By Roo
Warnings: Alternate Universe. Angst, sap and lemon

The Prize + Part 3

If Treize Krushrenada had so much as brushed up against Wufei in the night, not a single sign of evidence traced his handsome face or steady, measuring gaze.

"Good morning, my dragon."

"Treize." Wufei looked over at the little pewter alarm clock on the nightstand. "This is not morning. This is the ungodly hour of five a.m."

Treize laughed deep in the back of his throat. "Ah yes, little one. But to the general of all OZ, it is very much time to wake up."

"Why? You planning on starting another war?" came the sleepy quip.

"Not if I can help it," returned the cold reply.

Wufei's eyes blinked, and suddenly he felt very cold and very awake.

"Surely you do not mean -- "

"No, no! My, you are quite the pessimist! I merely meant that should OZ fight another war, it will not be my doing."

Wufei sighed and relaxed back into the warm silk sheets. "What am I to do today?" he said a little sheepishly.

Treize pulled his robe from the end of the bed with a sigh. Damn it felt cold. "Your profile stated that before the war you were a scholar, is that not true?"

Wufei started. "Um, yeah, sort of... "

"Well then you should be right at home here. I have pulled various books from my library, which I think you would enjoy. You will have tutors in the arts, math and sciences, and I wish to teach you Latin and Greek myself."

Wufei blinked rapidly. What the hell had they put in his shrimp stir-fry? "You want to teach me Latin?"

"And Greek."

"And Greek."

"Should I take to calling you my parrot, my dragon?"

"I am not learning latin! "

"Why ever not? It's a very useful language... "

"Because I'm not fucking learning Latin!"

Treize smiled in such a way that made Wufei positively shiver.

"You will learn Latin, Wufei. And Greek."

"Or else what?"

Treize blinked. "There is no what else. It simply will be done."

Wufei sat up. "What the hell is this about, Kushrenada?"

"Treize please," the General corrected.

"Treize- whatever. Look, what are you up to already? I give up. You claim me as a war prize but give me a beautiful bedroom as a cell, you don't guard me but give me a dog collar, you sleep in the same bed with me but don't touch me. and now you want me to learn the classics? Doesn't that sound a little fucked up to you?"

Treize winced. "We are going to have to do something about your expletives, dragon -- "

"Don't you do that! Don't you take away my right to say whatever I want! I can think what I want and if you even try to subvert me -- "

"You are right," Treize said gently, as he laid a hand on Wufei's knee. It shocked the boy into silence. "You are right. I have no right to control your mind, Wufei, I simply ask that you try to be more courteous when someone is trying to be courteous with you."

"Oh." Had been all Wufei could think to say.

Treize took his opportunity. "Dragon, there are only two rules you have to remember while you live here. One: you must never try to escape. Ever. I can promise full retribution if you do so. Two: you are mine and no one else's. All that I require is your presence, beside me, in quiet moments, when I am not being the General of all OZ... your presence alone is enough to... it is enough."

"... Why?"

"Why is not something you need to know right now, dragon. Perhaps when you are ready, I will teach you why. Until then, it will be Latin. And Greek." Treize smiled evilly. "And French."

Wufei groaned and buried his face in the pillow.

"I will return in the evening -- "

"Where are you going?" Wufei couldn't hide the shiver in his voice.

"Why, to work, my dragon. OZ doesn't run itself."

"What will I... "

"You are free to roam the halls, just wear your necklace, dragon, and all will know who you are and who you belong to."

That last part made Wufei shiver terribly. Treize noticed the blush across the boy's cheeks. "I bid you enjoy your day, dragon."

+

Wufei had been all over the building, soundlessly, as his training had ingrained in him. Except for guards that stared out into the space right in front of them, the building had been fairly deserted. Stupid guards. Maybe if they actually looked at what went on around them, they wouldn't have been so easy to kill during the war... Then again, he felt bloody grateful they were easy to kill during the war, so what the hell did he care?

Wufei realized that this building had been as huge as a palace, with several wings and corridors leading in a labyrinth of twist and turns. He discovered a magnanimus ballroom, with a grand piano in the corner. Wufei walked over to it shyly. The room had no lights on, but he could still make out the keys. He sat down and brushed the dust off the lid. Tentatively, he began to play a lull-a-bye taught to him as a child. He had loved music before the war... but had no time to keep up with his hobby. Soon after piloting Nataku he forgot how to read sheet music. Then again, he played the tenko drums, and one didn't need to read music to find a beat.

