Wolfram can hear everything that goes on in the courtyard below.
“Captain, aren’t you hot?” Yozak leans on his sword, panting and soaked with sweat. His shirt lies in the dust at his feet, discarded a half hour ago.
Conrad wipes a dirty shirtsleeve across his forehead. “You should keep your shirt on during practice, Yozak,” he says, rolling his shoulders, “it’ll keep you from bruising.”
“That only matters,” Yozak answers cheekily, “if you hit me.”
“Is that a challenge?”
Yozak lifts his weapon and adopts a defensive stance. “If you’d like it to be, Captain. Loser pays for a round tonight?”
“If the loser can move.” Conrad peels off his shirt and shifts into an attack, muscles taut as he reaches for a hole in Yozak’s defense.
Wolfram shifts uncomfortably in his chair and turns away from the window. He can see everything that goes on in the courtyard below.
“I’m not wearing it.”
Cheri pouts. “Conrad, make him listen to me.”
“Why can’t I get married in my formal uniform?”
“To marry a king?!”
“Now mother,” Conrad pats Cheri’s shoulder reassuringly, “I must admit, the cut is not quite… well… the color brings out his eyes,” he finishes lamely.
“Would you mind it so much if the sleeves weren’t poofy, darling?”
Wolfram makes a reply, tries to avoid looking at his brother in such a mortifying situation.
“The color really does suit him though, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, mother. I’m sure he’ll look lovely at the wedding.”
Conrad notices later that Wolfram takes to wearing more green.
He doesn’t know when he started feeling like this. It seems to him like a gradual thing, a secret shame that crept up on him until the very sight of his brother made him sick with desire and disgust. He shouldn’t think such things of his own siblings.
He hides his face. “Tell me how to make it stop. I want it to stop.”
He takes out his self-hatred on the object of his sick lust. He is acutely aware of the effects of his actions; he hopes that it will be enough to push Conrad so far away as to be irretrievable. Why, why does he take such abuse and come back for more? Go away, Weller, leave me alone, don’t make me think about you, don’t tempt me. I can’t live with myself.
“No one can make it stop.”
His brother used to hold him when he was young, when the shadows of a half-remembered nightmare would cling to him in the dark. He would stumble blindly through the hallway until he found Conrad’s room, would whimper at the doorway until his brother drew back the tattered quilt, a silent invitation. Conrad would stroke his hair and say soothing nonsense until they both fell asleep.
He hates, hates, HATES that the memory arouses him.
He doesn’t know how he ended up in Conrad’s room and he doesn’t care because Conrad has pushed him onto the bed. He undresses him slowly, agonizingly slow, inhumanly slow, staring at him with lidded eyes but not touching, never touching. Wolfram shivers under that gaze, euphoric, ecstatic that he makes his brother lust like this.
Conrad finally has his fill of staring. He moves, and it’s gentle and demanding and those arms feel so safe and loving, like they did when he was young.
He strangles a cry as he wakes from his dream and comes all over the sheets.
There isn’t even a window to let in the moonlight, so Conrad doesn’t know how he can see the slender silhouette at his bedside. Maybe he doesn’t really see it at all; maybe he just feels.
Conrad gropes for a hand, pulls the figure closer, giving silent assent. A lean body straddles his waist, fingertips at his chest, his face, everywhere and anywhere, confirming his existence.
He knows the feeling of this body against his, knows the silken hair his fingers tangle in as he steals rough kisses, knows the voice that gasps nonsense and broken syllables in his ear. What he doesn’t know is why, and he doesn’t ask.
“From behind.” The whisper is harsh and rough, meant to be barely recognizable.
“I don’t want you to look at me.”
“I don’t want you to look at me.”
They try not to stare at each other, but it’s hard, because they’re always together, because Yuuri is back again and neither will leave him. So they mill about awkwardly, speak as though they’re strangers, which is par for the course because they never act like brothers anyways. But everything’s different now, they’re powerfully aware of their relationship, of the blood they share, because they’ve committed a social taboo for the past seven nights in a row.
“What do you want, Weller?”
I want to hold you, I want to kiss you, I want to fuck you right here where we can’t hide from what we’re doing. I want to see you and I want you to see me.
“His Majesty is occupied in his study and will be taking dinner there.”
They catch each other’s eyes as he softly closes the door.
Conrad lights the lamp as soon as his brother walks in the room.
Wolfram starts, backs against the closed door, stares. “Conrad.” The tone is bewildered, accusing, frightened.
Conrad rises from the bed, walks towards his brother and presses him into the solid oak of the door. “I want to watch you.”
“I don’t want you to see me.”
“Is it really so wrong?”
“You’re my brother.” His resolve is breaking with every kiss.
“Let me see your face when I make love to you.” Fingers trace the curve of Wolfram’s spine. “Brother.”
He shivers and nods because it’s what he really wants, wants it more than anything else.
Conrad’s expression is the same one he sees in his dreams every night, and when he looks at him like that, holds him like that, fucks him like that, Wolfram can imagine for a few moments that maybe it isn’t so wrong.
“This is the last time.”
“You’re going to marry my king tomorrow.”
“I can’t keep seeing you.”
The kisses are desperate and pleading, almost too sloppy to count. Their lips and their tongues slide against each other, trying to feel every sensation at once, trying to memorize by touch. They are insatiable tonight as they try to leave their marks on each other. Conrad hopes that even when Wolfram is in Yuuri’s bed, his mind will still be here.
The scratching of pen on parchment ceases as Yuuri pauses mid-sentence to glance up briefly. “Oh, good,” he says, smiling as he dips the quill into the waiting inkwell, “for a minute there I thought you were actually going to make me go through with it.”
“I feel sick.”
“Let me take it away.”
“You’re the reason—”
“I know.” Arms wrap around him, pull him onto the bed, stroke his back and his hair like he is a child again. “I know.”
“Weller!” He works his arms between them and tries to push away, using the stone column he’s pressed against for leverage. “Anyone could see us!”
Conrad grasps his hands and pins them above his head. “You looked beautiful out there,” he finds the fluttery pulse below his jaw with his lips, smiles against the heartbeat, “brother.”
“I’ll only indulge you this once,” it’s wrong, it’s so wrong and he can’t bring himself to care anymore, because the sensation he feels when their bodies are pressed together like this is too good to miss, “brother.”
Yuuri draws the curtain and smiles. He can see everything that goes on in the courtyard below.