Disclaimer:  I don’t own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.

Notes:  Duo and Heero find out how the slave’s health is.  

Captive Hearts

Part Three

Duo hastily returned to his own chambers.  The room wasn’t as large as Heero’s, but still it was a good size room.  He peeled
off his soaked clothes as he crossed the room, just dropping them to the floor, while he rubbed the towel, that he still held,
vigorously over his skin as he exposed it.

He quickly pulled out some clean clothes, a black tunic and breeches.  Most of his clothing was black.  He really didn’t need too
much variety.  Besides, he liked the color.  As soon as he was dressed, he left the room and returned to Heero’s.

That slave would be frightened already, and Duo knew that sometimes Heero could be a scary guy, even if he didn’t mean to
be.  So it would be best not to leave Heero alone with Quatre too much yet, not until Quatre was more aware of Heero’s
temperament.  Quatre didn’t need to be frightened any more and Duo would see to it that the young blonde stayed calm.

He walked through the hallways at a brisk pace, smiling once Heero came into view.  Duo couldn’t help but smile at the sight of
the young man that he loved.  If only he could express those emotions to Heero and know that the feeling was reciprocated.  
They were friends, but Duo was unsure if he meant more to Heero than being just a friend, a companion.  It wasn’t as if they
had met pleasantly, and it had taken months for them just to be friends.

“Hey, Heero.”  Duo said, smiling at his friend as he approached him.

Heero looked up at Duo, uncrossing his arms and stepping away from the wall that he had been leaning against.  Heero opened
his mouth, but before he could say anything, the door to Heero’s bedroom opened.

Sally stepped out of the room, quietly closing the door behind herself.  Her face was downcast, her shoulders slumped as if she
was bearing the weight of the world.  She placed her case down on the floor beside her feet.

“Is he okay?”  Duo asked, worried about the slave’s health.

“I am amazed that he is still alive, Duo.  He’s nearly starved to death, dehydrated . . . not to mention the numerous injuries that
he’s received.”  She paused, taking a breath.  “He's a bed slave.  His hands show that he’s never truly worked a day in his life,
the lack of scars to his body showing that someone wanted him to keep a good appearance.  Queen Une undoubtedly used the
boy to warm her bed at night, although his role in her chambers might have been more intimate in nature as well.”

“No . . .”  Duo whispered.  He just didn’t want to believe that.  Quatre seemed so innocent . . . Who could ever use him like
that?  But then as Duo thought, it became apparent why.  Quatre was gorgeous, his beautiful body a very tempting sight.

“I’m afraid so, Duo.  But I do not think that Queen Une’s bed was the only one he’s warmed in his time as a slave, whether
willingly or not.  He has been raped . . . at least a dozen times, but I cannot truly be sure.  There is a good deal of scarring.  
However, it has also happened recently, within the past day.  It seems you were too late to spare him that, Heero.”  Sally said,
her eyes always focused on the floor.

“Damn.”  Heero muttered.

“No wonder he’s so afraid.”  Duo whispered.

After a moment of silence, Sally spoke again.  “His health is a serious concern . . . that fever will have to be reduced.  I think it
would be unwise to move him at the moment.”

“And where am I to sleep?”  Heero asked, glaring at the physician.

“In your bed as always, milord.”  Sally replied with a slight grin.  “This is what Quatre was trained for, to warm his master’s
bed and to make sure that he or she is comfortable at all times.  He would feel as if he were failing in his duty if you did not
sleep in your own bed because of his presence.”  She sighed.  “Just don’t make any sudden movements and for goodness sakes
don’t lose your temper with him.”

“Fine.”  Heero replied, muttering silently under his breath.

Duo smirked, knowing that Heero wasn’t comfortable with the sleeping arrangements.  Heero just wasn’t use to a great deal of
physical contact or sharing a bed with someone.  This might actually be good for him, maybe help to loosen Heero up a bit.

Duo turned his attention back to Sally.  “Is there anything else we need to know?”  

