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

Notes:  Quatre’s tended to.  Wufei’s brought to his new home.

Strays and Misfits

Part Eighteen

Sally hummed softly to herself as she spooned a small helping of eggs onto a plate.  Quatre’s stomach wouldn’t be able to
handle too much food.  Too many years of neglect and poor nutrition had damaged his system considerably.  He was frail and
sickly.  But with the proper care - that Sally was certain Catherine and Trowa were giving to the feline - he would regain his
health in time.

She was arranging the feline’s simple meal on a tray when Catherine walked into the kitchen.  “Is he out of the bath already?”  
Sally asked, placing a glass of milk beside the plate that held eggs, toast and a few orange wedges.

Catherine sighed, a look of weariness in her eyes.  “He got dizzy and passed out.  I found him lying on the floor.”  She held up
her hand, forestalling Sally’s next inquiry.  “He seems okay, except for a bump on his head.  Trowa’s upstairs with him, taking
care of him.”

Sally nodded.  “Forgive me for prying and you can tell me to shut up and mind my own business, but what happened to your

“I don’t know all the details myself.  Trowa . . . he doesn’t like to talk about it.”  She took a breath, letting it out carefully.  “He
was out with our parents and some men approached . . . muggers.  They killed our parents for the cash and jewelry they had.  
And Trowa was . . . He was hurt badly, in a coma for so long.  He still has nightmares about it.  To hear him screaming in the
middle of the night because of what they did to him, it breaks my heart.”

“Was anyone arrested?”  Sally asked.

Catherine shook her head, a few stray tears falling from either eye.  “No, Trowa was never able to identify his attackers.”  She
wiped her tears aside, placing a false smile on her face.  “Come on then, can’t let poor Quatre go hungry.”

Sally nodded, seeing the woman’s need to escape this awkward moment.  She picked up the tray and followed after Catherine,
trailing the young woman up the stairs and to Quatre’s bedroom.  She smiled when she saw that Trowa was still sitting at the
feline’s side, tenderly bathing Quatre’s forehead with a damp cloth.

“How is he?”  Catherine asked with a gentle voice, easing over to her brother’s side and laying a hand upon his shoulder.

Trowa’s eyes were fixed on Sally however, wide and full of fear.  Sally made sure to give the boy plenty of space, circling
widely to the other side of the bed.  She set the tray down on the bedside table, moving to sit at Quatre’s side.  Trowa stood,
taking deliberate steps away from Sally.

“H-He’s s-still unconscious.”  He stammered out, trembles coursing through his tall body.

“Thank you for staying with him, Trowa.  Why don’t you go back to your room?  Sally and I can take care of Quatre.”  
Catherine offered, running her hand along his arm.

Trowa didn’t answer.  Instead, he turned and fled the room.  A few moments later, Sally heard the distinct sound of a door
abruptly closing.

Catherine sat at Quatre’s other side.  She reached out, sliding her hand along his face.  “Poor guy is exhausted.  I shouldn’t have
let him stay under the bed like that.”

Sally shook her head, even as she took a look at the injury to his head.  It didn’t look too severe.  “No, you did good.  You
showed him that you will respect his wishes and that you won’t force him to go anywhere.”  She said, then began to caress
Quatre’s arm, trying to ease him to wakefulness.  “Wake up, little one.  I have your breakfast and then you can go back to

Quatre’s eyes blinked sleepily, dazed and unfocused.  “Iria, I dun feel too good.  Can’t I just sleep a little longer?”

Sally blinked, turning a questioning glance to Catherine.  “Iria?”  She mouthed silently.

Catherine shrugged.  “That’s what he calls his stuffed rabbit.”  She said with a hushed whisper.  “But . . . I don’t think he was
referring to the toy.”

Sally nodded in agreement, then turned her attention back to Quatre.  She smiled at his dozing form, picking up an orange wedge
from the plate and waving it under his nose.  “I’m not Iria, sweetie.  I’m Sally.  I have some food for you.  Please eat a little,
then you can go back to sleep, okay?”

Quatre’s eyes focused a little, lighting up at the offer of nourishment.  “Food?” he asked tentatively, his ears perked up.  “It
smells good.”

“I’m glad you approve.”  Sally grinned, easing her arms around Quatre to help him into a sitting position on the bed.  She
reached over to the tray and moved it onto Quatre’s lap.  “Now, I want you to eat as much as you can.  But if you can’t finish it
all, you won’t be punished in any way.  I don’t want you to get sick from forcing yourself.”

Quatre nodded.  “Okay,” he whispered, looking at the meal Sally had made.  However, he didn’t move to eat.  “Umm, was
Trowa here?  Where did he go?”  He looked sad and lonely and his ears drooped a little.

Catherine touched Sally’s arm.  “Maybe . . . maybe it would be best if Trowa sat with Quatre.  Trowa seems to be comfortable
with Quatre, and Quatre seems calmest when around Trowa.”

