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

Notes:  Here’s another new fic.  It’s an AU, medieval setting.  1+2, 3+4, and 13+5 pairings, just not yet.  They’ll all happen
eventually.  And of course I have to have angst.



Captive Hearts



Part One


The Queen had gone mad.  Everyone in the land knew it.  One moment she was greeting someone pleasantly and the next she
was ordering his or her execution because the person failed to notice a new ribbon tying back her hair or for some other trivial
reason.  Her moods changed randomly and without warning.

And recently her actions had become disturbing.  She had ordered the arrest of many officials in her land, who, by all accounts
were all honorable people.  And she had started attacking the neighboring countries, none of whom had made a move against her
or provoked her wrath in any way.

That is why she had to be eliminated.  Her irrational acts would not be tolerated by her neighbors for much longer.  So who
better to send than the best assassin in the business, Heero Yuy?  Of course, only a few knew his chosen profession.  Most
people knew him as a simple merchant, wealthy, with a number of well-trained bodyguards and slaves, but not a killer of men.  
Truly the only people outside his select group that knew who he was, were his victims, and none of them would be talking any
time soon.  The others who knew were his most trusted guards and servants.  And then there was Duo . . . his beautiful Duo.

A stroke of luck had brought Duo into Heero’s life and Heero wasn’t about to lose him for anything.  Duo was one of a kind, the
only one he truly confided in and trusted totally and without question.  However . . . he had yet to proclaim his feelings,
worrying that Duo would reject him.  The two of them had not met pleasantly.

Heero shook his head to clear his thoughts of Duo.  He would ponder this later.  No need to lose focus and risk his own life
because he was lost in thought.  Even though those thoughts were mostly of a tempting nature of his beautiful Duo.

It was night as he and his troops approached the fortress where Queen Une had sequestered herself.  However, her intense
paranoia was going to lead to her downfall.  She had already dismissed or executed many of her guards out of fear of betrayal.  
Now only a handful of personal guards and a few slaves remained.

Heero himself had only two with him as he approached the fortress.  There was some low ranking guard, whose name Heero
hadn't bothered to learn yet . . . and on Heero’s right was his most trusted soldier, and Captain of his personal guard, Zechs
Merquise.  Not many in the land knew Zechs’s past or why he insisted on wearing that mask, and Heero was not among those
privileged few.  Heero respected his subordinate’s wishes for privacy and they had agreed that he would tell if and when he
wanted to, unless it began to interfere with his duties . . . then he would have to tell.

“This way, milord.”  Zechs said, gesturing for Heero and the guard to follow him.  “He said he would meet us by the southeast
corner.”

Heero nodded, although he knew that he might be walking right into a trap.  Why would Queen Une’s most trusted and loyal
guard help in having her dethroned, possibly even assassinated?  However, Zechs had assured Heero that the man could be
trusted, so Heero was willing to take the chance.  Any risk was worth it, if it meant getting Queen Une off the throne.

“Where is he?”  Heero hissed an hour later, as the three of them stood outside in the middle of a cold, dark night.

“Right here.”  A whispered voice replied, causing the three of them to spin and stare at this stranger in shock.  No one had ever
been able to sneak up on Heero before.  He must be a good soldier . . . much better than Heero had first thought.  Heero berated
himself for having made assumptions of this man.  He knew better than to do that.  Thoughtless assumptions often led to
mistakes.  And mistakes could be deadly, considering Heero’s chosen profession.

“It’s about time.”  Heero sneered, glaring at the man before him.

“What took you so long, Treize?”  Zechs asked, grasping the other man’s hand and giving it a firm shake.

“Her majesty needed my services.  I couldn’t get away as quickly as I had expected to.”  Treize replied, grimacing.

Heero noticed the change in his facial expressions.  “What kind of services?”  Heero asked, curious.

Treize visibly flinched, his face paling.  “Her slaves . . . she ordered them all executed.  All except for one are dead.  And the one
left will not last much longer without help.”

“You obeyed that order?”  Zechs asked, his tone hovering near shock and disgust.  “You butchered helpless slaves?”

