That had to be the craziest thing he has ever heard! Yuuri was speechless, mouth opening to respond but his brain having failed to come up with anything to say. Her baby? Where did she get that idea? Not only was she a murderer, she was an unstable one.
Yuuri could feel the inner Maou who punished without mercy quiver with the need to come out and take over. Yuuri was protective of Wolfram—the Maou was even more, and in that very moment, his other Self was shaking with rage. If Yuuri allowed the transformation, the Maou would undoubtedly kill the woman. The problem was that he was pretty sure Isolda would slice Wolfram's neck as soon as he transformed. Just because she claimed that Wolfram was carrying her child didn't mean she was sane enough to realize that killing Wolfram might kill the baby, too.
Maybe if he kept her talking, she wouldn't notice him creeping forward until he was close enough to jerk the knife away.
"Why do you think it's your baby?" he finally asked. He slowly moved forward.
Isolda glared. "Because he stole it!" Her bottom lip trembled. "I was pregnant with the king's child. His heir. That's what one of the doctors said. I felt the baby inside me. I was going to be a mother." Tears fell from her eyes. Her knife-holding hand was no longer steady. "Then the doctor tells me that the baby is gone. That I lost it. I didn't believe it. Not for one second. And I was right. I didn't lose the baby. It was stolen from me."
Yuuri's fear for his husband's life skyrocketed. The hand pressing the knife against Wolfram's skin was shaking violently now. The slight whimper from Wolfram urged him to move faster but he didn't dare.
"How do you know Wolfram was the one who stole your baby?" He didn't dare use the word 'miscarriage.' He feared she would snap if he said anything that indicated that she lost her baby.
"Because I received word that the King-Consort of Shin Makoku was expecting a child and that he got pregnant around the same time someone stole my baby." She began to look angry. "I don't know how you did it, you whore, but you demons always found ways to steal things that belong to humans," she hissed into Wolfram's ear.
Wolfram visibly flinched, arms tightening around his belly even more. Wolfram never thought he would ever be as afraid as he was at that moment, not for himself, but for his unborn child. If it were just him being threatened he would have fought back, but he had to protect the defenseless life inside him. He could use his magic, but the hormones of his pregnancy affected his fire-wielding powers and instead of saving himself, he might burn down the entire castle instead.
He tried to force his features to show no pain or fear.
"It's not your baby," Wolfram whispered, hoping that he could dissuade her from her crazy notions. If this went on any longer . . . "Demons can't impregnate themselves by stealing the unborn children of others."
"Shut up!" She suddenly shrieked and pressure was placed on the knife. Wolfram gave a small cry of pain.
Yuuri rushed forward.
"I said stay back," she barked, "or I swear I'll kill him."
Yuuri froze at the sight of a small trickle of blood that slid down Wolfram's neck, lightly staining his gown. "I really don't want to kill him," Isolda said. "The baby isn't full term yet but if I have to, I will kill him and take my chances with the baby. It's strong, it'll survive."
Yuuri lifted his hands up to show his obedience and lack of aggression. He couldn't help but ask, "Are you really willing to risk the baby's life?"
"It's better than letting either one of you raise my child."
The small, slow stream of blood that trickled down Wolfram's pale skin had angered the Maou even more than what he already was. Yuuri had an inner struggle to keep his other Self back, but he wasn't sure how much longer he could keep the Maou in check.
"I will take my baby back," Isolda told them with determination and madness in her eyes, tears now gone. "I will take my baby back and give the king his heir. Then he'll take me back and he'll make me his queen like he promised after he's learned his lesson."
"What are you talking about? What king?" Yuuri asked. Keep her talking. Should he resume moving forward? Should he think of something else? His fear had grown into full-born terror. He wasn't sure what was safe to do anymore, but he knew that keeping her talking kept her attention more on himself and less on Wolfram. "Who are you talking about?"
