Yes, that's right, all 20. I didn't write them in order, so sometimes they might reference each other in a rather non-linear fashion. I don't think it'll be a big deal though.
Most of these include hints of Yuuri/Wolfram, so I won't bother to rewarn unless there's something explicit, and all the ones with Murata in them probably contain some reference to the Murata Spoiler.
it's about 6k words total, if you wanted to know.
Characters: Cheri, Wolfram, Gwendal, Conrad
"Who's my little prince?" Cheri cooed at her newest son, tickling his stomach and making the baby squeal in delight. "You're my little prince, aren't you!"
"He looks just like her," Gwendal commented, low enough that only his brother could hear.
"I suppose one of us was going to, sooner or later," Conrad shrugged. He reached up to tug his ponytail, but touched only air; his military haircut was still too new for him to remember he had short hair now. "Maybe he'll act like her, too."
"Bite your tongue," Gwendal said gruffly.
"It's good that he was born now," Conrad commented. "Now that I'm third heir, it won't be so troublesome if something happens to me in battle."
"Conrad…" Gwendal began, but Conrad waved him off.
"It's all right, brother," Conrad said, and if his cheer was a little forced, Gwendal could be counted on not to comment on it. "No helping the human blood. Besides, now that mother's got her requisite two full-blooded heirs, I can do what I wish."
"Speaking of," Gwendal turned his head just enough to eye Conrad, "where is Yozak?"
Conrad laughed, and didn't answer.
"Gwendal!" Cheri called. "Conrad! Come and meet your baby brother!"
Characters: Conrad, Lord Weller (Conrad's Father), Yozak
When the king of Dai Shimeron summoned Conrad's father back to his native country, he left his sword in the care of his son, who had just barely grown tall enough to wield it.
"But you'll need it!" Conrad protested. "And I should be going with you!"
"No," his father said, turning back to his hurried packing.
"I won't stay here!" Conrad's face flushed with anger. "Not when you…"
"No!" Lord Weller shouted, then sighed as Conrad bit his lip angrily and turned away. "You have to stay here."
"I don't understand!" Conrad yelled.
"Son, listen to me," Lord Weller put his hands on Conrad's shoulders and turned him back around. Conrad tightened his grip around the sword until his knuckles turned white. "I will not use this sword to spill blood in the name of King Belal, and I will die to make sure that you never do either. You must guard the Maou, you must guard your mother and your brother, and you must guard Yozak, in that order, do you understand?"
"No," Conrad whispered, a tear slipping down his cheek.
"You will," his father promised. He wiped the tear away. "From now on, you will be Lord Weller in Shin Makoku, and that blade will kill for no one but the Maou."
An hour later, Lord Weller stood stoically at the front gates with a wailing Cheri and an apologetic Gunter, watching his father ride into the distance for the last time.
Many hours after that, Conrad crawled into Yozak's bed with a sword he was barely tall enough to wield and cried until he passed out just before dawn, face pressed against Yozak's chest and fingers tangled in the bright orange hair.
Characters: Greta, Yuuri, Gwendal
"Daddy," Greta said, "I have something for you! I made it myself."
Yuuri looked up and smiled at the welcome interruption to his morning lessons about the royal family of some place that might someday attempt to invade if they could ever stop squabbling amongst themselves.
Greta was holding out a white stuffed animal. Conrad, who had come into the room a few minutes before and had been waiting for Gwendal to finish, took the opportunity to speak quietly with Gwendal.
"Thank you, Greta!" Yuuri smiled at the girl, who beamed back. He took the animal and turned it over, revealing a little brown face on the white, puffy thing, and four long, brown legs. "Greta, this is wonderful! It looks just like T-zou!"
"It's supposed to be a horse." Greta scowled.
"Ah." Yuuri bit his lip to stop the laugh. "Has Gwendal been helping you?"
"How did you know?" Greta asked, perplexed, and a few steps away Conrad gave a very suspicious sounding cough.
4. The Giving and Recieving of Gifts
Characters: Gwendal (Gwendal/Gunter), Yuuri
"I have no idea what to get Wolfram for his birthday," Yuuri moaned. "I'll probably screw it all up and he'll use me for a pinata."
"Ngh," Gwendal grunted, focused on the letter he was writing.
