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

Notes:  Time skip.  A month has passed.  Wufei is disturbed by Meiran’s recent illness and talks to Treize about what they should
do.  Duo gets a pleasant visit from a friend . . . and Heero of course still refuses to be a pleasure slave to Duo.  Quatre and
Trowa approach the town of Crossroads and stop so that Quatre can rest again.



Servitude, Retribution, and Enchantment



Part Thirty-Seven


Wufei sighed as he finished making the bed.  It was no longer a duty that he had to perform . . . no, now he did it because it
gave him pleasure to do so.  In the month since he had joined Treize and Meiran in the making of their triad, things had settled
down a great deal for him.  So much so, that he was planning on taking a slightly more dominant role in their relationship . . .
maybe not tonight, but soon.

He looked up as Meiran entered the room and frowned a little in concern for the beautiful Queen.

“Again?”  He asked, worried for her.

Meiran glanced at Wufei.  “Hm?  I’m sorry, Wufei.  What was that?”

Wufei sighed, approaching his love.  “You were sick again, weren’t you?  I can tell.  You should take something if your stomach
is upset.”  He smirked at his queen, brushing her hair from her face with a gentle hand.  “Physician . . . heal thyself.”

Meiran chuckled, reaching up to clasp his hand for a brief moment.  “Oh, hush.”  She said, her smile fading.  “I am not a
physician anyway.  Besides, it’s nothing, I’m sure.”  Then she frowned a little as if in thought.  “I need to see to some things . .
. Quatre and Trowa will be arriving in a few days.  I sense Quatre’s presence not too far off . . . close to Crossroads.”

Wufei watched Meiran walk out of the room with a concerned frown set on his face.  Meiran hadn’t been feeling well for a few
days now, and she seemed distracted.  ‘There is more to this than mere anticipation, Meiran.  You are worried about
something.’  He nodded, knowing his thoughts to be true . . . Meiran was never so concerned about anything.  With a sigh,
Wufei exited the bedchamber, heading to the garden where he knew Treize to be tending his flowers.

When Wufei reached the gardens, a smile formed on his face at the sight of Treize.  Wufei could not understand how Treize
could look regal . . . even in the common gardening clothes that he was currently wearing, while on his hands and knees pulling
weeds.  Wufei chuckled, feeling a little bolder than usual.

“You are very lucky that I still have no wish for dominance.  The position you are in would be very tempting.”  Wufei said with
a smirk.

Treize turned to face Wufei with a warm smile.  “I look forward to the day when you give into such temptations, Wufei.”  He
held out a hand and indicated the nearby bench.  “Please . . . have a seat and tell me what’s troubling you.  I know something is
wrong, because you rarely come to the gardens.”  He pulled his gardening gloves off and simply sat on the ground.

Wufei ignored the suggestion and sat on the ground facing Treize.  After a minute to gather his thoughts, he spoke.  “I am
concerned about Meiran.  She was ill again today.”

Treize nodded.  “I noticed the illness . . . but she said it was due to her excitement because her friend, Quatre, will be here
soon.  Although . . . it has been too often for mere anticipation.”

Wufei nodded in agreement.  “I think she is pushing herself too hard again.  She won’t listen to me.”  He held up a hand as
Treize was about to speak.  “And it isn’t because I was a slave.  It’s because she has always had a mind of her own and
sometimes she just will not listen to reason.”

Treize chuckled at that.  “You have a point.  So what do you suggest?”

Wufei shrugged.  “I can only think that if we both approach her with our concerns, she will want to assuage our worries and
relax a little.  I am sure there are plenty of preparations that I can take care of for her honorary brothers.  She takes too much on
her shoulders as it is, along with her regular duties as Queen.”

“Yes, that seems like a good plan.”  Treize nodded, rising from the ground.  He brushed the dirt from his clothes, holding his
hand out to help Wufei up as well.  “Allow me to change my clothes before we approach her though.  I don’t think I will make
much of an argument in such a state.”

Wufei smiled.  “You look simply handsome as always to me, Treize.”  He said shyly, blushing.  Then he gathered his courage
and stood on his toes, pressing a quick kiss to Treize’s lips.  “Come, let us get you dressed.”  Wufei said quickly, not allowing
Treize to consider Wufei’s actions.


*****


Heero stood at the edge of the bed, pointedly NOT looking at the two people being intimate on the mattress.  Although his sight
wasn’t really needed.  The sounds in the room were enough to tell him about what was going on.  This was something he did
not want to learn though.  He never wanted to be in Hilde’s place . . . to use his mouth in such a manner as Hilde had done not
too long ago, or to allow anyone to touch or use his body in such a way that Hilde was allowing Duo to.

