Disclaimers: I do not own Gundam Wing or any of its characters.
Notes: Heero and Quatre take a rest. Mueller makes a mistake.
Servitude, Retribution and Enchantment
Heero limped along slowly with Hilde aiding him. It wasn’t that his ankle hurt all that much, it was just that he would rather not
risk further injury. If he were injured badly, he wouldn’t be of much use to Master Duo during his illness.
He truly felt bad for his current owner. Duo was about a month younger than him. He knew that fact from conversations with
Hilde. And yet, Duo seemed to have enough pain to last several lifetimes. Now that Heero knew to look beyond the mask, he
could see just how lonely Duo was behind his facade. He needed genuine friends, like Trowa seemed to be. And although
Heero didn’t hold any love for him, he felt an affection for the young man.
Heero was drawn out of his thoughts as Hilde opened the door to the guest room. Heero had been here before. He had helped
Hilde once or twice with cleaning in here while he had been learning how to tend to Duo’s room.
“Okay now, you two . . .” Hilde smiled, easing Heero to sit in a comfortable chair. She then gave Quatre a hand, sitting him
near to Heero. “I want you to get in that bath and relax. I’ll go and get you both some clean clothes and a light snack, so just
leave your stuff in a pile here.” She winked at Heero, giving him a sly smile. “Don’t worry about it this time. This is a special
Heero smiled a little, glad that Hilde understood his anxiety about not doing his own work. He was a slave now, and it was
unseemly to have a servant wait on him.
Once Hilde was out of the room, Heero started stripping himself of his clothes, smiling as Quatre did the same. He was careful
not to stare at his old friend’s nude form, though he did peek a little. From the quick glances that he took, he could see the signs
that Quatre wasn’t eating well. Heero was sure that a good long rest in Meiran’s palace would do Quatre wonders. It had
helped him, after all, and he knew that he’d been close to death at the time. Once they were both sans clothing, Heero stood and
limped to Quatre’s side, offering him assistance.
Quatre smiled tiredly as he accepted the help, but obviously tried to walk as much as possible under his own power into the next
room. “What a pair we are right now.” Quatre said, a slight chuckle to his words.
Heero understood Quatre’s need for levity as he helped the blonde to step down into the warm water of the bath. It was one of
the things that Heero loved here. The water in the bathing rooms was always the exact temperature needed and always clean.
“You’ll be fine.” Heero said, making sure that Quatre was settled on one of the stone benches. “Hilde is training to be a healer,
and soon you’ll be in Queen Meiran’s palace.” He eased himself into the bath with a sigh as the warm water hit his ankle,
soothing his aches. As he moved to sit on a bench near Quatre, he suddenly yawned. With his concern for his master, Heero
had been neglecting his own needs.
“Tired?” Quatre asked, running a weary hand across his own features.
Heero shook his head. “I’ll be fine. I just haven’t been sleeping well. With taking care of Duo, I simply didn’t think to rest
Quatre sighed and leaned back. “You should take care of yourself as well, you know. You won’t do Duo any good if you get
sick.” He closed his eyes a moment. “Heero, what’s wrong? There’s something really bothering you besides Duo being ill.”
Heero shook his head again, although he knew it was pointless to deny it. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Heero
said, trying not to look at Quatre. It was distressing to know that his once good friend - only friend, actually - was now just a
slave like he was himself.
“Heero, please talk to me.” Quatre whispered, reaching out to lay one hand on Heero’s arm. “Your emotions are in turmoil.”
Heero frowned, looking at the blonde with curiosity. “How do you know that, Quatre?”
Quatre gave a weak smile bereft of joy. “Three years ago, I started getting headaches. Then I would hear voices when no one
was around. Eventually, it got so bad that I couldn’t get out of bed. The pain was too much and I couldn’t stop the voices.
Meiran came to me then. She saved me. As she said, I have strong powers and my body had been unable to cope with them.
She taught me to control it.”
“You are a seer?” Heero asked, his mouth agape. “A mystic?”