"That is lovely, Chang san. Oh! Forgive me for startling you. I didn't mean to make you stop."

Wufei's thoughts were interrupted by the sudden appearance of a strange blonde man he had never seen before. He jumped up to his feet and tried to find his best soldier's voice, but he didn't dare speak for fear he would squeak. This had been the first person he'd talked to besides Treize and he didn't know quite what to expect.

"That was a lovely song you played just now. What was it called?"

"I don't remember. My grandmother, she played. She used to sing it to me... " Gods I must sound like an idiot...

"Saa, the women in my family always excelled at music, too."

"Hn."

"But forgive me, we have not been properly introduced, and I fear you do not remember me..."

" ... "

"You may call me Milliardo Peacecraft."

"Peacecraft?!?"

"Yes. Formerly Zechs Marquise."

"Ze -- Zec -- "

"Zechs Marquise," the man finished for him. "I have returned to OZ for the peace talks. It seems the good General has outdone himself."

"Indeed." Wufei behaved coldly. The Lightning Count just stood there in front of him, making polite conversation, pretending that it wasn't odd to be back at OZ, pretending that he didn't want Treize Kushrenada dead only a few weeks ago, pretending that Wufei never suffered the humiliation of becoming Treize's rare pet.

"Do politicians always say such pointless drivel?" Wufei caught himself.

Zechs looked like he might cry.

"I'm sorry.."

The man burst out laughing. "No, you're honest, and I like that about you Wufei. You should keep Treize on his toes for sure!" The blonde man looked down at the piano, suddenly solemn. "He's not a bad man Wufei. He's just... "

Wufei looked down at the piano. "I know. There are no words to describe him."

"While I am here, shall we play a duet sometime?"

"I have forgotten how to read music... "

"Oh dear! That simply will not do! Let's see... Are... Are you allowed to move about freely?"

"Yes, so long as I wear this." Wufei motioned to the silver open-ended necklace.

Zechs eyes narrowed only slightly. "I see. Then perhaps after dinner, you and I could practice a little? It's been a while since I've played... "

Wufei considered it. "I would like that, Zechs. Provided my master allows it." The word had been chewed on and spit out at Zechs.

Zechs let himself smile as he realized it was only a matter of time. Check mate, Treize. "I think we can persuade him."

+

Wufei had sat in a most uncomfortable silence throughout the course of the meal. He didn't know anyone there save Treize and Zechs and both men were so engrossed in discussing politics that they barely noticed the boy. Or at least, that's what Treize would have him believe. He stole glances at Wufei, carefully cutting his meat, delicately sipping his wine, and the light blush that rose because of the smooth liquid.

He watched Wufei lift his food to his mouth with extreme hesitancy. It seemed only natural that he felt nervous. Everyone else in the room had been starring at him like he had been the latest addition to a bizarre circus show.

"Is it not to your liking, our German cuisine?" a snide little lobbyist asked the slender Chinese pilot.

"No sir, it is simply that I am not used to eating so much meat," Wufei replied, his voice dripping with insincere honey.

That's right little dragon, you're learning how to deal with them, thought Treize.

"Is that so? I thought a soldier would enjoy eating meat quite often... "

"I do not eat flesh much anymore, sir. Out of respect for the animal... And... I am not a soldier anymore..." Wufei looked down into his wineglass the entire time he spoke, the last part barely audible. Treize had heard every syllable, however.

The fink seemed satisfied with that and turned back to his left to engage another idiot in conversation. Wufei looked up at Treize, and Treize found he could not unlock his eyes from the boy. There resided such sadness there. It made his chest ache.

"May I play the piano with Zechs after dinner, Master?" Wufei whispered to him, and it took Treize a moment to register that the words had been spoken to him, rather than merely thought to him.

"Yes, Wufei. It would please me very much to listen."

Zechs found himself smiling again. Not long now at all.

+

After about a half-hour of reviewing sheet music with Wufei, Zechs decided to test how much the boy had soaked in. He chose Ave Maria by Bach and sat down beside Wufei, taking the lower part of the piano for himself.

Wufei narrowed his eyes and his eyebrows nearly touched in strain. This had been a very hard piece for someone who hadn't touched a piano in over two years. And Treize sat there in a big chair only a few feet away. That did not help much. But the determination to impress this man rose from absolutely no where, and Wufei found himself playing with all his might. He stayed calm, and confident, and even though he didn't get everything right, there were no glaring omissions. Zechs sat by his side, holding down certain chords, turning the pages for him, guiding him into the right tempo. He couldn't read the words, but he hummed along, surprising himself that he could hit even the high notes. Apparently his voice hadn't changed all that much with puberty. A depressing thought.

