Disclaimers:  I do not own either Gundam Wing or Harry Potter.  I am making no money with this.  This story is purely for
entertainment purposes only.

Notes:  Trowa returns to his hotel room with Duo.  He finds there’s trouble waiting for him.



Soldiers of Sorcery



Part Nine


Dinner had gone well, despite Trowa’s feelings.  Once again, Trowa had been uncomfortable . . . being surrounded by the
crowd that had been dining in the restaurant had not been a pleasing thing to Trowa.  He thought for sure that he would have to
escape the crowd somehow, whether to go to the bathroom or just outright leave he hadn’t been sure.  However, he had gotten
through the meal without having to make an embarrassing scene.  

Quatre had been tired throughout the meal.  He had played the part he was well known for though, keeping the conversation
among the five of them going.  He was cheerful despite his weariness, smiling pleasantly and answering any question put to
him.  He tipped the staff very well at the end of the meal, thanking them for their gracious allowance of their caged pets onto the
premises, although the animals had stayed close to the door under the watch of one of the staff.  

Unfortunately, the young Arabian had worn himself out by the end of dinner.  Wufei and Heero had helped Quatre to his car.  
Quatre had repeatedly insisted that he was fine, but no one really believed him.  Wufei and Heero had volunteered to see him
home.  Quatre had fallen asleep in the backseat of his car, leaning against Wufei as Heero drove the vehicle.  The two of them
had said that they would leave Quatre in the care of his servants, then have someone drive them back to the restaurant to get
their own cars.

Trowa had given Duo a ride in his truck, Duo’s owl sitting between them on the front seat.  Duo hadn’t let Quatre take Midnight
with him, even though the blonde was taking all of Duo’s other Hogwarts stuff.  

Trowa led the way as they stepped into the hotel, carrying his various parcels with him.  Duo was even carrying a few, insisting
on helping Trowa.  Trowa strode over to the elevator, not needing to check for messages or anything.  No one would leave a
message for him, he knew that.  He hadn’t told Catherine where he had been going, just saying that he had needed to get away
for a short time.

“Hold on a minute . . .”  Someone said from behind Trowa, causing him to pause before pressing the button to call the elevator.  
Trowa noticed the name tag on his jacket, declaring him to be Hotel Security and that his name was O'Connor.  “Who’s he?”  
O'Connor asked, gesturing to Duo.

“He’s a friend of mine.”  Trowa replied, feeling that whatever this man was going to say wouldn’t be good.

O'Connor nodded, but didn’t look as if he believed Trowa.  “Uh-huh . . . and why wasn’t he with you earlier?”

Trowa definitely did not like this man.  “Because we met up in town.  He has nowhere else to stay tonight and . . . what is this
about?”

“Look here, mate, this here’s a clean establishment . . . not for the likes of him.”  The man said, casting a thinly veiled look of
disgust at Duo, speaking quietly so as to not cause a scene.  “Now, if you would give ‘im his money so he can be on his way,
this incident can be forgotten.”

Trowa turned, noticing the way that Duo stiffened and then slumped, his head bowed.  He didn’t look as if he would put up any
kind of argument.  However, Trowa didn’t feel the same way.  He looked at the security officer, glaring at him.  “Excuse me?  
Look here . . . Duo is my friend, whom I haven’t seen for quite a while.  He just needs a place to stay.  I resent the fact that
you’re trying to make this out to be something it’s not.  What is it with everybody?  Just because he’s dressed like that, you
assume he’s a . . . whatever.  If YOU don’t want my money, then have the manager give me a refund and I will find a hotel that
will take the both of us for the night.  I’d rather sleep outside than stay someplace where my friend isn’t welcome.”  Trowa
said, his voice loud enough to be heard by several other people.  

He was a bit embarrassed about talking like that and for so long . . . it was rare that he would speak his mind like this.  
However, Duo hadn’t been willing to defend himself, so Trowa was more than happy to do it.  Duo was his friend, a very good
friend . . . and Trowa didn’t appreciate his friends being looked down on.

The security officer didn’t look too happy.  However, he did back off, not saying a word to apologize as he excused himself to
go about his other duties.  Trowa shook his head, angrily hitting the elevator button and impatiently waiting for it.  When it did
arrive, Trowa silently ushered Duo inside and pressed the appropriate button for the floor he was staying on.

