Disclaimers: I still don’t own anything.
Notes: Part two of my fic. You get to find out who the slave is in this part. Enjoy.
Duo had yet to move from his seat on the ground. He still watched the fortress, waiting for any sign that Heero was on his way
back. A single guard approached him, “It is cold out here. Lord Heero would not like you to become ill.”
“Yes, I will return to the tent soon.” Duo agreed, knowing that he really didn’t have much choice. That guard could force him
into the tent if he wanted to. Heero had ordered them all to watch out for Duo, to keep him safe, although none of them seemed
all that happy to do that.
“Now!” The guard insisted, his hand moving to rest on the hilt of his sword.
Duo sighed then rose to his feet, glancing one last time at the fortress in the distance. A slight glimmer of light flashed, and Duo
paused. “Look!” He pointed, watching as Zechs approached camp. His heart sank, seeing that the tall blonde was carrying
someone in his arms. And by the look of the figure, he was either hurt or unconscious. He prayed that it was not Heero.
A moment later, two more figures emerged from the darkness. Duo ran forward, bowing before Heero as custom dictated.
Sometimes Duo hated all the rules that he and Heero had to live by. “You’re safe.” He said, refraining from embracing Heero in
front of all of the other soldiers.
“Of course.” Heero replied, calmly.
Duo turned his attention to the small form that Zechs carried in his arms. “Who is that?” He asked.
“A slave.” Heero replied, sighing sadly. “The only one left alive.”
“She killed her slaves?” Duo asked, appalled.
“Yes.” Heero replied, not offering any further explanations.
Duo followed as Heero and Zechs walked into Heero’s tent, Otto leaving to return to other duties. Zechs laid the slave down on
one of the pallets set on the floor, covering the young man’s body more completely with the cloak that was wrapped around him.
“Is there anything you can do to help him?” Heero asked.
Duo stepped forward, kneeling beside the slave while Zechs backed away. “I don’t know.” Duo replied, pulling back the cloak
to reveal a small, emaciated form. “He’s nearly starved to death.” Duo gasped, shocked to see the condition of this slave. He
noticed the bruises, the various scratches and cuts to his dirty skin. He paused, laying his hand against the boy’s face, frowning
at the warmth he felt. “Many of these wounds are infected, probably what is causing the fever. He needs more help than I can
provide to him.”
“Zechs, saddle two horses. Duo and I are leaving now.” Heero ordered, moving toward the pallet. He swept the slave into his
arms, pulling him against his chest.
Duo stood with him, folding the cloak back over the boy’s body, trying to keep him warm. He smiled at Heero, who returned
the expression with a gentle smirk. “Ready.” Duo said, knowing that Heero was taking the slave where they knew they could
get help for him.
Zechs turned and quickly left the tent. Duo could hear the orders that the blonde was shouting, although he paid no attention to
what was being said. Only moments later, Zechs returned. “The horses are ready, sir.”
Heero nodded, then led the way as he and Duo left the tent. Duo swung up onto the horse waiting for him, just a simple mare,
since he usually just rode behind Heero on his horse, his arms wrapped around Heero’s waist. Heero handed the slave over to
Zechs for a moment while he got up onto his horse, a much more magnificent looking creature, well groomed, not anything like
Duo’s dull brown mare.
Zechs lifted the slave into Heero’s outstretched arms. Duo waited while Heero adjusted so that he could carry the slave more
easily while he rode. Once Heero was ready, the two of them left camp, riding as fast as they could. Duo knew that the slave
needed help as quickly as possible. And the only help they would find would be at Heero’s home.
It was dawn before they finally reached the village, at least another hour before they reached the small castle that had been given
to Heero as his home. Being a noble in the Queen’s court did have some plus sides. No one would suspect a loyal citizen of
assassinating the Queen, at least none of those incompetent guards that had worked for her anyway. To them he was just a rich
merchant, someone who had been bestowed the title of Baron by the Queen because of his father’s loyal services.
Duo and Heero halted their horses, quickly dismounting. Duo took the slave from Heero’s arms, knowing that Heero was
probably tired after carrying him for half a day like he had. Heero barked out an order to one of the guards. “Go get Sally! Tell
her to meet us in my chambers immediately!”
“Yes, sir!” The guard replied, hastily running off.
