Wolfram can't help but feel a little underappreciated. (SPOILERS for episode 32.)
by Mina Lightstar
Salty sea air was crisp in the morning, bearable in the sunlight, and began to chill as the afternoon stretched on. At the moment, as the sun was preparing to set, Wolfram would much rather have been down below. Yet here he was, standing in the ocean air, shifting every few minutes as he remained where he belonged: at Yuuri's side. Yuuri was silent, staring off into the distance, as though his mind was on everything and nothing at the same time.
Wolfram, however, was feeling a little dejected.
On some level, he knew it was selfish. After all, a lot had happened: Conrad was still missing, the Box had been sealed once again, and Yuuri had been through so much. On the other hand, he couldn't help it; surely a proper greeting, perhaps a few gentle words, were the least he deserved. He had traveled so far, without a second thought, to find Yuuri -- the Maou, his fiancÃ©. He had pulled Yuuri from the ravine with his own two hands, not caring that failure would mean his own demise.
What he felt for Yuuri was no secret, least of all to himself -- and though he had known that Yuuri was still uncertain at best, the lack of attention he was getting stung. They had been apart for so long! Why couldn't Yuuri say something?
Next to him, Yuuri released a soft sigh. Wolfram glanced at the Maou, concerned, but Yuuri didn't return his gaze, dark eyes still aimed at the faraway sky. Without trying to be obvious, Wolfram slid closer until their arms were touching. When the action didn't elicit a response, Wolfram became bolder, pressing close to Yuuri's side.
"What is it?" Yuuri asked wearily, glancing at Wolfram from the corner of his eye.
Petulant, Wolfram put a little distance between them again. "Nothing." He was pleased he didn't quite snap. He was annoyed, but what Yuuri had gone through had no doubt been hard.
"If you say so," Yuuri conceded.
Though the words had probably been meant to assuage, all they succeeded in doing was irritating Wolfram further. If anyone had asked, he would have denied wanting Yuuri to prod him, cajole him into sharing what was bothering him.
But as no one was around at the moment, Wolfram smacked the rail with an open palm and snapped, "Is that all you're going to say?!"
Yuuri's head whipped around, the Maou's expression one of genuine confusion. "Huh?"
Wolfram's fingers tightened around the edge of the ship's rail. "Is that all you have to say to me?" he demanded, hoping Yuuri would take the hint.
"Oh. Oh!" Yuuri rubbed the back of his head. "Um. Do you think they've found Cropped-Pony yet?"
When, precisely, had Wolfram's left eye started twitching? "Yuuri," he stressed quietly through clenched teeth.
Yuuri's uncertain "A-ah?" was swiftly followed by a sharper "Ah!" when Wolfram lashed out and seized the front of the other's shirt.
"Wolfram!" the young Maou yelped, struggling and pulling at Wolfram's wrist. "Wait, wait! What did I do?"
"It's what you didn't do!" he snapped, being loud and not caring. They fought all the time and everyone knew it.
"Then what didn't I do?!" Yuuri cried helplessly. He winced when Wolfram began to shake him.
"At the very least you could have greeted me properly!" Wolfram shouted.
Yuuri's eyes, which had been squeezed closed, suddenly opened and blinked at him. "Greeted you? I was falling off a cliff!"
"How do you greet someone properly when you're falling off a cliff?!"
"I meant after!"
"I was -- I was -- I was busy!" Yuuri sounded flabbergasted. "We were all busy!"
"We're not busy now!"
Yuuri didn't have an immediate reply to that, and after a few moments of silence and blinking on both their parts, Wolfram released his fiancÃ© and folded his arms huffily.
"Sorry?" Yuuri offered eventually.
Wolfram turned to look back out to sea. "We were worried about you, you wimp," he muttered.
"Yeah," Yuuri sighed, coming up to stand beside him. He looked down at the rippling ocean water. "I must have worried all of you. I'm sorry."
Wolfram tapped the toe of his boat against the deck for a few beats, and then glared at Yuuri. "Is there anything else you want to say to me?"
Yuuri thought about it, and from his expression he was considering his answer carefully. "...Hello? It's good to see you?"
Wolfram debated strangling the Maou or throwing himself overboard to get more of a reaction. In the end he settled for simply glaring harder. Yuuri looked surprised; evidently he hadn't thought Wolfram could glare quite so hard. "Anything else?"
More careful consideration. "Uh... thank you for saving me?"
"Try again, you stupid wimp."
"Hmm, what about, I'm sorry I made you worry like that? GAH! No, no, wait!"
Wolfram tightened his grip on Yuuri's shirt and shook him more forcefully this time. "Didn't you miss me at all?!" he cried angrily. "I'm your fiancÃ© and you were missing and went through so much and why aren't you happy to see me?!"
"I didn't miss this!" Yuuri managed as he was shoved back and forth, back and forth.
Something about the way Yuuri said it -- annoyance? -- made Wolfram let go immediately. Feeling partly sheepish and wholly unsatisfied, he spun around and folded his arms again, turning his nose up.
"It's common courtesy, you know," he said, "to greet your fiancÃ© properly when you've been away, worrying him, for a long time."
He'd said it out of irritation. He hadn't really expected Yuuri to step forward and embrace him (briefly, but tightly) from behind, and the action drained all frustration and strain from his very being.
"Yuuri?" he asked, turning around once he was released.
Yuuri was blushing faintly as he rubbed at the back of his head again. "How was that?"
Flustered at the happiness bubbling inside him, Wolfram stared at the ground, just in case he was blushing, too. "That was acceptable," he muttered.
His fiancÃ© exhaled heavily in relief. "Phew, I thought you'd be mad." He made to go back to the ship's rail, but then stopped and stared. "Hey."
Wolfram looked up warily. "What?" If Yuuri teased about blushing, he'd....
"You aren't feeling sick?"
"Sick?" Wolfram's eyes widened as, no longer worked up over chasing Yuuri, finding Yuuri, and fretting over Yuuri, he was suddenly aware of the ship, and the water, and the rocking. Back and forth, side to side, back and forth, side to side. "Yuuri, you idiot," he whispered.
"Because that's really great," Yuuri went on. "It was so gross before, and you must have been so miserable. You couldn't eat, and you had to stay in bed with a bucket all the time, and the noises you made -- eh, Wolfram? Where are you going?"
Wolfram didn't reply. He was too busy trying to make it to the other side of the ship, where he could throw everything up in relative privacy.