The blonde chuckled, nodding. “I suppose I am.” He sighed in what seemed to be light exasperation though. “Heero, please tell
me. You know I’ll never tell anyone your secrets. I still remember when you and I snuck into your father’s private library and
found those intriguing parchments hidden behind some boring law tomes. The two people drawn there were quite . . . agile now
that I think back on it.”
Heero snorted a small laugh, silencing Quatre’s words. He did know that Quatre kept secrets well, and his friend did have a
point. Talking to someone about this might help. “Quatre, you know my position in Duo’s household.”
Quatre nodded. “Yes. If you’re worried, don’t be.” His face turned pink with a slight blush. “I may have been half-desperate
due to a spell, but . . . it was wonderful for me.”
Heero blushed a deeper crimson than his friend, but shook his head. “That’s not it. I can’t . . . there’s a reason why I don’t
want to fulfill my capacity as a pleasure slave. One that no longer includes fear of the actual act. I am curious now, but other
things bar me.” He gave his friend a half-smile. “Although I do not love him, Duo is rather attractive and if not for my current
problem, I would probably not object to being where I am.” It was true. In fact, there were times that imagining what it would
be like to be with Duo made Heero’s heart beat faster.
Quatre slowly scooted around to sit closer to Heero. “Tell me? I promise that what you say will not leave this bathing
Heero nodded and sighed, feeling almost relieved to be letting these secrets out. “Lady Dorothy, Queen Relena’s companion, she
cursed me the night that she arranged my abduction.” He looked down at the water as he felt his face heat up. “She scratched
my face.” He said, reaching up to the place where the slight cut had been, delicately touching his own cheek as if it were still
there. “She said that . . . that I am going to be able to bear my own children.”
Arms suddenly surrounded Heero from the side and he looked down to see Quatre holding him. “Oh, Heero, no wonder you
fight Duo so hard.” He pulled back, his arms still wound around Heero’s slender frame, a faint trace of a smile on his face. “I
promise, I won’t tell anyone. Not even Trowa.” He held onto Heero for a moment longer, and Heero could not deny that he felt
comfort in the embrace of his friend. Then Quatre reluctantly drew away and let out a sigh. “You know, you are going to have
to tell Duo eventually. Maybe if he knew why you are so reluctant, he’d settle for being merely friends with you.”
Heero shook his head. “No. Duo has a healthy sexual appetite. If I told him, he’d just free me and seek out a new slave. And .
. . and he needs someone to look after him. Not many slaves would tell him, to his face, that he’s full of it.” He swirled his
fingers through the warm water, needing to occupy himself somehow. “Most slaves would have just let him drink himself to
death. As long as I am with him, someone is here to watch his back. I may not love him, but he is a fellow human being, and a
very generous one at that.”
Quatre pursed his lips. “Good point. Many slaves are born as slaves, so they’ve been taught what is considered proper slave
behavior since their birth. I’ve mostly just tried to keep my mouth shut and my eyes down. Of course . . .” He paused with a
sigh. “I’ve been feeling ill for most of this trip.”
Heero took that moment to smile. “You still look good.” He said, smiling fondly at his friend. “I remember you as a chubby
little boy who used to hide behind his father.”
Quatre playfully splashed Heero. “Well, that was an unexpected perk of my awakening abilities, although it was FAR from
pleasant at the time. It hurt so much, all those voices and emotions, I could barely move much less eat anything. By the time
Meiran arrived, I was quite underweight. When I was well enough, I finally got a look at myself and decided that I would take
better care of myself.”
Heero nodded, a smile fixed on his face. “I guess we’d best get out of the bath now so we can eat and rest.” He stood up and
aided Quatre out of the warm water, feeling relieved that his ankle was only throbbing dully. He’d still stay off of it, and he
started by putting all his weight on his other foot as he dried Quatre and himself off. He wrapped one soft cloth around Quatre’s
thin body, finding himself more worried now that his friend was so slender, than he had been all those years ago when Quatre
had been struggling with obesity. He bit his lip to keep his silence as he draped a cloth around his own waist, then led Quatre
back into the bedchamber.