It had been a month since his training had begun, a month since Heero had given Duo that first massage in this room.  And still,
Heero didn’t want to be used . . . to be hurt.  He would never be anyone’s whore . . . not even Duo’s.  Duo had been so nice,
but that couldn’t erase the fact that he wanted to use Heero’s body, to take what he wasn’t truly willing to give.

Heero didn’t want to take part in this.  The sharp cries of near-simultaneous climaxes caught Heero’s ear, but he merely looked
from the corner of his eye.  He denied the yearnings in his own body . . . the strange feelings coursing through his blood.  No . .
. he couldn’t want this . . . he didn’t.

“Heero . . . I’m not asking you to participate . . .”  Duo spoke, his breathing rough as he held Hilde’s hips with sweaty fingers.  
“But you really SHOULD watch.  Pretty soon, I won’t be able to make love to Hilde at all.  I won’t do this with anyone else, and
you should not come into this blindly.”

“I won’t go into it at all, since I won’t ever participate.”  Heero said, keeping his focus on the floor.

Hilde moved off of Duo and Duo brought a sheet to cover himself.  “Heero . . . this is about more than simple virgin fears, isn’t
it?”  He asked.

Heero shook his head.  He wouldn’t hear this.  “Leave me be.”  He hissed, moving away from the bed and away from Duo.  

He turned and walked to the balcony, standing there with his hands on the railing even as the snow fell upon him.  The cold air
didn’t bother him.  Actually it was refreshing . . . a sensation Heero had never experienced within his own home.  His rooms had
always been warm . . . the fires kept strong.  Still, even the chill air of the winter morning couldn’t distract him from his
thoughts today.

He didn’t want to be touched by Duo.  Duo frightened him, brought up fears and desires he could not understand . . . he didn’t
want any of this.  He just wanted to leave, even if it meant he would wander aimlessly through the countryside, a poor and
penniless wretch.

“All right . . . I think that’s enough training for today.”  Duo said from inside the room.  “We’ll pick it up again tomorrow.”

Hands touched Heero’s arm.  He jerked in response, only to sigh when Hilde’s voice came to him.  “Is there something wrong,
Heero?”  She asked gently.

“No, I am fine.”  He replied, looking to the sky.

Hilde’s fingers tenderly curled under his chin, turning him to face her.  “I think you’re lying.  It’s been a month Heero.  You
know what’s expected of you . . . you have been taught and shown what to do . . . and yet you persist in your determination
against the act.  I know the first time can be frightening, but it won’t be so terrible.  Duo is a good man . . . he won’t hurt you.”

Heero sighed, bowing his head and closing his eyes.  “That’s not it, Hilde.”  He whispered.  “I . . . there are other things that
worry me.”

“Tell me.  What troubles you so?  Perhaps I will be able to help.”  Hilde offered, her eyes sparkling with worry and hope.

Heero shook his head.  “No.  I cannot speak of it.”  He whispered.  How could he tell her that he had been cursed?  How could
he tell Hilde that he could become pregnant?  He couldn’t, wouldn’t allow this weakness to be known.  He didn’t want to bear a
bastard child.

Hilde opened her mouth, probably intending to urge him to speak . . . but at that moment there was a knock upon the door.  Both
Heero and Hilde looked on as Duo bade the visitor to enter.  An elder man stepped in, a smile bright on his face.  Hilde nearly
squealed in delight and the happiness on Duo’s face was evident.  It seemed as if only Heero was at a loss to the identity of this
individual.

“Howard!  You have returned!”  Hilde bounced, running over to embrace the man.  “It is good to see you once again.”

The man named Howard, chuckled, hugging Hilde lightly.  “Your loveliness does my old eyes good, Hilde.”  Howard said,
brushing a hand through her short hair.  “Although, I do wish you had more clothing on at the moment.”

Hilde looked down at herself, as if noticing for the first time that she was wearing nothing.  She blushed a bit, heading over to
the bed to gather her clothing.  “Sorry about that.”  She said.  “Your arrival was just such a surprise.”

“How was your trip, Old Man?”  Duo asked, leaning back against the headboard of his bed.

“Uneventful.  However, I did find a number of books that might be useful in your studies.”  Howard smirked, nodding his head.

Duo groaned.  “Aww . . . you got MORE books?”  He sighed, his shoulders slumping.  “I still haven’t learned the last ones you
got me.”  Duo broke off, turning his eyes to look at Heero.  “Oh, I almost forgot to introduce you two.”  He got up from the
bed, holding the sheet around his body as he moved toward Heero.  “Howard, this is my new pleasure slave, Heero.  Heero . . .
this is my tutor, Howard . . . Meiran hired him to help me learn stuff . . . reading and writing and all that.”

