July 29 – How Yuuri Found His Happily Ever After

"Hey, Yozak! Are you coming to the ball, too?"

Yuuri poked his head behind the pillar where Yozak was hiding. The spy had probably been sent to keep an eye on Yuuri, and he most likely would have ended up hiding in one of the balconies during the festivities. However, Yuuri thought it might be a good idea to let him join the party. After all, with what he had planned, he'd have plenty of guards around anyway.

"Oh! Aaah~ Looks like you've found me, kiddo. Am I losing my touch?" Yozak scratched his head sheepishly.

"Nah, Conrad and Gwendal are the ones who gave it away. Sometimes their eyes flick off for a second and I never know what they're looking at! It took me five years to piece together the fact it was you hiding behind these places!"

They were close to his chambers, and it was time for the evening's main attraction to begin. Many guests had already arrived, and yet Yuuri still hadn't gotten changed. No doubt Cheri would be sending someone to drag him down if he didn't show up soon. She'd definitely be watching for him.

Yuuri glanced behind him at the doors to his own room, thinking of how he'd have to stuff himself into the itchy formal wear. Then he turned back around to regard Yozak and tried his original line of questioning once again. "Are you coming?"

"I'd love to, but I'm sorry, kiddo. His Excellency's got me on guard duty, and he'll have a fit if I let something happen to you," Yozak said in his customary flippant tone.

"Don't worry about that. This is my party, right? I'd like it if you were there."

The young king strode off, leaving his guard in a state of shock. Yozak watched as Yuuri left for his room down the hall, and then he broke out in a slow grin. "You wouldn't mind if I wore a dress, would you?"

But Yuuri was out of earshot by then.

It was the night of the ball, and the man for whom the celebration was being held was firm in his desire to see it through. But it would be on his own terms.

After he had gotten dressed, Yuuri glanced down at the mask in his hands. It looked exactly the same as the one he had worn in the dream, and he wouldn't be surprised if everything else was the same, too. Well, with the exception of Yozak, maybe. He hadn't seen Ms. Biceps anywhere in the actual masquerade the past few nights, but he was sure she would make an appearance now.

That was proof that he could change the outcome if he set his mind to it. And with that thought, Yuuri tossed the mask onto his bed and made his way down to the banquet hall with his face in plain sight.

He stood before the double doors as he had done so many times now. This time, he could hear the musicians and chattering guests. He took a deep breath and-

"Hello, handsome~ "

It was Yozak, of course. What was unexpected was that he was wearing a dress that was suspiciously similar to his Fairy Godmother getup, but with the addition of a dainty, pink feathered mask. Yuuri had to stifle an inappropriate giggle.

"How do you do it? I mean, how do you put on makeup so fast?"

"Now, now... That's a trade secret!" Yozak winked and wagged his finger teasingly. Yuuri just shook his head in amusement.

"Shall we?"

He extended his hand to Ms. Biceps, and they entered the masquerade together. They must have looked quite the sight, with the Maou - and he was obviously the Maou without his mask or contacts to hide him - and a very sturdy woman marching in side by side. Everyone turned to stare.

"Oh, hey, Gwendal's at that table in the corner. Hi, Gwendal! Hold on, we're coming over!"

Yuuri waved cheerfully and pulled Yozak along with him. To the onlookers, the Maou's lady friend looked like she was having way too much fun with this. Lord von Voltaire, however, had stood up as his name was called and was gaping at the scene in furious surprise.

"What is the meaning of this?"

"Your Majesty! Oh, Your Majesty!" Gunter came flying over as fast as he could, his silver hair streaming dramatically behind him. "Please, Your Majesty! Put on your mask! Why are you doing this?"

Lord von Kleist attached himself to the Maou's other side, and was completely pressed up against the younger man.

"Aw, come on, Gunter. It's because it's my birthday! I want to hang out with everyone!"

Yuuri grabbed both Gunter and Yozak, and pulled them over to Gwendal's table. By then, the stoic Lord von Voltaire had sunk back down into his seat and was busy rubbing his temples to stave off the impending headache.

"Your Majesty! Everyone knows who you are this way! It will ruin the most important aspect of the masquerade!" Gunter continued to wail his displeasure.

"Trust me, Gunter. Everyone would know who I was anyway. It's not as if these little half-masks are doing a good job of hiding anyone's identity, so it's better if I'm surrounded by enough of my friends that I'll have a full 360 degrees of protection!"

"Three hundred...? I'm not familiar with this expression, Your Majesty. Are you insisting that Wolfram fry our guests?"

"No! Man, I keep forgetting how weird math is over here. Just...it's a circle, all right? Like a wall. You guys all form a circle around me and cockblock anyone who tries to get at me!"

"Cock-"

"Keep them away from me! Besides, I'll have a lot more fun if I can talk to all my friends."