As they entered the room, Hilde returned, pushing a small cart ahead of her. She smiled at them, guiding the cart to the edge of
the bed as Heero and Quatre took a seat there. “There’s clothing for the two of you on the bottom,” she said, gesturing to the
small space at the bottom of the cart. “And a small, yet filling snack.” Giving Heero’s hair a gentle ruffle she left, biding them a
short goodbye as she stood in the doorway. “You rest now, both of you.” And then she was gone, the door closed quietly
Heero reached to the tray and removed the lid, looking at the assortment of food there. Everything was small and could easily be
eaten with their hands. He picked up one of the plates, setting it in front of Quatre, before taking the other and plucking up a
piece of cheese from it. He popped the morsel in his mouth, doing the same with a few bits of fruit. However, he stopped and
frowned when he saw that Quatre was merely sipping at a glass of water, not so much as even looking at the plate that Heero
had offered him.
“Quatre, eat something.” Heero said, laying his hand on Quatre’s bare knee. Heero didn’t find the need to cover himself more
thoroughly while in Quatre’s presence, and Quatre didn’t seem to be in any hurry to cover himself any more than he was. It
wasn’t as if they were in the nude, but then again, the thin layer of cloth was hardly very much.
Quatre looked startled, but blushed a little, his eyes glancing down at the hand on his knee. “I’m not really that hungry.” He
said quietly, turning away from Heero.
Heero’s eyebrow quirked. He didn’t believe that for an instant. “You need to keep your strength up. If you’re worried about
the food disagreeing with you, then I suggest the crackers and apple wedges. There’s also some chicken here.” He smiled
warmly as Quatre carefully picked up a piece of meat that had been torn from the bone, nibbling it briefly before taking a decent-
“I knew you were hungry.” Heero smirked.
Heero suddenly jerked his head up as someone rapped lightly on the door, before the door opened to admit Quatre’s master,
Trowa. “Who’s with . . .?” Heero began, meaning to inquire of Duo, seriously hoping that this tall youth had not left the ailing
Trowa held up a hand, easing the door closed behind himself as he strode further into the room. “I left Wufei with him. I
wanted to check on Quatre.”
Quatre eyes lit up. “Wufei is here? I remember that name from Meiran’s talk of her homeland and her woes over her lost love.
I somehow KNEW she would find him! I never mentioned it to her because I had thought it was just wishful thinking. I
wanted to see her happy.”
Trowa smiled gently and nodded. “It was nice meeting Wufei. He seems a good man. I’ve asked him not to tell Meiran that we
Heero frowned in concern, not understanding why he would do such a thing. “Why ever not, sir?” He asked, still nervous
around this man who had startled him not too long ago.
Trowa chuckled lightly. “Please, don’t call me, ‘sir’. Hilde never did unless we were in some social function. Besides, for
what you are doing for Duo, I should be the one calling you sir.” He shook his head. “I’ve sent orders that every flask, bottle,
carafe, barrel, etcetera of anything alcoholic is to be distributed or thrown away since you don’t have the authority to do so
yourself.” He let out a soft breath. “Back to the subject though. I want to surprise Meiran.” He reached out and delicately
caressed Quatre’s pale face. “At dinner tonight, I want you to serve the bread. It’s light and shouldn’t strain you too much.
Hilde will serve the rest of the meal and you can sit on the bed with Duo and Heero.”
Heero smiled a little. “I’m sure Quatre loves the idea.” He said, though ducked his head when Trowa turned his attention
toward him. He spoke more quietly then. “He always loved surprising people.”
A frown marred Trowa’s face and he looked confused. “Which brings me to my question. How do the two of you know each
Quatre answered. “He’s an old friend of mine from when I was young. His father and my father were allies, though his
homeland is far across the sea. But, it isn’t my place to tell you how he came to be here, so please do not ask.”
Trowa nodded. “I understand. Well, now that you’ve bathed and eaten a little . . .” He frowned at the scant amount that
Quatre had consumed, but said nothing of it. “Why don’t you lie down and rest until dinner?”
Heero watched as Quatre nodded and curled up on his side. No sooner did Quatre’s head hit the pillow than the young blonde
was breathing deep and even. Heero felt worry for his friend, concerned deeply by this exhaustion he was suffering, by the way
he did not eat and how thin his body was. He didn’t like this and could only hope for Quatre’s recovery.