Howard reached out to shake Heero’s hand, but Heero stepped back, narrowing his eyes.

“Ah, I see you found a rude one.”  Howard commented.

Duo shook his head.  “He’s not rude . . . just skittish of strangers.”  Duo replied.  “Another day I’ll tell you how he came into
my house, but not now.”

Howard nodded.  “Have you been keeping up with your studies, Duo?”

Duo blushed, ducking his head.  “Um, well . . . I’ve been a little busy lately.  With Heero’s training and all . . . I just . . .”

“You kept putting it off.”  Howard sighed.  “Well, come tomorrow morning we will begin your lessons again.  I’ll have you
reading if it kills me.”

“Yeah, okay, Old Man.  you just get on back to your room and relax tonight.  Don’t want you overdoing things on your first
night back.”  Duo said, gently pushing Howard out of the room.  “I’ll see you bright and early tomorrow morning.”

Howard shook his head, chuckling.  “Always so stubborn.  It’s good to be home, Duo.”

Duo smiled.  “Good to have you here.”  With that, he embraced the man.

Then Howard quietly departed.

Heero couldn’t say he wasn’t surprised by this news.  He had thought Duo could read . . . didn’t know that the young man was
in need of tutoring.  Of course the topic had never been brought up.  But now it seemed obvious.  Duo had been raised on the
street.  There was little chance that he had gotten an education there.  Heero sighed, shaking his head.  This didn’t matter.  It
changed nothing at all.  He still did not want to be here, didn’t want to be faced with the knowledge that soon he would be put to
use by Duo.  With a deep sigh, Heero returned to the balcony and the cold air that twisted around his body.


*****


Quatre wrapped his arms around his stomach, biting his lip to silence a groan.  Trowa was sleeping beside him, resting
peacefully.  Quatre didn’t want to disturb him.  He curled his legs closer to his body, leaning to the side to set his sweaty face
against Trowa’s chest.  Unintentionally, he let out a whimper and felt as Trowa’s body jerked beneath him.

“Hm?  Wha?  Quatre!  What’s wrong?”  Trowa was immediately awake and rubbing his strong hand across Quatre’s back.  
“You’re feel sick again?”

Quatre could only nod miserably as another wave of nausea threatened to make him empty his stomach right here and now.  He
didn’t dare speak.  If only he hadn’t been so ill . . . they would have reached Meiran’s home weeks ago had Trowa not stopped
in each and every village to be sure that Quatre rested in a bed whenever possible.  Stopping as they had, had only lengthened
their journey.

“Sshh . . . hang on.”  Trowa gently pushed Quatre aside and leaned out the window.  He then shouted to the driver to stop the
carriage.

Quatre was immensely grateful.  He hadn’t wanted to lean out of the carriage window to do what he was about to do.  As soon
as the carriage stopped, Quatre rose to his feet, his fingers fumbling as he untied the veil covering his face.  He knew that he
was not supposed to do that . . . that it was Trowa’s privilege alone to take the veil from his face . . . but he would rather not
make a mess of it.

Without waiting for Trowa, Quatre opened the door and all but fell to his knees in the snow before the nausea overcame him and
he started retching.  He was so lost in the nausea and vomiting that he didn’t register the fact that Trowa was there rubbing his
back and wiping the cold sweat from his forehead until Quatre had finished expelling the contents of his stomach.

“Ungh . . .”  Was all that Quatre could manage to get from his aching throat.

Trowa pulled Quatre against his chest, holding him for a moment.  “Done?”

Quatre nodded and moaned.  He hadn’t liked that at all.  And now he was tired.

Trowa’s voice was warm and full of understanding.  “It’s okay.  We’re not all that far from Crossroads now.  It’ll delay us, but
we should stay there tonight.  Our traveling fare won’t do your stomach any good.  And after that attack, I want you sleeping in
a soft bed.”  Trowa said, his hand warm against Quatre’s cheek.  “Do you want to walk, or do you think your stomach can
handle being in the carriage again?”

Quatre shuddered, feeling a little ill at the very thought of entering the carriage once more.  The bumps and shakes only made his
stomach flip.  “Walk . . . please?”  Quatre replied, looking up at Trowa with pleading eyes.