Wufei blinked as they came to the end of the song.

Zechs smiled at him softly. "Very well done, Master Chang," he whispered.

"Thank you." He looked back at Treize, unwilling, yet searching for praise.

Treize said nothing. He didn't want to spoil the moment. At that point in time, his little dragon looked like an angel, so unsure, yet so very placid and open. And the song had a trance like quality to it. He had been mesmerized.

Wufei noticed the sparkle in his eyes, and turned his face away, to hide his blush. Whatever did they put in the food around here? That must be why he felt so out of it.

Zechs cleared his throat to ease the tension. "Forgive me, General. I fear it has been a very long journey and I find myself in need of rest. I will bid you goodnight." Zechs bowed to Treize and to Wufei, who merely nodded in a daze, feeling slightly weightless, and unsteady.

"An excellent idea, Zechs. I think we shall follow your example. Come Wufei."

Wufei rose from the seat and closed the cover to the piano keys, focusing on the small chime that his actions made. It all felt like a dream. He followed Treize to their bedroom and didn't even think to protest when Treize began to help him out of his dinner jacket. However, when Treize's fingers scraped over his right nipple Wufei snapped back into the here and now, turning sharply and undressing himself.

"I would like you to wear this tonight, dragon," Treize said, as he held up a pair of green silk pajamas from the highboy. "I shudder to think of you sleeping in your clothes every night."

"I haven't any others," the boy said simply.

"Nothing else? You brought nothing else with you?"

"They didn't give me anything else."

"Why not?"

Wufei looked at Treize as if he just fell off the stupid truck. "They didn't expect me to live long enough to need another outfit," he said dryly.

Treize gave a wry grin, as he stepped up to Wufei and whispered, "We sure fooled them, didn't we?" tossing the p.j.s onto Wufei's chest.

"Ahh... ah." The dumbfounded reply lost as Treize stepped back.

"What do you think of my palace, Wufei? Does it meet with your approval?"

"Well enough," Wufei said, regaling, which only made Treize grin even harder -- the opposite he hoped for. Suddenly Wufei became seized by fear. "May I go outside?"

Treize frowned. "On the grounds, you mean?"

"Yes, outside, under the sky." Wufei gesticulated with his hands to indicate the stratosphere.

"You may go in the gardens away from my presence. No where beyond that, without me. Understood?" Treize frowned.

"Yes, Treize."

Treize's frown melted. The boy responded to him without fear, but still obeyed his wishes. This seemed a remarkably good thing.

"Very well then, dragon. You may go outside tomorrow if you wish." He thought he saw a glimmer of happiness in his dragon's eyes before they were averted. "But you must come back in by four."

"Why?"

"Latin lessons."

Wufei groaned, but nodded. "Is Latin one of the first languages you learned?"

"Hai."

They lay down.

"Did you learn it in school?"

"Hai."

"Did you like it?"

"Iie."

"Then why are you making me take it?"

"Everything I make you do is for your own benefit, dragon."

"I doubt that, Treize. Where did you go to school?"

"I had home schooling until I went to the Academy."

"Did you like your sensei?"

"Hai. Very much."

Wufei yawned. "Was he very hard?"

"Hai."

"Are you going to be very hard?"

Treize opted not to take up the double meaning in that one and simply replied, "You can count on it."

"Good. I like a challenge."

"I know that, dragon."

"Why do you call me that?"

"Are you not of the dragon clan, Chang Wufei?"

"Ah. How did you know?"

"I know everything there is on record about you Wufei. I know about your colony... your family... your wife... "

"You had no right... "

"Yes well chalk it up to me being a bastard and then get some sleep."

"Treize?" Wufei yawned again.

"Yes, dragon?"

"You are a bastard."

"Thank you, dragon."

Wufei fell asleep, his head unknowingly resting on Treize's arm, his soft breath falling upon Treize's neck and chest. Treize breathed in deep. His little one slept so close to him. So beautiful. But he must not reach out and touch. No. Wufei must come to him or not at all. All of this would be for nothing, if he didn't let the boy decide. Treize snuggled closer to the little body and closed his eyes for the night.

+

[cont]