"Gunter's birthday was last month," Yuuri remembered. "Gwendal, what did you get him?"
"I'm not at liberty to say," Gwendal said.
"Come on now," Yuuri coaxed. "As Maou, I demand that you tell me what you gave Gunter for his birthday."
Gwendal's quill paused for only a second before he went on writing.
"The joy of gay sex," he answered flatly.
"Really?" Yuuri blinked. "I didn't know they had that book here! My mother gave me that last year, which is kind of disturbing, but I chose to think of it as a gag gift…it's funny how our worlds are the same sometimes, isn't it?"
Gwendal did finally look up to raise an eyebrow at Yuuri.
"There's a book?" he asked.
Characters: Conrad, Yozak, minor spoilers for episode 40
"Yozak," Conrad said without turning his head from the ceiling as he lay on his prison cot. "I know you're there."
"You know a lot, don't you," Yozak answered, coming in the door with his arms crossed, and Conrad refused to turn his head, because when Yozak was looking grim instead of wearing a dress, Conrad couldn't make sense of anything. "You broke the Maou's heart, Weller."
"Is that whose heart you're here to talk about?" Conrad murmured.
"You Wellers," Yozak snarled, leaning over until Conrad had to look at him, blue eyes snapping dangerously. "You're never happier than when you're bound so deeply to so many people you can't claim a single action for your own."
"I didn't tie the knots myself," Conrad replied, looking away. Yozak seized Conrad's chin and jerked his head back to look at him.
"What do you think your father gave you his sword for, you idiot?" Yozak hissed, fingers digging into Conrad's skin. "He wanted you to cut yourself free, and to serve the Maou first, always!"
"I know what my father said!" Conrad snapped, slapping Yozak's hand away, but Yozak caught his wrist with his other hand.
"Why?" Yozak demanded in frustration. "Why won't you just tell us? Why won't you tell me, you son of a bitch!"
"Because," Conrad smiled sadly, "because I serve the Maou first. Always."
6. Dances, Public Events
Characters: Conrad, Wolfram/Yuuri
"Aren't you going to ask Yuuri to go with you to mother's ball?" Conrad asked, in between the clangs of their swords meeting. "He's starting to get nervous."
"No!" Wolfram snapped, shoving Conrad back viciously.
"Why not?" Conrad asked. He paused to block a flurry of attacks on his right side, then continued. "You want to go with him, right?"
"Of course I do!" Wolfram grunted as he took a solid blow to the arm in order to get in a low attack. Conrad dodged back just in time, and Wolfram shook the hurt out from his arm. "But he should be asking me!"
"Girls are supposed to ask boys," Conrad remarked casually. Wolfram's blows were getting sloppier as he got more agitated, and Conrad delivered him a ringing strike that nearly knocked his sword out of his hand, but definitely rattled his teeth.
"Do I look like a girl to you?" Wolfram tightened up his stance and circled Conrad warily, looking for an opening.
"Wolfram, dear brother," Conrad smirked, "I have news for you. We all know you're the girl."
With a roar of rage, Wolfram charged Conrad head-on, steel shrieking as their swords met.
"You did this during practice?" Yuuri asked as Wolfram was rebandaging his arm before bed that night. "Wolfram, that looks terrible! How did it happen?"
"Forget it," Wolfram grumbled. "Do you want to go to my mother's ball with me?"
"Wolfram!" Yuuri beamed. "Of course I will! I'm glad you finally asked, I was starting to worry."
Wolfram felt a little glow of pleasure at Yuuri's words until he added, "I thought I was going to have to be the girl to get to go with you, but Conrad told me I should just stand my ground and…Wolfram, why are you grinding your teeth like that?"
Characters: Conrad, Yozak, Wolfram, Yuuri
Conrad, Yozak, and Wolfram all eyed Yuuri suspiciously.
"Any time now, your majesty," Conrad said.
"Don't rush the Maou," Yuuri replied, weighing his options. The stakes were high, Yuuri thought as he flexed his fingers in anticipation. One wrong move could mean agonizing defeat, one telltale twitch, one moment of eye contact at the wrong time.
Finally he made his decision and chose his weapon.
"Three queens," Yuuri announced, laying down his cards on the pile.
"HA!" Wolfram yelled, pointing a finger. "You cheater!"