“Yes, of course.”  Trowa said, gently helping Quatre to rise to his feet.  He retrieved the veil from where Quatre had dropped it
earlier and covered the blonde’s face again.  Then he turned to look up at the driver.  “Go on ahead to Crossroads.  See to it that
we get a room at the nearest inn and have them draw a warm bath and prepare meals for us.”  Reaching into his purse, Trowa
took out a number of coins and handed them up to the driver.  “I want nothing but the best.  Understand me?”

The driver nodded.  “Yes, sire.”

Quatre forced a smile on his face as Trowa returned his attention to him.  “A warm bath, hm?”  He asked, a weak chuckle
passing his lips.

Trowa returned the smile, raising his hand to stroke Quatre’s face.  “Now, now . . . as much as I would enjoy an intimate act
with you, I fear you are not up to it.”

“Quite true.”  Quatre conceded, leaning against Trowa as the taller youth wrapped an arm around his weary body.

The two of them had done nothing further than exploration of each other’s bodies . . . yet they both did want more.  Quatre
knew that Trowa wanted him.  But there were things holding them back.  For one, Quatre was ill most of the time . . . the
slightest of scents was enough to make him vomit sometimes.  And another reason for their waiting was Trowa . . . he simply
was not ready to take that last step.  They had been together for two months now . . . intimate for only one . . . yet they went
no further than caresses, using only hands to find release.  Quatre was patient though, yet fearful that Trowa would never wish
to bed him again.  If only he were stronger . . . healthier . . . perhaps then he would be more pleasing to Trowa’s eyes and mind.

“Come, we had best get going.”  Trowa said, urging Quatre to walk.

Silently, Quatre obeyed, leaning heavily against the young lord as they walked to Crossroads.  He was thankful that they were
not so far away.  Yet, as they strolled through the bustling village, he became nervous and fearful.  There were just so many
people here.  Quatre did not like it.

“Nadir, do not be afraid.  No one will harm you so long as I am with you.”  Trowa assured, his hands strong against Quatre’s
body.

Quatre smiled beneath his veil.  He was getting used to this new name of his.  “Yes, Master.”  He whispered back, keeping his
head bowed.  With a good deal of difficultly, he took his weight from Trowa’s body, walking on his own . . . although Trowa’s
arm stayed around him in a constant reminder of his safety.

“He a pretty one, milord?”  Some stranger asked, gesturing to Quatre with one hand.  “Must be to decorate him with such
precious jewels.”

“His beauty is rivaled by none.”  Trowa responded, looking the man up and down just as Quatre did the same thing.

The man before them was tanned, his hair wild and black . . . his chin dotted with stubble.  A long scar ran the side of his face,
missing his eye by no more than a fraction.  His clothing was little more than a simple peasant’s garb.  Yet, he wore a sword at
his side and Quatre could see the hilt of a dagger peeking from inside one boot.  Quatre felt strange as he looked at this man.  
There was something about him that he did not like.

The man pushed off from the wall he had been leaning against, moving to block Trowa and Quatre.  He reached out, pulling
Quatre’s tired form away from Trowa.  Quatre shied away as his hip and ass were grabbed by forceful hands, his eyes staring
deep into the obsidian orbs of the taller man that stood before him.  There was a darkness in those eyes, a hidden truth that
frightened Quatre and made him quiver to his very bones.

“Take your filthy hands off of him.”  Trowa demanded, grabbing Quatre’s arm and yanking him away from the brute.  Although
he was being rough, Quatre was nothing but thankful for Trowa’s intervention.  He turned to Trowa, burying his face against
the youth’s strong chest.  He turned his head, looking at the man who had grabbed him.

“No harm meant, sir.”  The man smirked, raising his hands in acquiescence.  “Just wanted to get a feel of that body.  Very nice
. . . firm ass on that one.  Bet he’s a real delight to bed.”  With a laugh, he turned and rushed off, disappearing into the crowd.

Trowa reached for his sword, making a move to step forward.  But Quatre set his hand atop Trowa’s, laying his other over the
youth’s chest.  “Please . . . don’t.  Let him go.”

Trowa turned, furrowing his brow as he cast his gaze down at Quatre.  “He should never have touched you . . . shouldn’t have
spoken of you like that.”  Trowa said, sliding a hand up underneath the veil covering Quatre’s face.

“There was no harm done.  A simple grope will not shatter me.  Nor will a few crude words.”  Quatre smiled, sighing against
the feel of Trowa’s pliant fingers.  “Please . . . let us go to the inn, Master.  I am weary.”

A sad look entered Trowa’s bright eyes.  He did nod his head in agreement though, taking his hand from Quatre’s face.  “We’re
nearly there, Nadir.”  He said, gently taking Quatre’s arm and leading him once more.

