“You’re staring again,” Gisela said, glancing up from the stack of medical records to give the young man across the table a wry grin. “My face is up here, your Majesty.”

Yuuri sputtered, the tips of his ears going red, “I wasn’t! Really I wasn’t! There was a… my eyes kind of drifted off in that direction but I really wasn’t!”

Gisela tried not to roll her eyes. He really was. Yuuri, like a good portion of the male teenage population, had an almost uncontrollable fascination with a particular piece of female anatomy located directly below the collarbone. Gisela (being a healthcare professional, and more than used to treating the numerous young men in the barracks) knew it, and Yuuri knew it, and Yuuri’s now ex-fiancĂ© definitely knew it, but if he wanted to play the wide-eyed innocent then that was his Majesty’s prerogative. She shrugged to herself and continued adding the details of a particularly nasty venereal disease to the record of some young soldier who was never going to make sergeant if he kept carrying on with questionable tavern wenches the way he did. And then…

“Your Majesty!” Gisela nearly chucked her quill in Yuuri’s face, “Could you just go find Cheri and stare at her chest for awhile? She obviously wouldn’t mind.”

“That’s exactly why it wouldn’t be any fun, Gisela.” Murata grinned his sage-y grin as he took the seat next to Yuuri. “There’s no challenge, no mystery, and most importantly, he thinks you’re much cuter. Isn’t that right, Shibuya?”

Yuuri wasn’t sure whether to punch Murata in the face or die of embarrassment, but since death would be pointless and acts of violence might get him accidentally engaged again, he settled for looking thoroughly mortified.

“It’s not about fun, your Highness, it’s about male hormones. I don’t mind being subjected to them periodically, but surely there are some other women in the palace he can stare at while I’m working?”

Murata thought for a moment and pointed out that besides the maids, no, there really weren’t. The male to female ratio at Blood Pledge Castle was grossly out of proportion. “Well, except at the temple,” he amended, “but none of those ladies like men staring at them, even the Maou.”

“This lady’s not too fond of it either.”

“Is something else the matter? You’re usually a lot more cheerful than this.”

Yuuri scoffed, forgetting his mortification for a moment. “She’s really not. It’s an act.”

Gisela really did throw her quill that time as she bellowed, “I am so cheerful!”

Yuuri blinked, rubbed at the splotch of ink on his forehead, and asked Gisela if she was doing anything for dinner that evening.

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