“Yes.”  Sally said.  “In a bowl on the table beside the bed, is the salve for his wounds.  Make sure you change the bandages and
apply more salve on a regular basis.  The bandages are also on the table, along with a pouch of herbs and a small vial.  The herbs
will help fight his fever and must be brewed into a tea.  He has to drink some at least once a day, but I recommend twice
considering the severity of his condition.  Just a pinch of the herbs into hot water will be enough.”

“And the vial?”  Heero asked.

“It contains a sleeping potion.  He needs rest . . . a lot of rest.  But I can see that he is far too nervous to allow himself the sleep
he needs.  If you deem it necessary, pour no more than one drop from the vial into his drink.  It is a very potent substance and
will work quickly.  However, do not use it too often . . . as I said, it is a very potent substance.”  Sally replied.  “Now, if you
will excuse me, I will go to the kitchen and have some broth made for him . . . also some hot water for his first dose of the tea.  
I’ll have one of the slaves bring it up.”

“I take it that you will not be coming back.”  Heero stated.

“Heero, I do have other patients to tend to.  The widow Miller is nearing the end of her pregnancy and she is worrying herself
sick over the health of her late husband’s only child.  I do all I can just to keep the poor woman calm.”

“Then go keep her calm.  Heero and I can take it from here.”  Duo grinned.

Sally smiled in return.  “I will return as soon as I can to check on his progress.”  Then she gave a small curtsey and left, picking
up her case as she walked away.

“Come on.”  Heero sighed, grabbing the handle of the door and opening it.

Duo followed Heero inside, then over to the bed.  While Heero walked around to sit on the edge of the bed beside Quatre, Duo
just climbed up onto the bed and knelt by Quatre’s other side.

The blonde shifted his gaze back and forth between Duo and Heero.  Apparently, he was still quite nervous.  Duo reached out,
gently brushing Quatre’s bangs away from his pale face.  He frowned when the blonde once again flinched from his touch.

“While I am away on business, you will be Duo’s companion.”  Heero stated, looking directly at Quatre while he spoke.  “You
will behave the same with him as you would with me.”

“Y-yes, Master.”  Quatre said, nodding slightly.

“What?”  Duo gasped.  Since when did he need a companion?  He was perfectly happy tagging along with Heero on his business
journeys, even the ones that had Heero assassinating someone.

Heero looked up at him.  “You know that I don’t like it when you come with me.  It’s just too dangerous for you.”

“I can take care of myself, Heero.”  Duo argued.

“Duo . . . you know you can’t.  Not only do you have no combat training, but you are forbidden to carry a weapon of any kind.  
You are a . . .”  Heero stopped, his sentence breaking as he looked down.

Duo followed his gaze, which ended with him staring down at Quatre again.  The blonde had begun shivering again, his eyes
clamped shut as small whimpers escaped his closed mouth, as if the argument between Heero and Duo was physically hurting

“Quatre?”  Duo asked, laying a hand against the slave’s shoulder.  “Open your eyes.”  The slave did as he was told.  He was
terrified, Duo was sure of it.  “Do you need anything?  And don’t worry, you can ask for whatever you want.  You are sick and
we must know if you need anything for you to get better.  If you don’t recover, you won’t be able to serve Heero.”  Duo said,
making it quite clear that Quatre wouldn’t be punished for asking for something.

“I . . . I’m cold, Master.”  Quatre said timidly, looking at Duo.

Duo didn’t really like being called ‘master.’  He hadn’t earned that title.  Heero was the blonde’s master, not him.  But he didn’t
contradict him either, not knowing how Quatre would react.  He smiled, reaching down to the end of the bed and pulling up the
blankets to cover Quatre.  Duo almost gasped when he was rewarded by a small smile from Quatre, one that only lasted a few
seconds at most, but still it was a wonderful sight to see him smile.

“Are you comfortable?”  Heero asked.

“Yes, Master.”  Quatre replied.

Duo kept an eye on Quatre, just sitting there and running his fingers through the blonde’s hair.  He was trying to keep the young
man calm, and succeeding by the look of it.  Quatre’s breathing slowed, becoming even and steady, while his eyes slowly began
to drift shut.

