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

Notes:  Okay, between the end of part 13 and this part, about a month of time has passed.  This skip in time was necessary in my
mind, and I can get right to the interesting parts because of it.  



Servitude, Retribution, and Enchantment



Part Fourteen


It had been almost a month since Heero had been kidnaped from his home . . . almost a month since he had been taken away
from his life of wealth and luxury and thrust into this savage world of slavery and pain.  After Lord Dunwich had returned him
to the auction house, getting his money returned to him as well, Heero had been auctioned off again.  Only the following time,
his price had lowered substantially . . . most people weren’t willing to put up with such a feisty slave as Heero was.  

When Heero proved to be too wild for his new owner’s tastes yet again, Heero was returned to the auction house again and
resold once more . . . then again and again until he had gone through a total of seven masters, including Lord Dunwich.  Each
and every one of them had attempted and failed to take his virginity by force, just like Heero was sure this eighth master would
try.

He sighed, his eyes lowered as he was left kneeling in a corner.  His current master was involved in a game of cards and Heero
was expected to be quiet and obedient.  He didn’t like it, but as long as the man wasn’t pawing at him with lust in his eyes or
beating him, like all of the others had also done, Heero would behave.

Heero was the only slave here that wasn’t being put to some work . . . of course he didn’t really mind that since he had been
bought as a pleasure slave once more.  He’d never give in though.  His master would have to beat him unconscious before Heero
would let himself be taken . . . he wouldn’t submit to any kind of training, wouldn’t let himself be violated by some uncaring
bastard.  The threat that he could become pregnant, thanks to Dorothy’s little curse, only doubled Heero’s efforts to keep
himself from being used as a sex toy.  He’d rather be dead than to be nothing more than a hole in a mattress that answers to a
name.

Heero let his eyes travel over the numerous bruises to his body, not remembering which master had done which injuries.  There
were bruises scattered over most of his body, a few scratches here and there, nothing too serious.  His face was left
undamaged, untouched except for a single bruise to his left cheek where all of his masters had seemed to have slapped him at
least once.

“I’ll bet you twenty!”  A loud voice shouted, startling Heero.  It was the voice of Heero’s current master.

Heero looked up, keeping his head lowered as he watched the game going on.  He didn’t want to be caught looking up again.  He
remembered the last time he had raised his gaze from the floor, and the beating he had gotten for not showing submissiveness or
respect for his owner.  He felt an itch just below his veil that he knew he couldn’t scratch.  To move would only get him in
trouble . . . he was supposed to remain still and quiet.

He watched, carefully, as the five men gambled, a feeling of dread spreading throughout his body.  There was just something
that told him to worry, a faint feeling that left him fearing the outcome of this game.

“I’ll see your twenty . . . and raise another forty!”  One of the other men said, smirking cruelly.

Heero’s master slammed a hand down on the table.  “You know I don’t have that kind of money, Edgar!”  He shouted.

The man named Edgar, only smirked, their three other friends just watching the match just as Heero was doing.  “So put
something else on the table.”  He said.

Heero’s master sighed, shaking his head slightly.  “Look . . . the only thing I got that’s worth anything, is that slave of mine in
the corner.”  He beckoned to Heero with a curl of his finger.  “Come here, boy!”  He hissed.

Heero glared at the man, but did as he was told.  Slowly, he rose to his feet, the movement causing an ache to spread through
his muscles since he hadn’t moved in such a long time.  He stepped over to his owner and knelt down, continuing to glare
despite the fact that he knew it would only end in him getting hurt for it.

Heero’s master reached out and slid a callused hand along one cheek.  Heero pulled back, swatting the hand away with his
hands.  Naturally, he was slapped for it and then his master roughly grasped his hair, pulling his head back.  Heero bit his lip at
the sensation of his scalp being painfully stretched.  “As you can see, he hasn’t been broken in yet.”  Heero’s master stated.  “I
could put him as my bet.”

Edgar held up his hand.  “Now hold on a minute.  How do I know he ain’t ugly?”

Heero’s master responded by reaching over and tugging Heero’s veil down, showing his face.  Then he stood, pulling Heero to
his feet.  With one swift pull, the loincloth had been removed from Heero’s body, leaving him shuddering in the chill of the
room.  “I was going to turn him into a pleasure slave.”  Heero’s owner admitted.

“That suits me just fine.”  Edgar smiled, his grin causing Heero to shiver . . . he wasn’t a particularly attractive man, his face
marred by a rather large scar that went through one of his eyes which was now covered by a black eyepatch.  “Use him as your
bet.  When I win this . . . I’ll get myself to the next kingdom and have myself a little celebration with that lovely prize.”  Edgar
said.

