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

Notes:  Quatre and Heero dress for dinner with Trowa.  Heero answers Quatre’s questions and relieves some of his confusion.

Captive Hearts

Part Fourteen

Quatre bit into his bottom lip as he watched Master Heero dress himself in a finer set of garments than what he usually wore.  
The two of them had spoken to Hilde, and she was now on her way to inform the kitchen staff that Trowa and his companions
would be dining with them tonight . . . luckily, Trowa had arrived before the evening meal.

“M-Master Heero . . . I did not know that Duo was a slave.”  Quatre commented, a little nervous about broaching this subject.

Master Heero closed his eyes, his head hanging forlornly.  He let his arms fall, as if the bones had suddenly been pulled from
them.  The young baron simply looked wearier than Quatre ever remembered him looking.

“I am sorry . . . I should not have said anything.”  Quatre apologized.  He hadn’t wanted to upset his master.

“Don’t be sorry, Quatre.  I understand that you are curious.”  Master Heero said.  He sighed deeply, yet did not turn to face the
slave.  “Yes, Duo is a slave.  He didn’t want to tell you.  He didn’t want to tell anyone . . . he prefers being seen as an individual
and not as an object.”

“Oh.”  Quatre whispered.  He moved over to his Master and helped the young man with his cloak, brushing his hands over the
garment to rid it of wrinkles.

Master Heero turned and set his hand on Quatre’s shoulder.  “Sit down.  I will tell you what I know while you dress.”

Quatre did as he was told, watching as Master Heero turned and walked over to his wardrobe.  He rummaged around for a
while, his voice reaching Quatre’s ears as he told the slave of Duo’s tale.

“Duo was orphaned as a child.  He spent much of his younger years in the company of a street gang, led by an older boy named
Solo.  I do not know all of the details . . . Duo doesn’t like to speak of these things as they were very sad times for him.  When
Duo was twelve, Solo became ill, as did many of the other children.  As it was Solo’s dying wish, Duo and Solo had a single
night in each other’s company as more than simply friends.  He was Duo’s first and only lover for several years.”  Master Heero
sighed again, returning from the wardrobe with a number of garments and a small chest.

“Shortly after Solo’s death, Duo was arrested for stealing.  His hands would have been chopped off had it not been for some
cruel guard who took note of Duo’s attractiveness.  Duo was instead sold into slavery.”

As he talked, Master Heero undressed Quatre, then helped him to put on the clean, green veils.  Quatre listened intently to every
word, not wanting to miss anything.

“Duo was passed around to several men and women.”  Master Heero smirked.  “However, Duo was too hot tempered to allow
any of them to dominate him.  Of course he was beaten for his rebellious attitude . . . and eventually he was sold to the Barton
household and given to Trowa as a birthday gift . . . as a prize to be broken.  Trowa had no part in such a thing though.  Despite
his anger today, Trowa is normally a calm person, rarely given to outbursts of any kind.  Instead of being a conquest, Duo
became a friend to Trowa, his confidante.”

“And w-why was Duo here and not with his master?”  Quatre asked, feeling confused.

Master Heero made sure that Quatre’s loincloth was straight before he answered.  “Dekim Barton . . . the head of the Barton
family, decided that Trowa was too old to have a companion such as Duo if he wasn’t willing to ‘put the boy to use’ so Trowa
entrusted Duo’s care to me on a trial basis.  Since Duo cannot be freed by Trowa . . . it would cause too much stir in his lands
if a Barton were to release a slave to freedom . . . Trowa had no other choice.  If Trowa takes Duo with him, Duo will be sold .
. . unless Trowa accepts Duo into his bed once again.”

“D-Duo is a bed slave?”  Quatre blinked.

“Wasn’t it apparent by the way he was dressed?”  Master Heero inquired with a smirk.  “But yes, Duo is a bed slave.  As far as
I know, he and Trowa were only together one night . . . and it was more an experiment than anything.  Trowa was naïve and
Duo knew what was supposed to happen.  I don’t know the details and I didn’t ask . . . Duo’s affairs are his own and he can
keep them private if he wishes.  I was amazed that he told me this much.  But then, Duo does talk a lot.  I doubt he thought I
was actually listening to him all the time he went on and on . . . he was quite nervous when he first came to my home.  And I
admit, I did not appreciate Trowa handing him off to me and I acted like a selfish boor.  But I want nothing more than for Duo
to stay now.  I would miss him greatly if he were to leave me.”

Quatre decided to keep quiet, not knowing how to make Master Heero feel better.  He blinked though as he saw Master Heero
open the small chest, seeing a number of adornments inside.  “I am to wear these?”  He asked, eyeing the jewels and precious

Master Heero smiled a little.  “Not all of it.  However, since Trowa is a visiting lord, I feel I must at least have you dress
suitably.  A few trinkets will be enough for tonight.”  Master Heero said, easily sliding a silver cuff onto Quatre’s left wrist.  

Quatre frowned a little at the unfamiliar weight on his wrist.  Queen Une had never had visitors in the early days of his service to
her, and when things had started to go bad, he was kept in the dungeons more often than not.  Regardless, Quatre picked out
another piece from the chest.  It was a necklace with a pendant, much like Duo had worn, except that the pendant on this one
was a wolf’s head, the symbol of Master Heero’s household.  Quatre bit his lip and fingered it for a moment.

“Quatre?  Is something troubling you?”  Master Heero’s voice was laced with concern.

Quatre shook his head.  “No . . . although I do not wish to hurt you by saying something.”