Trowa turned to regard him and Heero blushed and looked down. He felt nervous under the attention of this man, afraid of what
could be done to him now that Quatre was not able to watch over him.
“You had better rest, too,” Trowa said, offering a trembling smile. “Lie down and I’ll get a spare pillow for your ankle.” He
turned and walked away to do just that.
Heero managed to lie down and get himself covered with the blankets before Trowa returned. He was still uncertain as to this
stranger’s motives, and he jumped a little when Trowa returned and pulled back the blanket. Trowa merely lifted his ankle a
little to place the pillow beneath it and nothing more. He watched Trowa carefully, seeing for the first time how the young man
seemed to flinch whenever he had to come into contact with Heero. His hands were cold and trembling as they lifted his foot
and set it down once more. Although Heero was still unsure of Trowa, he could now see that Trowa was just as nervous as
Heero was himself.
“Close your eyes and rest. I’ll wake the two of you when it’s almost time for dinner,” Trowa said, covering Heero’s leg with
the blanket once again. Then he made sure that Quatre was covered as well, his fingers lingering to stroke across one of Quatre’
s pale cheeks before he pulled away.
Heero yawned and nodded his thanks to the tall youth as he let his eyes drop. As sleep claimed him, he felt the gentle fall of
Quatre’s arms surrounding him, his friend snuggling close to his body.
Meiran smiled as she sat in a chair by Duo’s bed. The day was coming to an end, and with a wave of one hand she lit the
candles around the room, bringing illumination as the sun began to set. She let a smile come to her face as she saw Heero look
up at the lights. Heero looked much refreshed since she had last seen him and was now sitting beside the ill jester brushing out
his master’s long hair. She could see a glint of mischief in Duo’s eyes, and it gladdened her to see it. It didn’t even bother her
to know that he might be planning some joke at her expense. Anything was better than seeing the lost expression he’d worn
earlier in the day.
Duo shivered a little, his arms twitching yet again. “Heero? I’m cold. Would you get me a dr . . . a blanket? Please?”
Heero paused in his task and nodded as he limped over to the wardrobe. He pulled out a spare blanket and returned to the bed.
Meiran smiled gently at Duo as Heero carefully wrapped Duo in the blanket. “Although we all know what you were about to ask
for, I am proud of you for not asking for a drink.”
Heero’s voice was soft as he spoke up. “That is not the only reason to be proud of him, majesty. If you will excuse me for a
moment?” He bowed politely and limped into Duo’s study.
Meiran blinked and looked over to Duo, who was blushing a bright pink as if embarrassed, while looking thrilled at the same
time. “Oh-ho, this has to be good to put that look on your face.” She said, feeling a prickle of hope. “You’ve learned
something and you’re afraid I’m going to laugh at you.”
Heero snorted from the doorway as he approached the tired queen with a piece of parchment in his hand.
Meiran took it and then motioned toward the bed. “You shouldn’t be walking around too much on that ankle.” She didn’t know
exactly how he had harmed himself. All either Duo or Heero would say was that he had tripped in the bathing room. Still, the
injury should not be ignored and Meiran didn’t want him to further harm himself.
She turned her attention to the parchment and let her eyes roam over it. It was bereft of anything save for three letters. The
crudeness of the plain writing told her more than Duo’s blush did. “Your name . . . you’ve learned how to write your name.
Oh, Duo! I am so pleased for you. I know how frustrated you’ve been.” She smiled and read over the ‘D-U-O’ again as if the
simple name contained all the wonders of the universe, because it did. Duo had taken his first true step toward learning
everything he had ever wanted to. “How?”
Duo’s blush was gone and only the thrilled expression remained. “Heero taught me.” His eyes gentled as he regarded Heero.
“Right before he threw my flask away.”
Meiran was pleased that Duo was taking this in stride. “And you have much more to learn.” She smiled as Wufei entered and
walked to take a seat beside Meiran. “But not right now. It's time to eat.” She wondered why Wufei was looking so pleased
with himself. Then she shrugged it off. No doubt he was in on Duo’s little joke. That fact put her mind at ease. Wufei
wouldn’t go in on anything that would cause her any sort of distress.
