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

Notes:  Quatre and Wufei stop at an inn for the night.  In the morning, Heero is introduced to two young women who will help
take care of him.

Acquiescent Concubine

Part Five

Quatre stirred as the carriage came to a stop.  “Huh?  Are we there?”  He blinked his eyes sleepily and looked at Wufei as the
exotic-looking young man proceeded to wrap the blankets firmly around Quatre’s body.

“No . . . we’re at an inn.”  Wufei said, pulling Quatre into his arms and carrying him from the warmth of the carriage.  “We are
stopping for the night to change horses and to let our driver rest . . . as well as to have our carriage checked to make sure it will
get us to the palace safely.  Besides, it will do you some good to sleep in a soft bed rather than a bumpy carriage.”

Quatre yawned, and had to agree.  His sleep HAD been disturbed every time the carriage had hit a large stone or a dip in the dirt
road.  He drifted a little as Wufei spoke to the innkeeper.  He was just too tired to listen . . . although he figured that the fresh air
must have done him some good.  He was feeling a little better.  Quatre roused himself when he felt himself being placed down
on a soft bed, gentle fingers taking the veils from off his weary body and away from his face.

“You should eat something.  You need to get your strength back, and you won’t be able to do that unless you eat.  We have
been traveling all day, and you have yet to consume anything.”

Quatre sighed.  “Do I have to?  I always feel worse after eating.”  And it was the truth.  Now that he was feeling fractionally
better, he didn’t want to risk getting worse.

Wufei sounded intrigued.  “Really?  Well . . . I guess that’s to be expected.”

Quatre nodded.  “And everything has a funny taste now.  It’s nothing I can put my finger on, but . . .”  It was more the
aftertaste that was odd, but Quatre didn’t have the energy to explain.

Wufei frowned a little, then shrugged.  “Well . . . let us see how your system handles soup.  All right?”

Quatre sighed in resignation.  “Very well.”

He was grateful when Wufei propped him up with some extra pillows, knowing that he wouldn’t have the strength to remain
sitting upright on his own.  Then he obediently opened his mouth as Wufei sat on the bed and fed him the simple broth that
Wufei had probably ordered upon entering the inn.  The flavor was odd . . . but pleasant.  It certainly was better than the soups
his sisters had given him, but his sisters tended to forget that when one is ill, you don’t give that person hearty fare.  Perhaps the
spices had caused the unpleasant aftertaste.

Quatre managed to eat about half of the broth before turning his face away.  “As good as the soup is, I fear I cannot eat any
more before making myself ill.”

Wufei, rather than seeming upset, smiled warmly.  “Don’t feel as if you need to apologize.  I’m very pleased that you were able
to eat as much as you did.”  With that, he helped Quatre back into a reclining position.  “If you feel the need to relieve yourself
later, I’ll be resting in the chair nearby.”

Quatre suppressed a yawn with the back of his hand, smiling as Wufei covered him with the blankets once more.  However, as
Wufei turned to go, Quatre suddenly felt afraid.  So far, he had not been more than a foot away from Wufei.  He was away
from home, away from everyone he had held dear in his life.  Wufei was the only one he knew now, the only familiar face . . .
and he had never liked being alone before.  He reached out, weakly grasping Wufei’s wrist.

“Please, Wufei . . . please do not stray so far from me.”  Quatre whispered, feeling embarrassed by his baseless fears.  “I . . . I
do not wish to be alone.”  He looked away, casting his gaze on the blankets covering his tired body.

Wufei’s hand settled on the side of Quatre’s face, his thumb delicately brushing across his feverish skin, soothing Quatre
somewhat.  “You are afraid?”  Wufei asked.

Quatre nodded, not trusting his voice.  He closed his eyes, releasing his hold on Wufei’s arm.  He was being foolish . . . he
should learn that he had no rights anymore.  Wufei could very well decide to make him sleep outside in the carriage and Quatre
wouldn’t be allowed to dispute it.

“Forgive me.  I know it is not my place to . . .”  He was silenced by the feel of fingers pressing against his lips.  He opened his
eyes, only to see Wufei smiling at him gently.

“Do not apologize.  I understand your fears.  You have been thrust into a strange situation, taken from your home and family.  
You have every right to be frightened.”  Wufei said, taking his fingers away.  “I assure you that no harm will ever befall you
while you are in the Sultan’s keeping.  And, if it will ease your mind, I will lie with you tonight.  Truth be said, I favor a warm
bed to that uncomfortable-looking chair.”  He smirked, giving a wave of his arm in gesture to the chair that he had been
intending on sleeping in.

Quatre felt a small smile pulling at his lips.  “I thank you, Wufei.”  Quatre nodded.

With Wufei’s help, Quatre moved aside, giving the other youth plenty of room to slide into bed beside him.  And Wufei did just
that after kicking off his shoes.  Wufei adjusted the blankets, making sure the both of them were covered, although his hands
lingered in seeing to Quatre’s comfort more.  Quatre appreciated it.