Master Heero smiled sadly, running his fingers across Quatre’s cheek delicately.  “Tell me.”  He urged, dropping his hand.

Quatre sighed as he lifted the pendant.  “I hope that you will see a wolf head pendant on Duo soon, Master Heero.”  Quatre said.

Master Heero’s eyes widened for a second before he gently hugged Quatre.  “I hope so, too . . . though I would never wish to
brand him.  I have never wanted anything more than to have him here with me.  And not just as a slave.  I want him to stay with
me of his own free will.”

Quatre blinked.  “CAN you free him?”

Heero sighed.  “If Trowa gives ownership of him to me, yes.  It involves a lot of paperwork, but . . . I would do it gladly.  
Unlike Trowa, I do not have the burden of family reputation to uphold.  My father was a good man . . . it would not be strange
to my people if I freed a slave.”  He smiled a little at Quatre, helping the blonde to put the pendant on.  “I would have freed you,
but you still jump at every unexpected sound and cower around too many people.”  He paused, taking Quatre’s face between his
hands in a gentle manner.  “I am not scolding you.  You have every reason to be afraid, but you cannot function in society as
you are now.  Once you’ve settled down some, I’ll be able to release you.”

Quatre swallowed and let his hands drop to fiddle with his cock ring.  “You are right.”  He admitted, lowering his eyes.  “Even
amongst my family, I would be nervous.  Especially after what they did to me.”

Heero nodded, taking his hands from Quatre’s face.  “Also . . . you need to know a skill.  Duo’s skills with his hands make him
an excellent craftsman.  He can make his own garments if the need arises.  It’s a must if someone is to survive outside of
wherever they were a slave.  I also never free slaves unless they want to be freed.  Hilde, for instance, gave herself to me as a
house slave so that she could escape her family’s wishes to push her into marriage.  If I were to free her, she would be forced
to return to them.”  He looked Quatre over, nodding his head a little.  “If you are ready, we will go join our guests now.”

Smiling, Quatre rose to his feet.  He nodded and followed Master Heero through the halls of the castle, his slippered feet silent on
the stone floor.  Although not as nervous as he once was, he still found it disconcerting to wander around . . . so he stayed close
to Master Heero.

As they entered the dining hall, Master Heero brought Quatre to stand beside him and tapped his shoulder, whispering to him.  
“See that woman?”  Master Heero pointed discreetly.  “The one standing behind Trowa and Duo?”

Quatre glanced over and nodded.  “The guard?”  He shuddered at his memory of the last time he was in the presence of those
two.  That young woman had been frightening.

Master Heero placed a hand on Quatre’s shoulder, as he often did when something had made Quatre nervous or upset.  “That is
no mere guard . . . that is Trowa’s only true living relative, his elder sister, Catherine.”

Quatre blinked as he was led to the cushion he was to kneel on.  “But . . .”  He was confused . . . he had thought Trowa to have
a niece . . . and Dekim was some relation to him, was he not?

Master Heero sat in his seat, beside where Quatre knelt, and leaned over to whisper.  “Dekim Barton’s son died as an infant.  
Needing an heir, he took a newborn by the name of Triton Bloom and renamed him.  Trowa’s real mother got a job in the estate
as a nursemaid to her own son so that both she and Catherine could be near him as he grew.  Trowa wasn’t supposed to find
out, but he did somehow . . . I do not know how.  Only those of us in this room know that Trowa knows the truth.  As far as
Dekim is concerned, Trowa is blissfully ignorant of his true heritage.”  He sat up again and addressed Trowa.  “I hope that you
find your accommodations satisfactory?”

Trowa nodded.  “More than satisfactory, thank you.  I’d also like to apologize, for frightening your slave.”

Quatre ducked his head, shivering a little.  He did not like to be noticed.  And he did not know how to respond to that.  No one
had ever really apologized to him before, not anyone other than Master Heero and Duo anyway.  Master Heero’s hand settled on
his shoulder and Quatre dragged his gaze up . . . knowing that he had to respond somehow.

“I . . . I t-thank you for your concern.”  Quatre said, timidly, unsure of what else to say.  He hoped it was enough.

Trowa nodded and Quatre breathed a sigh of relief.  He would not have to speak again . . . he was grateful for that.  Quatre
watched as Trowa took a seat, Duo following him to kneel by his side.

“About Duo . . .”  Master Heero began, only to be cut off by Trowa.

Trowa held his hand up, shaking his head.  “Not here, Heero.  This is not the time, nor place, to discuss such things.  Besides, I
would much rather see each of you privately to speak of this.”

Master Heero nodded.  “As you wish.  Perhaps tomorrow morning, after you have rested from your travels?”

“Yes, tomorrow will be fine.”  Trowa responded.

The group fell into a silence.  Quatre worriedly watched his friend, Duo . . . wishing that there was something he could do.  It
wasn’t long before the evening meal was served though and Quatre obediently ate what was given to him, if only to distract
himself from his thoughts.

To Be Continued . . .

Author’s Note:  Okay, I was asked a number of questions.  One of which was why Duo was wearing Heero’s colors if he’s
Trowa’s slave.  And here is my answer . . . he wasn’t.  Purple is the color of the Barton family, or at least the color that bed
slaves wear if they’re owned by Dekim or any other Barton.  The lion’s head crest Duo wore, is the crest of the Barton family as
well, not Trowa in general.  Heero’s colors are green and black, as was stated early on in the fic when Heero gave Quatre his
new garments to wear, and Heero’s family crest is a wolf’s head.