Yuuri doesn't recognise the corridor he is running down, but that doesn't matter. Lost is good right now, because lost means no one will find him for a while. Lost means maybe he won’t say anything else really embarrassing, and maybe if he’s lucky lost will mean Wolfram will stop being mad before he finds him.
It's all the bubbles' fault. Big, pink bubbles had started floating across the courtyard, leaving a brief puff of lemon scent when they popped. And suddenly, he'd started blurting out all the things he thought sometimes but were too embarrassing to actually mention. He'd told Cheri that her breasts frightened him. He'd told Gisela that she frightened him, well, sometimes. He'd told the maids he thought they were pretty.
Worst of all, he'd told Wolfram he wasn't sure if their engagement was a joke.
Wolfram had been ranting about Yuuri's wimp-ness, as usual. For once, it had been surprisingly light on cheating, but higher on Yuuri's lack of initiative at night. Yuuri's forced declaration stopped him cold. Then he'd started yelling again, twice as scary.
Yuuri had wanted to apologise-- Wolfram was his friend, strange possessive behaviour aside-- but he had also felt an overwhelming urge to insist he didn't know what Wolfram expected him to do at night. So, he had just started running and hadn't stopped.
Except that now he’s hit the end of this corridor. Yuuri tries the closest door and ducks inside when it opens. Finally able to catch his breath, he sags back against the wall-- and then squeaks in shock to see Yozak leaning against the far wall, looking like a very large, well-muscled peasant girl.
One of the few bubbles that must have entered the room with Yuuri pops right over his head, the tangy scent disorientingly strong. Yuuri tries to fight the impulse, keeping his mouth shut even as his mind whirls through every embarrassing thought he's ever had about the spy-- "I forget you're a man," he blurts out. "I mean, sometimes, you disguise well and I-- but I'm not in love with you or anything!"
"Don't worry. You're not my type, either, kiddo." Yozak sounds amused, but not very. Maybe the thing with the bubbles has happened to him too.
Yuuri can hear footsteps outside and the opening and closing of doors, getting closer fast. He looks around the room, desperately. There are a couple of storage shelves on one side, but nothing he can hide behind, and no draperies on the walls. There’s a window, without any glass or shutters, but it’s too small to climb through, and he knows he’s higher than the second floor anyway.
Yozak seems to know what he was thinking. "No secret passages here, and if the door locked, you wouldn't have been able to get in."
A door slams-- close enough that Yuuri jumps, eyes searching frantically for somewhere, anywhere to hide. “Waah! Yozak, Wolfram’s gonna kill me!” Yuuri hisses.
Yozak’s eyebrows go up, but then he grins, and holds a finger to his lips (which are a shade of pink that really shouldn’t make Yuuri think of Wolfram’s nightie). He beckons Yuuri quickly, and lifts the hem of his floor-length skirt. There’s really no place else to go, so Yuuri scrambles underneath, curling up as small as he can between Yozak’s legs and the wall behind them. “Don’t worry, Heika, I don’t think he’ll look there.” Yozak drops his skirt, covering Yuuri completely.
Only seconds later, Yuuri hears the door open. Everything seems a lot louder when he’s trying this hard to be quiet, and Yuuri wonders if it has something to do with being closer to the floor, or just being scared.
"Yozak! Have you seen the king?"
It’s Conrad's voice, and that makes something inside Yuuri twist awkwardly. Conrad had known him when he was a baby. There had to be so many embarrassing things Conrad knew-- that Yuuri doesn't want to know Conrad knows if Yuuri is ever going to look him in the eye again.
Yozak doesn't seem too happy, either, because his ankles tense on either side of Yuuri's field of vision. Yuuri bends his face even further over his knees and definitely does not look up.
He's safe for now, and at least Gunter hasn't found him yet.
"Shut the--" Yozak makes strangled noises for a second or two, but finally, with an abruptness Yuuri is starting to recognise, blurts out: "I like you. A lot. Shut the door, Taichou!"
