Pretending

“He still doesn’t remember.” Murata wandered the room, stopping to stare at the plush furnishings without ever really seeing them. “Even when he’s Maou, I’m practically a stranger to him. Murata Ken, that’s all I am.”

“He’s only just becoming accustomed to this world.” Yozak’s eyes followed the lithe form of the sage as he paced, back and forth like clockwork. “Give him time, your highness. His memories will return.”

“I hate leaving it to chance, but Wolfram won’t let me near.”

“I hadn’t noticed him being particularly slighted by the time you spend together.” Yozak shifted on the bed. “Has he been… malicious towards you?”

“No, he’s more subtle than that. He doesn’t want to offend me, but he does let me know in his own way.” Murata collapsed beside the other man. “It’s maddening. I don’t think Yuuri will ever remember.”

“Maybe he will, maybe he won’t. That’s not for you or I to decide, as much as we might like it to be.” The redhead placed a hand on the younger man’s bare shoulder, uncommonly hesitant. “I can promise that whatever happens, I’ll be here for you, your highness.”

Murata’s slender hand covered Yozak’s strong, calloused one. His smile was bittersweet. “Why couldn’t I fall in love with you, Yozak?”

The wince was barely noticeable. “You can pretend, your highness.” A kiss, one that despite his words did not feel insincere in the least, was pressed to Murata’s lips. “For tonight, just pretend.”

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