Heero’s owner laughed.  He turned to Heero, tossing the loincloth to him.  “Dress yourself.”  He ordered, letting go of Heero’s
hair and once again taking his seat at the table.

Heero garbed himself, fixing his veil on his face once again as he knelt on the floor, assuming his position as a lowly slave.  He
didn’t really care who won this game.  Either way he would only end up having to fight off yet another potential rapist, someone
who decided to take him by force.

In minutes, Heero found that he had a new master yet again, now belonging to Edgar.  His old master had lost the game, and
Heero was being pulled out of the room by a laughing man whose money purse was now full of coins.  

Heero shivered as he was led outside and over to the livery.  Heero consciously avoided looking up to see the early morning sky,
knowing that he was not permitted to raise his gaze.  He didn’t want to be hit again, even if it was so that he could see the sky
he had been denied for most of his life.

Edgar paid the fee that he owed for housing his horse in the livery, tossing the young stableboy a large tip before he tied one end
of a rope around Heero’s chains and fixing the other end to the saddle.

“You best not lag behind, boy.”  Edgar said, smirking as he mounted the horse.

Heero’s eyes widened, knowing that he was about to be dragged behind a horse.  He hoped that the trip wasn’t going to be a
long one, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to keep up for too long of a distance.  He was already tired, having gotten precious
little sleep over the last month, always keeping a watchful eye out in case one of his masters chose to attack him while he slept.  
On the other hand, perhaps it would be best if he was dragged to his death by this horse . . . it would be better than to be raped.  
Those were his thoughts as Edgar kicked his horse into a trot, forcing Heero to follow behind him as best as he could, leaving
the town of Crossroads behind them as they headed for someplace unknown to Heero.


*****


Trowa leaned back against the pillows of the bed, crossing his legs at the ankles.  The afternoon was cool this autumn day, and
the small group . . . consisting of Trowa, Catherine, and Mariemaia . . . was staying close to Quatre, keeping him company in
the hopes that he would awaken soon.

Trowa glanced to the blonde that lay beside him, wondering if he would ever awaken.  It had been about a month since Quatre
had entered this state of shock, since he had locked himself away from the world.  His health concerned Trowa.  The young
man was getting pale, his form only becoming increasingly thin, bones beginning to show through his skin.  They fed him, but
only broths, and that just wasn’t enough.  He would have to snap out of this soon to regain his health.

Trowa sighed, looking around at the other occupants of the room.  Catherine was sitting in one of the chairs, knitting
something.  Mariemaia occupied herself on the floor, playing with a few dolls that Trowa had found for her in some abandoned
nursery a few weeks ago.  She had been delighted, saying that they were the first toys or presents she had ever been given.

Trowa turned his attention to his book again, trying to focus on reading.  However, a strange feeling kept tugging at him, making
him worry.  He kept glancing to Quatre, feeling that something was different today, but he couldn’t see any difference.  Finally,
after not being able to read more than just a sentence of his book without looking to Quatre, Trowa set the book aside.

He reached out, knowing in his heart that something was different.  He slid his hand along one of Quatre’s pale arms, narrowing
his gaze as he watched Quatre’s every move, every rise and fall of his chest as he breathed.  Quatre inhaled, and then stopped,
his body becoming still.  Trowa’s eyes widened in fear, praying that the blonde hadn’t just died on him and he involuntarily
tightened his hold on Quatre’s arm.  A moment later, a piercing scream echoed throughout the room as life returned to Quatre’s
aquamarine eyes.

Trowa flinched, pulling his hand back as Quatre’s scream died down.  He watched in concern as the young man looked around
the room, fear obvious in his lovely eyes as he gulped for air.  Catherine was out of her seat in an instant, running to stand by
Quatre’s side.  Quatre saw her movement and then turned his head, his terror filled eyes settling on Trowa for a brief moment.  

As soon as Catherine reached out to touch him, Quatre whimpered and rolled away from her, frantically throwing his arms
around Trowa’s body.  Trowa gasped as he found his arms full with a trembling blonde, not used to such contact.  Quatre only
continued to shiver, his body tightly pressed against Trowa’s, his arms clutching around him like a vice.

Trowa looked over at Catherine, baffled and unsure what to do, noticing a small smirk curling Catherine’s lips as she sat on the
edge of the bed.  Then he looked back down at Quatre, hesitantly wrapping his arms around Quatre’s shivering form.  Trowa
gently pressed a hand against his back, hoping that he was being helpful and not harmful to the young man.