Quatre’s ears flicked and shot up.  “You’ll bring Trowa back?”

Sally couldn’t resist that pleading expression on Quatre’s face.  To see him eager for anything . . . made her content in the belief
that he was in a good place.  “All right.  I’ll sit with you until Catherine comes back with Trowa.”  She watched as the older
sibling left the room, then turned her attention back to Quatre.  “So . . . do you think you’ll like it here?”

Quatre smiled shyly.  “I like Trowa.”  The blonde said.  “He’s so quiet and moves carefully.  I always know where he is and
where he’s going.  And he’s so lonely here all the time.  He has no one to talk to or do things with . . . except for Catherine.”  
His ears perked up and he smiled tiredly as Trowa stepped in holding a book in his trembling hands.  “Trowa!”

Sally smiled warmly and brushed her fingers through Quatre’s bangs.  His eyes were focused and although he was obviously ill,
he would be fine with the proper care.  “It’s all right, Trowa.  I’ll be leaving the room now.  Please see to it that Quatre eats
something and takes his medicine.”  She felt saddened when Trowa just nodded, but hadn’t expected much more of an answer
from the traumatized youth.  She stood and quietly left the room.  Looking behind her, she smiled when she saw that Trowa
was sitting at Quatre’s side, talking quietly to the little blonde.

“Will he be all right?”  Catherine’s concerned voice asked, breaking Sally’s focus away from the two on the bed.

“Yes, just keep taking care of him like you have been.  He needs rest, support, and most importantly kindness.  I think he’ll be
very happy here.”  Sally smiled, reaching to grasp Catherine’s upper arm in a gentle manner.  “Just be sure he doesn’t hide
under any more beds.”

Catherine smiled in return.  “Thank you for coming all the way out here.  We appreciate it.”

“It was no trouble, really,” Sally assured.  “Now, you two take care of him.  I’ll see myself out.”  She smiled and with a nod of
her head departed the house, confident in the abilities of Trowa and Catherine to see to Quatre’s care.


Trowa smiled as he fed Quatre another orange wedge.  “How are you feeling?”  He asked, hoping the feline wasn’t too ill.

Quatre chewed thoroughly and swallowed before answering.  “Tired, but not as dizzy,” he replied, accepting it as Trowa lifted
the last fork full of eggs to his mouth.

“That’s good.”  Trowa nodded, helping Quatre to sip at his glass of milk.  He glanced down at the book he had brought in with
him, biting his lip nervously.  “Umm, d-do you want . . . I mean . . . w-would you like me to read to you?” he asked, setting the
glass down.  “I . . . Whenever I was sick my m-mother would read this to me.  I thought maybe you would like it.”  He
shrugged, finding that the blankets had suddenly become quite interesting.

A gentle, bandaged hand touched Trowa’s knee, yet he didn’t flinch away from the contact.  He merely raised his gaze, looking
into a pair of shimmering aqua eyes.

“Y-Yes, please.”  Quatre said, a ghost of a smile gracing his face.  “I would like that.”

Trowa smiled, nodding his head.  He picked up the book, a much-loved favorite of his and opened to the first page, his smile
remaining as he began to read.  “Chapter One.  The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived alone.  She was very old, though
she did not know it, and she was no longer the careless color of sea foam, but rather the color of snow falling on a moonlit
night.  But her eyes were still clear and unwearied, and she still moved like a shadow on the sea.”

Quatre sat there listening to each and every word, his ears twitching now and again.  He looked mesmerized by Trowa’s voice,
taken with everything he said.  Whenever Trowa came to a picture in the book, he would show it to Quatre, delighting in the
smile that brightened the little blonde’s face.  Then he would continue reading, feeling at ease.

When he came to the end of the first chapter, Trowa noticed that Quatre was falling asleep again.  He knew that Quatre wouldn’
t be able to stay awake for much longer, so he decided that maybe they should continue this another time.  “It took them the rest
of the night to pull down the ninth cage, bars and floor and roof and then to put it back together around the sleeping unicorn.  
Rukh was tugging at the door to make sure that it was securely locked, when the gray trees in the east boiled over and the
unicorn opened her eyes.”  Trowa said, using one hand to pick up the forgotten tray and set it to the side.  “The two men
slipped hurriedly away, but the tall magician looked back in time to see the unicorn rise to her feet and stare at the iron bars, her
low head swaying like the head of an old white horse.”

With that, Trowa closed the book and rose from the bed.  He leaned forward and gently eased Quatre to lie down.  When Quatre’
s eyes flickered open, Trowa smiled at him, covering him snugly with the blankets.

“What happens next?”  Quatre wearily asked with a childlike innocence, a pout to his lips as he fought to remain awake.  “Does
the unicorn get away?”