Duo sped up his pace, carrying the boy through the various halls of the castle. They passed by the kitchen, knowing that the
baths lay beyond it. A natural hot spring ran below the castle, allowing the people inside warm water. There was a second way
to the baths, one where not everyone would see if you needed a bath or why. But that route was only for Heero, Duo, and a
few select others.
They entered a room that looked just like a cave that had been covered in tiles. And that was what it was . . . a cave refurbished
into a bathhouse. It was lovely, despite the fact that there were no windows. Various candles and lanterns hung around the
large room, illuminating the room as well as could be expected. Duo carried the slave over to the edge of the shallow waters,
laying him down on the floor beside the water’s edge. Duo could see Heero’s private area, where no others were permitted to
go, except for Duo. It was separated from the rest of the baths by a simple curtain that didn’t quite touch the water.
He knelt beside the boy, moving quickly to remove the cloak from his small form. “Might as well get him cleaned before Sally
checks him over. She’ll need to see the wounds before she can tend to them.” Duo muttered, not really caring if Heero was
paying attention or not. He just needed to say something to kill the silence.
Carefully, Duo removed the collar from around the slave’s throat, tossing it to the side. Then he took off the anklet, laying that
more carefully aside. He unclasped the chain that hung around the slave’s waist, pulling that and the metal band that hung from
it, off the slave. He wondered what the band was for, but quickly pushed the thought aside for more important matters.
Finally, he moved onto the loincloth. But before he could remove it, the slave opened his eyes. He whimpered, looking up at
Duo with fear in his blue eyes. He pushed himself back, scurrying away as quickly as he could.
“Don’t be afraid. We only want to get you cleaned up so that your wounds can be tended to.” Duo said, holding out his hands.
The slave looked up at Heero, as if questioning whether he should obey Duo or not. “Do as he says.” Heero said from behind
The slave nodded slightly. “Yes, Master.” He moved back to where he had been, although now he kneeled in front of Duo, his
head bowed in obedience.
Duo turned quickly, shooting Heero a questioning glance. When did he become this slave’s master? Heero just shrugged in
response to Duo’s silent question. Duo shook his head, turning back to the slave. He reached out, slowly lifting the shackles
that bound his wrists. “These will have to come off.” Duo said.
“I may have the key. Treize gave me a set of keys before he left.” Heero replied, handing over a ring of keys to Duo.
Duo tried several, before he found the right one. He dropped the shackles to the floor, ignoring the loud clatter that they made.
He turned his attention back to the young man. The slave was shivering, probably out of fear. Duo slowly reached out,
grasping the fabric of his loincloth. The slave’s trembling only increased. Duo sighed, shaking his head as he carefully removed
the cloth. Then he lifted the now nude form, carrying him in his arms as he approached the water’s edge. It didn’t matter that
Duo was still wearing clothes. He could always change into something different later.
Duo slowly walked down the few steps leading into the water, inadvertently sighing at the warmth of the water surrounding
him. He set the slave down, letting the slave sit on the steps and frowning when he saw how frightened the young man
Heero stepped closer to the edge of the bath and knelt down. “Here.” He said, picking up a bar of soap that Sally had made, and
handing it over to Duo.
“Thanks.” Duo replied as he took the offered soap. He dipped it in the water before vigorously rubbing it over the slave’s skin.
Duo made sure to wash every inch of the slave’s body, even though at some points the slave flinched and tried to squirm away
from his touch. Duo just held him still with one arm, using the other to wash him.
Duo pulled the young man away from the edge, moving into slightly deeper water. “Close your eyes.” Duo said to the young
man, before grabbing him and dunking him underwater.
The slave grasped Duo’s arms tightly as if he expected Duo to drown him. Once Duo let him up again, the young man gasped,
taking in several deep breaths. Duo smiled, seeing that most of the dirt had been cleaned away. He was somewhat cleaner, his
hair even turning a lighter shade.
Duo let him sit on the steps and grabbed the soap again, scrubbing the rest of the dirt from the boy, also making sure to clean
his hair thoroughly. Once again he took the slave over to where the water was deeper and told him to close his eyes, not
wanting the soap to sting his eyes.
When he helped the slave back up, it was Duo’s turn to gasp. Duo let his eyes trail over the pale skin, the eyes that sparkled a
beautiful shade of blue, and the golden blonde hair. All in all he looked simply angelic . . . as if he truly didn’t belong in the
world of mortals, but in heaven with the other celestial beings.
Finally, Duo was able to find his voice, whispering just a few simple words. “Oh my God . . . Heero, he’s beautiful.” He said,
frowning as the slave flinched in reaction to Duo’s words, turning his gaze away.