Quatre was thankful for the support, and he was even more grateful when they finally reached the nearest inn.  He did not think
he could take the stares from the crowd or listen to another man propositioning Trowa to rent Quatre from him for a few
hours.  At least his stomach had settled during the walk, and that was a good thing.

He and Trowa were led up to their room.  Their food and anything else they would need this night was already waiting for
them.  Servants had run ahead to get everything prepared, setting up a tub in the room and filling it with heated water.  Quatre
could feel a tentative smile creeping over his face as he thought about luxuriating in the water for a while . . . it would be nice to
soak for a time.

Apparently, Trowa was thinking the same.  As soon as the servants departed, Trowa led Quatre over to the tub.  He tenderly
pulled the veil from Quatre’s face, dropping the circlet that adorned his head . . . moving slowly as he stripped Quatre of his
garments.  He helped Quatre to shed his cloak, taking the sheer tunic from his tired body.  He removed each jewel and gem,
taking the bangles and bracelets, the ear cuff and other jewelry.  Then he dropped to his knees, removing the shoes, hose and
garters, his breath hot against Quatre’s thighs as he stripped him of his loincloth.

When Quatre was finally bared to him, he helped Quatre into the tub.  Quatre sighed in the delightfully hot water, leaning back as
he closed his eyes.  He must have drifted to sleep for a moment, since the next thing he knew, Trowa’s hands were gently
urging him to slide forward.

Quatre opened his eyes, a smile quickly coming to his face as Trowa moved to sit behind him in the bath.  He sighed happily,
leaning back against Trowa’s chest, feeling nothing but contentment and happiness here in Trowa’s arms.  He had no thoughts
as to what would go on in this bath . . . he knew this was nothing more than a washing, a cleansing of bodies.  Trowa had no
intention of pursuing anything more physical.  So Quatre felt no concern.  He merely allowed himself to enjoy the bath.

Trowa’s caring hands stroked across his form, washing his body with a soft cloth.  Quatre let his eyes fall shut again, lulled to
sleep by the pliant fingers that washed away the dirt and grime from his tired form.

When he was aware again, he found himself being lifted from the cooling water by Trowa’s strong embrace.  Always gentle,
Trowa dried Quatre, then hastily tended to himself after making sure that Quatre was laying comfortably in bed, covered lightly
by the blankets.

“Can you eat something?  The coachman ordered us some chicken broth as well as some bread and warmed milk.  I guess he
thought that the meal should warm you as well as soothe your stomach.  I believe he is almost as concerned for you as I am.”  
Trowa smiled warmly as he caressed Quatre’s cheek.

Quatre managed to smile back, although the expression was a weak one.  Trowa was always so caring and considerate.  “I’m
tired, but a meal does sound nice . . . and none of the foods listed have made me ill so far.”  He smiled as Trowa helped him to
sit up.  Trowa then moved to bring the tray over to the bed, setting it carefully between them.  “You spoil me.”  Quatre
murmured, smiling faintly.

Trowa shook his head.  “It is impossible to spoil a soul as good and pure as yours.”  Then he blushed and ducked his head
shyly.  “Umm . . . well . . .”

Quatre weakly caressed Trowa’s cheek.  “Trowa . . . you have a poet’s heart.  That was a very beautiful sentiment.”

Trowa smiled bashfully, his blush deepening.  He cleared his throat, changing the topic.  “Come, you should eat something
now.  I don’t want you staying awake any longer than necessary.”

“All right.”  Quatre responded.

As always, Trowa was sweet and tender.  He spoon-fed Quatre the broth . . . at least as much of it as Quatre could handle at the
moment, along with feeding him bits of bread every now and then.  He held the goblet so that Quatre could drink the warm milk,
taking care of Quatre’s needs before his own.  It was only when Quatre told him to that Trowa ate his own meal.

Quatre kept his eyes open for as long as he could.  However, eventually they began to drift shut.  It was during this time, when
he swayed between asleep and awake, that Quatre felt the bed shift as Trowa rose to set aside the tray again.  He barely realized
that his body was being moved until he found himself tenderly held in Trowa’s comforting embrace.

Quatre reacted instinctively, curling against the slender, warm body holding him.  He threw his arm around Trowa’s bare body,
feeling as Trowa’s fingers swept through his hair in a gentle manner.  He felt happy here, safe . . . like nothing could harm him.  
Blissfully, he fell into slumber, knowing that it would only be a short while until he found himself face to face with Meiran once
again.  She would help him, he knew she would.



To Be Continued . . .