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

Notes: Wufei visits Une and her brother.

Acquiescent Concubine

Part Eleven

Une gathered a few herbs from the common area garden.  She knew enough about herbs to make something that would help the
two youths in her care to sleep.

She heard someone behind her and quickly covered her face before turning to face whoever it was.  She gasped and let her face
veil drop when she saw that it was Wufei.

“You startled me.”  She sighed, setting a hand to her chest in relief.

Wufei chuckled warmly in that way that made the very marrow of her bones begin to tremble.  “Forgive me.  I thought you
were busy with your brother.”

Une smiled happily.  “I am.  Poor Heero cannot sleep and neither can Duo.”

“Ah, the other new concubine that Rasid took in … the street thief.”  Wufei nodded.  “How is your brother?”

Une’s eyes filled with sorrow.  “He is in such pain, Wufei.  It breaks my heart to see him suffer so terribly.  Sally … Sally
doesn't think he will ever regain full use of his hands.  They have been mangled horribly.  I curse the name of the man who
dared strike him.  If he weren’t already dead I would-”

Wufei’s hand came up to stroke across her face, his fingers stilling against her lips.  He smiled a little, shaking his head.  “Please,
do not finish that.  I hate to hear such dark words from your sweet lips.”  He leaned forward, kissing her softly.

Une backed away, feeling a blush on her cheeks.  “Wufei, we cannot,” she reminded him, raising her hand to ghost over his
features.  “It is forbidden for us to even touch.  You know that.”

Wufei’s gentle smile turned sad.  He dropped his gaze, letting out a long sigh.  “Yes, I know this very well.  But it won’t be this
way forever.”  He looked up, catching her eyes.  “Soon you will be a qualified healer, as I always knew you could be, and Rasid
will grant you your freedom.”

“I can barely contain my anticipation of that day, my love,” Une said, her tears slipping down her cheeks.  How she longed to be
held in Wufei’s arms, to feel him against her, just like when they had both been concubines.  But now that he was free, it was a
forbidden desire, one that neither of them could act upon.  If caught, both of them could be executed for daring such a thing.

Wufei’s serene smile made Une’s heart skip a beat.  He took hold of her hand, glancing around them for prying eyes before he
pressed a chaste kiss to her skin.  He stepped back, letting go of her hand with obvious reluctance.

“Perhaps there is something I can do to help your younger brother, dearest.  While I am not the most skilled of mages, I do have
some amount of talent beyond simple parlor tricks.”

“Would you, Wufei?  I would be eternally within your debt,” Une answered quickly, her hopes rising.

“There would be no debt.  I do this to touch your heart and soul since I cannot do the same with your beautiful body.”

Une felt her blush deepening.  “Always the flatterer, aren’t you, Wufei?”

“Only with those that deserve it,” Wufei replied.  “Come, take me to your brother so that I may see what I can do for him.”

Une nodded, picking up her basket of herbs before they left the gardens.  In only minutes, they came to the door of her
bedchamber.  Une went inside first, followed shortly by her dearest love.

Seeing the fear in Heero’s eyes, Une swept forward and wrapped gentle arms around her brother’s beaten form.  “Do not fear,
Heero.  Wufei is a good man.  He is the Sultan’s mage and was my lover not too long ago.”

Wufei bowed.  “And I hope to someday marry your sister, if she would have me.”

Une gasped, turning to face Wufei.  “You truly mean that?  Marry?  Me?  A former concubine?”

Wufei chuckled lightly.  “There is no shame in what you do.  Have you so suddenly forgotten that I was once one of the Sultan’
s concubines as well?  I bear no ill will toward the occupation.  It is nothing more than a means to survive and you have done so
without losing your gentle heart.”

Une held her fingers to her mouth, feeling so very embarrassed.  She turned to face Duo and Heero, her smile bright on her
face.  “You see, Wufei is one of the best charmers I have ever met.  Quite talented, is he not?”

Heero’s fear had abated.  He nodded a little, but said nothing.  He merely held onto his sister with his arms, his head against her
chest.  It was Duo who spoke up.