"Ha HA!" Yuuri retorted, flipping over the cards to reveal that all three had indeed been queens. "You get the whole pile! Justice!"
Conrad and Yozak exchanged glances as Wolfram let loose a string of blistering curses. Conrad cleared his throat.
"Maybe we should play something else…"
8. Bathing, Soap
Characters: Yuuri, Yuuri's Mom, Wolfram, Murata
"And here's Yu-chan taking his very first bath!" Jennifer gushed. Yuuri moaned and covered his face with his hands while Wolfram cackled maniacally. Unlike dinner yesterday, he couldn't get out of Wolfram knowing exactly what his mother was saying, because Murata had come over to translate every single word.
"And here is Yu-chan on his first birthday, in his birthday suit!"
"Moooom!" Yuuri protested.
"So I see nothing has changed since then," Wolfram commented, snickering. "I seem to recall this year's birthday being much the same."
"Wolfram!" Yuuri shot a horrified look at his mother, who understood just enough Mazoku to be very dangerous.
"The same?" Jennifer repeated slowly, then nodded enthusiastically, giggling. She flipped a few pages quickly and came to Yuuri's second birthday, which had a batch of very similar pictures.
"She says they just couldn't keep that boy in clothes," Murata reported faithfully.
"Murata!" Yuuri screeched.
"Same!" Wolfram howled, laughing so hard he was clutching his stomach. "Same!"
Characters: Yuuri, Yuuri's family, Wolfram
"How does that work?" Wolfram wanted to know. Suppressing a sigh, Yuuri looked up to see what his fiancé was pointing at now.
"It's a traffic light," Yuuri explained. "When it's red, we have to stay on the sidewalk, but when it turns green, it's safe to go."
Wolfram eyed the cars whizzing by with nervous suspicion, and Yuuri had to practically drag him into the street even after the light had changed and the cars were stopped.
"Hey, there's people inside those things!" Wolfram exclaimed, and Yuuri reflected that this had been the longest walk home ever. He was starting to wish that he'd talked Ulrike and Murata into bringing his family to Shin Makoku to meet Wolfram instead of the other way around.
His tension eased a little when his mother fell in love with Wolfram on sight, and hugged him to within an inch of his life while squealing about how gorgeous his eyes were and he was cute even without wings, and Yuuri refused to translate any of it, to Wolfram's irritation. Yuuri got a little break to sit and eat cookies at the table while Jennifer demonstrated to Wolfram how every single thing in the kitchen worked, and by the end, even she had mastered the Mazoku words for 'what's that' and 'how does it work'.
Yuuri's father came home soon, and he and Wolfram talked about Mazoku politics while Yuuri helped his mother start dinner.
"Dad knows Wolfram's my fiancé, right?" Yuuri asked his mother, glancing over his shoulder nervously. They seemed to be getting along entirely too well. "He doesn't seem to mind or anything…"
"Yu-chan!" Jennifer scolded, handing him a knife to chop the potatoes. "We are very modern and open-minded! And Wolfram is so cute…I always dreamed about having a handsome son-in-law, and royalty too!" Yuuri groaned as his mother drifted off into her fantasy.
Yuuri's brother arrived just before dinner was served, and he and Wolfram eyed each other before shaking cautious hands.
"God, I always knew," he muttered, giving Yuuri a look out of the corner of his eye. "Always with the pigtails…"
Yuuri flushed, and stoically refused to repeat that to Wolfram.
Dinner was a complete success, with Wolfram and Yuuri's brother arguing about sports using Yuuri's father as a translator, while Jennifer gushed at Yuuri about wedding preparations and their future as the royal couple.
"She keeps saying 'grandu chiltran'," Wolfram leaned over to hiss at Yuuri after a while. "What's that mean?"
"Nothing!" Yuuri yelped, while his mother sighed romantically and his father tried to smother a laugh. "It doesn't mean anything!"
Happy though he was at his family's apparent acceptance of Wolfram, by the time he crawled into bed Yuuri was absolutely exhausted. Wolfram, who had been talked into human pajamas for the sake of Yuuri's sanity, let out a huge yawn and snuggled close against his side. Not like he had any choice, given the size of Yuuri's bed.
"Hey," he murmured as Yuuri reached over to turn off the lamp, "how's that work?"