Yuuri's eyes widened. That was Dai Shimaron's king who ascended the throne three years ago after his predecessor was assassinated. Was the king involved in this? Yuuri clenched his hands. He hated King Lindberg. Yuuri had gone to Dai Shimaron in hopes of persuading the new king to join the alliance for peace between humans and demons. Yet King Lindberg had not only shown his great dislike for Yuuri, he had showed great interest in Wolfram that went beyond appropriate. Lindberg had tried to get Wolfram alone more than once and Yuuri's temper had steadily increased until it exploded into rage after having caught the bastard trying to rape Wolfram behind an oak tree in the king's gardens. The Maou had come out, taken over, announcing that King Lindberg's actions towards Wolfram were unforgivable. It had taken the combined efforts of Wolfram, Conrart, and Gunter to hold him back before he flayed the king right where he stood. The visit was over right then and there, destroying any chance of an alliance with Dai Shimaron so long as King Lindberg sat on the throne.
"I was his mistress," Isolda spat. "His favorite mistress. He was happy about the baby. Then your consort stole it and the king found a new favorite mistress. He didn't even console me. I wanted to punish him a little and I wanted my baby back." She sniffed and locked gazes with Yuuri. "Then it came to me. His Majesty Wolfram had my baby and Lindberg needs to be punished for tossing me aside. If a war broke out between Shin Makoku and Dai Shimaron, Gisela will go with the soldiers, a healer would be required to replace the well-known Gisela who was monitoring Blondie's pregnancy, and Lindberg will have to fight a war against a country he refuses to admit he's afraid of."
Yuuri shot a surprised look in Wolfram's direction, who looked equally surprised by Isolda's somewhat vague words. Then Wolfram winced and Yuuri looked back at Isolda, glancing at the knife that was still pressed against Wolfram's neck. "What are you talking about?" he asked slowly, although he had a sinking feeling in his gut that he already knew.
"I was his favorite mistress," Isolda said, as though she felt a need to repeat that. "He told me things, things like particular groups in Dai Shimaron who were ready and willing to attack Shin Makoku, give all you demons a lesson. I knew they wouldn't obey my commands to attack Shin Makoku, but they would obey a command they think Lindberg gave to me to give to them. Amazing how several hateful persons would jump at any chance to do some violence on others." She gave him an evil grin. "And it went exactly as planned. The groups attacked, you thought it was Dai Shimaron, you declared war on Dai Shimaron, and I gained easy access to the slut who stole my baby."
"King Lindberg didn't order the attacks on the villages?" Yuuri was torn between mortification of having declared war on a country for something a crazy ex-mistress caused and fury towards said mistress for her horrible actions.
She smiled, suddenly looking like a young child who accomplished something for the first time, lips spread wide, eye twinkling with sheer joy—but the madness still lurked within them. The black-haired king could see it. "I'm smart, aren't I? I figured out who stole my baby and I managed to start a war between two countries. Your reputation as a peaceful king precedes you but I took a chance. Even the most lenient king won't stand for his country being under attacked for long. Extra points for me for getting you to declare a war!" She laughed. It was clear to Yuuri she was losing her sanity right before his eyes. She was becoming more erratic, looking restless as her whole body shook. Once again, the hand holding the knife trembled, as though anxious to dig deeper into Wolfram's skin until it tore through vulnerable pale flesh.
Wolfram looked panicky, his breathing becoming more labored, rising in volume and sweat breaking out on his face. His green eyes were filled with terror and . . . pain? Yuuri edged closer, staring at Wolfram's face. His husband was mouthing something, looking desperate, but Yuuri couldn't figure it out. He's never been good at lip reading.
"Now that the explanations are out of the way, how about you move before I decide to kill your precious beloved?"
"Killing Wolfram will only endanger the baby." Something was wrong with Wolfram. He seemed to be grimacing in pain. Was the wound from the knife deeper than he thought? "If you kill Wolfram, we'll have no choice but to—"
"Gut him like a fish so I could have my baby back?" Isolda's eyes sparkled even more, excitement beginning to shine in her orbs. "I know. I'm prepared."
"Premature babies don't have a high survival rate, you have to know that."
The woman snorted. "Don't try to scare me, Your Majesty. Like I said, my baby is strong. It'll survive. So move!"
Yuuri was close to them now. Just a few more inches and he'll be in reaching distance of that damn knife. He'll be able to jerk it away. "Please, Isolda. I'm sorry about your baby but you can't take ours. Please, don't hurt him."
