mdseiran: (Default)
[personal profile] mdseiran
Title: The Intricacy of Matchmaking
Fandom: Kyou Kara Maou
Warnings: None.

- Written as a sequel to Thrust, Parry, a lovely fic written by [livejournal.com profile] jbeanfactory.



Here he was, back after a hundred lifetimes, and almost nothing had changed.

The nobles still argued amongst themselves, each wanting an advantage over the others. People started wars for the silliest of reasons. They held grudges, forgave but never forgot. Sometimes it made him wonder what had happened to the change they had fought for.

After thousands of years he was once again back in Blood Pledge Castle, Sage to a worthy Maou, who made humans and mazoku re-evaluate what they thought to be true. A Maou who wished for peace whole-heartedly.

No, nothing much had changed at all. Including Shinou's horrible sense of humor. And why was it, he thought with a sigh, that of all the things that had changed, this had to be one of the things that stayed. "Must you meddle like this? Can't you just leave them to sort it out for themselves?" he asked, wondering if he would ever be able to stop being this man's sitter.

"Don't you want to help Yuuri?" Shinou asked with a sly grin. They both knew that wasn't the real reason behind the request, but it was a valid reason nonetheless. "A little less tension on their part can only be a good thing for him. I don't think he's sleeping right, he's always muttering about something when I walk past his window." He gave his head a toss, sweeping the hair back with a hand. "Kings need their beauty sleep you know."

Murata only snorted. "Yes, so you kept telling me whenever I found you napping somewhere instead of attending your meetings." He became silent, looking thoughtful, then shrugged his shoulders with a put-upon sigh. "Alright then, but this is the last time I'm meddling on your behalf!" Shinou only grinned and fell back, disappearing before he hit the ground.

"And if he kills me I really will haunt you!"

---

Gwendal's office was without a doubt the tidiest office in the castle. The books were properly shelved in alphabetical order, the papers were stacked in neat piles sorted according to importance, and the quills were always cleanly put away before he left for the night. It was the kind of discipline that Wolfram tried to acquire but failed at, the sort that Gunter wished for but could never dream to have (the man, though brilliant, was a complete nightmare when it came to keeping a neat office). Murata felt comfortable in this office - it reminded him of his own.

"You know, von Voltaire-kyo," he said as he scribbled his signature on a request for research funding, "I was just thinking how nothing has really changed all that much." There was no response from Gwendal, but then there never was, despite Murata's constant chattering. "I still remember the time right before the war, and then during, how people would do the craziest things due to stress. Do you know we had more divorces to deal with during that time than any other time?" He rose from his seat and obtained a new stack of documents from Gwendal as an excuse to see the look on his face. The man was obviously paying attention, he noted with a smile.

"People say a lot of things they don't mean when they think they could die any day. And tempers flair much faster too. Shinou even almost fired me once." The scratch of the quill coming from the other desk stopped, and Murata filled the lack of noise with his own quill. "I almost didn't forgive him for it too, but if I'd done that we would probably have lost the war. I am the brains behind the brilliant duo after all!" He could almost feel Shinou prodding him sharply for the unjust comment and let out a small grin. "He apologized though, soon after. Shows you how insane the world can get."

Standing up for a long, joint-popping stretch, Murata neatly stacked the paperwork and placed it on the corner of Gwendal's desk that had an invisible label saying 'finished' that only they could see. He walked slowly towards the exit, quietly opening the door. "Von Voltaire-kyo." He didn't have to look to know that he had Gwendal's complete attention. "People say a lot of things they don't mean, not always for good reasons. Which is why you should never give up after the first rejection." He ignored the clatter of the quill and sauntered out the door, calling out cheerfully, "Good luck at dinner tonight!" before closing the door and briskly walking off before Gwendal decided whether or not to strangle him.

---

Dinner at Blood Pledge castle was always a lavish affair, one that Gwendal, with his very secret appreciation for good food, usually enjoyed. The walk to the dining hall seemed immeasurably long on this day, and whenever the cramps ailing his stomach decided to make their presence known he considered the wisdom of going in at all. But his feet kept moving, one step at a time, until he was standing inside the hall in plain view. If he walked out now, there would be endless pestering from every busybody in the room (which was practically everyone in the room). So, squaring his shoulders, he marched in and headed for his usual chair next to Gunter.

It often baffled him how a man so elegant with a sword could be so clumsy with other things, especially when he was close to His Majesty. Not a dinner passed without Gunter spilling something on the other on his robes, the table, the floor or his hair. When he sat down, Gunter was finishing today's soup, and Gwendal could see a stain at the corner of his mouth.

"Honestly," he muttered, picking up his napkin and waiting for Gunter to finish his soup before grabbing his chin and forcing the other man to face him. The napkin made quick work of the stain but he lingered a little, watching Gunter watch him, his mouth shaped like an 'o' and his eyes wide with surprise.

"Good luck at dinner tonight!" Geika had said.

The sound of the slap wasn't particularly hard, and yet, somehow, everyone heard it. Heads swiveled in his direction but he ignored them, knowing that a single look would decide whether this night would end with his dignity intact or in utter humiliation. So he focused on Gunter, who had dropped his spoon when his hands had started to shake and was looking at Gwendal as if he had grown a second head. It made him frown; this was hardly the strangest thing that had ever happened at this table. He could see Gunter shy away from him, saw him shoot an anxious glance at Conrad that made him frown deeper and look at his brother to see what could be so interesting at that very moment.

Conrad was smiling, one of those rare smiles that were usually only seen as a result of something Yuuri had done. He didn't understand why, but a small part of the tension apparent in the lines of Gunter's back disappeared. The movement caused his hair to dangle dangerously close to his plate, so with another mutter Gwendal stood and, moving to stand behind Gunter, gathered the pale hair from over the man's shoulders and tied the mass together with the emerald clasp. He stared at the sight before him for a moment after he was done, then stepped back and, with a curt nod to the spectators and an awkward stroke of Gunter's back where no one could see it anyway, he made his escape.

The dining room erupted into chaos and Murata hid his grin behind his glass and silently toasted Gwendal's thoroughness.

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