"Magic!" Yuuri snapped, having reached the end of his rope.
"I knew it," Wolfram grinned triumphantly.
Characters: Yuuri, Murata, Wolfram, Conrad, Gunter
"Still raining," Yuuri sighed as he and Murata walked out of the high school building, pulling up his hood. Murata, completely prepared as usual, had a huge, black umbrella. Yuuri eyed the umbrella suspiciously. "You aren't doing this, are you?"
"I am sad to report," Murata grinned, "That I, Muraken, your baseball manager…sadly cannot control the weather. Yet."
"Well what are you waiting for," Yuuri grumbled, shivering as a few drops of freezing water slid from his hair and down his neck. "You've had like thousands of years!"
Murata laughed and slapped Yuuri on the shoulder. "Let's cut through the park."
Yuuri was already soaked through by the time they were walking down the path, turned to mud in the downpour, when suddenly they heard shouts coming from down the path.
"Stop!" a girl was shrieking. "Give it back!"
Yanking back his useless hood so he could see, Yuuri dashed down the path, splashing up water on all sides.
Several meters down, two school girls were huddled together, their smart uniforms flattened by rain, while a third tried to get their umbrella back from a huge bully.
"Hey!" Yuuri shouted. " It's wrong to pick on defenseless girls, you thug! Give it back!"
The bully gave the girl a final shove backwards and turned to leer at Yuuri.
"And just what," he asked with an ugly smile, "is a runt like you going to do about it?"
"It is my duty as…" Yuuri paused as Murata came jogging up, giving him a warning head shake. "Oh, wrong world. Um…well…I'll tell your mother?"
The bully let out a laugh that made Yuuri's teeth rattle and slapped his leg.
"I'll tell you what," he chortled, "you can have this back if you can fight me for it."
"What?!" Yuuri looked up at the bully looming over him, then over his shoulder at Murata for help. Murata, who was surrounded on all sides by wet school girls pressing against him underneath his umbrella, gave a little shrug. "Hey, just wait a minute…"
But the bully was already pulling his arm back and swinging forward a massive fist, which caught Yuuri square in the nose and sent him flying backwards. He landed with a splash in a huge puddle, and as his head hit the ground, he felt like the whole world was spinning, and squeezed his eyes shut.
When he opened them, the sky was clear and gloriously blue.
"Hey, it stopped raining," he mumbled, then winced when the movement made his face ache.
"What the hell are you doing here, wimp?"
Yuuri leaned up on his elbows gingerly to find a shirtless and damp Wolfram peering down at him, towel slung over one shoulder. Swallowing hard, Yuuri looked away and saw he was on the shore of river.
"You're covered in mud," Wolfram rolled his eyes as he leaned down to inspect Yuuri. "And you…your nose!"
"Wha?" Yuuri blinked as Wolfram knelt down beside him and pulled the towel from his shoulder to press to Yuuri's face. He looked down to see a pinkish splotch spreading across the towel.
"You're bleeding, idiot," Wolfram said, but his voice wasn't as gruff as usual. "What were you even doing in that stupid world of yours?"
"Dere was a buwy," Yuuri said thickly through the towel. "He stole dese gi—ah, these kids' umbrewa, and I was trying to ged it back, and then he punched me and I fehw in a puddle."
Wolfram grumbled something inaudible as he pulled the towel away and inspected Yuuri's nose. "The bleeding's stopping. I don't think it's broken, but you're going to look like Randolph the Purple-Nosed Bearbee for a few days."
"Great," Yuuri sighed, then suddenly sneezed, and the bleeding started all over again.
"Oh, Yuuri," Wolfram sighed, reaching for him. Just then, there was a ruckus in the woods behind them.
"Here he is!" Conrad called, yelling over his shoulder. "And the Maou is back!"
"Your majesty!" Gunter howled joyfully, coming over the rise to rush at Yuuri. He stopped short and looked from the shirtless Wolfram to the Yuuri with blood streaming from his nose, then let out a wail. "His majesty is too young for that!" he sobbed.
"What the…" Yuuri glanced up at Wolfram to ask, but found Wolfram suddenly bright red.
"Idiot," Wolfram snapped, shuffling away from Yuuri quickly.
"What is going on here?" Conrad inquired as he joined them.