A soft groan escaped from Wolfram's lips. His eyes were tightly clenched shut.
"Move," Isolda growled.
"Where are you going to go? The security around the castle is stronger than before because of the war. You won't be able to sneak out with Wolfram."
"Obviously not strong enough if I had been welcomed into the castle with open arms. Perhaps next time Gisela should do a better job when looking for midwives, or maybe you should do a better job checking the backgrounds of those you bring into your home. I've already figured a way out of this place, Your Majesty. Now I'm going to say this one more time. Move."
Close. He was so close. In her madness, she probably didn't realize he was close—or perhaps she didn't care. He shook his head, his black hair swaying with the movement. "I can't. I can't let you take my husband or my baby."
"Fine," she snarled. "If that's the way you want it, let's send your precious husband to hell! And you can blame—"
Wolfram suddenly cried out. Isolda looked startled, sharply looking at Wolfram. Yuuri didn't waste time. He took the opportunity and lunged. He reached out, grabbed a hold of Isolda's wrist, giving it a sharp twist until he heard bones snap. Isolda shrieked in pain, releasing her hold on both the knife and on Wolfram, who fell into a heap on the floor. Isolda swung wildly with her other arm, striking Yuuri on the side of his face. It triggered the transformation. The Maou emerged, blue aura surrounding his body, eyes shifting from round pupils to slits that were more cat-like than human.
Releasing Isolda's broken wrist, the Maou grabbed a hold of her throat.
"I want to kill you," he said lowly, squeezing his hand on her throat just enough to make her uncomfortable. She gasped and clawed at his hand, his wrist. Her blue eyes were wide with fear. He found some satisfaction in that, recalling the look of abject terror on Wolfram's face while the blond had been held at knifepoint. "However, my other half will try even harder to keep me in check if I murder anyone and he has already gained much strength in keeping me contained. So I'll let you live." He squeezed tighter, however, smiling grimly when Isolda gurgled. "Consider yourself Blood Pledge Castle's prisoner, you bitch, for daring to touch and harm what is mine."
He shoved her hard. His strength sent her sailing several feet away, feet stumbling, body turning, a cry of surprise and pain as she fell forward and hit her head against the edge of the writing desk, striking right at the temple. She fell on the ground, unmoving. The Maou allowed Yuuri to become the dominant personality once more. Yuuri remembered everything his other Self had done and said and although he blinked at the prone body that lay on the floor, he found himself not really caring if she was dead. He had other things to worry about.
Yuuri turned to Wolfram and found him still on the floor, a painful grimace on his face as he tightly held onto his belly. He rushed to his husband's side. "Wolfram? What's wrong?"
"You wimp," Wolfram whispered. "You idiotic, naïve, oblivious wimp. I'm in labor."
Yuuri's mind went blank. He gaped. He finally found his tongue seconds later, only for what perhaps were the stupidest words in the world to come out. "Are you sure?"
Wolfram gave him a heated glare that would have been a lot more effective if he didn't look as though he was in so much pain. "Of course I'm sure!" Wolfram shrieked at him. "I kept mouthing that I'm in labor!"
"But-but when did your water break?" Yuuri wrapped his arms around Wolfram, frantically trying to figure out a solution to this newfound problem. No one qualified was around to deliver the baby. Shit.
"Before you came to the room," Wolfram said, beginning to pant. "She came in and I struggled while she was trying to drag me out of bed." Wolfram leaned against Yuuri, groaning. "Then my water broke but she didn't notice, she was too busy dragging me out of bed." Wolfram yelped and clutched onto his belly. His body trembled. "The contractions started while you two were talking, getting worse until I couldn't hold back my cry." He whimpered. "Yuuri, it's too soon, it's too early."
"It's okay, it's all going to be okay."
"How? The baby is a month early!"
Wolfram was already terrified; it wouldn't help if Yuuri became a basket case. He glanced at the unmoving woman. She looked dead but what if she was pretending? Yuuri didn't want to leave the room to find some help if it meant leaving Wolfram alone with Isolda, but they needed someone to deliver the baby.
He thought fast. "We're going to another room, okay?"
