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

Notes:  Heero wakes up and Sally is called to look over the ill young Baron.  Duo watches over Quatre until Heero arrives.



Captive Hearts



Part Eight


His head hurt terribly . . . that was the first thing that Heero became aware of.  The last thing that he remembered, he was
visiting with Meiran Cavallaro . . . the widowed innkeeper.  Where was he now?  Was he still at the inn or back at home?  He
wasn’t sure where this was, his memories hazy.  The bed below him was soft, but he couldn’t be sure of the location.  
Everything just seemed to blur in his mind after getting the rent from the young widow.

Heero opened his eyes and squinted as if trying to focus on something.  His body ached and he felt chilled despite the blankets
covering him.  He wanted to try to sit up, to find out where he was, but he couldn’t seem to get his arms to move.

“Don’t try to move.”  A small voice spoke up.

Heero blinked again, looking over to where Meiran’s young son, Cesare was sitting on the edge of the bed.  “What happened?”  
Heero asked, his mind hazy at best.

The child frowned.  “Mama said you fainted.  You should be home resting, Milord, not visiting with us.  We would’ve
understood why you didn’t come.”  He smoothed the blankets covering Heero a little.  “Mama sent someone to fetch Doctor
Po.  She should be here soon.”

Heero nodded a little, his head throbbing in reaction to the slight movement.  He took a moment to look down at himself, for the
first time noticing that his chest was bare.  Raising the blankets from his body, his eyes widened and took notice that he was in
the nude.  He dropped the blankets, a blush tainting his cheeks.  He tried to sit up again, opening his mouth to ask where his
clothes were, only to feel as a pair of soft, yet strong hands fell on his shoulders to push him back down.

“Rest.”  A thickly accented voice whispered, the hands moving from his body.

Heero turned, finding that Meiran was sitting beside him.  She smiled, laying a cool cloth over his forehead.  Heero just watched
her, knowing that nothing he said would be understood by the kind woman.  She understood very little of the English language.  
Then he turned his attention to Cesare.  “Where are my clothes?”  He asked the child.

Cesare giggled.  “Mama took them off you.  She wanted you to be comfortable.”  He replied, snickering at Heero’s expense.  
“She put them over there.”  He pointed to a table near the center of the room . . . Heero could just barely see it with his blurred
vision.

Heero laid back, sighing as he allowed Meiran and her son to tend to him.  He was still quite dizzy and the nauseous feeling was
returning to coil in his stomach.  He could feel a layer of sweat covering his skin and yet he was so cold, shivering in fact.  He
must be sick . . . he didn’t like it.  He had duties to perform, there was no time to be sick.

It wasn’t long before Sally arrived, with Zechs along with her.  Apparently, she had gone to get Heero’s Captain of the Guard
when she had heard that Heero had fainted.  Meiran and Cesare were asked to wait outside while Sally tended to him.  Heero put
up with her poking and prodding, grumbling with her examination.  When it was over with, she sighed deeply, looking at Heero
sternly.  “I’ve told you time and again that it’s not good for you to push yourself to your limits so often.  You can’t continue to
behave like this . . . even you need to sleep during missions you know.  You’re sick now.”

Heero glared.  “I’ll do what I have to do to accomplish my missions.”  He growled.  “Even at the cost of my health.  Failure is
not an option.”

Sally glared right back at him.  “Congratulations, Heero . . . you’ve just become like your father Odin.  He worked himself this
roughly and look where it got him . . . dead.”  She angrily tossed her equipment back into her bag.

Heero winced at her tone.  He hadn’t known he was that bad off.  “I . . . I apologize Sally.”  He said grudgingly.  He didn’t like
admitting when he was wrong.  He sighed.  “Perhaps you are right.  Maybe I do take my jobs too seriously . . . but I do not
want anything going wrong during them.  One mistake and I could die.”

“You could die by neglecting your own health.  Odin did the same, worked himself to the brink until the day he died.  He never
listened to his physician.  I hope you have more sense than he did, Heero.  I’m sure that Duo would mourn you greatly if you
happened to perish because of self-neglect.”

Heero looked down, frowning deeply.  He didn’t want Duo to mourn him before they had even proclaimed their feelings for each
other.  “I’ll do as you say, Sally.  What do you want me to do?”

Sally smiled kindly, gently running her hand over the side of his face.  “You need to rest until I say that you’re healthy enough to
return to your duties.  Your properties won’t all fail the moment you decide to take a break.”

Heero nodded wordlessly, not knowing what to say.  If he had to rest, then he would rest.  To spare Duo the grief, he would
gladly sleep for a year if he had to.  He wanted to live long enough to tell the long-haired beauty just how much he loved him.

“Good.”  Sally smiled.  She turned to look at Zechs.  “Zechs, why don’t you help Lord Heero get dressed and back to the
castle?  Make sure he is wrapped warmly, I do not want him catching a chill.”  Then she smiled.  “Take him to Duo’s chambers
. . . I’m sure he can keep Lord Heero in bed where he belongs right now.”

Zechs stepped forward.  “Yes, Doctor Po.”  The tall man replied, helping Heero to sit up.  

Sally left the room, allowing Heero and Zechs some form of privacy.  Zechs retrieved Heero’s clothes, then returned to his side
and assisted the young man in dressing.  When Heero was garbed, Zechs wrapped Heero in a blanket from the bed, keeping a
firm arm around Heero’s shoulders as the young lord walked on his own.  Heero was sick, but he wasn’t about to be carried.  
He had too much pride to allow himself that.