Catherine reached out, sliding her fingers across Quatre’s bare back.  The blonde responded by shivering more severely,
flinching and trying to press himself even closer to Trowa’s body as a whimper escaped his lips.  Wetness soaked through his
tunic, and Trowa knew that the pale blonde was crying.

“It’s okay.”  Catherine whispered, her tone soothing.  “No one will hurt you.”

Quatre didn’t respond, his body continuing to shiver.  Catherine’s words seemed to have no effect at all.  Trowa frowned, not
liking this.  Then a thought struck him.  Perhaps it was not just fear that left Quatre so shaken . . . the young man had just lost
his entire family.

Trowa looked up at Catherine.  “Catherine, could you go get something for Quatre to eat?”  He asked.

Catherine nodded, removing herself from the bed.  “Of course.”  She smiled.  “I’ll be right back.”

Trowa carefully maneuvered himself so that he could sit up without having to let go of Quatre.  Out of the corner of his eye, he
saw Mariemaia watching them carefully, but that truly didn’t matter to him.  The only thing that mattered at the moment was to
see to Quatre’s well-being.

“Would you like to speak with Meiran?”  Trowa asked, sliding one hand along Quatre’s quivering back, hoping that he was
doing this comforting thing correctly.

Quatre slowly raised his head, sniffling as he looked up at Trowa, tremors continuing to course through his small body.  Tears
ran along his flushed cheeks, his eyes already becoming red.  He wiped a hand across his face, his lovely features marred by
deep sadness.  “M-Meiran?”  He asked, his voice hoarse from not being used for so long.  “But how?”  

Trowa allowed a small smile to curl his lips as he reached for the amulet that he wore.  He flipped it open and held it up, making
sure that Quatre could also see the mirror.  Only Trowa could use this mirror, since Meiran had specifically given it to him.  If
anyone else tried to use it, nothing would happen and it would stay a simple mirror.  

“Meiran.”  Trowa said, watching as the surface flashed brightly for a moment.

Several long moments later, Meiran’s face appeared within the mirror.  “Quatre!”  She exclaimed, her eyes staring at the young
blonde whose mouth was hanging open in surprise at what the mirror could do.  “Are you well, Quatre?”  She asked.

Quatre’s expression suddenly changed from one of surprise to a look of deep sadness.  “My sisters . . .”  Quatre whimpered, his
bottom lip trembling as tears began to trail from his eyes once again.  “They’re all dead.  Everyone.”

Unshed tears sparkled in Meiran’s eyes.  “I wish I could be there to comfort you, my friend . . . my brother . . . but know that
all of your sisters loved you as much as you loved them.  They would not want you to dwell on their deaths.  Mourn for them,
but do not lose yourself in your grief.  You have such a kind spirit, do not let this tragedy tarnish it.”

Quatre had broken down into sobs by then, but he nodded.

Meiran continued.  “Quatre . . . you can trust Catherine and Trowa.  They are my friends and would never hurt you.  Go to
either of them if you need help, or someone to talk to.  Trowa may be quiet, but he is an excellent listener.”

“Yes . . . I will.”  Quatre said, his voice choked up, droplets of tears repeatedly falling from his chin to land on Trowa,
dampening his clothes.  Trowa didn’t mind at all though, just wanting the young man to feel better.

“Trowa . . . I want you to take good care of Quatre.”  Meiran said, a small smile on her face.

“Yes, my Queen.”  Trowa replied.

Meiran nodded.  “It was good to see you, Quatre.  And I hope you do continue to recover.  I will see you again, my friend.  
Goodbye.”  

“Goodbye.”  Quatre whispered, lowering his head to lay against Trowa’s chest once again.

Trowa closed the amulet and set it down, turning his attention back to Quatre once again.  He ran his hand along Quatre’s body
in a long, and what he hoped was a soothing caress.  “Do you need anything?”  Trowa asked, only concerned for the young
man who continued to cry.

“No”  Quatre replied meekly, lifting his head so that he could see Trowa’s face.  “I'm sorry.”  He said, removing his arms from
around Trowa as he moved aside.  “You don’t like me touching you, do you?”

Trowa frowned.  “What do you mean?”  He asked, confused.

Quatre blushed, ducking his head shyly.  “I-I’m an empath . . . Meiran helped me a few years ago when I was overwhelmed.  I
can sense your fear about me touching you . . . not to mention feel how tense your muscles got when I hugged you.”