Trowa took a deep breath, sighing before he turned to find out if Duo was okay.  By the sight of the resigned look on Duo’s
face, the way he didn't look up or acknowledge Trowa’s attention, Trowa knew that Duo had been getting this kind of treatment
all day.  Trowa was angry that people would just jump to conclusions without any thought . . . hating the discrimination that
Duo had obviously been unable to avoid.

“I was a prostitute . . .”  Duo mumbled, his voice barely reaching Trowa’s ears.  “So the looks and prejudice don’t really bother
me all that much anymore.”  He turned looking up at Trowa with weary eyes.  “It’s just damn inconvenient when I try to do
anything though.”  Then he looked away again, slumping his shoulders.  He looked tired, but still carried Trowa’s boxes.  
“Thank you for standing up for me, though.”  He whispered quietly.

Trowa nodded.  “It was no problem.”  He replied, not saying another word on the subject.

When the elevator doors opened, Trowa guided Duo to his hotel room.  A sudden wave of nervousness filled him just before he
unlocked it, wondering if this was a wise idea or not.  He wasn’t all that comfortable with sharing his room with anyone.  He
wasn’t afraid that Duo would do anything, no he did trust Duo . . . however, Duo might see or hear something in the night while
Trowa slept that perhaps he shouldn’t hear.  Trowa did have nightmares still, and he was unsure about whether or not he
wanted his secrets to be set loose.

“We going in or not?”  Duo asked, brushing a stray strand of hair back behind his ear.  

Trowa nodded, unlocking the door, knowing that it was too late to do anything about it now.  He had already told Duo that he
could stay with him and he wouldn’t go back on his word now that they were here.  Duo walked into the room, Trowa
following after him.  Just before he shut the door, Trowa caught a glance of that security officer standing at the end of the hall
along with another man.  Trowa assumed that the other man was the hotel manager.  Perhaps they wanted to check up on them,
obviously not trusting Trowa and Duo a bit.

Trowa ignored the men and closed his door.  When he turned, Trowa was shocked and a little frightened to see that Duo was
down on his knees.  Trowa rushed to his friend’s side, putting down his parcels and taking the others from Duo to set them on
the ground.  “Are you okay, Duo?”  Trowa asked, concerned.

Duo shook his head.  “I don’t feel so good, Trowa.”  He said, wrapping his arms around his stomach and leaning forward,
placing his forehead against the carpet.

This was definitely not good, Trowa thought.  Without a thought, Trowa helped Duo up and over to a sofa, feeling
uncomfortable with touching Duo but knowing that he had to help.  “What’s wrong?”  Trowa asked, watching his friend
worriedly.

Duo had closed his eyes, a pained moan escaping his lips as he rocked back and forth, his arms still wound around his
stomach.  “I don’t think I should have eaten so much, Trowa.  Definitely, a big mistake.”  He groaned, his loosened hair falling
forward and over his shoulders.

Trowa reached out, gently brushing the hair back.  He set his hand against Duo’s face, frowning at the heat he felt there.  “You’
re right.  I don’t think you should have eaten so much.  You’ve made yourself sick.”  Trowa said.  “I’ll go get something to help
cool you off.”  He said, rising from his seat and striding into the bathroom to get a cool compress.

While he was in the bathroom, getting a washcloth and dampening it cool water from the sink, Trowa listened to Duo.  He
frowned with every moan that he heard, worrying over his friend’s health.  It must have been awhile between Duo’s meals for
him to be this sick.  And judging by the thinness of his body, Trowa could tell that his assumption was correct.  Duo had been
starving to death before tonight, and eating so much at dinner had only left him sick.

He returned to the other room, finding Duo laying down on his side.  The young man was sweating and pale, obviously in a
good deal of discomfort.  He had drawn his legs up close to his body and was shivering, moaning almost constantly.

Suddenly, the door to the hotel room was thrown open.  Trowa stopped mid-step, glaring as the hotel manager and security
officer stepped into the room.  However, when O’Connor set his beady eyes on Duo, his face grew pale.  Apparently, he had
mistaken Duo’s pain-filled moans for something else.

“What the hell are you doing?”  Trowa asked, glaring at the two men while he walked over to Duo’s side.  He knelt down on the
floor, setting the damp cloth over Duo’s head.  “Can’t you see my friend is sick?”

“We apologize for the misunderstanding, Mr. Barton.  Mr. O’Connor was under the mistaken impression that you had brought a
prostitute to your room.  I assure you that his ignorance will be dealt with.”  The manager apologized.

Duo rose to his feet, staggering forward a few steps.  “I’ll just leave, Trowa . . . I think I’ve caused enough trouble.”  Duo said,
nearly falling over with the single step he had taken.