"Nothing!" Wolfram exclaimed, stalking off. "He got punched in the face!"
Conrad tried to hide his laughter as he helped the thoroughly confused Maou to his feet, but it was something of a complete failure.
11. The Color Black (alternate theme)
Characters: Yuuri, Gwendal, Yuuri's mother, Wolfram, Murata
It was just way too hot in Shin Mazoku for this. Hadn't anybody thought about the fact that it was regularly above a hundred degrees in the summer when they were designing the Maou's royal attire?
"Gweeeeendal," Yuuri whined, laying his torso over the desk in the hopes that the marble top would cool down the black wool just a little. "I can't go on, I'm going to die!"
"No one ever died of wearing clothes in the summer," Gwendal informed him, setting another stack of paperwork in front of him.
"That's because no one ever wore this before me!" Yuuri snapped. God, this was unbearable, he was going to melt into a puddle, probably one that spelled 'Justice' and then they'd all be sorry!
"Aren't you done yet?" Wolfram demanded, strolling in the door, and Yuuri glared with open loathing at his white shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Not only did Wolfram get to go without his blue uniform jacket whenever he felt like it, heat didn't seem to affect the fire elemental anyway. Yuuri debated calling on the spirit of the original Maou to rain on his parade.
"No," he snapped. "And even if I was, it's too hot for sword practice! I'm dying and all I'm doing is sitting here!"
"Because you can afford to skip practice," Wolfram retorted. "It isn't like there hasn't been five duels, three attempted kidnappings, one successful kidnapping and one amphibious assault, and that was just in the last week."
"It wasn't an amphibious assault," Yuuri grumbled, snatching up his quill and signing several documents quickly. "It was one guy crawling out of the fountain, and he was only in the fountain because you threw him in."
"Doesn't mean he wasn't after you," Wolfram sniffed.
Just then, Murata came through the door with a pitcher of ice water.
"Murata!" Yuuri called, throwing down his quill with a grin. Gwendal rubbed his temples. "Just what I need, a nice cold glass of water!"
"Sorry about this, your majesty," Murata gave him an apologetic smile, "but Ulrike says it's an emergency."
Yuuri had barely opened his mouth to ask what was going on when Murata dumped the contents of the pitcher over his head. Yuuri's yelp was cut off by the usual swirling and rushing of water.
Coming too, Yuuri found himself sitting half in the sink in his own kitchen. His mother, who was stirring something on the stove, seemed nonplussed.
"Back again, Yu-chan?" she asked. Yuuri barely grunted a reply as he shoved himself out of the sink and began stripping off the hated wool uniform and flinging pieces in all directions. When he was wearing nothing but his Mazoku underwear, Yuuri flopped down onto the kitchen floor with a sigh of relief, spreading his arms and legs wide to touch as much of the cool tile as possible.
"Yu-chan," Jennifer said, and Yuuri cracked an eye to find her peering down at his remaining article of clothing, "as your mother, I try not to pry into your personal hobbies, but…"
"Mo-om!" Yuuri whined. "Not now, it's too hot!"
"Welcome back, your majesty," Conrad said as Yuuri stood up in the fountain and shook the wet hair out of his eyes.
"Hey, Wolfram!" Yuuri called as he climbed out, "take cover! It's an amphibious assault!"
"Fuck you, Yuuri," Wolfram grumbled, giving Yuuri a shove to send him tumbling back into the water. Yuuri grabbed his arm as he toppled backwards, dragging Wolfram down with him, and he and Conrad both howled with laughter at Wolfram's indignant spluttering.
"Your majesty!" Gunter exclaimed, coming running out to the courtyard just as Yuuri managed to get the whole way out of the fountain. He rushed over and squeezed Yuuri until Yuuri thought his eyes were going to pop out.
"Yes yes, Gunter, it's good to see you," Yuuri patted his arm and tried to wriggle free.
"But what are you wearing, your majesty?" Gunter asked, pulling back to get a good look at him. Although soaked, Yuuri's black t-shirt and shorts were none the worse for wear.
"About that," Yuuri said, giving Gunter his best Who's The Maou Now look. "We're going to have a talk about the Maou's summer wardrobe."
12. Morning Kisses
"Hey hey." Conrad woke to warm lips brushing against his. "Rise and shine."