Unfortunately, only a few minutes later, Quatre’s calm state was ruined.  The door opened rather loudly, causing Quatre to
jump, startled, and recoil away from Duo’s hand once again.  Duo turned and glared at the slave that had just walked in,
annoyed that she had upset the blonde.  “Hilde . . . couldn’t you have been a little quieter?”  Duo asked.

Like all slaves of the land, Hilde wore very little, just a loincloth and a skimpy top with short sleeves, that bared her midriff.  And
around her ankle was a band of silver bells, tinkling with every step she took.  

“Sorry.  I tried to be quiet, but I was losing my grip on the tray.”  She replied, slightly raising the tray she carried.

Unlike most masters, Heero allowed his slaves to call him by name and to speak when they wished.  The only time that they had
to appear more docile was when visitors came to Heero’s home.  He couldn’t have rumors spreading about his kindness toward
his slaves . . . it would be bad for his reputation.

Quatre shoved the blankets away from himself as Hilde approached.  He climbed out of bed and backed away until he was in a
corner.  Then he sank to the floor, trembling and crying as he huddled himself into a small ball.  

Duo quickly crawled off of the bed, then crossed the room.  He knelt in front of Quatre.  Slowly he reached out, only to draw
his hand back as Quatre tried to press himself even further into that corner.  Duo stood, then stepped back to watch the blonde.

Quatre knelt on the floor and bowed before Duo, pressing himself almost flat against the floor as he shivered.  “I’m sorry,
Master.  Please forgive my insolence.”

“New slave?”  Hilde asked from behind Duo.  

Duo turned, glaring at her.  “You’ve scared him.”  He sneered.  

“I'm sorry.  I didn’t mean to.”  She said sincerely, then turned to Heero.  “Where did you get him?”

Heero sighed.  “He was one of the Queen’s slaves . . . the only one left alive.”

Hilde gasped, nearly dropping the tray she still held.  “She executed the other slaves?”

Heero nodded.

Duo could tell that Hilde was about to say something else, but a faint whimpering sound drew everyone’s attention.  They all
looked to Quatre, who still lay bowed across the floor, in a traditional slave’s pose.  He was shaking, and Duo realized that the
young man was sobbing.

“Quatre?”  Duo asked, kneeling beside the young blonde.

“They’re all dead.”  Quatre whimpered, not moving from his position on the floor.  “I heard them all screaming . . . and one by
one they stopped.”

Duo couldn’t help but feel sorry for the young blonde.  Those other slaves had probably been his friends, and now Quatre was
the only one of them left alive.  It had to be painful for Quatre, having been there to witness their deaths.

Duo wrapped his arms around Quatre carefully, trying to avoid his bandages.  “Come on . . . back into bed.”  Duo whispered.

They hadn’t even gotten two steps closer to the bed when Quatre collapsed.  Duo was unprepared for the sudden shift in weight
and nearly lost his grip.  Luckily, Heero was there to catch the slave.  Heero easily lifted the slave into his arms and carried him
back to the bed.  He silently set Quatre down, then covered him with the blankets and stepped back, not once uttering a single

Duo walked around and climbed back onto the bed, once again kneeling beside the blonde.  Duo’s heart nearly broke at the sight
of tears on Quatre’s beautiful, yet pale face.  He reached out and tenderly brushed the tears from Quatre’s face, a frown
spreading on his own face as Quatre began trembling once again.

Hilde cleared her throat, gaining Duo’s attention.  “I have the items Sally told me to bring up.”  She said, setting the tray down
on the table beside the bed, making sure that she didn’t knock over the objects that were already set on the table.

Duo only saw two items on the tray.  There was a small bowl of what looked like broth, and a goblet of water.  He could see
steam rising from both liquids.  Duo moved slowly, helping Quatre into a more upright position.  Heero handed the bowl of broth
to Duo.  Duo thanked him, then lifted it closer to Quatre’s lips.  Quatre drew his face away from the bowl, as if afraid of what
was in it.  