Trowa caught him, shaking his head.  “Duo, you are in no condition to go anywhere.”

Before Trowa could say another word, Duo pushed him away.  He fell to the sofa, leaning over one of the armrests and
vomited.  Trowa curled his nose, witnessing as Duo released the contents of his stomach onto the floor.  When he was sure that
Duo was done, he stepped closer, laying Duo down along the length of the sofa and wiping his mouth off with a tissue from the
box on the coffee table.

“Mr. Barton, if there is anything we can do to make up for this misunderstanding . . .”  The manager said.  “Perhaps we could
offer you another room . . . this one does need to be cleaned now . . . it would be no trouble and at no extra charge to you of
course.”

“Fine . . . I just want to get my friend to bed . . . he needs rest now.”  Trowa said while he pulled Duo into his arms, ignoring
Duo’s weak protests as he picked him up.

“Stop, Trowa . . . I'm not worth the trouble.”  Duo mumbled.  Then he gave up and laid his hand against Trowa’s chest, tiredly
curling closer to him.  If Duo weren’t so ill, Trowa would have taken this as a threat to his safety and left, but he saw that Duo
needed help, so he could tolerate the contact for now.

“We’ll see to it that your belongings . . . and owl . . . are brought to your new room.”  The manager said, leading the way for
Trowa.

“I thought you didn’t have any other rooms available.”  Trowa said.

“Yes, well we recently had a number of cancellations.  A few of our rooms have become available within the past several
hours.”  The manager stated, unlocking and opening one of the doors.  

Trowa stepped into the room, barely noticing that it was almost identical to the one he had so recently left.  It didn’t matter
though, just made it easier for Trowa to find the beds.  Quickly, he moved to where the two twin beds stood against the wall,
laying Duo down on one of them.  The manager was speaking to Trowa, but he hardly listened, only hearing that the man was
leaving the key card on the coffee table.  Trowa’s concern was more focused on Duo, quickly stripping the pale youth of his
garments and getting him settled into bed.

It was a good thing that Duo had fallen asleep . . . Trowa didn’t know if he could have stripped Duo if the American had been
conscious.  Trowa gulped, hesitating a moment before he removed the last article of Duo’s clothing, his boxers.  However, he
decided on comfort rather than modesty, remembering something that Heero had once said about Duo preferring to sleep in the
nude and how it had been difficult to work on missions overnight with him for that reason.

As soon as Duo was bare of all clothing, Trowa covered him with the blankets.  He had been disturbed to see the bruises on
Duo’s body, wondering who had beaten him.  They weren’t serious, but still they were there and Trowa didn’t like the idea of
anyone hurting his friend.  He pulled Duo’s hair out from under him, feeling that perhaps the young man wouldn’t want to sleep
on it, then frowned.  It was knotted . . . a tangled mess of mostly unbraided hair.

Outside, Trowa heard a number of people walking around.  Curious, he stepped out of the bedroom area and saw several people
bringing Trowa’s belongings into the room.  The last thing brought in, was Duo’s owl.  Then the hotel employees left, none of
them having said a single word to Trowa.

Trowa stepped over to the cage containing Duo’s owl.  “I think perhaps you should hunt for your food.”  Trowa said, opening
the cage and slowly reaching his arm in.  The owl hopped onto his arm, allowing Trowa to take it out of the cage.  Trowa
stepped over to the window, pausing with his hand on the latch before opening it.  “Now, you come back here by morning or I
will have to buy Duo a new owl.”  Then Trowa opened the window and the owl flew off.  Trowa did hope that it would return .
. . it wouldn’t be much of a wizard’s owl if it didn’t.

He shrugged, leaving the window open for the owl, then walked into the bathroom and made a fresh compress for Duo, also
getting a glass of water in case Duo awakened and wanted something to drink.  He stopped as he was walking back, opening his
traveling bag and pulling out his hairbrush.  Then he carried his three items into the bedroom.

He set the glass on the table between the beds, laying the cool compress over Duo’s forehead in the hopes that it would help
him.  Then Trowa went about brushing Duo’s hair.  He didn’t know if his friend would take offense at him for doing this, but
he decided it was better to risk it than let those knots just get worse.  So he delicately stroked the brush through Duo’s hair,
working out each and every knot and tangle without pulling.  He would hate to break even one strand.  Trowa knew that Duo
took great pride in his hair, and he himself thought it was beautiful.

