Disclaimers:  I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  Quatre awakens briefly to Wufei changing his clothes.  The Sultan encounters a slave who has been accused of killing
his master.



Acquiescent Concubine



Part Two


Quatre was roused from sleep when Wufei pulled the blanket from his frail body.  “Hm . . . Wha?”  He asked, feeling confused.

Wufei smiled as if to reassure him.  “I must change you into your slave garb, Quatre.  I did not wish to distress your sisters
further by doing this in their presence.”

Quatre blinked and sighed in near relief as he was stripped of his garments.  The clothing that he’d been wearing had stifled him,
but he knew that his sisters had meant well.  He was dazed and not altogether sure of which way was up at the moment.  
Vaguely, he felt as a looser garment was being placed on him, but didn’t pay all too much attention.  Sleep was beckoning to
him, and he simply allowed himself to answer the sweet call.  He was simply too weary to resist.


*****


Wufei watched in concern as Quatre slipped back into unconsciousness.  The youth was dreadfully ill and Wufei could only
hope that he would recover at least a little during the journey to the palace.  It was days of travel before they would arrive and
they would only be stopping twice to change horses, purchase food, and stretch their legs a bit.  If they stopped each night, like
they usually did on long travels such as this, the trip would take so much longer.

Regretfully, Wufei had to garb Quatre in thin clothing, nothing more than veils to cover him.  The material was flimsy at best,
not giving much in the way of warmth.  However, it was tradition that the slaves wear such clothing, and Wufei had to abide by
the traditions of the kingdom he lived and worked in.

The cloth and veils covered every inch of Quatre’s body, the sleeves of the robe made long enough to fall over his hands.  His
head and face were covered, including his eyes, although the veil over his face was of a thinner material so that he would be able
to see where he was walking.

The colors complemented Quatre well though.  The Sultan had chosen the colors himself, white robes with just a touch of
aquamarine around the edges.  The hood was white, the veil covering his face aquamarine.  Naturally, beneath these pure white
robes, Quatre wore nothing, as other traditions would be taking place the night of his arrival . . . Wufei could only hope that
Rasid would be cautious with him, especially in his frail state of health.

Quatre stirred in his sleep as Wufei slipped a silver circlet over his forehead, partially to hold the hood and veil to him and also to
add a touch of adornment to his form even though nothing much could be seen of him.

“Wufei?”  The ill youth asked feebly.

“Yes, what do you need, Quatre?”  Wufei inquired, knowing that he would do all that he could to ensure Quatre’s comfort and
health.

Shivers began to course their way through the blonde’s lithe body as he spoke.  “I’m . . . I’m c-cold, Wufei.  Why . . . why is it
s-so cold here?”

Wufei offered a comforting smile, grasping Quatre’s arm lightly.  “It is a little chill in here.  I suppose my warming spell has
worn off.”  He reached up and pulled off his own cloak, wrapping Quatre in it, then covered him with the blanket as well.  
“There, that should help.”  He said.

“Thank you.”

“It is no trouble, Quatre.”  Gently, Wufei lifted Quatre’s upper body and took a seat.  He allowed Quatre to lay his head across
his lap and adjusted the blankets to cover him well enough to keep the cold air away.  “Go back to sleep . . . you need to rest if
you are to recover.”

“I will do as you say, Wufei . . . but I do not think I will recover from this illness.  I feel so very weak.  I have no strength.”  He
breathed, his voice so low it was barely a whisper.

“Do not say such things.”  Wufei chided gently.  “You will get better and you will have a long and happy life.  You will see . . .
his lordship, the Sultan, will dote attention on you and give you anything you desire . . . you will want for nothing.”

“Except my family.”  He sighed forlornly.

Wufei smiled sadly.  “I wouldn’t be so sure of that.  Rasid is a very kind and generous man.  He may well allow them to visit
you.  I was a concubine of his for a short while . . . until I refined my magical skills . . . he will treat you fairly and never hurt
you in any way.”

“Wufei . . . may I ask a personal question of you?”