As he passed Meiran, he gave a slight nod, silently thanking the young widow for the use of her private room . . . he guessed
that it was hers since it was the largest room and situated separate from the inn by a door behind the bar.  She curtseyed
politely, Cesare waving to Heero as Zechs led him past.  Heero was helped up into the saddle of his steed, but he didn’t feel up to
riding really.  It was all he could do to stay atop the animal.  Zechs tethered the reigns of Heero’s horse to his own, warily
watching him as they rode back to the castle.

Heero tried to keep his eyes open, but he was quite tired.  He didn’t notice that they had arrived at the gates until he was pulled
down from off his horse.  Zechs righted him, setting him down on his feet, but Heero had no strength left.  His legs buckled
under his weight and he groaned, prevented from falling by Zechs who bent over slightly and pulled him up into his arms.  Heero
sighed, not enjoying being carried like an infant, but said nothing, allowing the captain of his personal guard to help him.  He
closed his eyes, his head resting against Zechs’s chest as he slipped off to sleep.


*****


Duo sighed, looking down on Quatre’s sleeping form.  He did hope that the young slave would recover from his illness.  It was
a good sign that he had been so strong the last time he was awake . . . he had even sat up, unlike the previous time when he had
been unable to even raise his head from the bed for more than a few moments at most.  It warmed Duo’s heart to see the pretty
blonde recovering.

Gently, he stroked the blonde’s silken hair, marveling at the feel of his golden locks.  He tenderly brushed his fingers along the
delicate skin of Quatre’s face, smiling when the young man leaned toward his hand, turning his whole body and cuddling closer
to Duo, his hands still holding Duo’s braid close to himself.  Quatre was so receptive, Duo enjoyed how affectionate the young
man was, even if he only showed this side in his sleep as of yet.  Quatre was too nervous to be this open when he was
conscious . . . Duo was content to wait until Quatre calmed and settled in his new environment, until he learned to trust Duo and
Heero.

Duo smiled, pulling the blanket up over Quatre’s shoulder, wanting to keep Quatre warm and comfortable.  He circled his arm
around Quatre’s back, rubbing firmly to soothe the young man in his sleep.  Quatre smiled in his sleep, mumbling something
unintelligible as he threw an arm around Duo’s waist.

The peaceful moment they were sharing was shattered in an instant though, as Zechs burst into the bedchamber.  Quatre
abruptly awakened, pulling himself away from Duo quickly.  Duo sighed, feeling sorry for the young blonde, before he rolled
over to see why Zechs had so hastily entered without bothering to knock.

Any words he might have said, died on his lips when he saw that Heero was being carried by the tall soldier.  “Heero!”  He
exclaimed, jumping from the bed and rushing to Heero’s aide.  

Heero opened his eyes just barely, raising his head from Zechs’s chest.  He made no reply, only groaned feebly before letting his
head drop again.  Duo shot his hand out, laying it against Heero’s forehead and wincing at the heat he felt.

“What happened?”  Duo asked, fearing for Heero’s health.  The young man looked awfully pale, and his body continually
shivered despite being covered by a blanket.

“According to a barmaid that works for the Widow Cavallaro, Lord Heero fainted while inspecting her business and collecting
the rent.”  Zechs replied, making his way over to the bed and laying Heero down.  “The Widow sent for Sally, and I arrived with
her to find Heero in this condition.  Meiran was taking good care of him though . . . Sally would have commended her if the
poor young woman could speak a word of English.”

“Get her a tutor . . .”  Heero grumbled tiredly.  “I told her I’d send one to help her.”

Zechs chuckled.  “Still giving orders, my lord?”  He bowed though.  “As you wish.  I’ll see to it that a tutor is hired to help
Meiran out.”  With that, Zechs left the room.

Sally bustled in a moment later.  She ignored Duo and sat at Heero’s side, looking him over hastily.  Then she turned to cast her
gaze at Duo.  “See to it that he stays in bed.  He’s worked himself sick yet again.”  Sally said, sighing.  “Hilde should be up in a
few minutes with his evening meal.  Make sure he eats as much as he can.  I’ll have food for you and Quatre brought up as
well.  No need for Hilde to make more than one trip.”  

“Okay.”  Duo nodded, worrying for Heero’s health.  “Will he be well?”

“Of course he will, if he rests and does as I say.”  She turned again, smiling gently at Quatre this time.  “You are looking better,
Quatre.  I’m glad to see you looking so strong . . . quite an improvement on your well-being since this morning.”  She reached
out, laying her hand against his forehead, then his cheek.  “Still, stay in bed a few more days at least . . . I don’t want you
getting up just yet.”

Quatre nodded.  “Yes, ma’am.”  He replied quietly, bowing his head.

“Is there anything else?”  Duo asked, wringing his hands together nervously.

Sally rose from her seat, laying a gentle hand on his fidgeting fingers.  “Duo, calm yourself.  It will do no good for you to worry
yourself sick.  Just keep the both of them in bed, make sure they eat, and keep them comfortable and they should be fine.  I’ll
stop by tomorrow morning before I make my rounds in the village.”  She smiled, calming Duo’s fears.  Everything would be
fine.  He trusted in Sally’s judgement, so far she hadn’t been wrong.

Duo watched as Doctor Po left the bedchamber.  Then he turned his focus back to the two ill young men in bed.  He sighed,
shaking his head as he took a seat beside Heero.  The young baron was asleep, his breathing raspy.  Frowning, Duo ran his
fingers through Heero’s dark hair, watching as the young man’s eyes cracked open slightly.  He wondered how long it would be
until Hilde arrived with their dinner, knowing that Heero needed to get back to sleep soon.  He needed all the rest he could get if
he was expected to recover his health.



To Be Continued . . .