"Get lost," Conrad grumbled, rolling over on his bedroll.
"Is that anyway for the Rutenburg Lion to talk?" Yozak wanted to know. Conrad felt the bedroll shift as Yozak sat down beside him. "Come on, I brought you breakfast."
"Let me guess," Conrad sighed, sitting up, "It's dried meat on a roll."
"Yup!" Yozak slapped Conrad on the back and handed him his breakfast. "But it's warm from being in my pocket."
As he chewed, it dawned on Conrad that it was still pitch dark outside.
"What's going on?" he asked.
"Little skirmish on the right flank," Yozak shrugged, then siezed Conrad's arm when he tried to shoot to his feet and pulled him back down hard. "We can't go anywhere until Johan comes back with our horses, so just sit down and eat for five minutes. You won't be any good to anybody if you choke and die."
Conrad grunted something noncommittal and started shredding the rest of his roll between his fingers.
"Well, if you aren't going to eat," Yozak's teasing voice against Conrad's ear made him shiver, "I can think of something better to do in five minutes…"
Four minutes later, a very embarrassed infantry soldier yelled into the tent that their horses were right outside and he hadn't seen anything, sir!
The next night, Conrad woke up Yozak with a kiss in revenge, and it wasn't on the lips.
Characters: Conrad, Julia, Wolfram
"Wolfram!" Julia smiled warmly, running her fingers over the boy's cheek to 'see' him. "You've gotten so big!"
"Conrad's teaching me to swordfight!" Wolfram announced proudly.
"Is he now?" Julia asked, straightening up and turning to her other visitor.
"It's all I'm good for these days, you know," Conrad said lightly.
"Conrad," Julia admonished, but Conrad put a hand on her arm to stop her.
"It's all right," he said. "Wolfram, why don't you show her your new sword?"
"I can hold it one hand now!" Wolfram said, drawing it from the sheath that hung on his belt, and Julia ran careful hands over it and said 'ooh' and 'ahh' in all the right places. It was a three-quarters sword, the right size for someone Wolfram's age, but he was in that stage of childhood where everything got too small too fast, and soon he'd need a full-sized weapon.
"You can come protect me when you're old enough," she was saying, jerking Conrad back to the present.
"What do you mean?" he asked.
"Didn't Gunter tell you?" Julia asked, turning her head to give Conrad an apologetic smile. "I'm going out to help at the hospital camp. I'm leaving in a few days."
"Julia." Conrad's voice was tight.
"Don't worry," she answered lightly. "He's sending along Gisela to watch after me. I'll be just fine. They need me."
"I like Julia!" Wolfram announced during the carriage ride home, leaning his chin on his arms on the windowsill as the scenery rushed past and the breeze ruffled his hair.
"So do I," Conrad murmured.
"When I get strong enough," Wolfram continued, putting one hand to his sword, "I'm going to protect her with my wife!"
"With your life, you mean," Conrad remarked absently, letting his eyes close.
"Right!" Wolfram said fiercely.
Characters: Conrad, Murata, Yuuri, Wolfram
"Okay, here it is," Murata said, twirling the combination lock back and forth a few times and pushing open the last door.
"Good, let's get out of this hallway," Yuuri skittered inside, pushing Wolfram, who was lighting the way with a small fireball, in ahead of him. "It's giving me the creeps!"
"You wimp," Wolfram grumbled, then turned to say something to Conrad and came face to face with a snarling gargoyle. "YAH!"
"It's only a sculpture," Yuuri said derisively, tapping the gargoyle, which was holding an unlit torch, for emphasis. "You wimp."
"What is this weapon, Murata?" Conrad asked, stepping in front of Wolfram before he used their only light source to incinerate the Maou.
"Uh…well…" Murata scratched his head. "I don't really remember."
"You don't remember!" Yuuri exclaimed. "Aren't you the one who built it?"
"Yes," Murata shrugged, "but that was hundreds of years ago."
"And you didn't leave directions or anything?" Yuuri demanded. Wolfram used his fireball to light one of the torches, and pulled it out of the wall. He and Conrad set about inspecting the weapon.
"It was a secret weapon," Murata pointed out.
"But you remembered how to get in here!" Yuuri flailed his arms in frustration. "We went through like ten doors and a million creepy tunnels and you knew all the combinations on all the locks!"