Wolfram nodded, beginning to breathe in and out the way Gisela had taught him to get through the pain. With the help of Yuuri, he struggled onto his feet but as soon as he was up, he doubled over and cried out as excruciating pain went through his stomach. It felt like he was being ripped apart! "It hurts," he whimpered.
"Come on, Wolf, come on."
Still bent over, Yuuri helped his consort to the door, opening it and shuffling them into the hallway. "Guards!" he yelled.
Several guards came bumbling down the hall. "Your Majesties?" One of them asked.
"The midwife just threatened my consort's life. She's on the ground unmoving and I don't know if she's alive or if she's just faking it. Arrest her if she's conscious, watch over her if she's not—"
"Yuuri, the baby is coming, I can feel it," Wolfram whispered, groaning.
"Fuck," Yuuri growled. "Let's get you into a room."
They only took a few steps forward before Wolfram doubled over again, halting their progress. "I can't move anymore, it hurts too much." He started to sink down to the ground and Yuuri found the strength to lift Wolfram into his arms. It wasn't easy but the adrenaline now pumping through Yuuri's veins gave him the strength to carry his consort to a room that didn't have a psycho woman in it.
"The baby is coming now, Yuuri!" Wolfram cried when he was placed down on a cool bed.
"Damn, damn, damn." Yuuri helped Wolfram lean against the pillows, using the back of his hand to wipe at the sweat on his husband's brow. What should he do? He didn't have any experience with giving birth to babies.
Wolfram released a particularly loud yell of pain that echoed throughout the room and escaped out into the long corridor. It brought more guards and more servants to the doorway of the room where the pregnant King-Consort was enduring labor pains. Those who could see looked at the scene with wide eyes while those who couldn't see relied on a few to tell them what was happening. Nervous chatter was breaking out and Yuuri was at his wits end. This was not how he had imagined Wolfram giving birth. It wasn't what they had planned! Wolfram was supposed to have been safely cocooned in bed with just the midwife and Yuuri in attendance, not in a barely used bedroom with all these people crowding the doorway and no midwife to help.
"Oh, God, Yuuri, it hurts," Wolfram whimpered. Tears were beginning to shimmer in his green eyes but Yuuri wasn't sure if it was due to terror or pain—perhaps both.
"Shh, shh," Yuuri murmured, wanting to calm his consort. He looked up at the large group of people. "Does anyone know how to deliver a baby?"
Everyone looked around, some people yelling the question out loud so those who were in the back of the crowd could hear. Then one particular solder with short brown hair and brown eyes stepped through the crowd and entered the room. "I once delivered a baby about a year ago in one of the villages."
"Do you remember how?"
"Yes." The soldier removed the helmet on his head and handed it to one of the other soldiers. "I'll need a few things. Two bowls with hot water, some towels, and scissors." Some maids scurried through the crowd to get the requested items without being told.
Yuuri moved behind Wolfram, settling his consort between his legs, back to chest, so Wolfram could lean on him. Wolfram continued to either whimper or holler out in pain. He grabbed a hold of the blond's slim hands and immediately Wolfram began to squeeze. Yuuri winced but said nothing. He murmured soothing things into Wolfram's ear as the soldier climbed on the bed and kneeled in front of Wolfram, lifting and spreading the blond's legs, needing to see just how far along the King-Consort was.
"The baby is definitely not waiting around, Your Majesty," the soldier announced.
"I told you the baby was coming," Wolfram said through clenched teeth. He threw his head back, resting it against Yuuri's soldier. He bit on his lip hard when another contraction hit, his cry muffled. He clenched eyes shut, squeezing Yuuri's hands with all he had as he rode the pain. When it was over, he was left panting through his teeth, still biting his lip; he felt as though he just ran a marathon. If the contractions were bad, how much worse would it feel to deliver his child out of his body? He felt one of Yuuri's hands escape from his grip and a thumb was suddenly rubbing against his mouth.
"Let go, you're bleeding," Yuuri whispered, coaxing Wolfram's bottom lip out until the bruised, plump flesh was released. "There we are. Don't bite your lip, Wolf, don't hold anything back." He gave Wolfram his hand once more just as the requested items were brought and placed by the bed.
