Gwendal did not regret, exactly, sending his own brother into a battle that by all rights should have gotten him killed. He had too many other regrets and doubts about that time; they tangled together like cheap wool, and he was rarely inclined to even begin trying to tease the mess apart.
Yozak Gurrier had sent him the official communication, after Lioncourt. It was carefully worded; Gwendal had not, before, suspected the young man to be capable of that level of subtlety. It was as reassuring as it was reproachful.
Gwendal had felt that to be more than fair, and had kept the note.
Yuuri rubbed the towel into his hair again, as though the world would start making sense the second his hair was dry. "Tell me again what happened?"
Gunter told him again. The story was long and complicated, and involved a diplomatic mission, yet another of Yozak's ball gowns, more foreign customs he hadn't been properly briefed on, foreign customs that apparently even Gwendal and Yozak hadn't been properly briefed on, the highly unusual and improper use of an esoteric stone, and Yuuri's standing order not to provoke any international incidents.
"And out of all that Gwendal and Yozak got married?"
"Er," Gunter said. "Yes."
Yuuri's hair was pretty well dry. It still didn't make much sense. "Are they okay with that?"
"Well," Gunter said. "I believe they are adjusting."
Yuuri considered. Gwendal and Yozak had worked together often, usually on clandestine work that Yuuri sometimes got to find out about after the fact. Perhaps they were handling this as just another mission.
"Is everyone else all right with it?"
"I think Lady von Spitzberg is disappointed that her son didn't wear the dress," Gunter said thoughtfully, "but we Mazoku are never bothered by such minor inconveniences for long."
"...right," Yuuri said. "So what else happened while I was gone?"
Fortunately, little else had changed. Greta was, as always, delighted to see him, and Wolfram ... was Wolfram. Things were surprisingly normal. Gwendal married seemed just as irritable as Gwendal unmarried, and Yozak was off on yet another unnamed mission to somewhere, doing something Yuuri would probably never know about.
Everything seemed perfectly normal.
Yozak looked far better out of the frilly gown than in it, his broad chest and muscular forearms far better suited to shirtlessness.
Normally Gwendal would reprimand himself; he should not be thinking such things. But he is married now. He is expected to think such things.
"You interested?" Yozak asked flirtatiously, catching his eye.
Gwendal felt his face heating. "I believe we are expected to..." His voice died somewhere in his throat.
"Yeah," Yozak said, scratching at the back of his head and giving Gwendal a dangerously speculative look. "We are."
Gwendal felt the hairs on the backs of his arms stand up. It was disconcerting.
"They gave us a really big bed," Yozak said, and reached down to unfasten his pants.
"Yes," Gwendal said. He knew he should move, but somehow it was easier to wait for Yozak to come over and take him by the hand.
"We should have a party!" Greta said. "Yuuri, don't you think we should have a party?"
"A party?" Yuuri took his empty china teacup and mimed drinking. "For what?"
"We didn't get to go to the wedding," Greta said sensibly. "So we should have a party. To celebrate. If we have a party, can I get a new dress?"
"You can have a new dress if you need one," Wolfram sighed, setting his own empty teacup down. "We don't need to have a party."
"But parties are fun!"
Greta's logic was, as always, difficult to argue with. "Parties are fun," Wolfram agreed, a bit reluctantly. "But we don't need to have a party for everything. And Yozak isn't even here right now."
"But we could have it when he comes back!"
"I will speak to him, then," Gwendal said, folding his body down to sit with the others at Greta's small table. "Perhaps a small party would be appropriate."
"It would please Mother," Wolfram noted, reaching out to take a slice of imaginary cake.
When Gwendal woke, Yozak was already up and dressed, sitting at the small table in their room with a cup of tea. There was a second cup waiting for Gwendal on the table.
Gwendal rose and sat by Yozak, nodding his thanks for the tea. They drank in silence for a bit. The birds were already up; Gwendal rose and opened the window sash, so they could have a bit of sunlight in the room. When he sat back down, Yozak was watching him, with those calm, appraising eyes of his.
Gwendal felt that he should say something.
"Are you content?" Gwendal asked, turning his eyes back to the teacup.
He heard Yozak sigh. "Only you would ask that."
That's not answering the question, he thought, and lifted his cup.
"Gwendal," Yozak said. "Look at me."
He looked. Yozak was smiling. "You worry too much," he said.
"But what if they don't want to be married?" Yuuri said.
Gunter looked at him like he was mad. "They're married," he said. "It's true, the circumstances were unusual, but--"
"There must be a way to undo it. If they want."
Gunter considered. "It's possible," he said. "Of course, there are the diplomatic considerations..."
"Find out," Yuuri said. "They should be free to make their own choices."
"Of course," Gunter said. "As you desire, Your Majesty."
"It would be a perfectly legal annulment," Gunter said. "If you chose."
Gwendal finally raised his eyes from his paperwork. "And the Maoh?"
"He asked me to...investigate your options. But the final choice if yours."
"I see," Gwendal said. "I will speak with Yozak, then."
"No," Yozak said, from the shadows. "There's no need to."
Gwendal turned his head. Yozak was in his usual clothing, and appeared uninjured. That meant things had gone well.
"Was your journey successful?" Gunter asked.
"Of course," Yozak smiled, and sat on the edge of Gwendal's desk. Gwendal wondered if there was a way to stop him from doing that. Perhaps a well-placed spike. "I appreciate your checking it out, Gunter, but we're staying married."
Gunter nodded. "If that is your wish."
"It is," Yozak said, and put his hand on Gwendal's shoulder.
There were a lot of things Gwendal was going to have to get used to, he realized. He reached up and put his hand on Yozak's. "Our wish," he said. "Now if you'll both excuse me, I have work to do."