"I always make the combinations to things like that my birthday," Murata reported. "So I don't forget."
"But you forgot what the weapon DOES!" Yuuri howled. "You're the Great Sage, you're supposed to know everything! How could you forget how to work something YOU built?!"
"Shibuya," Murata looked Yuuri calmly in the eye, "what did you have for breakfast yesterday morning?"
"Yesterday?" Yuuri blinked. "I…uh…eggs? No, I…yesterday…"
Shaking his head, Murata turned to Conrad and Wolfram, who were standing in front of the machine with furrowed brows. The machine itself resembled nothing so much as a giant orange post office box.
"It might blow things up?" Wolfram offered.
"It might fold socks," Conrad replied. "Murata, you really don't have any idea?"
Murata gave a little laugh and shook his head.
"Looks like it's a mystery for the ages, then," Conrad shrugged.
"Pancakes!" Yuuri exclaimed in triumph. "No, wait, that was Thursday…"
15. Embarrassing Moment
Characters: Gwendal, Hubert
"Well," Hubert said, "this is awkward."
"I," said Gwendal, who was utterly naked except for the kitten he was holding, "can completely explain this."
"I'm sure you can," Hubert soothed.
"I can," Gwendal continued, "but I'm not going to."
"Oh thank god," Hubert said, then escaped the hallway as quickly as possible.
Characters: Yuuri, Wolfram, Greta
"Another Bearbee migration, come and gone," Yuuri sighed in satisfaction, stretching out on the bed. "Greta really liked it."
"What's not to like?" Wolfram asked, rolling the kinks out of his neck. "They're cute, they talk, they keep me rolling in paint…"
"Urgh," Yuuri made a face, "metaphorically speaking, of course." He watched Wolfram change for bed thoughfully. "Do you think Greta might like a pet?"
"A pet?" Wolfram asked, glancing at Yuuri in the middle of trying to step out of his pants, and nearly falling on his face.
"Sure," Yuuri shrugged. "When I was her age, I had a hamster."
"What's a 'hamustar'?" Wolfram asked, climbing into bed.
"They're furry, about this big," Yuuri made some hand motion that could have indicated a soft ball or a watermelon, "they sleep a lot…and hide…and you know, I think mine kind of hated me. His name was Snuggles-Sama."
"You know," Wolfram said reflectively, "the more I hear about your world, the more sense you start to make."
17. Cosplay, Dressing Up
Rating: PG, except for one Wolfram swear
Characters: Wolfram, Cheri, Yuuri
"And here is Wolf-chan during his very first fancy dress ball!" Cheri exclaimed, tapping the photo with a her manicured nail.
"Aw, look how cute!" Yuuri exclaimed with a cruel smile. After the incident with his mother and the photo album, Yuuri was milking this for all it was worth.
"Mother!" Wolfram exclaimed, cheeks pink. "This is completely undignified!"
"It was a costume ball," Cheri said. "Wolf went as a lion! Of course he was so young he roared for about ten minutes, then fell right asleep!"
Wolfram's lion costume seemed to be made out of brown footy pajamas with a tail and fur collar sewn on. He was already out cold in the picture, sprawled across Conrad's lap and drooling.
"So fierce!" Yuuri teased, poking Wolfram in the side playfully, Wolfram slapped his hand away and glared at him.
"At least I could keep my clothes on," he sneered, and Yuuri flushed.
"Of course the next year," Cheri continued, turning the page, "Wolf-chan went as an island native, and refused to wear anything but face paint and a seashell necklace…"
"Fuck you, wimp," Wolfram grumbled to a howling Yuuri.
18. Body Piercings (alternate theme)
Characters: Yuuri (Yuuri/Wolfram), Yuuri's brother
"What," Yuuri asked, jaw hanging, "is that?"
"Eh?" his brother looked down at his bare chest. Yuuri had wandered in to tell him breakfast was ready while he was in the middle of dressing. "Oh that? It's a nipple ring. Don't tell mom, she'll freak out, and say how sexy it is, and then it'll just give me the willies and I'll have to get rid of it."
"Doesn't it hurt?" Yuuri asked.
"It did at first, sure," his brother shrugged, tugging on his t-shirt.
"But now that it's healed, it feels really good."