The soldier lifted up his sleeves and quickly washed his hands from one bowl and dipped the pair of scissors in the other bowl to sterilize it. He threw a large towel over Wolfram's upraised knees to protect some of his modesty as the soldier lifted the bottom of the nightgown out of the way.
"What if something's wrong?" Wolfram couldn't help but whisper. He was so afraid. This morning he had woken up and his only worry had been for Yuuri, concerned with the way the double black kept fretting over the war. Now he was afraid about his baby's health, if it would be born alive or dead, or if this premature labor would lead to future problems. "Yuuri, if something's wrong with our baby—"
"Hush, hush, don't think like that." Yuuri kissed Wolfram's temple, his cheek, his ear. "Everything is going to be okay."
"Okay, Your Majesty," the soldier said. "It's time. I need you to push."
Wolfram did as told, pushing, huffing, squeezing Yuuri's hands. Yuuri continued to murmur in Wolfram's ear, soothing the blond, reassuring him that Yuuri was right there for him, would always be there for him.
"We got a head!" Excited chatter broke out from the crowd, but Yuuri was solely focused on his consort and the soldier who was delivering the baby. "All right, Your—" The soldier's smile vanished, replaced with a look of shock and worry. "Damn," he whispered.
"What's wrong?" Yuuri demanded.
The soldier looked up at him. "The umbilical cord, Your Majesty. It's wrapped around the baby's neck."
Yuuri felt his heart freeze and Wolfram's eyes widened. "What?"
The soldier looked worried yet there was a small glint of determination in his eyes. "I think I know what to do." He swallowed. "I have to try to unwrap it." He gave Wolfram an apologetic look. "This may hurt."
Wolfram's eyes widened even more. "W-Wait, what are—?" Then something was reaching inside him and it was worse, so much worse than the labor, so much worse than anything he has ever felt before. He screamed, screamed louder than he ever has in his life. "Stop it! Stop it! It hurts! Stop it!"
Yuuri was horrified by the sounds coming out of Wolfram's mouth. They were blood-curling screams that Yuuri has only heard in the movies back on Earth, when someone was being tortured or killed in an excruciating manner. The piercing screams were sharp and it made him cringe. "Stop it," he found himself snarling at the soldier. "Stop it!"
"I need to unwrap the cord," the soldier said desperately, looking at the king with panic, knowing he was disobeying a direct order but still doing whatever it was he was doing. "I had to reach inside because if the baby comes out anymore, the cord will strangle it. I'm sorry. I'm trying to be fast."
It felt like the soldier was taking forever. Wolfram didn't stop screaming, repeating, begging, the soldier to stop, and Yuuri had to close his eyes, his heart aching at the pain his spouse was enduring. He wished he could take the pain away.
At last, Wolfram's screams died down and Yuuri held a sobbing blond in his arms. He looked at the brunet man who now looked grimly satisfied. "Is it over?" Yuuri asked hoarsely.
"Yes, Your Majesty. The cord is unwrapped." A deep breath was taken. His brown eyes stared at Wolfram. "Your Majesty, I need you to push now."
Wolfram looked away, still crying. He's never cried so much in his life and if he had any choice in the matter, he wouldn't be crying now. He had worked so hard all his life to prove he wasn't weak and now he had the castle's staff peering into what had to be one of his most vulnerable moments, seeing the proud King-Consort crying like a helpless child. Yet he didn't care if anyone thought of him as weak or weepy. He just wanted this whole ordeal over.
"Your Majesty, please push."
He shook his head. Wolfram couldn't do it. He was so tired and in too much pain.
"Wolfram," Yuuri whispered. "Wolfram, I don't know what you are going through and if I could, I would switch places with you, but we need you to push. Don't think of the pain. Think of that beautiful baby that's waiting to come out into this world. Don't you want to hold the baby in your arms?"
Wolfram listened to his husband's words as the half-human continued to murmur all these things into his ear, reminding him of how excited he was when he learned of his pregnancy, how he had personally overseen the decorating of the baby's nursery, how he had painted pictures of what their baby would look like. He was reminded of the times when Yuuri would place his broad hands on his bulging stomach, how the king would talk to the growing baby. Then, Wolfram remembered those times when it was just the two of them, sitting on their bed, reading a baby's book, unable to wait until the day when their family would grow from two people to three.