“It’s only broth.”  Duo said, speaking calmly so as not to scare the blonde.  “You need to eat if you are to regain your strength.  
Will you drink?”

“Y-yes, Master.”  Quatre replied, his gaze fixed on the bowl in front of him.

Duo smiled, then once again lifted the bowl to Quatre’s lips.  This time Quatre didn’t try to avoid it, although he still seemed
reluctant to drink, perhaps thinking that Duo meant to drug or poison him.  Duo paused every few seconds, only tilting the bowl
slightly to give Quatre a little bit of the broth, knowing that the slave shouldn’t be gulping anything down in his weakened
condition.  Quatre accepted the warm liquid, hesitantly taking the small sips that Duo allowed him to have.  

Out of the corner of his eye, Duo saw Heero preparing the tea for the blonde, reaching over and picking up the pouch of herbs
that Sally had left.  Heero dropped a pinch of the ground herbs into the steaming water, then reached over and grabbed the small
vial of sleeping potion.  He poured out a single drop of the liquid, just as Sally had instructed.  Obviously, Heero had noticed that
Quatre would need help if he were to rest.  Quatre was too agitated at the moment, there was little chance of him being able to
fall asleep easily.  The potion would help him to find the rest he so desperately needed.

Once the bowl of broth was empty, Duo handed it over to Hilde.  Heero stirred the liquid in the goblet around with one of his
fingers.  Then he held the goblet out to Duo, wiping his finger off on his tunic.

“Thanks.”  Duo smiled.  He turned back to Quatre.  “Here, Sally left this medicine for you.  It’ll help fight your fever.”

Quatre nodded, then drank as Duo lifted the goblet to his lips for him.  Again, Duo made sure only to allow him small sips.  
Before he had even finished it, Quatre’s eyes had begun to drift shut.  Sally wasn’t kidding when she had said that the potion
was potent.

Duo smiled at the tired blonde, taking the goblet away from his slightly parted lips.  He held the empty goblet out, not really
looking to see who took it from his hand.  He helped Quatre to lie back down, covering him more snugly with the blankets.  
Quatre mumbled something inaudibly, his closed eyes twitching before he apparently gave into the sleep that overcame him.

Duo laid his hand against the pale face, frowning once again at the warmth radiating from that beautiful young man.  “I’ll need
some cool compresses.  His fever needs to be brought down.”  Duo stated, moving himself off of the bed.

“I’ll go get some.”  Hilde replied, picking up the tray she had brought into the room, and taking it with her as she left.

Duo’s eyes were drawn over to a nearby dresser, and the items that Duo had left on it earlier.  He stepped over, sorting through
Quatre’s clothing and jewelry.  He caught sight of that length of chain and the metal band that hung from it.  Now he knew what
it was.  It was plainly obvious now that he knew what Quatre’s duties had been while he was in Queen Une’s service.

“Guess it’s pretty obvious what this is.”  Duo stated, picking the object up by the chain and dangling it from his finger for Heero
to see.  He lowered his voice, feeling embarrassed by even mentioning what it was.  “A cock ring.”

Heero sighed.  “You know as well as I do, that a slave, bed or not, is to be used to give pleasure and is never permitted to
receive it.  No matter how much he begged, he would not have been allowed any sort of release.  As cruel as it sounds, it’s just
not allowed in this land.”  He paused a moment.  “Apparently, he is still being trained if he still needs the use of one of those.  A
fully trained slave is expected to keep his own release at bay indefinitely, and would be severely punished if he failed to do so.”

“I know . . . I know very well what is expected of a slave.”  Duo said, sighing as he dropped the chain back down to the
dresser.  He returned to Quatre’s bedside, letting his fingers trail along Quatre’s pale face, brushing lightly across his cheek.  He
only hoped the blonde would recover his health.  He should know that not all masters were hurtful . . . Heero never treated his
slaves poorly, never hurt them unless they had purposely disobeyed his orders.  Quatre should know that he has nothing to fear
anymore, not as long as he was in Heero’s household.

To Be Continued . . .