“You’re right, Duo . . . he is.” Heero said, smiling as he turned away to grab a couple towels.
Heero held the large towel open as Duo helped the slave out of the bath. He wrapped the large towel around the blonde, handing
the other towel he held over to Duo. Then he hastily rubbed the cloth over the slave’s body, drying him slightly, before he
swept the young man into his arms.
“Sally is probably waiting for us.” Heero commented, while Duo wrapped a towel around his own body, over his soaked
Duo nodded, then followed as Heero carried the slave out of the baths. They took the back way, the faster way to Heero’s
chambers. Before leaving, Duo gathered what he had taken off of the slave, along with the set of keys that Heero had handed to
Heero hastily moved up a couple flights of stairs and down a corridor to his rooms. He paused, waiting patiently while Duo
rushed past him to open the door. He noticed Duo’s long rope of braided hair, which hung almost to the backs of his knees, and
the way the water dripped from it with every step he took. He shook himself out of his reverie and walked into the room,
noticing immediately that Sally was there, standing beside Heero’s bed, holding the case that contained her various herbs and
Heero wordlessly carried the slave over to the bed, gently setting him down. The slave continued to shiver, clutching tightly to
the cloth wrapped around his body as if he feared someone would steal it from him. Heero gently pulled the cloth away from his
body, leaving him bare, blushing as the three of them stared at him.
Looking down at the youth, Heero couldn’t help but admire the view that his new slave presented. Just as Duo had said, he was
a beautiful sight indeed. He looked so frail . . . so innocent . . . But Heero knew better than to judge by appearances.
There were also a number of bruises and wounds, marring the perfection of his body, although not enough to distract from his
beauty. However, Heero could not see one single scar on him. That was very odd . . . no scars meant that he had never been
whipped . . . so Heero had to wonder what methods his trainers had used on him.
Heero stepped aside, giving Sally room to work, although he made sure that he could still see what was going on. Duo stood on
the other side of the bed, also watching what was happening. Sally stepped forward, reaching out to the slave. But before she
could touch him, he recoiled, drawing his legs closer to his body as he moved himself further away from her on the bed.
“Let her touch you.” Heero ordered, slightly annoyed, although he wasn’t sure why he was.
They slave silently obeyed, moving back to where he had first been on the bed. Sally pressed her hand to his face, muttering
something inaudibly as she drew her hand back again. Then she carefully touched each of the wounds and bruises to his face
and upper body, the ugly bruise that darkened one cheek, the split in his bottom lip, the numerous scratches and cuts to his torso.
“What is your name?” Sally asked, touching a particularly deep cut on his side.
He gasped at the contact and flinched. “I . . . I . . .” He said, seemingly not willing to answer the question.
“Why won’t you answer?” Heero asked.
“I have had many names. I do not know which one you want, Master.” The slave answered, meekly.
“How about the name your parents called you by . . . if you had parents?” Duo suggested.
The slave looked away, a single tear trickling down his cheek. “No one has ever wanted my true name . . . Are you sure you do
not wish to think of something yourself, Master?”
“What is your name?” Heero asked, growing impatient.
The slave flinched again, apparently startled by Heero’s tone of voice. “Q-Quatre. My name is Quatre, Master.”
Sally smiled down at the slave. “I am Sally Po, personal physician to the Baron, also the closest thing this village has had to a
doctor in many decades.” She turned for a moment, gesturing first to Heero, then Duo. “This is the Baron, Heero Yuy. And
this is Duo Maxwell, Lord Heero’s friend and trusted companion.”
“It’s nice to meet ya!” Duo exclaimed, grinning.
“Heero . . . I would prefer to examine Quatre in private. I am sure having an audience will only make him more nervous than he
Heero nodded, grabbing Duo’s wrist and pulling him along as he left. Once outside, he turned to face Duo. “Go to your room
and change into some dry clothes. There’s no need for you to get sick.”
Duo pulled his arm away from Heero’s grasp. “Fine.” He agreed, shivering slightly. “But I’m coming back. You’ll only scare
Quatre.” He smiled, playfully slapping Heero’s arm.
Heero smirked slightly, watching as Duo turned and walked away, his braid swaying behind him with each step he took. Once
Duo was out of sight, he leaned back against a wall, crossing his arms over his chest as he patiently waited.
To Be Continued . . .