He took a deep breath. He couldn't be weak now. If there was ever a time when he needed to be strong, this was it, wasn't it? He braced herself, looked at the soldier and nodded.
He pushed. His face twisted into a grimace, a low groan escaping from his lips.
"I have his shoulders! Push again."
Wolfram did, pushing as long as he could before he fell back against Yuuri, more exhausted than he has ever been in his life, both physically and mentally. What Isolda had put him through had been the greatest scare of his life and because of her, he was giving birth prematurely, the one thing he had been trying to avoid. Her actions had certainly taken a toll on his body and mind, yet he realized that he had just enough strength to be infuriated at the woman. Wolfram didn't care if she was insane. If something was wrong with his baby and she was still alive, Wolfram was going to kill her with his bare hands.
"Your Majesty, one more push. That's all we need."
Wolfram swallowed, braced himself, and pushed as hard as he could, opening his mouth in a silent scream.
"There you go!" The soldier exclaimed with a bright smile as the baby slipped into his hands. A hush fell across the crowd as they waited for some sound from the newborn baby. Wolfram and Yuuri held their breath, needing to hear the cry that would tell them their baby wasn't a stillborn.
A few moments later, the unmistakable crying and screaming of a baby rented through the air and a cheer went up from the people still crowding the doorway.
Wolfram and Yuuri stared in awe at the little body covered in fluids and blood, tiny hands waving in the air and feet kicking as it shrieked angrily at the world. The soldier grabbed the scissors and cut the umbilical cord. He wrapped the little shrieking baby into some towels after wiping the fluids and blood off as best he could.
"Here you go, Your Majesty," the soldier said, handing Wolfram the baby. "Meet your new son."
"It's a boy?" Wolfram croaked as he held the baby to his chest. The baby wiggled and continued to cry but eventually he quieted down and simply stared up at Wolfram. "Hi, baby," Wolfram whispered, still crying, this time from the pure happiness he felt of holding his baby in his arms. "Hi."
"We have a son," Yuuri whispered, tears pricking at his eyes. "He's so beautiful, just like you." He kissed Wolfram's temple, peering down at his son, wanting to hold him himself but willing to wait for his turn. Wolfram had to go through the pains and suffering of pregnancy and labor. He deserved to hold the baby for as long as he wanted. "I'm so proud of you."
Wolfram laughed through his tears and snuggled the baby as close as he could to his chest, simply amazed at what he and Yuuri had created. "Look what we did, Yuuri" he whispered. "He's okay. Thank Shinou he's okay."
Yuuri nodded, more grateful than he has ever been in life that the baby was okay, that they all got through this okay. "What are we going to name him?" Whatever Wolfram wanted was okay with him.
"I don't know." Wolfram sniffled and closed his eyes, basking in the moment. When he reopened them, they landed on the soldier who was now cleaning his hands, smiling as well, his brown gaze constantly straying to the quiet baby. An idea came to him. "What's your name?" Wolfram asked softly.
The soldier's eyes quickly looked at Wolfram's face. He cleared his throat, looking just a bit wary. Was he afraid that Wolfram was mad at him for not stopping when Wolfram had told him to? Wolfram hoped not. Even if Wolfram had been mad, having the baby safe and alive in his arms would have wiped away any traces of anger.
"Adalrik, Your Majesty."
"What does it mean?"
Adalrik was starting to look confused but he answered, "I don't remember but I believe the word noble is somewhere in the meaning."
"I see." Wolfram looked down at his son. "Prince Adalrik Shibuya." Wolfram looked up at Yuuri. "How does that sound?"
"A little awkward but I think it could work." Yuuri grinned. "He'll be able to handle it."
"I hope you don't mind, Adalrik," Wolfram said, looking at the soldier, "if we name our son after you."
Adalrik senior looked shocked but he mutely shook his head. He even managed to speak. "I don't mind at all, Your Majesty." He looked down at the baby and he slowly smiled. "In fact, it would be an honor. Thank you."
"Thank you," Wolfram said. "Thank you for bringing my son into the world safely."
