Lost Soldiers series #3 (cont)
[back] [part 4] [back
to Kracken's fic]
"Sir, there's a young man at the front entrance who is asking for you,"
the cultured voice of the servant said with some trepidation from the
"One of Relena's servants? I‘m not in any mood to see her tonight," Zechs
growled as he downed a glass of wine with a few gulps and then put the
glass down on a side table a little too hard. He glared at the fireplace,
lounging in a comfortable, blue cotton shirt and white cotton pants. He
white hair was a loose fall over his shoulders and his bangs were disordered
and hanging over his intense blue eyes. He had just sent another young
man on his way after a dissatisfying evening of insipid talk and even
more insipid sex. Zechs was poised to go out on the town and find another
diversion, one who had more of a chance of distracting him from the darkness
with in himself.
"Sir...,' the voice stopped and then decided to rethink his rash decision
to interrupt Zechs. "I'll call for the police sir. I'm sorry to bother
you. He's obviously some demented street person..."
Zechs sat up straight in his chair, senses becoming alert. "Wait! Describe
"Well, sir...," the voice struggled to find a concise description. "He
is wearing shorts, sir, even in this ghastly weather, and loafers instead
of proper shoes. He is blue with cold and he doesn't look well, sir. He
has... well sir, he has hair at least five feet long and it's tangled
and wet. I am reluctant to send him back outside for fear that he will
expire in under a minute. He looks that bad off, sir. I'm sure the proper
authorities will take him under their care and make certain-"
"You're a good man, to care about such an individual," Zechs replied smoothly,
"We should show a little charity. Have my personal physician call here
at once and have him be prepared to treat someone with borderline starvation,
severe contusions, broken bones possibly, and perhaps hypothermia. I will
be down to see him shortly."
The man seemed relieved and pleased. "Very good sir. Thank you sir. He
looks like such a young child..."
Zechs cut him off. He didn't want that image in his head, of a helpless,
child Duo. He wanted luscious, ready to be taken advantage of, Gundam
pilot, Duo instead. He tried to conjure that image and hold onto it as
he made his way downstairs and found several servants standing around
Duo solicitously. Duo was seated on a chair, hair loose and soaking wet
all around him, purple eyes strained and nervous. He was only wearing
shorts and a thin shirt. Someone had draped towels over him, but he was
still shivering. He did look like a child and Zechs found himself reacting
to him that way despite his best efforts not to.
"Duo Maxwell," Zechs greeted smoothly.
"Zechs," Duo chattered back. His arms were gripping himself tightly. Those
arms were thin, the elbows knobby. Zechs saw bruises, dark and fresh,
on his wrists and upper, bare arms. Something had definitely happened
"It's a terrible night to be out in, especially so poorly dressed. " Zechs
said, leaving it up to Duo how much to reveal and curious to see if he
would reveal anything at all.
"I-I thought," Duo tried to stop his teeth from chattering. "Maybe, we
could talk awhile, you know, about old times. It seemed a good night for
Was he that desperate for a place out of the cold and wet? What had happened
with Quatre or any of the other Gundam pilots? Why didn't he go to them?
It reinforced the impression that Duo was a child, a child who couldn't
think how to take care of himself and needed others to take care of him.
Zechs reminded himself sharply that Duo was a child of L2. He had cut
his teeth on thievery and survival. If he was acting the innocent, hoping
for pity, it was deliberate and calculated. Zechs hardened his heart and
chuckled to himself as he began to play the game again, his need for a
diversion satisfied, at least for the night.
"I'm too tired for conversation," Zechs replied. "Why don't you stay in
one of the guest rooms and we'll meet for breakfast when we're both rested?"
Duo considered, a deliberate, face saving pause. Zechs wasn't fooled.
Duo's entire body had reacted with relief at Zechs words. He was desperate.
Zechs could see that clearly. "I suppose I could do that," Duo said with
a shaky smile. "I'm kind of tired too. Thanks for the hospitality, Zechs."
"Think nothing of it," Zechs replied and then gave orders to his staff.
They hustled Duo up the stairs to a guest room, clucking and trying to
get him to agree to dinner, robes, slippers, and a hot bath. Duo walked
slow, not able to hide a limp, and Zechs could tell that he was at the
end of his strength, still, he paused and considered each offer from the
servants as if he might refuse. He didn't, though, not to any of it.
Zechs waited for the doctor. When the man arrived, he gave him a terse
explanation without revealing his patient's name. The doctor nodded gravely
as they walked to Duo's room, saying, "Abuse? That's a nasty business.
Repeated? I'll leave you the number of a good psychologist. The boy will
need help. It is often hard for an abused individual to stop the urge
to return and try to make things better. They often end up blaming themselves
for the abuse and they believe that trying harder to be a better person,
or to do what their abuser wants, will stop the cycle. He will need counseling
to understand that this isn't so."
They knocked and entered Duo's room. The servants were still in the room
and in a panic. Zechs breasted through them with the doctor and saw why
they were so upset. Duo had collapsed onto the bed, unconscious, pale,
and breathing raggedly.
"Damn!" the doctor exclaimed and began opening up the large case he had
carried up with him. He jerked Duo's clothes off of him and examined him
quickly and thou roughly, keeping his body between Duo and Zechs and the
servants. "Exposure, malnutrition, contusions, slight concussion, hair
line fractures, dehydration... this boy needs a hospital, sir."
Zechs shook his head. Duo wasn't going to escape him again. "You were
told to bring all necessary supplies with you. Whatever you require, I
will have someone acquire. This is a private matter."
The doctor gaped. "But..."
"Your credentials are impeccable," Zechs snapped, using his best military
voice. "You are quite capable of treating him."
"Yes, but..," the doctor sighed, well used to aristocratic quirks. He
as already making assumptions about the long haired boy and his relationship
with Zechs. He could understand Zechs not wanting any scandal. "As you
wish, sir. If you would clear the room, I will set up my equipment and
Zechs leaned a little to look past the doctor. He drank in the sight of
Duo's slim body. Despite being thin and damaged, he was absolutely lovely.
Wiry, yet smooth and well defined, a dusting of hair here and there, but
still boyishly free of it. He was a man where manhood counted most, Zechs
noticed, and felt a stirring in his own manhood when he saw that. Yes,
Duo was worth the trouble, he thought, and more. He nodded to the doctor
as he turned to leave, half an acknowledgement and half a threat to do
his very best with Duo. Once Duo was well again, Zechs thought with an
anticipatory air, the scales of debt would be tipped so heavily In Zechs
favor, that claiming him completely wasn't going to be any trouble at
all. The field was his, Zechs thought, and so too the prize.