That doesn't sound as bad as Yozak seems to think. Yuuri has thought a couple of times it was kind of sad you couldn't tell from the way they acted that Conrad and Yozak had been friends as kids. It'd be nice if they made up.
"Yozak-- what are--" Now, it sounds like Conrad's having trouble talking. "I have fantasies about you."
Yuuri's eyes go wide in the semi-darkness under Yozak's skirt, watching Yozak's right foot rock up as though he might move forward, and back when he didn't. Conrad doesn't sound like he's talking about making Yozak play pitcher on his perfect baseball team.
Ok, maybe this wasn't the safest place to hide out.
The door shuts with a crash, but there aren't any retreating footsteps, and Yuuri's pretty sure Conrad hasn't left. It's really quiet, though, and all Yuuri can hear are the regular noises of the castle, kinda far away.
"I apologise, Yozak." Yuuri can hear the downcast tilt of Conrad's head. "I don't know what came over me."
"The bubbles are Anissina's, Taichou. I don't know how, but they've been making everyone say stupid things."
"Stupid things," Conrad echoes, the distraction in his voice sounding foreign to Yuuri.
"Yeah-- she's had Gwendal and Gunter locked up in her lab testing something all morning. I waited to show him this new costume, to get him to pay for it. Then, the bubbles started, and you could hear... a lot of things through the door. One of the guards propositioned me. A chambermaid started lecturing me on uppity halfbreeds. I'd be on the roof-- except for-- a skirt like-- this."
"The window!" Conrad’s voice, upset. Yuuri doesn't remember exactly where the window is, but Conrad must have moved closer now because Yozak's feet are shifting nervously. Yuuri tries to remember how far away the door is.
"Can't shut it-- already tried. Taichou, I-- dammit-- I want you in my pants!"
Yuuri squeaks at this, but Yozak makes more noise doing what sounds like trying to swallow his fist.
Yuuri can hear Conrad's footsteps rapid on the stone. Yozak's feet are widely spaced to fit Yuuri, and Conrad's boots fit easily between them, well-polished, brown tips making Yuuri try to melt back into the wall. He's glad Yozak's strong, because Conrad's being… really enthusiastic.
"I was afraid..."
Conrad's voice is a husky whisper Yuuri's really trying to ignore, audible above the other sounds he and Yozak are making. Sounds that are suspiciously wet not to involve kissing. Yuuri supposes he's glad Conrad and Yozak aren't fighting anymore. He wants everyone to be happy. He's just not sure he wants them to be happy on top of him.
Yuuri wonders if any of his magic powers will let him melt through the floor.
"...I'd blurt out…"
Yozak groans above Yuuri, his feet shifting onto their outside edges, lifting his body just a little, like he's trying to keep Conrad back.
"… that I want you inside me."
Yozak's knees go just as Yuuri dives sideways to escape, twisting and trying to wriggle through the space between Yozak's legs and the wall. Yuuri scrambles away from the others easily, but he tangles in Yozak's skirt on the way out, which finally overbalances the redhead, who winds up sprawled along the wainscotting with Conrad on top of him.
Both of them are between Yuuri and the door.
"Heika," Conrad begins, struggling to sit up and knocking straight into a fat pink bubble that has been floating unnoticed above them.
Quickly, Yuuri cries out the first thing he can think of: "I don't like the Red Sox!"
Conrad's face is empty, for just a moment, and then he smiles again, and says: "I used to wish you were older."
Yuuri has no idea what that means, but from the way Conrad is looking at Yozak right then, he thinks he probably doesn't have to worry.
Yuuri takes this as an opportunity to edge towards the door. There have to be other rooms around here he can hide in. "You two seem like you, um, have a lot to talk about, so I’m just gonna go avoid Wolfram until the bubbles stop."
"Yeah, talking," Yozak snorts, but he doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get out from under Conrad.
"I believe Wolfram was last heading towards the gardens, Heika. It should be fairly safe on the upper floors for a while."
Yuuri pulls the door shut after him, but not quite fast enough.
"So, Taichou … fantasies?" Yozak's smirk is audible.
Yuuri really, really doesn't want to know.