“By all means.  I will give an answer if I am able to.”  Wufei responded.

“Does it hurt?  Being a concubine . . . does it hurt?”

Wufei smirked.  “Only if the master wishes it, and Rasid would never wish pain upon any of his servants, slaves, or
concubines.  It may be uncomfortable, but there will be no true pain, nothing for you to fear.”  He pulled the veil from Quatre’s
face, wanting to see his eyes.  “You have never been touched before, have you?”

Quatre averted his gaze, a pale blush tinting his cheeks.  “Forgive me, but I know nothing of such carnal acts . . . I led a very . .
. sheltered life.  My father, had he been well enough, would have taught me at least something, but he never got around to it and
I could never question my sisters . . .”

“It would have been far too awkward.”  He nodded in understanding.  “Do not worry.  Rasid will teach you all that you need to
learn with the utmost patience.  Many of his concubines began with little or no knowledge of what to do in the bedchamber.”  
He brushed the back of his hand over Quatre’s warm cheek.  “Now, stop fretting over this and rest your weary body.”  Wufei
urged, further ensuring that Quatre’s sleep was peaceful by murmuring a quiet incantation as he stroked the youth’s heated
cheek.

Quatre was quickly lulled to sleep.  Wufei was a competent mage, not the most skilled in the world, but he did well enough.  
Quatre would sleep well now, at least for a while.  It was a good thing too . . . his body most definitely needed to recover some
of its strength for what he was in for when they arrived at the palace.


*****


The Sultan sat in his court, presiding over the day’s business.  He was anxiously awaiting the arrival of Quatre Winner.  Yet he
knew that it would be several days before he would see the pale beauty once again.  So he sat impatiently and listened to the
squabbles of his people . . . he did have to rule, and sometimes it was a tiring duty.  He turned to his personal bodyguard, Abdul.

“What is next, Abdul?”  Rasid asked, trying to keep patient even though his people’s problems could be annoying sometimes . . .
such petty problems were brought to his attention.  Perhaps he should replace a few of his advisors if they couldn’t handle these
matters on their own without Rasid’s intervention.

Abdul, a young man who at one time had been one of Rasid’s favorite concubines, turned to face the Sultan.  “There has been a
murder, sire . . . the son of the victim has brought the suspected murderer to your court for punishment.”

Rasid gestured to a guard near the door.  “Bring them in!”  He announced.

The guard acted quickly, opening the door and allowing a tall youth and what appeared to be a slave entrance to the court.  Rasid
frowned, gazing over the form of the slave, not liking the beaten appearance.  It was a young male, that much Rasid could tell . .
. however Rasid couldn’t be sure of much else, the youth was so filthy that it was difficult to make out his features.  Plus there
was the fact that the young man did not raise his gaze even once, keeping his focus on the floor as he walked.

The slave was most definitely injured.  Rasid could see it in the way that he hobbled as he walked, the way he held his hands
close to his chest and avoided touching anything.  Whimpers of pain escaped his throat with each and every step that he took, as
if walking was agony to him.  He all but collapsed to his knees before the Sultan’s throne.  The tall young man, who was sharply
dressed in a wealthy man’s garb, bowed respectfully, sneering at the slave that was cowering beside him.

“And what is the matter that you bring to this court?”  Rasid asked, even though Abdul had informed him already.  He had to
hear the perspectives of both cases, even if one was a slave.

“This slave has murdered my father!”  The man accused, glaring hatefully at the slave.  “My father was an old man . . . I found
him in his bed this morning.  He had been stabbed to death while he slept.  I have no doubt this . . . thing . . . has killed him.  It
has belonged to my father since it was a child.”

Rasid nodded and turned his attention to the slave.  “Did you do what you are accused of?”  He asked.

“No, sire . . . I would not . . . could not hurt my master.”  He whispered, never casting his gaze up.  His voice portrayed that he
was surprised though, as if thinking that he would have no say in this hearing.

Rasid rose from his seat and approached the slave.  “Rise.”  He ordered.  “I want to have a look at you.”