"Eh?" Yuuri's eyes grew rounder. "How does that feel good?"
"You know, during…" Yuuri's brother paused and leaned out into the hallway to make sure no one was around, then pulled the door shut. "During sex. It makes things more sensative. Haven't you ever made out with somebody with a tongue piercing or anything?"
"Er, no." Yuuri stifled a laugh as he tried to imagine Wolfram with a tongue stud. Or even explaining to Wolfram what a tongue stud was.
"Honestly," Yuuri's brother sighed sadly. "You're the one having the crazy nonconformist gay love, why don't you know anything?"
"I told you, it was an accident!" Yuuri protested.
"I think it ceased to be an accident once you fucked him," Yuuri's brother reported, and Yuuri's face turned beet red. "What's the matter, you think I don't know? I saw those Gravitation Remixes in your room."
"Those are Mom's!" Yuuri howled, blushing even harder. "And what are you doing in my room anyway?!"
"What are you doing in mine? Get lost, runt, and tell that fiance of yours he'd better start taking you a little deeper, because you're still acting like a complete virgin."
"Aaah!" Yuuri fled his brother's room as quickly as possible.
But later on, he thought about right after Wolfram had gotten his one ear pierced, how he squirmed when Yuuri tugged on his earlobe with his teeth, and how the metal tasted kind of pleasant against his tongue…
"Murata!" Yuuri said once he'd got his best friend and personal Sage on the phone. "I'm on a mission!"
"What," Wolfram asked, jaw hanging, "is that?"
Characters: Yuuri (Yuuri/Wolfram), Gwendal (Gwendal/Gunter), Conrad
Yuuri heaved a huge sigh and stared out the window. The sky was such a gorgeous blue…
"Your majesty!" Gwendal barked, making Yuuri jump. "If you can't stay focused for five minutes, we're going to be doing paperwork until even I die, and that will be several hundred years hence!"
"Sorry," Yuuri apologized meekly, tightening his grip on the quill that had been lying limp in his fingers. He looked back at the stack of parchments in front of him and began filling in the appropriate blanks.
It was just that his mind kept drifting back to several nights ago, when Wolfram had announced that he was tired of waiting for Yuuri to "give up on the three-legged pony", whatever the hell that meant in Mazoku, and the next thing Yuuri knew, they had both been naked.
Wolfram's skin had been so soft and warm…and when he blushed, it crept the whole way down his chest…and his hands were callused from…
"Your majesty!" Gwendal roared, making Yuuri's quill jerk across the page, leaving a black streak. "Will you at least look at what you're signing!"
"Is there a problem in here?" Gunter asked, sticking his head in the door.
"Yes!" Gwendal answered, glaring at Yuuri. "The Maou has just signed a war declaration!"
"I…what?" Yuuri peered at the document in question. Reading the florid Mazoku legalese was still something of a struggle.
"Hmm." Gunter crossed the room and picked up the document in question. "It appears we will be making an immediate attack upon…Shin Makoku."
Yuuri let out a nervous giggle as Gunter made a fist and punched Gwendal in the arm.
"Oh, get out, both of you!" Gwendal snapped, slapping Gunter's hand away. "I'll finish this myself!"
Yuuri scampered off as fast as he could go, and Gunter only paused to asked if Gwendal remembered he was supposed to come to Gunter's room tonight after dinner…
"Yes, yes, I remember," Gwendal assured him, and Gunter left with a small smile.
Of course he remembered, Gwendal grumbled to himself as he flipped over one document and began on the next. It wasn't like he was going to forget Gunter's clever, long-fingered hands, or his warm mouth…or all that lavender hair spread out over his pillows…
Gwendal heaved a sigh as he gaze wandered out the window. The sky was such a gorgeous blue…
Characters: Wolfram, Cheri
"Well, I am a little surprised," Cheri said.
"Mother!" Wolfram protested, face red.
"But it's okay," she rushed to assure her son. "You're my son and I love you, no matter what."
"Everyone does things like this when they are growing up," Cheri continued, blissfully ignorant of her son's embarrassment. "It means you'll be a man soon."
"The important thing to remember is that it might only be a phase."
"She's only a friend!" Wolfram howled.
"Oh, Wolf-chan," Cheri, patted her son's head. "Experimentation with the opposite gender is only natural at your age…"