Wolfram looked down at his son, eyeing the pale skin, the few dark curls on his scalp. The baby's eyes were a dark green, darker than Wolfram's. He wondered if they would lighten up as the baby grew. One of Yuuri's hands reached out, softly cupping the back of the baby's head. The baby's head was so small against the broad hand of the king.
"Welcome to the world, baby Adalrik," Yuuri whispered. "Welcome home."
(Four months later)
Yuuri rested against the headboard as he watched his husband sway across the room from one side to the other, singing softly to the baby who had woken them up from a sound sleep with his crying. Adalrik was starting to quiet down just as the sun was starting to shed some light into the room.
When the baby's cries finally stopped completely, Yuuri murmured, "You know that he won't be going back to sleep anytime soon."
Wolfram stopped singing an old demon lullaby and smiled, cradling the baby against his chest. "I know." He walked back to the bed and carefully sat on it. Yuuri shifted closer to tickle the underside of his son's chin. The baby swiped at his hand and took hold of his finger before sucking on it.
Yuuri chuckled. "I think you should have brought over his pacifier."
"For some reason he prefers your finger to any pacifier I bring him."
"Well, unless we cut off my finger, he'll have to find something else to chew on while he's teething." He carefully removed his finger from his son's mouth. "And no offense to our son but I kind of like my fingers attached to my hand."
Laughing, Wolfram carefully held Adalrik from his armpits and had him stand on Wolfram's thighs. He began to bounce him, making the baby smile with glee. "Take it as a compliment that our child prefers his daddy than any pacifier made out there in the world." He then lowered the baby against his chest and kissed the tiny cheek. The baby reached up with curiosity and grabbed a fistful of Wolfram's blond hair before tugging. Wolfram winced. "I also wished he preferred to pull his daddy's hair rather than mine."
"Aw, does his mommy not like it when he pulls at his hair?" Yuuri helped his consort out and carefully loosened Adalrik's hold on the hair.
"Don't call me mommy." Wolfram shot him a warning look. "If you say that around Adalrik he'll think its how I'm supposed to be called."
"Hate to break it to you, Wolf," Yuuri murmured as he leaned forward to give his consort a kiss on the cheek, "but that is what you are. You're a mother."
"Then we'll have to think of another title to give me. I refuse to be called such a girly name."
"This coming from the guy who wears frilly, girly gowns to bed?" He kissed Wolfram again, this time on the mouth. "Embrace your title, mommy."
Green eyes glared at him. "If you weren't the father of my child I'd kill you."
Laughter burst from Yuuri's mouth and he swung his legs over the side of the bed. "No you wouldn't," he said confidently. "You love me too much."
"Sometimes I question that," Wolfram muttered.
Not taking any offense by those words, he stood up and carefully took Adalrik into his own arms. "While you question it, I am perfectly assured that my little boy loves me to death." Yuuri shifted his son until Adalrik was cradled in his arms properly. "Don't you, Adalrik?"
The baby stared up at him with his green eyes and then he made a gurgling sound before waving his tiny fists in the air. Yuuri grinned down at his son. "See?" he said with triumph, looking over at Wolfram. "He loves me."
Wolfram had scooted up on the bed until his back was against the headboard, legs lifted up and knees tucked comfortably under Wolfram's chin, with his slim arms wrapped around his legs. "Adalrik does that all the time. How is it that you translated it to him agreeing with you?"
"I'm king. Anything I say goes. I'm sure he agreed with me."
"Amazing how ten years ago you weren't sure of anything when you first got here."
Yuuri's amusement vanished momentarily. "No, but if there is one thing I am sure of now and will always be sure of is that I love you, Wolfram."
Wolfram smiled. "I know. I love you, too."
Yuuri returned the smile. "I know." He turned away and carried Adalrik to the window, the sun having managed to completely rise up from behind the mountains. Thanks to Adalrik, Yuuri has seen enough sunrises to last a lifetime but he didn't really mind. He relished the time he spent with his consort and son before he had to start his kingly duties for the day. As much as he loved the rest of the people who inhabited the country, there were times when all he wanted was to be alone with Wolfram and Adalrik, watching them, cherishing them, loving them.