Trowa chuckled, setting the book on the table beside Quatre’s bed.  “I’ll read more to you later, I promise.”  He replied.  “Right
now I think you need to get some rest.”

“Okay.”  Quatre murmured, his eyes slipping shut once more.  Then he was silent, his chest rising and falling with each peaceful
breath as he slumbered.

Trowa found himself smiling again as he watched Quatre, hoping for the feline’s health.  He didn’t want Quatre to leave.  After
less than a day of knowing him, Trowa couldn’t imagine what it would be like without him.  He liked Quatre, enjoyed having
someone near who wasn’t his sister or Heero, or even his tutor.  To have company - and to enjoy that company - Trowa didn’t
want to lose that.

He sighed as he picked up the tray and turned to leave the room.  A blush spread across his face as he saw Catherine standing in
the doorway, a sweet smile on her lips.  “That was very kind of you, Trowa.”  She remarked.

“Yes, well, he likes books.  He told me so,” he said, not knowing what else to say.  “I thought he’d enjoy it.”

Catherine nodded.  “I’m sure he did.”  She moved into the room, settling her hand on his arm.  “Why don’t you go on down to
the kitchen and get yourself something to eat?  I’ll stay up here and keep an eye on Quatre.  I think someone should stay with
the poor dear, just in case he wakes up.  I don’t want him getting frightened or trying to get out of bed.”

“Okay, Cathy.”  Trowa smirked.

“Oh, and Hilde’s coming over, so don’t go hiding if the doorbell rings,” Catherine said.

Trowa nodded.  “I’ll let her in,” he stated.  He knew Hilde.  She came often enough that Trowa was used to her presence, so he
didn’t fear her as he did most others.  She was one of Catherine’s friends, a coworker, and she was kinda fun.

Taking one last glance back at Quatre, Trowa left the room.  He wondered how long it would be until Quatre would be healthy.  
He hoped it wouldn’t be too long.  He wanted to spend more time with the little blonde, to watch him when he wasn’t swathed
in bandages or covered in wounds.  He wanted to see Quatre happy.


Wufei blinked in awe as he stared up at the house they were pulling up to.  This couldn’t possibly be where he was going to live
and work.  No, this was too large to be a single family dwelling.  Maybe Treize shared it with other people.

Treize turned off the car, taking the keys from the ignition.  He turned to Wufei.  “Is something wrong?”

Wufei glanced at the dwelling and then back at Treize.  “Will, will the other families here accept me?” he asked, twisting his
hands together nervously.  “They won’t mind that another feline companion has been brought in, will they?”

Treize blinked, his brow furrowing.  “Other . . . OH!”  The russet-haired man laughed softly, shaking his head.  “Wufei, this
estate has been in my family for generations.  The few staff we’ve had over the years have their own rooms, but this isn’t really
their home.”  He motioned for Wufei to get out of the car.  “Come on, I’m sure you’re anxious to meet the reason you’re here.”

Wufei had to admit that he was curious, not to mention frightened by the prospect of meeting the one he would be helping to
care for.  He got out of the car, following behind Treize as they headed into the house.  He tried not to look too nervous as he
stepped into the home, trying not to touch anything for fear of breaking some precious family heirloom.  He didn’t know how
Treize would respond if he should break something, didn’t know what punishments awaited him should he do anything wrong.

He raised his head and took a breath, scenting the air.  He was pleased to find that there was nothing that offended his senses.  
Although, he was curious about the fact that he could smell another feline in this house.  He did remember Treize telling him of
the other feline here, but now he wondered just why he had been purchased.

“Ummm . . .”  He frowned, his ears falling back against his head.

Treize turned and looked at Wufei.  “Is something troubling you?”

Wufei frowned deeper, biting his lip in worry.  “You have another feline in the house.  What need do you have for me?”

Treize motioned for Wufei to walk beside him.  “Une is a nanny and tutor for my daughter.  She has other things to do than take
care of Zechs.  Besides, Zechs is the kind of man that dislikes showing a woman that he needs help.  When his own sister came
to help out, he locked her out of the bedroom.”

Wufei nodded, understanding.  “Any strong man would resist the idea.  Another male helping and it’s just a helping hand.  A
female helping, and it’s pity.”  He smirked.  “When I was a child, I caught a cold and I hated it when the females would fuss
over me.”

Treize nodded in agreement.  “Exactly.  Zechs is a little more snappish with Une when she tries to help him.  He always regrets it
later.”  He turned, a smile alighting on his face.  “Ah!  Une, we were just discussing you.”

The female feline was quite attractive and Wufei found his gaze raking over her form immediately.  She was wearing the tag of a
free feline.  It meant that she could go where she pleased when she pleased.  Wufei envied her in a way.