Yuuri beamed at Gunter, whose lip quivered as he tried very hard not to give in. But His Majesty was looking at him so pleadingly with his wonderful dark eyes, dark and clear as onyx in moonlight! Resistance was futile.

Around the time that Gunter drooped down into a sobbing mess, clutching at His Majesty's legs, Conrad had popped out from wherever he had been hiding and joined them at the table. They pulled up another table, rearranged the chairs to accommodate more people, and finally settled down into their seats. Then Greta bounded over to see what all the excitement was about, and Yuuri shouted and waved at Wolfram to get his attention.

That earned him a whap to the back of the head and a "Wimp!" followed by a lecture about how the king should just go through with his duty instead of coming up with elaborate schemes like these to break tradition blah blah. Yuuri didn't pay much attention because he was too busy feeling pleased at how well his plan was working out. Even Cheri had stopped flirting with all the handsome older men and sauntered over to give him a squishy hug.

Yup. This was exactly how a birthday party should be!

Unfortunately, Anissina also took this time to swagger up to him and inquire about her invention.

"So, Your Majesty, was my Evil Mirror of Desire a success? May I ask what you saw?"

"Yeah, I guess it was," he replied. "You were right about it not having to be romantic desire. I'm pretty sure my greatest desire right now is to just play baseball or something, because man, I love baseball." Under his breath, he added a few extra mumbled sentences. "I'm still not sure exactly what I saw, but it involved Conrad in a dress, so now I'm probably brain damaged..."

"You're getting engaged to my baby Conrad and he's wearing the dress at the wedding?" Lady Cheri was suddenly in front of him, placing both hands on his shoulders and staring at him so intently that he couldn't help but squirm. She had interrupted his train of thought with this earnest line of questioning, her eyes gleaming in barely concealed excitement.

A chorus of gasps immediately resounded from the small crowd around them, followed by not-so-secret hisses and whispers of "Damn it, I blew my extra spending money on a reunion with Lord von Bielefelt!" and "Aw, crap. I should have known not to bet on the super dark horse candidates," and "I knew it would be Lord Weller. Slow and steady always wins the race!" among others.

"No!" Yuuri flailed. He carefully pulled Cheri's hands away before continuing. "Where do you people come up with these things? You know what? This is my dream –- ah, life. Right. This is my life and I'm in control of my destiny! I'm not getting married until I say I want to!" He raised his voice so that all the assembled guests could hear. "There won't be an engagement tonight!"

The crowd was silent. Dumbfounded. Yuuri felt his cheeks pink at their intense focus.

And then there was a single cheer. It was Cheri who shouted, "Score one for free love!"

"Yeah!" Yuuri shouted back, "Free love!"

Confused whoops and catcalls resounded, growing until the whole crowd was in. The people didn't seem to know why they were cheering, but they were. Yuuri turned to look at his friends. Most of them, like Wolfram and Gwendal were looking back at him in amused exasperation. Conrad and Yozak were vainly trying to stifle their snickers, though Conrad threw him a sympathetic glance as well, and Anissina just looked smug. It was almost like those three knew something, and he wouldn't be surprised to find out that they had made a killing in the betting ring. But Conrad wouldn't do something as crass as betting on his king's love life, would he? Well, whatever it was, he was probably better off keeping his nose out of it.

Screw marriage! He wasn't ready, so he wasn't getting married. He didn't want to be insincere, so he wasn't going to enter into an engagement that would most likely end up broken again.

And so it was that the Maou passed his 20th birthday. If, in the future, he found his True Love... Well, that's another story for another time.

For now, all his friends were around him. Yuuri didn't need to go looking for his happily ever after because he'd had it all along.

The End.

...

...

...

Or not.

The party was over and the crowd had dispersed. Wolfram proclaimed that it was time to tuck Greta into bed, which had seemed to signal to everyone that it was getting late and they ought to prepare for the next day. Greta, though, had retorted that she wasn't a baby anymore and didn't need bedtime kisses.

"I'm already a teenager!" Greta stomped her foot.

"You're still our baby daughter!" Wolfram shouted back at her in his no-nonsense voice.

Yuuri figured she was just going through that rebellious stage, and if he really thought about it, her two daddies were freakishly overprotective and probably not helping matters. But then again, he was one of her daddies, so that automatically put him on Wolfram's side of the argument.

"Listen to your father, Greta," he said as he ruffled her curly hair.

"Um...yes, daddy?"

It was then that Yuuri realized he'd made a mistake. "I mean your other father. Listen to Wolfram, Greta."

"Fine, but this is the last time, okay? Beatrice's dad doesn't hover around her like you guys do, and she's almost four whole years younger than me!"

With that, Greta marched out of the ballroom. Yuuri sniffled a little at her departure.

"My baby's growing up! I don't want her to grow up, Wolf!"

"Oh shut up, wimp. I hope you know what you've gotten yourself into."