“No!”  Treize exclaimed, then lowered his voice back to a whisper.  “I refused her order, so she did this.”  He pulled open the
front of his tunic, which appeared to have already been torn apart.  Underneath his clothes, Heero could see a large gash across
his chest, probably made by a dagger or some other sharp object.  Blood ran in dark streams down his chest.

“Are you well?  Is that wound serious?”  Zechs asked, his concern apparent.

“I will be fine.”  Treize sighed, covering his chest once again.  “After she did this, she had Alex and Mueller escort me to the
dungeons to lock me up and watch as they took care of the slaves.  If I could have stopped them, I would have.  But it took all
of my skills of persuasion just to convince them to let me get rid of the last slave myself . . . saying that perhaps I could enjoy
toying with that one.  Like I could ever enjoy hurting that child.”  He said, muttering the last sentence.

“Zechs, do you think that you and . . .”  Heero paused, the other guard’s name unknown to him.

“Otto, sir.”  The guard said.

Heero nodded slightly, then turned back to Zechs.  “Do you think that you and Otto can handle Queen Une on your own?”

“What are you planning, Milord?”  Zechs asked.

Heero ignored the question and looked to Treize.  “I want you to take me down to that dungeon.  If that slave is still alive . . .
then we’ll have another traveling companion.”

“But it’s just a slave . . . you can’t be serious!”  Otto argued.

“I am very serious.  And never question me again!”  Heero said, glaring back.

“Forgive me, sir.”  Otto apologized.

Treize spoke up, clearing away the uncomfortable silence that had fallen.  “Once I show you to the dungeons, you will be on
your own.  Once word spreads of the Queen’s death I must be in the North.  Lives will depend on me and I will not endanger
them.  As I said before I agreed to this mission . . . I will not risk the lives of my family.”  Treize said.

“Fine.  Let’s go.”  Heero replied.


*****


Duo sat staring at the stars.  He was in a small encampment, surrounded by soldiers and still he felt uncomfortable and nervous.  
He should have gone with Heero to the fortress.  Maybe he could have been of some help.  But Heero had forbidden it, not
wanting to risk Duo’s safety.  In fact, Duo was just lucky that he had been allowed to get this far.  It took a great deal of
arguing before Heero agreed he could ride with the caravan.

Duo sighed. Heero was just too overprotective sometimes.  But Duo loved him all the more for it.  He hadn’t grown up with
much protection, or love for that matter . . . at least until he had met . . . But he stopped those thoughts, not wanting to dwell in
the past.

He turned his attention to the fortress, the torch lights just barely visible from where he sat.  “I hope you are safe.”  Duo
whispered.


*****


“You’re on your own from here on.”  Treize informed Heero, handing over a set of keys.  “Take these.  The slave is in the last
cell.”

“Thank you for your help.”  Heero replied, nodding slightly.

“Be careful . . . Alex and Mueller might still be around.  They are impatient and might not have waited when I told them I needed
to get something to add to the fun with that slave.”

Heero nodded again, not liking the sound of that.  The slave might be dead.  Coming down here could have served no purpose.  
However, Heero knew that he couldn’t just walk away now.  That slave might still be alive.

Treize left without another word.  Heero pushed open the heavy wooden door, surprised to find that it was unlocked.  Fools . . .
the people here were fools.

Heero unsheathed his sword, walking carefully and slowly down the corridor, trying to make as little noise as possible.  He
shivered as he walked, wondering how anyone could be cruel enough to lock their slaves in this freezing place.  It was one thing
for prisoners to be subjected to such harsh conditions, but slaves would be less productive if they became ill.  Although, Une
may have only locked them in here to await their executions anyway.

He glanced into each open door along the corridor, only to see that each was either empty or contained the bloody and beaten
corpses of the slaves.  As he approached the last door, his hopes for finding that slave alive were dwindling.  By looking at the
other bodies, Heero knew that Alex and Mueller were sadistic and had tortured and mutilated each of those slaves before finally
ending their misery.