Once again, Trowa shook his head to clear his mind of such distracting thoughts.  Here he was thinking of Duo in a way that he
shouldn’t.  He had no business brushing Duo’s hair, or even touching him.  It wasn’t right.  Trowa sighed, laying his brush on
the table, letting his hand graze across the silky strands just once before he rose to his feet and left the room again.  

This time, he found suitable garments to sleep in, only a pair of sweat pants, but it would do for tonight.  He got changed in the
bathroom, then turned off all the lights and climbed into bed.  Trowa pulled all the covers up to his neck, turning so that his
back was to Duo as he went to sleep.  Even if the weather was warm, he felt better being covered . . . his body was only
garbed in a meager amount of clothes, so the added covering of blankets made him feel better.  Slowly, he fell asleep, hoping
that Duo would be at least a little better in the morning.


*****


Duo awakened to a dark room.  A weight was resting on his head, so he raised his hand, pulling a damp cloth from off his
forehead.  He tossed it aside weakly, not wanting it on him.  Duo felt groggy and disoriented, wondering where he was for a
moment.  Then he remembered Trowa and the hotel room . . . and the vomiting.  He felt his cheeks burning with
embarrassment, not believing that he had actually vomited in front of Trowa.  Now he felt like a complete idiot for making
himself so sick . . . it had left him looking weak in front of his friend.

A soft whimper reached Duo’s ears.  He looked over, blinking in the darkness to clear his vision, his eyes having already
adjusted to the lack of light around him.  In a bed near his own, Trowa was sleeping unpeacefully.  A wash of moonlight
flooded across his bed, making it even easier to see just how much distress the tall young man was suffering through.

Trowa was laying on his back, his blankets twisted about his legs.  His sweat pants were riding low on his hips, giving Duo a
good view of flesh that he would normally not see.  He couldn’t see any particular pieces of anatomy, but still, Trowa’s body
was more revealed now than ever before in Duo’s memories.  

In fact, not only was Trowa’s body revealed, but so were his emotions.  Trowa’s face was set in a look of panic, his hands
clenching and unclenching, his fingers digging into the mattress below him.  He looked terrified, and the whimpers coming from
him grew steadily louder.  Duo frowned, noticing a pair of bandages around Trowa’s wrists, wondering what had happened.  
He also took note of a few bruises on Trowa’s hips . . . they looked like the marks left by fingers when . . . Duo gasped,
covering his mouth with his hand as he guessed what had caused those marks.  He had received several identical marks like
those in the past.  And judging by Trowa’s reactions now, they weren’t made when Trowa was willing.

“No . . . stop.”  Trowa demanded weakly in his sleep, fighting against invisible tormenters.  His body was bathed in a layer of
sweat, his hair plastered to his face.  Duo had no doubts as to what had happened in Trowa’s past . . . it was just too eerily
similar to his own.  He felt sorry for Trowa, wishing he hadn’t had to go through what Duo had.

Suddenly, Trowa’s eyes snapped open, his body shooting upright as he gasped in terror.  He shivered, gulping in short ragged
breaths, wrapping his arms around himself as he reverted to shuddering intensely.  Duo closed his eyes, pretending to be asleep,
not wanting Trowa to know that he had been watching him.  It would only cause Trowa to feel vulnerable if Duo let him know
that Duo knew his innermost secrets.  Duo didn’t want to lose Trowa as a friend.

After a few moments, Duo cracked open one eye just a bit, watching as Trowa pulled his legs closer to his body and hugged
them.  Trowa buried his face in his knees, weeping silently as he continued to shiver.  Duo wanted to go over there and hold
him so much, wanted to comfort him and assure him that no one would hurt him again.  But he couldn’t do it.  Not only would
Trowa not appreciate it at the moment, but Duo wasn’t comfortable with doing it.  This brought up too many memories of his
own, things that he wasn’t ready to deal with yet.  If he comforted Trowa, then he would have to see his own past again, and
he didn’t want that.

Trowa rose from bed, wiping his hand across his eyes as he padded out of the room.  Duo sighed deeply, hoping that Trowa
wouldn’t do something foolish.  A few moments later, Duo heard the running water and knew that Trowa was in the shower,
probably cleansing his body of the sweat that had been clinging to him.  Duo rolled over, closing his eyes as he hoped for Trowa
and himself, hating whoever had hurt Trowa just as much as he detested the ones that had used his own body.  Slowly, he
slipped back to sleep, his body and mind both weary.



To Be Continued . . .