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

Notes:  Quatre meets Trowa Barton, but it isn’t a pleasant meeting.  Quatre learns the truth about his friend, Duo.

Captive Hearts

Part Thirteen

Quatre let out a satisfied breath as he finished smoothing the coverlet on the bed in one of the guest rooms.  Since that day the
three of them had fallen asleep in each other's embraces, Quatre had seen Master Heero only a little . . . and he hadn’t seen Duo
at all.  It had been three days and there was still no sign of the long-haired youth . . . Quatre was a little worried.  However, he
hadn’t wanted to upset Master Heero, so he hadn’t asked why Duo hadn’t been there when they had awakened.  Although the
subject was never brought up, Master Heero seemed extremely grateful for Quatre’s silence in the matter.

To occupy Quatre’s time, and to get him out of the bedchamber more often, Master Heero had given Quatre into the care of
Hilde.  Quatre was glad because being around Hilde was almost as good as being around Duo.  Both of them were so easy-going
and understanding.  Hilde could have easily made Quatre muck out the stables or scrub the kitchens.  Instead, he was tending to
some light chores in the guest rooms in order to keep them clean.  Simple things like dusting and making the beds.  They knew
that this Trowa Barton person was coming any day now, and were all just awaiting his arrival.

“Heero Yuy!  Where the HELL are you?  Get your ass out here NOW!”  Called out a furious voice, causing Quatre to jump out
of fear and drop the pillow he had been fluffing.

Quatre’s instincts told him to flee, to return to Master Heero at once for protection.  So that was what he did.  He pulled the
plain apron, that Hilde had given him to wear, off of his body and left it folded over the back of a nearby chair.  He would get it
later . . . but he didn’t want to wander through the halls carrying it.

Hastily, he made his way through the chilly corridors.  He nervously looked around himself repeatedly, wondering where that
angry voice had come from.  He hoped that he would not meet whoever it was, fearing that he would be hurt.  Nervously, he
reached down and grasped the cock ring that he still carried on the chain around his waist . . . he knew that it would not be used
while he was here in Master Heero’s service, but it was one of the only belongings that he had.  It felt better to do something
with his hands when he was scared, so he fiddled with the ring, just idly touching it as a way to keep his hands from trembling.

Quatre shivered as he swiftly moved, looking around warily.  As he was rounding a corner, he let his eyes linger a little too long
on another corridor and so didn’t see the body before him until it was too late to avoid.  He ran face-first into someone’s chest,
both of them falling to the ground.

Immediately, Quatre got to his knees and bowed, bending as low as he possibly could and extending his arms above his head.  
“F-Forgive me . . . I did not see you.”  Quatre meekly apologized, not knowing who it was he had knocked down.  He hadn’t
looked . . . was too afraid to raise his gaze.

Hands roughly grabbed his shoulders, hauling him to his feet.  “Where is your master?”

Quatre shivered.  That voice . . . it was the same one, the one that he had heard yelling furiously only moments ago.  Quatre
took a fleeting glance, noting the brown hair and bangs that covered one of the youth’s green eyes.  The young man was tall . . .
much taller than Master Heero.

“I-I do . . . I do n-not know, sir.”  Quatre replied, shrinking away from the tall young man that held him so harshly.  “P-Please
do not harm me.”

A soldier . . . a female soldier . . . came up beside the tall stranger, her eyes just as angry as the young man’s.  She had short,
auburn hair . . . yet, she was as fearful as any male guard that Quatre had ever seen in his life.  The way she presented herself,
her stature . . . it frightened him.

“Tell us where Lord Heero is!”  She demanded.

“Scaring the servants, Trowa?”  That was Master Heero’s voice.

Quatre could very well feel the relief flooding his body.  His master was here . . . Master Heero would protect him.  As soon as
the stranger’s hands had released him, Quatre scurried over to his master’s side, falling to his knees and bowing his head.  He
knew that he was still trembling, yet he could not stop it.  That man . . .  that was Trowa Barton . . . the one that Duo was so
afraid of having arrive . . . the one that would take Duo away from Master Heero.  And if Duo was afraid of his arrival . . . then
there had to be good reason.

A soft hand fell on his shoulder and Quatre timidly raised his gaze, dropping it after having seen Heero’s comforting smile.  He
would be fine now that Master Heero was here, Quatre knew that.  He was confident that his master would not allow harm to
befall him.  Still, he was nervous that Trowa was so near to him.

“You bastard!”  Trowa Barton hissed, stalking closer to Master Heero.  “How the HELL could you do that to me?”

Master Heero raised his hands.  “Trowa . . . what are you talking about?  What did I do to you?”

Trowa sighed, raking a hand through his hair.  He lowered his voice as he spoke, as if his words could not be overheard by
anyone.  “You assassinated Queen Une.  Or did you forget that?”  The youth said in a seething whisper.  “Did you also forget
the lines of ascension?”

Quatre looked up, only to see as Master Heero’s face paled.  “Good lord . . . I had forgotten . . . Mariemaia.  I had thought the
Catalonia family was next in line for the throne.”

