Yuuri came to slowly, as though he had been asleep for a long time. His body felt drained; the fact that Conrad's face was right above him and upside-down was surprising, but not quite enough to make him want to move. Beyond Conrad's face was the sky, and his own skin and clothes, despite being soaking wet, were warm – the sun had probably heated them, Yuuri decided.
His head was lying on something firm – not hard enough to be the ground. One of Conrad's hands was tangled in his hair, the other sat comfortably near his shoulder.
It felt kind of nice, even if there was a reasonably sized puddle of water around him. Them.
"Hey Conrad." His voice came out raspy and strained.
"Good afternoon, Heika." Conrad's voice sounded a bit odd too, come to think of it, like there was something stuck fast in his throat.
Yuuri blinked, attempting to marshal his thoughts. "What's wrong?"
Conrad only shook his head. "Nothing now."
"Oh." It took Yuuri a moment to realise that his head must be pillowed on Conrad's thighs – that would certainly explain why Conrad's face was the wrong way around. That mystery solved, Yuuri turned his attention to the puddle of water.
"This might be a stupid question, but why am I here? Wait, I didn't turn into the Maou again, did I?" Wordlessly, Conrad shook his head again, and Yuuri breathed a sigh of relief. "Oh, good. For a second there I thought I might have wrecked another pirate ship or something. So, what happened?"
Conrad still didn't reply. Yuuri shifted his gaze and watched the hand on his shoulder tighten. It shook. That had always been Conrad's way, Yuuri remembered. His face showed nothing but his hands always told the truth. Now, white-knuckled, Conrad gripped Yuuri like he thought the king might disappear if he didn't hold on tight enough. His fingers were digging in hard enough to bruise, and Yuuri didn't have the heart to tell Conrad to let go, even though he could recollect nothing of where he had been or what he had been doing before this.
Almost nothing. A lone memory – not even that, a fragment of a dream. A long way down, or perhaps the sun a long way up. A stream of bubbles in one unbroken chain, and then less and less of them. A shadow blocking out the last of the sunlight, the blue growing darker as though it were closing in around him. Silence, not simply a lack of sound but its own presence, reaching out to him. One last, rebel bubble escaping, up and up and then gone, beyond the last of his sight. He was floating, weightless, boneless, drifting...
"It's alright, Yuuri." The thing that had been caught in Conrad's throat was still there, only louder.
"No, I... I fell, or something pulled me, and I- you..." The warmth had fled, leaving him suddenly shivering, and Conrad was whispering something like It's Alright, It's Alright Yuuri, even though it wasn't alright, it wasn't alright at all because somewhere else in his head he was closing his eyes and slipping quietly away and nearly leaving Conrad behind.
"I'm so sorry, so sorry Conrad-!"
Yuuri's vision blurred. As if they needed any more water. It ran down the sides of his face and onto Conrad's already-sodden uniform, even as Yuuri remembered the ghost of Conrad's lips covering his own and breathing out, hard. A priceless gift; both the touch, more intimate than anything Conrad had given him so far, as well as the air, enough to last him until Yuuri had been able to breathe his own again.
It was too bad he had more or less slept through the entire thing.
It was a while before he could see well enough to search out Conrad's face again. Conrad's eyes were red, he noticed, but the soldier's hands had finally relaxed.
Yuuri wiped his eyes and managed a shaky smile. "Oh man, Wolfram is so going to kill us."
Conrad's startled laugh was enough to make Yuuri's shivering subside. "I imagine he will, Heika."
Unconsciously, Yuuri's fingers moved to brush across his lips. "I won't tell if you won't."
He allowed Conrad to manoeuvre him upright, and said not a word as Conrad pressed his head gently atop Yuuri's to hide his tears.