“Yeah, he’s a real sweet talker.  So what does he want?” Duo asked, looking between them repeatedly, an eyebrow arched as he
asked one last question.  “What, do you two want to be left alone for a while to get some lovin’ in?”

Une broke out in a laugh, watching as Wufei’s eyes widened, his face turning pale.  “No, no we do not need either you or Heero
to leave.”  Une said, trying to contain her chuckles.  “If it were not forbidden, perhaps.  But Wufei is no longer a concubine and
so he is denied the right to touch me.  I am sure that Rasid informed you.  Only Rasid can touch his concubines in intimate

“And other concubines,” Heero said quietly.  “Concubines can touch other concubines.  I was told that.”

Une nodded, stroking her fingers through Heero’s soft hair.  “That is right.  But Wufei is not a concubine any longer.  He is a
free man, the Sultan’s mage.  If he were to be caught touching me, or I him, the both of us could be executed.  At the very
least, I would be given twenty lashes, and that would be for the merest of caresses.  And Wufei … well, he could be castrated
for his lustful ways, and that is the minimum punishment for a man who dares to touch what belongs to the Sultan.”

“So what’s he want then?”  Duo inquired, looking at Wufei skeptically.

Wufei bowed a little.  “I have come to see if I can be of assistance to Heero,” he replied.  “Une informed me that his hands could
very well be useless.  By use of my skills I may be able to prevent that.”

Heero gulped, shrinking away as Wufei approached the bed.  “D-Do I have to take off the bandages?”

Wufei shook his head.  “No, just hold out your hands and I will be able to tell what is within my power to do for you.”

Biting his lip and shivering in fear, Heero did as Wufei said.  His hands shook as he held them out for Wufei’s inspection, his
body trembling.  Both Une and Duo offered him reassurances, Une by holding him in her arms, and Duo by stroking a hand
along his back in a gentle manner.

“Don’t worry.  If he so much as causes an ache I’ll punch him in the face,” Duo declared, smiling as he nodded his head.

Wufei smirked.  “If I were to cause him pain, I would gladly stand still long enough for you to do such a thing.  I do not enjoy
causing harm to others,” Wufei said, his hands quivering a little as he reached out to set them above Heero’s.  Une knew the
cause of that tiny tremor.  Undoubtedly, Wufei was remembering his clan, the destruction and death.  Wufei had been through
such horrors.

Une didn’t want him to remember such things, but she had no way to comfort him, not now anyway.  In the past, she had taken
him into her bed, had accepted the frightened and broken youth he had been, encouraging him to become something more than a
plaything of the Sultan’s.  He had shown such talent in magic.  She had spurred him to train, given him hope that he was doing
the right thing and now he was a powerful man, a strong mage and a protector of the Sultan.

Now, though, they were separated by the rules of conduct.  They could stand side by side in the same room and yet they were
always miles apart.  It wore them down knowing they could do nothing about their feelings.  Une knew though, in time they
would be together again.  She would become a healer and Rasid would free her.  She trusted in that and looked forward to the
day when she could be held in her lover’s arms once again.

She watched with a bit of nervousness as Wufei started murmuring.  Out of the corner of her eyes, she saw Duo open his
mouth, readying to speak.  So she put a hand on his shoulder and shook her head to stop him.

“Never interrupt someone who is casting a spell,” she said, speaking quietly so as not to disturb Wufei.  “One wrong word and
any aid he means to give might turn into something dangerous.  If you have something to say, wait until he finishes.”

Duo nodded, biting his lip as he turned to watch Wufei again.  Une moved her gaze to look at Heero, smiling when she viewed
him.  Heero seemed too fascinated with Wufei’s actions to be afraid.

All too soon, Wufei let out a breath and removed his hands from Heero’s with a small smile.  “There, that should do it.”

Duo rubbed Heero’s shoulders as the injured youth lowered his hands.  “What did you do?” Duo asked, tilting his head at
Wufei.  “Did you heal him?”