“And it should be . . . however, Queen Une named Mariemaia as her successor.  The girl’s father was Une’s half-brother.”  
Trowa spat.  “It is legally binding and cannot be changed, unless of course Mariemaia were to die.  You know very well that
Mariemaia and the Catalonias are the only blood relations to the royal house.  She is all that stands between Dermail and the

Master Heero sighed.  “Had I remembered, I would have given you fair warning of my intentions.  But I overlooked the matter.  
I apologize.  Time was of the necessity . . . Queen Une’s madness had gotten too far out of control to be tolerated any longer.”

“Next time you do something so foolish as this, I will not be as forgiving.”  Trowa nodded, apparently accepting Master Heero’s

“This half-brother . . . why was he not named as King?”  Master Heero inquired.

Trowa shook his head.  “The man was the offspring of a queen and a slave . . . because of his father, he could not inherit any
titles himself.  His children however are another matter . . . hence Mariemaia being able to become queen.”

“What became of this man?”

“Queen Une was good to her illegitimate sibling . . . she gave him a position as her royal guard.  As far as I know, the two of
them were close.”  Trowa stated.

Master Heero closed his eyes, sighing deeply.  “This man . . . his name was not Treize, was it?”

Trowa nodded.  “Yes . . . but how did you know?”

“Because that is the name of the man that allowed us entrance into the castle.”  Master Heero responded.

Quatre remembered the guard named Treize.  He was the only guard that was nice to Quatre, the one who used to sneak food to
him when those others had been starving the slaves.  Quatre remained silent, knowing that it was not his place to interrupt his
master’s conversation.

Trowa’s eyes widened.  “Treize betrayed Une?”  He gasped, apparently shocked.  “I had not known that she was so insane as to
warrant Treize deceiving her.”

“She was, Trowa.”  Master Heero sighed sadly, laying his hand atop Quatre’s head.  “The night I was to assassinate her, I
instead went down to the dungeons and left Zechs to do the task.  She had all of her slaves killed, Trowa.  This little one here is
the only one that survived her madness . . . and he was near death when I found him.  Une’s guards tortured and brutalized all
of them . . . raped them.  If not for Duo’s care, Quatre might not have made it.”

Trowa’s gaze softened a little as he looked at Quatre.  “I see.”  He said quietly.  Then he changed the subject.  “Speaking of Duo
. . . where is he?”

“I am here.”  Came the familiar tone of Quatre’s friend.

Quatre turned, only to gape in shock at what he saw.  There was Duo, his good friend . . . dressed in the garb of a slave.  A
loincloth of deep purple fabric with a silver lion’s head crest emblazoned at the center, hung from Duo’s slim hips, the hem of
the fabric reaching nearly to Duo’s ankles, where twin anklets chimed his approach with the silver bells dangling from them.  
Hanging from around his neck was a pendant in the shape of a lion’s head, the crest of his owner.  A few bangles adorned his
wrists and he also wore an armband of spiraling gold and silver.

But none of that compared to the sight of Duo’s flowing hair.  It had been released from the single braid that he usually wore it
in, and now it was literally woven into hundreds of thinner braids, held together at the back of his neck by a wide silver clasp.  
The braids hung almost as long as the loincloth and scattered here and there throughout the braids were dozens of silver and
gold beads.  Those same type of beads also hung at the end of each lengthy braid.

Duo said nothing to either Master Heero or Quatre as he approached.  He wordlessly dropped to his knees in front of Trowa, his
hair falling around him like a curtain, pooling on the floor around his scantily clad body as he leaned forward and touched his
forehead to the cold stone, his body portraying pure servitude.

“I am pleased to be in your presence once again, my master.”  Duo spoke, his voice slight as he abased himself before Trowa.  
“Will you be taking me home now?”  Even as he asked those words, his voice wavered.

Trowa opened his mouth to speak.  However, before the tall youth could utter a word, Master Heero stepped forward.  “My
friend, stay the night at least.  You have traveled a good distance.  No doubt you are weary from your journey.  I could have my
servants prepare meals for you and your entourage.”

Trowa nodded.  “I accept your generous hospitality, Heero.  But I insist that you dine with me.  We have things to discuss.”

“As you wish.”  Master Heero replied.  “I’m sure that Duo can show you to a suitable guest room.  He knows his way around
my home as well as I do.  I’ll leave you in his capable hands while I tend to my own slave and see to it that meals are prepared
for us.”  With that, Heero bowed politely, then turned and walked away.

Quatre quickly rose to his feet and followed after the baron, casting a glance back at Duo now and again until he was out of
eyesight.  He hadn’t known that Duo was a slave.  Why hadn’t Duo told him of this?  He worried more for his friend now.  He
still didn’t know all of the facts, but he gathered that Trowa was Duo’s master.  When Trowa left, Duo would have to go with
him . . . no wonder Master Heero and Duo were so unhappy about his arrival.  

Quatre sighed and trailed behind Master Heero, worried for both of them . . . they loved each other so greatly.  It would be a
shame to separate them.

To Be Continued . . .