Heero reached out and grabbed the handle of the door.  Finding it locked, he took out the keys that Treize had given him and
unlocked it.  He gulped, tightening his grip on the hilt of his sword, as he slowly opened the door.

He stood in shock for a moment looking at the small figure lying on the floor.  It was a boy, young by the look of him.  But it
was difficult to determine his age because of the layers of dirt coating his skin and hair, the filth that marred his features.  It
seemed that he had been down here a while and probably hadn’t been fed in days.  He was so thin, his bones visible through his
skin in many places.  Even through all the layers of dirt, Heero could see the numerous bruises to his body, the blood that had
yet to dry as it ran from various cuts and scratches.

The only clothing Heero saw on the slave’s body, was typical of the Queen’s slaves, just a simple loincloth, the fabric hanging
down to just above his ankles.  A few pieces of jewelry adorned his body.  He wore an anklet of small silver bells so that his
presence would be heard wherever he went.  A leather collar circled his throat, with a short leash attached to it.  And around his
wrists, were shackles.  But Heero noticed that the shackles were odd.  The metal seemed to be covered by a layer of leather . . .
possibly to reduce the amount of injury to this young man’s wrists.  It was obvious that Queen Une had once thought him
special to have been kind enough to do that for him.

However, he was confused by one of the pieces of jewelry.  It was a circular, metal band that hung from a thin chain that was
wrapped around the slave’s waist.  Heero wondered what purpose the band served.  But he tossed aside the thought as
unimportant.

Heero dropped to his knees beside the slave, laying a hand against his bare chest.  He sighed in relief, feeling the beating of his
heart and the slight rise and fall of his chest as he breathed.  Perhaps Heero wasn’t too late to save this one.

However, Heero frowned, feeling the shiver moving throughout the slave’s body, the way he began trembling under Heero’s
touch.  The slave groaned, his dirt-covered face contorting into a pained expression.  Heero moved his hand to lay against the
slave’s face.  The boy had a fever, very high and dangerous if he wasn’t tended to soon.

Heero watched as the slave slowly opened his eyes.  Immediately after his eyes focused, he pushed himself up from the floor,
then scurried back away from Heero.  Heero stood, watching as the slave cowered away from him in obvious terror.

“There’s no need to fear me.”  Heero said, sheathing his sword to further prove that point.

“You are not one of the Queen’s guards.”  The slave said meekly, his gaze locked on the floor in front of him.

“No . . . I am not.  But by now it does not matter.  Une is no longer Queen.”  Heero replied, deciding it would be best to calm
this boy.

The slave stared up at him in shock.  “What have you done to my Mistress?”  He asked in a horrified tone, quickly lowering his
gaze once again.

“I am sure you noticed that she has drifted to insanity.  She provoked war with neighboring countries.  So I was sent to
eliminate the threat she posed.”  Heero answered.

The slave forced himself to stand, then stumbled a few steps toward Heero.  He dropped to his knees and bowed his head.  
“Then by law, I now belong to you.  What do you wish of me . . . Master?”  He asked, his body swaying.

“I do not need any more slaves.”  Heero spat.  Immediately, he regretted his harsh tone when he saw the slave flinch away from
him, his body beginning to tremble more intensely.  Heero sighed, only able to think of one way to correct his mistake.  “But
perhaps Duo will find some use for you.  You could make a fine companion to him while I am away on business journeys.”

The slave stayed silent, just like a good slave was supposed to.  He would not speak unless spoken to.

“Can you walk, or do you need help?”  Heero asked, carefully watching the slave’s every move.

“You should not have to dirty your hands by touching me.  I will manage on my own, Master.”  The slave replied, groaning as
he struggled to stand.

“Are you sure?”  Heero asked, reaching out to catch the slave when it seemed that the young man was about to fall.

The slave stumbled back, avoiding Heero’s hands.  Heero knew there was more to this slave’s reaction than just cleanliness.  
This slave was afraid.  He grimaced when ideas of why the young man was so scared drifted through his mind.

“Yes, Master.  I will be fine, Master.”