The slave obeyed, although slowly.  He staggered to his feet, his head bowed as he stood before the Sultan.  He kept his hands
held close to himself . . . Rasid suspected that something was wrong there, an injury of some sort.  Now that Rasid was closer
to the slave, he could see a number of bruises and wounds to his dirty skin.  The slave held most of his weight on one leg . . .
perhaps the other was injured.

“Tell me, what is your name, boy?”  Rasid asked, circling the youth, taking note of even more bruises to his back.

“My name, sir?”  He responded, although he didn’t await an answer.  “My master called me Heero.”

Rasid nodded.  He stopped in front of Heero, looking carefully at him.  “Look at me.”

Heero hesitantly raised his head.  He flicked his eyes to look at the Sultan’s face, yet quickly broke eye contact once again.  He
did keep his head up though.  Rasid frowned at the filth-covered bruises to the boy’s face.  He most definitely had been beaten,
but with all the dirt, Rasid couldn’t tell how recently.

“Did my guards beat you as they brought you here?  Or did your master’s son do this to you?”

Heero shook his head.  “No, sire . . . no one has touched me.  I have been left uninjured by your men . . . nor have I been
touched by . . . him.”  He cast a sideward glance at the man beside him.

Rasid snapped his fingers, waving his hand to call forth his physician.  “Sally!”  He gestured to the slave as the blonde-haired
woman quickly approached.  “Take a look at his hands.  Tell me what you think.”

Sally nodded.  Gently, she took hold of Heero’s hands and pulled them away from him.  He cried out in pain at the slight
movement . . . Rasid had been correct to fear that there was something wrong there.

“Good Lord!”  Sally exclaimed, her eyes wide with shock.  “Almost all of his fingers have been broken, some more than once.  
Several of them healed improperly and need to be broken again.  And his left wrist . . . there is a fresh injury there . . . a fracture
. . . perhaps a break.”  She looked up at Heero with kind eyes.  “What did your master hit you with?”

Heero blinked, confusion in his eyes.  He must not get asked questions often, Rasid thought.  “H-His cane.  He hit me with his
cane.”

Sally smiled at Heero, then turned to face the Sultan.  “He could not have killed his master.  If the man was stabbed, as the
young lord says he was . . . Heero could not hold a blade, let alone stab someone, not with his hands in this condition.”

Rasid nodded.  He faced the man that had brought Heero in.  “You may take this slave home and treat his injuries.  He is
innocent of the crime you accused him of.  Allow the soldiers to investigate the crime and catch the real murderer instead of
trying to handle things on your own.”

The man sneered.  “I do not want this thing, sire.”  He said with thinly veiled disgust.  “It’s useless to me.”

“Then you give up your ownership of him?”  Rasid asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Yes, do what you will with it.  I do not care.”  With that, he turned on his heel and strode from the room, not casting one single
glance back at the slave he had so cruelly abandoned.

Rasid sighed . . . that man had no manners.  He looked to Heero, only to find him trembling where he stood.  “Tell me, Heero.  
What were your duties for your previous master?”

“H-He was an inventor, sire.  When he failed in his experiments, he beat me to rid himself of his anger.  I . . . I served his meals
and cleaned his laboratory when he was not working in it.”  The slave answered.

Rasid frowned.  He had no need for a servant such as this.  And Heero was in no condition to be serving anyway.  His frown
deepened when only one option came to him.  “Abdul . . . Sally, see to it that he is cleaned and that his injuries are tended to.  He
will take the place that Wufei vacated in my harem.”

“Sire . . . are you sure of this?”  Abdul questioned quietly.  “He doesn’t look as if he is up to such a . . . task.”

“I am certain.”  Rasid nodded.  “He will be presented to court as soon as you are finished tending to him.  It would be best if we
take care of the formalities as soon as possible . . . he will need rest.”

“Yes, sire.”  Sally curtseyed.  She carefully took hold of Heero’s arm, Abdul grasping his other as they led him away.  Rasid
watched them leave, then returned to his throne and went back to his duties.



To Be Continued . . .