Slowly, shyly, Quatre lay close to Wufei, setting his cheek atop Wufei’s chest.  He shakily curled one arm over Wufei’s body,
feeling nervous about how Wufei would react to the contact.  But Quatre simply didn’t want to be alone, and he would know
that he wasn't alone if he could feel the presence of the other youth in this bed.  He sighed in relief as Wufei’s arm came around
him, pulling him closer, holding him as he easily fell into sleep.


Heero felt a gentle warmth against his cheek and heard a soft voice calling to him.

“Come on, little treasure.  Time for you to awaken and meet your caretakers.”

Heero opened his eyes and felt his lips tug into a timid smile.  “Ma . . . Rasid . . .”

Rasid smiled warmly down at Heero, his hand stroking the skin of his cheek.  “Don’t worry much about titles for now, my little
treasure.”  With that, he backed away from the bed and two veiled forms approached.  Both of them were female . . . both were
blonde, although the shade and lengths of their hair were different.  “This is Relena and Dorothy . . . they are two of your fellow
concubines and will be tending to you until you are well again.”

The one in pink veils turned to Rasid as the one in the golden veils moved toward Heero.  “What color should we dress him in,
my lord Rasid?”

“Blue . . . deep blue tones to match his eyes.”  He sighed, offering a small smile to them all.  “I have a long day ahead of me.”  
He approached Heero again and gently caressed his face.  “Rest and become strong.  I long for the day when you no longer have
bruises to mar your skin.”  Then, after giving Heero a gentle kiss, Rasid was gone.

Heero turned his gaze to the two female concubines, wondering what they would want to do with him now that Rasid was
gone.  He had no knowledge of what was expected of a concubine, except for what he and Rasid had done last night . . . the
memory threatened to bring a blush to his cheeks, but he forced it away.

The one in golden veils sat on the bed beside Heero.  She and the other both unhooked their face veils on one side, letting the
flimsy material drop away to the side to uncover their features.  Heero blinked at them . . . both were lovely . . . but he had
expected nothing else from those of Rasid’s harem.

“I am Dorothy.”  Said the one in gold, which meant that the other must be the one Rasid had called Relena.  “Do you feel up to
eating breakfast?”

“I . . .”  He turned his gaze away, feeling uncomfortable with answering questions of any sort.  He had lived as a slave.  Slaves
weren’t supposed to speak, weren’t supposed to do anything unless ordered to.

He flinched away from Dorothy as the girl set her hand on his shoulder.  Doing as Rasid wished was one thing.  But to be
touched by another left him nervous.  He brought his hands close to his chest and moved away from the girl, only to lie on the
other side of the bed, his body weary from even that little amount of movement.

Relena came to his side, laying her hands against his back gently.  He shivered, closing his eyes.  He had nowhere else to go.  
Dorothy was before him, Relena behind . . . he could not run.

However, Relena’s hands were gentle as they stroked across his skin.  He felt the bed shift and knew that Dorothy had moved
closer . . . her hands swept through his hair, lightly brushing his scalp.  

“Sshh, now . . . no one will harm you.”  Relena’s delicate voice whispered.  “Rasid told us you might be skittish.”

Heero took a chance and opened his eyes, looking at Dorothy as he meekly spoke.  “Y-You will not punish me for my
behavior?”  He asked, his heart speeding.

Dorothy merely smiled.  “Of course we will not punish you.”  She assured him.  “We know what it is like to be new to this . . .
form of employment.  I, myself was a spoil of war.  Relena and her brother were royals overthrown by corrupt politicians.  
There is a woman who was sold by her father so that her brothers could eat . . . her name is Une, you will meet her in time.  We
all come from different backgrounds here, but none are considered inferior.”

“That is true.  From what I hear, the Sultan has taken on two other concubines . . . the son of a wealthy man and a street boy . .
. we have not met either of them yet, but we await their arrival eagerly.”  Relena said.  “We are all family, Heero.  We protect
our own.”

Heero let out a breath . . . this took a great weight from his shoulders.  He smiled a little, although the expression didn’t linger for
long.  “I have never had a family before . . . at least, not for a long time.”  He said.

“Then let us show you.”  Dorothy said, helping Heero to sit up.  “I will clean your form and dress you, and Relena will go fetch
you some breakfast and see to it you are fed.  Then we will spend the rest of the day doing whatever it is you wish to do.”

Heero smiled again.  Whatever he wished to do . . . it was a strange notion.  He didn’t think that he would be able to do much,
but he was grateful for their kindness.  With that thought in mind, Heero allowed Dorothy to undress him and gently wash his
body, not caring in the least that he was bared of clothing before a woman.  He had no shyness over his body.

To Be Continued . . .