Heero sighed, then grabbed the leash.  If the slave was going to walk on his own, then Heero would be sure to know when he
needed to slow his pace.  He would be able to judge through the tension in the leash whether the slave was able to continue or
not.  “Come along then.”  Heero said, beginning to walk, making sure to keep his pace slow.

He listened carefully to the sounds around him, keeping one hand on the hilt of his sword as he and the slave walked out of the
dungeon.  The slave stayed two paces behind Heero, the sound of the jingling bells from his anklet making Heero nervous.  If
anyone heard them, they would most definitely be in danger.  Luckily though, they got out of the fortress without any trouble
whatsoever.

Heero leaned back against the outside wall, crossing his arms over his chest, his slave’s leash still held in his hand.  The slave
knelt beside him, his body shivering in the cold night air.  Heero moved to take off his cloak.

“Forgive my insolence.  But please, Master.  Keep your cloak for yourself.”  The slave said, without looking up at him.  “I will
do without, Master.”

“But you’re cold.”  Heero commented.

“My duty is to you.  Seeing to your comfort and happiness is my duty.  I cannot accept your cloak, for then you would be
cold.  So I will be fine, Master.”

Heero sighed, seeing that this slave would be a problem.  He didn’t like his slaves too docile or without minds of their own.  It
was obvious he had been trained well, although most likely not by any kind means.   At least he wasn’t completely docile, or else
he would have taken Heero’s cloak and not have spoken to refuse it.  “Very well.”

A few moments later, he heard the crunching of leaves underfoot.  He grabbed the hilt of his sword, eyes staring into the
darkness as he watched for possible enemies.  Then he saw that telltale wisp of blonde hair, the light of the torches glinting off
of the silver mask, and knew that Zechs and Otto had finally arrived.

“Did everything go well?”  Heero asked.

“Yes, milord.  Although two guards escaped us.  Queen Une put up a fight, but she has been taken care of.”  Zechs replied,
sounding dismayed.  Something was apparently troubling the tall soldier.  But Heero knew better than to question him about his
feelings.  It would do no good to ask, when Heero already knew that the man would not answer.

“Is this the slave, sir?”  Otto asked, gesturing to the young man kneeling beside Heero.

“Yes.”  Heero stated simply.  He glared at Otto, not liking this man’s attitude.  “Give him your cloak.  You have plenty of clothes
to keep you warm, and as you can see, he is lacking in garments.”

“But sir . . .”  Otto started.

“Do not disobey orders!”  Zechs berated him.  “Do as Lord Heero tells you!”

“Yes, sir.”  Otto said, slowly removing his cloak.  He grumbled, roughly tossing the garment to the slave.  

The boy flinched as the cloak hit him, but made no move to put it on.  In fact, he looked ready to fall over at any minute.  Zechs
leaned forward, grabbing the cloak.  He shook it out, then draped it around the slave’s shoulders.  The slave turned away from
him, trembling.  Whether it was from the cold or something else, Heero wasn’t sure.  Perhaps it was a mix of the two.

“Can you walk?”  Heero asked, gently tugging on the leash.

“Y-yes, Master.”  The slave replied, his voice barely a whisper.

“Let’s go then.”  Heero said.  He motioned for Zechs to step forward, while the slave forced himself to stand again.  “Keep an
eye on him.  He refuses my help, but doesn’t seem to reject yours.”  He whispered to the blonde.

“Yes, sir.”  Zechs replied, nodding.

The four of them began walking back to the encampment, Heero leading, while Otto and Zechs stayed on either side of the
slave.  Only minutes after they had started walking, Heero noticed that the slave had begun slowing.  Heero looked back, only to
watch as the slave finally toppled, his legs completely giving out from underneath him.  Zechs caught him, sweeping him into his
arms in one fluid motion.  By then the slave was already unconscious, lying limply in Zechs’s arms.

Heero dropped the leash, nodding to Zechs before the three of them began walking again.  He would have to get Duo to look
over the boy once they got back to camp.  Surely, he knew how to help him in some way.



To Be Continued . . .