Her attention was diverted as a small slave entered, carrying a basket of bread. Something about him nagged at her as he
approached. “I’ve never seen you here before,” she commented quietly, taking in the vision of the pale and slight blonde.
Heero spoke up from where he sat. “He hasn’t been here very long, Majesty.”
Meiran nodded and smiled at the slave as he shakily set the bread basket down on the table before her. As he backed away from
the table, he lifted his gaze and Meiran gasped as he met her eyes squarely. She knew those eyes. She looked up again as the
door opened to admit Hilde and Trowa. With a happy cry, Meiran embraced the blonde slave. “Oh, Quatre, the dearest younger
brother of my soul! You are finally here!” When she heard Duo and Wufei chuckling, she suddenly realized that they hadn’t
been planning a prank. They had been keeping this delightful secret. “When did you get here?” She pulled away from him
slightly, her hands moving to clasp his.
Trowa strode over and tenderly removed Quatre’s veil. “Just a short while ago. It’s my fault that Heero hurt himself. I startled
him when I arrived.”
The ailing queen smiled happily at Quatre. Now, for the first time, all of her brothers were around her. She met the blonde’s
eyes once more, disturbed by the trace of illness clouding those wonderful blue orbs. In that haunting gaze, she saw a flicker of
insight and knew he could sense the truth she was hiding from all those dear to her. Discreetly, she shook her head, and was
relieved when he nodded with a frown. He would keep her secret, even though he did not appear as if he wanted to.
She released her grasp of Quatre’s hands as he made to stand, only to cry out in alarm when he stumbled. Relief filled her when
Trowa caught him on one side, and Wufei on the other.
Quatre turned to Wufei and smiled for a moment before his weary voice was heard. “I have long awaited the day I would meet
you.” He allowed himself to be led to the bed to sit beside Heero and Duo.
Once Trowa made sure that Quatre was settled comfortably, he turned to Meiran and playfully frowned a little. “This is a fine
reception. I come home, only to find that all of my dearest friends have fallen ill.”
Duo chuckled softly from where he was reclining as Hilde pushed the evening meal into the room on a cart. “Yeah, we can’t
even survive a few months without you among us. You can’t go on any more of these trips. Next time you leave might kill us
Meiran grinned as Trowa walked over and bent enough to look Duo in the eye. “Just make sure it isn’t by your own fool
“Of course,” Duo replied, all amusement gone from his voice.
Meiran closed her eyes, a sudden onset of dizziness making the room spin. She took several careful breaths, willing herself to
remain calm, feeling as a strong hand settled on her shoulder. She opened her eyes, a smile easily coming to her lips as she saw
Trowa’s concerned visage before her. “Ah, my little tiger cub . . . how Nataku and I have missed you,” she sighed, laying her
own hand over Trowa’s. “You have been away too long. Perhaps now you can visit for a time.”
“Yes, I’ll stay,” Trowa responded, looking grim. “But what ails you, my Queen? You didn’t look half so weary the last time we
“I will be fine,” Meiran said, only wanting to reassure the young man, though the words she spoke were hardly true.
Trowa narrowed his eyes, perhaps disbelieving her. He said nothing however, easing his hand from her shoulder.
Meiran let out a soft breath, regarding all of the people in the room. Her family was together for the first time, with the
exception of Treize and Catherine. But she had never had all of her adopted brothers in one room. However much she wanted
to sit and enjoy it for hours longer, Meiran knew that there were things that needed to be done.
“Trowa, if you wouldn’t mind, I’d like you to stay here with Duo and Heero while I return with Quatre to the palace.” She held
up her hand to forestall any queries. “I would feel more at ease knowing that there is someone with power to oversee things.
Hilde, though no longer a slave, is not respected by the other servants and Heero would be denied even the simplest of requests,
no matter that he does it for Duo’s sake. The two of them might need the aid of a visiting Lord to keep the other servants in
Trowa nodded, giving Quatre a saddened glance. “I understand, queen Meiran,” he spoke with a gentle whisper.
Meiran felt regret for causing such sadness in Trowa. “Take heart,” she said, reaching forward to stroke her long fingers
across his cheek. “When you arrive at my palace you will find Quatre in full health or on the road to it. I will not rest until he is
brimming with life and energy once more.”