Wufei let his lips quirk.  “No, I didn’t.  All I did was to check if Heero will ever be able to use his hands again, or if he will be

Une watched Wufei for a moment before her impatience made her speak.  “And?”

Wufei nodded.  “The muscles in his hands are in poor shape because he hasn’t really been able to use them before, at least not
for long periods of time without injury.  The bones in his fingers have been properly set this time, so that isn’t a concern.”  
Wufei looked at Heero.  “When Sally, or Une, removes your binding, I’ll return and we can start some simple exercises to
rework those long unused muscles.  I don’t see any reason why you shouldn’t be able to use your hands again.”

“But Sally-” Une began, furrowing her bow slightly.

“Sally, as skilled a healer as she is, cannot see through skin.  I however, with use of magic, have seen just how serious the
damage is.  If it will make you feel better, I will aide his healing with a potion.  It will lessen the pain for him as well as
strengthen his muscles somewhat.  He will still have to exercise to get them into good working order though.”

“I would appreciate any help.”  Une nodded, smiling.

Heero looked worried though.  “What … what sort of exercises?” he asked.

Wufei smiled.  “Well, first, we’ll work on getting the stiffness out of your fingers, which will hurt a little due to them being
immobile for so long.  After that, I will bring you a pair of metal spheres like these.”  He reached into his pocket and brought out
a pair of shiny silver balls.  Une remembered them fondly.  Wufei had always had them nearby.  They helped him to relax when
he was feeling stressful.  “Small at first, and then a little larger.”

Heero blinked and then gave Wufei a confused look.  “What do I do with them?”

Wufei nodded.  “I was hoping you’d ask.  You’ll do this.”  With that, Wufei started moving his fingers.  The two spheres in his
hand rotated around one another, producing a soft tone.  “It will build the muscles in your hands and make them limber.”

“Oh, okay,” Heero said, wiping the back of his arm across his face.

Wufei bowed slightly.  “If you will excuse me, I feel I must retire for the evening.  And I can see that all of you could do with a
good night’s rest as well.”

“Tell me, Wufei, before you leave.  How is the new concubine you brought to the Sultan?  Is he as ill as the rumors say?” Une
asked, curious to know of this new addition.

Wufei sighed, bowing his head.  “As I am not sure what the rumors say, I cannot answer.  However, I will say that he is
gravely ill.  He was near death when I retrieved him from his home.  His health has recovered somewhat, but he is still very
weak.  I fear he may worsen even further before growing strong again.”

“Who watches over him this night?”

“The Sultan has assigned that task to Zechs.”  Wufei replied.  “Sally will be called to see him in the morning.”

Une sighed.  “I do hope he will be well.”

“As do I.”  Wufei smiled.  He reached forward, stilling his hand a mere fraction of an inch away from Une’s face.  Une could
feel the heat of his skin even though they did not touch and for now that was enough.  “I bid you goodnight.”

He dropped his hand to his side, turning and walking away, a visible slump to his shoulders as he departed the room.  Une had to
bring her hand to her mouth to quiet herself.  She did not want to sob, not in front of Heero and Duo.  She had to stay strong
for them, had to stay strong for Wufei.  She could not break down, not when her strength was needed to keep him going.  If
they were to be together again, they would have to be patient.

Forcing a smile on her face, Une turned to the young men.  “Lay yourselves down and rest.  I will brew that tea to aide your

Duo smiled softly, helping Heero to recline against the pillows.  Then he settled himself beside the injured youth, lightly reaching
out to brush the stray hairs from Heero’s face.  For the first time today, Heero didn’t jerk away from the contact of another
person.  He lay there, sighing deeply as he allowed Duo to touch him.  Une was happy to see her younger brother relaxing.  She
went about making the tea, heating a pot of water over her own hearth.

When the tea was ready, she returned to the bedside, setting the goblets down.  “Are you two going to be comfortable sleeping
in your clothes?  Or would you rather I fetch bedclothes for you?”  Une asked, keeping a tender smile on her face.

Heero turned his head away, a blush tainting his cheeks.

