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

Notes:  AU fic.  Medieval setting.  The Gundam Boys are children for the entire fic.  Lily, a nursemaid, rescues and cares for
her employer’s child along with her own children after the boy’s family and village is attacked and massacred.


Part One

Smoke.  Dark plumes of thick smoke wafted into the sky, turning the early morning day into night.  Yet, it was not dark.  No,
the licking flames of the burning homes illuminated the area, shedding light on the grounds as the marauders ransacked the small
village.  Screams echoed, as did the laughter of those cruel, hateful men as they attacked the poor unfortunate inhabitants, killing
all and sparing none.

Mercy was a foreign thing to these men, a laughable idea that they thought nothing of.  They had been ordered to destroy the
village and so they would destroy it, just as they had done to countless others in the past.  They raped and pillaged, taking
whoever and whatever they wanted for their own carnal pleasures.  They burned down the homes, killing the men, women, and
children . . . stealing what they could and leaving the rest to destruction.

And in the palace, where virtual swarms of men ransacked for treasures, a young woman crept along unnoticed.  She knew to
stay hidden, using secret passages that only a select few knew about.  Right now, she felt lucky that she was one of those few
people.  Still, she was not foolish enough to think that her place of hiding would never be discovered.  Surely those men would
find it eventually . . . and then she would be dead along with all those she had come to think of as family.

Her name was Lily and she was little more than a nursemaid.  Having three children of her own, she had been eagerly welcomed
into this household to care for the youngest child.  She cared for that boy as if he were a member of her own family, as if she
had borne him herself.  And that was the sole reason that she roamed these cold passages instead of running away, seeking to
find out the fate of the family that she had become a part of.  She just had to know if the boy was alive, had to know if those
heartless bastards had dared to take the life of a mere babe.

Wiping tears from her eyes . . . the thought of losing her young charge weighed heavily upon her heart . . . she reached the end
of her search.  Pushing aside a bit of wood, she peered into what had once been the nursery, stilling a gasp from leaving her
mouth as she surveyed the once beautiful room.

The cradle was overturned, the beds where the boy’s sisters had slept were no more than firewood anymore.  And the bodies . .
. oh, there were so many bodies.  The daughters, and there were so many of them.  Still, Lily could not see the one that she was
searching for, although something there did catch her eye.

Carefully and quietly, Lily pushed aside the panel and stepped into the dark room.  Her heart pounded in her chest as she tread
cautiously, weaving her way around the bodies of children, of the daughters of the man that she had worked for.  Her heart
broke, knowing that they all had lost their lives and she wished that she could have done something, anything, for them.  But the
attack had come so suddenly, with no warning whatsoever.  If those cowards had not attacked in the middle of the night,
perhaps some would have survived this brutal assault.

A soft sound reached her ears and she rushed to one body in particular.  She rolled the man over onto his back, her eyes
widening as she saw that it was her employer, Ashraf.  Her surprise was only heightened as she found what she was seeking,
held securely in the arms of his father.  The child was crying, although quietly, clutching tightly to his father’s clothing,
apparently hiding himself from any and all.

Outside, Lily could hear the shouts of those cruel men as they tore apart the palace for treasure, knew that time was not on her
side here.  She only hoped that they would not come in here.  She had to see to Ashraf, to take care of him and the child he
held.  Those men had come for the boy, she knew that without a doubt.  This day had been dreaded for so long.  For this was
no ordinary child . . . no, the boy bore the marks of his heritage, the signs that he was one of the spirits.  

It was said that his mother had been one of the last of her kind, a rarity in the world now . . . only partially human with feline
qualities.  And the boy was just like her, he had claws instead of nails - which remained hidden unless he felt threatened - and he
had a furry white tail with black stripes . . . and his ears were pointed, not exactly like a cat’s, but more what an elf was
supposed to look like.  

Lily cared little what the boy was.  He was one of the sweetest children she had ever come to know, and her own children were
so fond of him, as if he was a brother to them.  Even though he had been kept inside the castle all of his life, the child was still
kind and loving, not hating the fact that he was hidden from the eyes of the villagers.  Even as young as he was - only two years
of age - he seemed to understand the need to remain hidden.

Lily broke out of her memories as Ashraf opened his eyes, his breathing strained.  “Lily?”  He asked, his voice barely more than
a whisper.

Lily could see the wounds to his body, the blood that stained his garments and the child that clung to him.  She knew that he did
not have much longer in this world.  Still, she would do all that she could to see to his comfort while he remained.

“Yes, Ashraf?”  She asked, laying a hand along the side of his face.

“I . . . I have always considered you one of our family.”  He said, solemnly, his breathing harsh.  “Please . . . take my son.  Care
for him . . . as if he were yours.  You will be the mother I always wished he had.”  He said, pulling his softly sobbing son away
from his chest.

Lily gently took the child into her arms, holding him tenderly even as he turned and reached for his dying father.  “It is okay,
Quatre.  I will take care of you.”  Lily whispered, trying to hush the frightened boy.

“Go with Lily, my son.”  Ashraf wheezed.  “You’ll be safe with her.”  He grasped Lily’s arm, looking at her pleadingly.  “Take
him . . . get him away before it is too late.  Tell him of his true nature when he is old enough to understand.”

Lily nodded.  “I promise, I will do as you ask.”  She said, quickly rising to her feet.  She held Quatre against her chest, her arms
wrapped around his tiny body as she rushed back to the secret passage that was her only escape.  She cast one last look at her
dying employer, then turned away, closing the passage behind her as she fled to what was hopefully a safe exit.

To Be Continued . . .