Trowa swung his legs over the side of the bed, suddenly feeling very uncomfortable.  It was rare that someone had apologized
to him, even if it was for something they had needed at the time.  “N-no, it’s all right.  I understand you are in need of
comfort.”  Trowa replied, trying to slow his heartbeat.  

“Thank you.”  Quatre whispered.

There was nothing but silence for several minutes.  Trowa closed his eyes, wondering if he had done something wrong.  A hand
touched his leg and Trowa flinched, moving back before he could even open his eyes.  Mariemaia was standing in front of him,
looking up at him and then glancing over to Quatre with curiosity in her young face.

Trowa smiled and turned to look at Quatre, only to see the young man staring down at the blankets of the bed.  “Quatre, this is
Mariemaia . . . Mariemaia, this is Quatre.”  Trowa said, introducing the two of them.

Mariemaia climbed up onto the bed, smiling as she knelt beside him.  “Are you okay?”  She asked, her voice sympathetic.

Quatre gave a shaky smile, one that didn’t quite reach his eyes.  “Yes, I . . . I just lost some people who were very dear to me . .
. I’ll feel better in time . . . I hope.”  Quatre replied, wiping a hand across his red-rimmed eyes.

“I understand.”  Mariemaia said, lowering her own gaze.

Quatre looked as if he were about to say something, so Trowa thought it best to interrupt him before he could speak.  “Dekim
was Mariemaia’s grandfather.”  He said, speaking quietly.

Quatre’s eyes widened briefly, then he reached out and took hold of one of the girl’s hands.  “I’m sorry for your loss.”  He said,
quietly.  “You have my sympathy.”

Trowa was amazed.  He couldn’t believe that anyone could be as kind as Quatre was.  Dekim had killed Quatre’s entire family,
had planned to rape him . . . and here Quatre was, consoling the man’s granddaughter for his death.  

Mariemaia smiled and looked up at him.  “I-I could be your sister if you want.”  She said.  “I never had any family other than
Grandfather, not really anyway.  Mother died when I was little, and I don’t know who my father is.”

“I’d like that.”  Quatre said, a true smile on his face this time.  “I’ve never had a younger sister before.

With that, Mariemaia threw her arms around Quatre’s body, giving him a strong hug.  Quatre smiled kindly, wrapping his own
arms around the girl, sighing as he held her.  His tears had slowly begun to fade, his sniffles stopping.  Trowa was glad to see
that he was calming down if only slightly.

The moment was broken by Catherine’s return.  She stepped into the room, a bowl and a spoon in her hands as she approached
the bed.  Mariemaia released her hold on Quatre’s body, moving aside when Catherine sat on the edge of the bed.  “Feeling
better?”  Catherine asked.

“Yes, thank you.”  Quatre replied.

Catherine smiled.  “I brought some food for you . . . it’s only stew, but it will do for now.”  She reached behind Quatre,
adjusting a few pillows behind him, then gently pushed him back to recline against them.  “You should be resting though.”

Quatre nodded, a small sigh escaping his lips as he looked away.  “I’m sorry.”

“Why are you apologizing?”  Catherine asked, stirring the stew around in the bowl.

“For being so bothersome.”  Quatre replied.

Catherine shook her head.  “There’s no need to apologize.”  Catherine replied.  She scooped some of the stew into the spoon.  
“Now, I don’t know how much your stomach can handle right now . . . you’ve been out of it for about a month now . . . so I
don’t want you to push yourself.  If you feel full or at all ill, you tell me.”

Quatre nodded.  “Yes, I will.”

Catherine smirked and lifted the spoon to Quatre’s mouth, helping him in whatever way she could.  Trowa watched, concerned
for the blonde, even as he was eating.  When the bowl was only about halfway empty, Quatre turned his head away and asked
Catherine to stop, his eyes falling shut as he spoke.

Catherine did, setting the bowl aside.  “You full, or feeling ill?”  She asked.

“Full.”  Quatre sighed, his eyes barely open.  “I’m tired.”

Catherine brushed her fingers through Quatre’s hair.  “Get some rest then, at least one of us will be here when you awaken.”  
She said.

Quatre only nodded, asleep before Catherine had even finished speaking.  Mariemaia laid down beside him, curling her small
arms around his body.  Trowa reached out, brushing a hand through the girl’s hair as she too fell asleep, his worries for her
almost as deep as his worries for Quatre.  He could only hope that the two of them would be okay.



To Be Continued . . .