“Heero?  Is something troubling you?”  Une asked, concerned.  “Did I say something wrong?”

“N-No.  It is just,” Heero stammered, his sentences broken.  “It is just that I do not like wearing so much.  But I do not want to
bother you or Duo.  I-I am sorry.  The clothing is … I have never worn so much.”

Une sighed, understanding now.  Heero had been a slave.  Naturally, his master had probably left him wearing little, if anything at
all.  “Heero, if you are uncomfortable sleeping in clothes, I understand.  You can wear as little as you wish, nothing if that is
what you want.”  She turned to look at Duo, noting the blush coloring his cheeks.  “However, if it will make you feel better,
Duo, I will sleep between the both of you.  If Heero’s nudity will embarrass you.”

“Thanks,” Duo whispered, ducking his head.  “I-I’d actually like something else to wear.  No offense, but I never liked being so
… visible.”  He bit his lip, fiddling with the bedding.

Une smiled, saying nothing.  She left the room briefly, only to return with a nightshirt for Duo to wear to bed.  “Here, Duo.  You
may change behind the screen there.”  She said, pointing out the divider in the corner.

Duo took the garment with a smile, heading quickly behind the flimsy make-shift wall.  While Duo was out of sight, Une took
the opportunity to shed her own clothing, putting on a nightdress before she attended to her brother.  She tenderly stripped
Heero of his veils, leaving him bare to her eyes.  She didn’t miss the blush on his cheeks or the way he cast his gaze aside, but
she said nothing, not wanting to further embarrass him.  Just as Duo stepped out from behind the screen, Une was bringing the
blankets up over Heero’s waist, covering him lightly.

“Come, Duo.  Drink your tea so that we may get some sleep,” Une bade, smiling as Duo shyly approached the bedside.  He had
been so exuberant just this afternoon.  Une could scarcely believe that this shy youth was the same boy who had been helping
her today.  Perhaps it was just the idea of sharing a bed with two people that left him so quiet.

Duo took a seat on the bed, taking one of the goblets from the bedside table.  He drank the tea obediently, although he did
grimace at the taste.  Une smirked, turning her attention back to Heero.  In a gentle movement, she helped Heero to sit up,
holding him upright.  Duo passed her the other goblet, to which she thanked him.  Then she held the edge of the cup to Heero’s
lips, pleased as he drank all of the brew.

“That’s good, Heero.”  Une smiled, sliding her hand along her brother’s cheek as she took the empty goblet away.

Heero smiled up at her tiredly, then leaned against her body.  Duo took the goblet from Une’s hand, setting it aside.  He helped
her to lay Heero down, waiting until she got into bed beside her brother before he laid down as well.

Heero pressed close to her chest, his head against her breast.  He fell quickly into sleep, aided by the tea he had consumed and
his own weakened body.  She hoped he would recover soon.  Turning her eyes to Duo, Une frowned.  Duo was curled up
against the very edge of the bed, using only a corner of the blankets to cover himself.

“Duo,” Une whispered, setting a hand against his back.  “I don't bite.  There is no need to risk falling from the bed or catching a
chill.”  She smiled, reaching up to grasp his arm, turning him to face her.  

“No, I don’t want to be a bother.  I-I’ll be fine,” Duo said, lowering his gaze.

Une only smiled at this.  “Here, lay by my side.  I’ll keep you warm tonight,” she said, urging him closer.

Timidly, Duo slid further inward, his body trembling slightly.  Heero murmured something unintelligible in his sleep, drawing an
arm across Une’s mid-section, his bandaged hand brushing Duo’s arm.  Duo made no move to retract his limb, shuddering a
little as he settled himself against Une’s warm body.

Une smiled in contentment, wrapping her arms around both Duo and Heero, pulling them close against herself, sighing happily as
they snuggled closer.  She closed her eyes, listening to the breathing of her bed mates as they slipped to sleep.  Only then did she
allow herself to rest.  She would not want either of them uncomfortable, not when it was within her power to aide them.

To Be Continued …