A faint curl of his lips was all the answer Meiran needed. She turned her attention to the meal that Hilde had set out for them.
“Now, let us dine.”
Mueller shivered a little as he donned his garments once more. The small area surrounding the carriage was still warm from
Alex’s spell, but he felt cold in his very soul for some odd reason that he couldn’t fathom. He’d just been loved by his master,
and he was going to be of help to the Lady Dorothy and her Queen. He had no reason to be unhappy, to feel this bad.
The carriage slowed and pulled to a stop. Alex shrugged into his jacket and turned to Mueller, shoving him a little. “Go assist
Our Lady and Queen Relena. I’ll secure a room for us at the inn.”
Mueller hopped down to do as Alex ordered. Just as he reached to open the door, it was pushed open and the young Queen
moved to exit. Mueller raised his hand, gently taking her hand in his to help her down.
The lovely young Queen smiled graciously as she took Mueller’s hand. “Thank you.”
However, Mueller’s legs weren’t all that steady, and the ground was very slippery with the snow and ice. When Mueller took a
step back to give Queen Relena room to step down, his foot slipped and he fell backwards, pulling the young Queen with him.
Before he had the time to cry for help, he crashed to the ground heavily.
As Mueller got his breath back, he heard Lady Dorothy barking insults at him, calling him a clumsy oaf. “How could you be so
careless? You are given a simple task and you nearly kill my Queen! How stupid are you?”
Mueller pushed himself up and winced when he saw that Relena had hit her head on a rock that was hidden by the snow. He
felt a chill creep up his spine that had nothing to do with the weather. “My lady, forgive me!” He cried out, gently rolling
Relena onto her back, his heart racing as blood began to seep from a cut on the young girl’s forehead. “There was a patch of
ice and I slipped!” He didn’t shrink away as Lady Dorothy raised her hand to slap him. The harsh sting was much deserved for
what he had done.
Dorothy fell to her knees beside the Queen, her fingers gently moving along the young woman’s cheek. “Relena?” she spoke.
Alex returned just as the Queen’s eyes began to flutter. She blinked repeatedly, eventually focusing her gaze on the woman
leaning above her. A look of confusion and fear passed over her features, her brow furrowing as she regarded Dorothy. “Who
. . . Who are you?”
Fury flashed in Dorothy’s eyes as she shot a glare at Mueller. Then she schooled her features and warmly smiled down at
Relena. “Don't worry, you’ll remember me soon enough,” she said with a sweet voice, continuing to stroke the young Queen’s
cheek. She murmured quickly and quietly, moving her hand to cover Relena’s eyes. When she took her hand away again,
Relena was asleep.
Dorothy rose, her eyes burning with rage as she looked at Mueller. “You fool! You’ve nearly ruined all of my hard work! I
have not spent the past five years holding these spells together just so you could break the binding on her memories with one
clumsy act!” She raised her hand and brought it harshly across his cheek again. “Alex, your slave must be punished. Strip him
of this facade of freedom you have given him . . . he does not deserve it.”
“Yes, my Lady,” Alex said with a somber voice. “Shall I carry the Queen for you?”
“No,” Dorothy snapped. “No man may touch what is mine. Bring your slave. Clean him and prepare him . . . I’ll need to
replenish my supplies once I finish rebuilding what he so carelessly destroyed.”
Mueller was shaking, terrified more than he could ever remember. “No, please . . . please, Mistress. Please grant me mercy.”
Her nails scraped across his cheek, blood beginning to bead from the wounds. “You don’t deserve my mercy, slave,” she
seethed. “I will harvest what I need from your pathetic body . . . and then you will suffer my full wrath.”
Mueller whimpered, ducking his head in fear. He felt Alex take hold of his arm and followed when he was led away. “You
should be more careful not to anger her, fool,” Alex said as they walked.
Mueller said nothing in reply. He could think of no words to convey his thoughts. He was too full of fear to bring
comprehension to his thoughts. He simply walked where he was led, trailing behind his blonde master as he was taken into the
inn. He could only hope that he would survive his punishments.
To Be Continued . . .