Wufei’s eyes settled on her mid-section.  This female was expecting a kit.  He frowned in confusion and looked to Treize.  
Where was the kitten’s father?  At the school, they had never separated a feline from his or her mate.  Especially not when one
of them was expecting.  But Wufei knew that there were no other felines in this estate, and no male felines had been here
recently.  The air only smelled of Une, of Treize and another human male, and a female child.

Treize walked over to Une and smiled as he placed his hand on her abdomen.  “How is our little one today?  Has it kicked?”

Wufei’s eyes widened, and then narrowed as he flattened his ears against his head.  This feline was bearing a half-breed.  It
explained much.

Treize seemed to notice Wufei’s distress and took a step away from Une, his hand falling away from her distended stomach.  
“Wufei?  What’s wrong?”

Wufei growled deep in his throat as he glared at Une.  “A human and a feline should not breed.  It’s wrong and unnatural,” he
spat, his tail lashing through the air behind him.

Treize seemed surprised at this mind set.  “What?  Who told you that?”

Wufei turned his attention to Treize.  “Ever since I was a kit, I have been taught this.  The camp forbid such things.  Half-breed
spawn were always disposed of before birth.  And the school . . . one time, a female forgot the teachings and bred with an
instructor.  The officials running the school found out and the female was taken away.  Three days later, the instructor was

Une frowned, moving her hands over her stomach in a protective manner.  “Wait, you mean to say that if two students had
bred, it would have been acceptable?”

Wufei snorted.  “Of course.  They would have been given a separate apartment on the school grounds so they could raise the kit
themselves until it was old enough to be taught.”

Treize sighed, shaking his head.  “I can understand why they taught you like that, Wufei.  They didn’t want the teachers taking
advantage of the students.  But both Une and I were consenting adults and I love her very deeply.  I’m just not IN love with
her.  We are just really good friends now.”

Wufei calmed a little, slowing the movement of his tail.  He did not like this.  And he knew that it would be a long time before he
accepted this female now.  She was impure.  It was disturbing.  But, Wufei would have to work here.  And Une was a free
feline.  She outranked him in this household.  He would have to get used to her presence, no matter how distasteful he found this

As he took a number of calming breaths, someone else entered the room.  All the efforts Wufei had made to calm himself were
thrown aside as he yelped and jumped back, crouching low to the ground and baring his fangs with a fierce hiss.

The blonde man who had just entered the room threw his hands up in the air, groaning.  Wufei had to assume that he was
Zechs.  “Oh great, you got me a feline companion that hates me!”  He exclaimed.  “What a lovely surprise!”

Treize frowned, moving toward Wufei out of obvious concern.  “Wufei?  What’s wrong?”

Wufei growled, staying low to the ground.  “I’ll be fine so long as you keep that horrible contraption away from me!”

“What?”  Zechs asked, then looked down.  “My wheelchair?  What’s wrong with my wheelchair?  I know it’s an eyesore and I
can’t stand it myself . . .”

Wufei shook his head, bracing one hand against the floor.  “They’re evil things that seem to seek out the tails of unsuspecting

“Oh my, your tail got run over by a wheelchair?”  Une spoke, easing forward.

Wufei avoided the pregnant feline, moving around in the living room to distance himself from Zechs, several pieces of furniture
between them.  “More than once when I was a child.  I have since avoided them.”

Shaking his head, Treize moved forward.  He smiled, cautiously grasping Wufei’s arm as he stepped over to him.  “I’m sorry to
hear about your previous trauma.  However, if you are going to be of help, you’re going to need to stand closer than ten feet
away from Zechs.”

Wufei ducked his head.  “Forgive me, I had forgotten my place.”  He spoke with a cool monotone.  He was being disobedient.  
Such a thing was unseemly.  He was merely a servant in this house, nothing more.  “What is it you wish me to do?”

“Well, I am going to show you to your room and you are going to get settled in,” Treize said.  “I don’t expect you to do
anything more than get accustomed to your surroundings.  When you’re ready, the four of us will have lunch.  I know the
perfect place.”

Wufei looked up at the russet-haired man and blinked.  “You’ll take me to a restaurant?”  He asked, confused by this man.  Why
was he treating Wufei like an equal?  Wufei didn’t understand.

Treize chuckled.  “Of course.  And afterward, we can go pick up my daughter from school.  I’m certain she’ll be thrilled to
meet you.”

Wufei gave a sharp nod.  “If that is what you want,” he said.  He swiftly moved away from Treize, gathering his only bag
before Treize could say anything more.  He didn’t want to get into any trouble.  He simply wanted to do the job he had been
purchased for, nothing more than that.  So he would behave himself and do as Treize instructed.

To Be Continued . . .

Author’s notes:  In case you haven’t figured it out already.  The story that Trowa was reading to Quatre is “The Last Unicorn”  
by Peter S. Beagle.  A wonderful book in my opinion.