And with that, Wolfram walked out as well. Gunter remained by Yuuri's side, biting his lips and looking grief-stricken. Conrad was, as always, standing slightly behind his king, on the lookout for danger even now.

"Ahem," Gunter nervously cleared his throat in anticipation of an important speech. "Forgive this impudent servant, Your Majesty, but Shin Makoku's laws dictate that there must be an engagement of some sort after every masquerade ball thrown for a young noble, no matter how soon you call it off... It will take a few months to repeal that law, a-a-and as Your Majesty has proclaimed love for... I can't say it! Oh, Your Majesty! I will draw up the papers to cancel this engagement at once!"

As Gunter fled the scene in a flood of tears, Yuuri felt a creeping sense of dread descend upon him. Wolfram's cryptic warning, and now Gunter... He closed his eyes and willed it away, but that didn't work. With a troubled frown, Yuuri turned pleading eyes to Conrad, oh Mighty Savior of Baseball and Jogging and Other Fun Things, but Conrad only gave him an apologetic smile.

"I'm sorry, Your Majesty, but it looks like you're engaged again. You can, of course, follow Gunter and start filing the paperwork to break this off as soon as possible, though there may be a waiting period required, seeing as you've just broken the engagement to Wolfram." Conrad then reached out to put a hand on his shoulder and continued. "But perhaps this might not be too unwelcome. As long as you have this engagement where your fiancé will not pressure you for marriage..."

Yuuri's eyes widened at the connotations. Gunter said he had accidentally proclaimed his love, and now Conrad was saying his fiancé wouldn't pressure him for marriage. Could it have been his plan had backfired in the worst possible way? Did this mean he was engaged to everyone?

What was this, some kind of harem anime?

No, no... Calm down, Yuuri... It was absolutely impossible for him to get engaged to everyone all at once! That was just- That was just crazy!

It that was the case, then... And his conversation with Anissina about his dream. And with Cheri. And the dress talk! That meant that he was-? That they were-? With Conrad-?

"Wait! Th-that's not fair! I can't just keep up another sham of an engagement! I mean, what about you? It wouldn't be right for me to use you like that just to keep away unwanted suitors. I could never do that to you, Conrad!"

"Your Majesty? I...don't quite know what to say..." Conrad patted Yuuri's back consolingly. He looked like he had a lot on his mind. It was that same look that Conrad got when he was ignoring his own desires to take care of Yuuri and do whatever Yuuri wanted.

Yuuri hated that look! Why did Conrad always have to be so noble? Even now, saying that this was okay just because Yuuri wouldn't be pressured into marriage? How could he say-

"There appears to have been a misunderstanding."

-that... What did Conrad say?

"...Eh? What's there to misunderstand? I got myself into another mess, and this time I'm dragging you down, too, right? This happened because I mentioned that you were in my dream, so... Aren't I engaged t-to you, Conrad?"

"Ah, well, not quite."

"Then...who exactly am I engaged to?"

At this, Conrad took in a deep breath and broke the news to Yuuri as gently as he could.

"...Baseball."

There had been the dragon and the sandbear. A man had gotten married to his job. And now the Maou was engaged to a sport. Could it be that the concept of marriage in Shin Makoku was inherently different from that of Earth?

There was a stunned silence until Yuuri gathered his wits and calmly responded, "Yeah. Hey, let's go find Gunter and fill out those papers. Much as I love baseball, I don't think this relationship is meant to be, either."

Sometimes Yuuri really hated his big mouth.

The End.

...

...

...

Or not.

As they headed up the stairs to the office, Yuuri could no longer contain his suspicions. "Say, Conrad?"

"Yes, Your Majesty?"

"Call me Yuuri! Yuuri!"

"Yes, Yuuri?"

"Yeah... Ah, you didn't by any chance... lose a bet to Yozak or commission Anissina to make... something?"

Conrad's eyes squinted happily as he said, "I'm sure I have no idea what you mean."

The End. (For real this time.)


A/N: Thank you, everyone! YES, THIS FIC IS (sort of) YUURI/BASEBALL. It's totally my favorite Yuuri/non-living entity pairing, followed closely by Yuuri/the space-time continuum.

Ahem. I should probably mention that this is a parody spawned entirely from all my pet peeves in KKM fandom, primarily the "Yuuri has no choice in anything, but that's okay because DESTINY" thing. The point of this story, besides showcasing the wonderful, under-appreciated harem, is "Damn it! Yuuri is his own freakin' person and he can do whatever he wants with this engagement shiz! Power to the Yuuri!" (Yeah, that's right. THE Yuuri, bitches. Y'all want some of this studly stud.)

So yeah, sometimes when fandumb annoys me, I go off and respond with 17,000+ words worth of crack-fic. And that's my take on things. Hee~

Thanks again for reading! I'm excited because this is my first ever FINISHED chaptered fic! Yay! :D