Everyone absolutely adored Adalrik, from Cecilie to Gunter, from Conrart to Gwendal; Adalrik was constantly being swapped from arm to arm between relatives and close friends. Gunter has already given his word that when the time came to appoint a new king, he and Gwendal would vote for Adalrik, and he was sure that the other eight heads of the ten noble families would vote for Yuuri's son as well. The lilac-haired advisor felt that any child created by Yuuri, who was considered the greatest king ever to rule Shin Makoku after Shinou, and Wolfram, who was a strong demon in his own right, would be worthy to rule the country.
Adalrik has yet to do any magic that would hint at what his powers would be but everyone kept saying that since he was conceived by two powerful magic-wielders, his powers would be just as strong, if not stronger, as his parents' magic.
Yuuri looked down at what he could see of the capital and saw early-risers already walking on the roads, shops getting ready to open, and farmers already hard at work at growing crops and raising cattle. He was glad to see the peaceful sight, especially after the close encounter with Dai Shimaron.
Soon after Wolfram gave birth, Yuuri had immediately called off the war, sending emergency pigeons to the leaders of the armies to fall back and return to Shin Makoku. Yuuri had wondered why Lindberg never denied the accusations of ordering the attacks on the villages and eventually concluded that Lindberg had wanted to be attacked in an attempt to accuse Shin Makoku of starting a war for no real reason. Thankfully, the armies had received the messages in time and the war was over before any bloodshed could be spilled.
Tensions between Dai Shimaron and Shin Makoku had increased since the near confrontation, and Lindberg had even gone as far as to warn Yuuri that a war was inevitable between their countries now that Yuuri has "proven himself to start wars without cause." In defense and in an attempt to avoid any future wars, Yuuri had sent Lindberg a message explaining Isolda's role in the declared war. Although Lindberg never responded to that, Yuuri had heard from Yozak—who had been spying around Dai Shimaron to get a heads-up on whether a war was imminent—that the proposal of war against Shin Makoku was no longer being considered.
Isolda had been knocked unconscious when she had hit the desk and she had been prisoner for well over a month as Yuuri tried to decide what to do with her. While he hadn't wanted to execute her for what she had done, neither had he been willing to forgive her the way he had forgiven so many others. She had crossed a line no one else had: She had single-handedly instigated a war to achieve her own ends and threatened his consort and their son's lives. Conrart had tried to interrogate to her, to get answers to questions that were still unclear, but all she cared about was the baby and had refused to answer anything unless she got her baby back. Even as she sat in her cell, she had still believed that Adalrik was hers and had demanded more than once to see "her" baby. Before he could come to a decision concerning her future, Isolda had shredded her bed sheets and created a makeshift rope to hang herself with, some questions forever left unanswered. Her remaining family had been found and contacted and they had taken her body to do as they wish with it.
Adalrik made more gurgling noises, pulling Yuuri out of his musings. He looked down at his son and shifted him until Adalrik would be able to see out the window. The baby became a little more active and Yuuri chuckled. He bestowed a kiss on his tiny head. "That's the world out there, Adalrik," he whispered to his son. "I'm going to give it to you."
He walked back to the bed where Wolfram had been silently watching him and handed Adalrik back to his consort before making himself comfortable beside him. He wrapped one arm around Wolfram's shoulders, his husband leaning against him. Wolfram began to croon to the baby once more. He certainly did have a beautiful voice.
Yuuri had never dreamed that one day he would be married to a male demon who could be impregnated, just as he had never dreamed that he would be ruling a country filled with demons and half-demons. He was a king, a husband, and a father, none of which was easy to be, and yet . . .
Yuuri smiled when Wolfram began to spread kisses all over the baby's face, making Adalrik laugh in delight.
. . . And yet, he wouldn't trade his life for anything in the world.
A/N: With this one-shot, I had a difficult time deciding how exactly I wanted to have the birthing scene. I've never done mpreg and I've read the various ways people have written it. So finally, I decided to keep the birth as natural as possible without cluttering the one-shot with explanations about male pregnancies that would probably be better suited for a much longer fic.
After having said that, how was it? Good? Bad? I'm not a hundred percent content with this story and am eager to know what you have to say about it. I'd appreciate any reviews and constructive criticism, even if it's to point out a misspelled word.
Thanks for reading!