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

The Prize + Part 5

Zechs expected Treize to pace the infirmary waiting room and bark commands at all the orderlies there. He expected the General to rant about Une and maybe even knock something over on Wufei's behalf. He never expected Treize to react the way he did.

Treize sat in an ugly little pink chair and stared into the space in front of him. He had not blinked, twitched or shifted in way too long. His eyes were hollow. His mouth formed one single thin line. Zechs sensed that this calmness had not been a defense mechanism, but rather, a far more serious descent into depression and madness. He repeatedly attempted to draw Treize out of his stupor, but even if he smacked the man across the face, he knew there'd be no getting through. He'd never seen Treize like this and it scared him. It created a sense of desperation in Zechs, for Treize had always held it together, had always had a plan. If Treize's plans were defeated, then he took it in a good-natured stride. Treize never retreated to silence and apathy.

Zechs paced the room, got himself a cup of water, took a sip, threw it out, picked up a magazine, leafed through it, hurled it at the wall, rubbed his eyes, looked over at Treize and sighed. He hated feeling so helpless. Poor Wufei. To have so much shit go down in your life, before the age of sixteen, and to never once complain about it. Zechs had come to respect the boy deeply. He understood why Treize had loved him: he had always been intelligent, exotic, honorable, and tried so hard to hide his pain, that a new adjective made the list -- he had been valiant. Just like Treize. He understood where the two fit, and so rather than become jealous of the attention his former lover showered on the boy, he began to encourage it. But now what would happen to that love? Would the boy ever forgive him? Could Treize ever forgive himself? Zechs looked over at Treize; thinking it not bloody likely.

One of the doctors bustled through the operating room doors and walked up to Treize. The light returned to Treize's eyes and he stood at attention. Treize unconsciously reached out and tenderly stroked the blood splattered on the man's apron and scrubs.

"How is he doctor?"

"It's still too early to say, sir. The implant was rooted very deeply, and I don't believe the device was working properly... I've never seen an implant before sir, but this one appears to have... broken -- or rather leaked. The substance could have been the cause for the boy's fainting and odd behavior -- as you said."

"But you got it out?"

"Yes sir, but... well -- "

"Out with it damn it!"

"It was a messy business sir. We tried not to tare the tricep but there will be some damage. Also... he's lost a lot of blood. We've been streaming more into him, of course, but if I could have his file, I could give him his blood type match instead of O."

"His blood is A positive, like mine. Take mine."

"Sir, we have blood in the banks -- "

"That was not a request, doctor."

"Yes, sir... though I should warn you he'll probably need more than you can donate, and we'll have to screen yours of course -- " the orderly looked nervous, as if he just insulted the General.

"Naturally. Just do this as quickly as you can."

"If you'll follow me."

Zechs accompanied Treize into a small room where a petite nurse began swabbing Treize's elbow with alcohol.

"Doctor?" Zechs asked. "I have some questions of my own."

"Yes, Mr. Marquise... I mean... Mr. Peacecraft?"

"Is the other doctor the only one operating on Mr. Chang at this time?"

"Oh no, sir. We have a whole team of five doctors attending to the General's pet."

At the word pet Treize winced, just at the nurse stuck the needle in.

"There, there, sir. I didn't think you were afraid of needles!" The nurse giggled.

"And at this time," Zechs continued, "what can you say of his condition?"

"Frankly sir, not much. The implant is being tested. We suspect a heavy depressant was used, to periodically release when the digital timer inside the device went off. Different people's immune systems respond in various ways under certain stimuli. It's unclear whether Wufei was ill because his body rejected the substance, or whether the implant broke and gave him an overdose of the depressant. It's also unclear how Wufei's nervous system and by extension, his immune system, will react to the sudden lack of the substance's presence." The doctor smiled, apparently pleased with himself that he could get all that out in one breath.

"Do you mean that he could die?" came Treize's very cold voice.

The doctor looked at Treize. "It is very possible that his body will react negatively and just shut down. But, I don't think that will happen sir."

"Why not?" Treize asked.

"Doctor Klineta!" The physician pushed his chair back with his legs and then ran with a nurse back into the operating room. Treize got up to follow him and nearly ripped the tube out of his arm, much to the nurse's disgust.

"Treize...." Zechs began.

"If he dies, Milliardo...."

Zechs looked closely at Treize.

"I go with him."

Zechs closed his eye, shocked, and he fell back down in his chair.

+

Half an hour later, Treize's blood made its way into the operating room as a female doctor came out and squatted on the waiting room floor, stretching her leg muscles and lighting a cigarette.

She smiled at the two tired, haggard men, still in their tuxedos. "He's doing really well. We're pumping the blood into him now. Then we'll sew him back up and see what a few days of rest will do."

Treize searched her face for sincerity, "You mean, he's going to be all right?"

"Yeah. It was scary for a moment there; we lost his heart rate. But Dr. Klineta started banging on his chest cavity, and once it started again, it came back much stronger. Fascinating... ne?" She took a long drag on her cigarette and Zechs notice her eyes get big with surprise.

He followed her line of vision over to Treize's eyes, which were spilling tear after tear. "Treize?"

"Milliardo!" he joyfully croaked, before he pulled Zechs into a crushing hug and sobbed onto his shoulder.

"Oh, dear friend." Zechs sighed, his own eyes stinging with tears. "I've never seen you cry, in all our years together!!"

"I'm sorry." Treize quickly began to piece himself back together, but Zechs' hands caught on either side of his face and stopped him.

"Don't be. I'm very glad -- that you can. Cry, I mean. That you can care.... Love...."

Treize frowned. "...I loved you, too, Milliardo..."

Zechs stood frozen to the floor. Treize pulled him into an embrace, and whispered in his ear, "And I cried the day you left me, the day we became enemies... I was so afraid that you would die at my hands..."

"Treize! What are you saying! You love Wufei!"

Treize pulled back. "Yes. Now I've fallen in love with Wufei. Does that hurt you, my friend?"

Zechs swallowed. "A little. But... I want you to be together.... And besides... there's someone else..."

Treize smiled through his tears. "Does that someone wear tight black dresses to my balls?"

Zechs blushed and dropped his hands. Treize grinned even harder and said "Perhaps I should assign Lt. Noin to the ambassador's program, and have her represent OZ in all of your fine, fancy meetings, Mr. Peacecraft."

Zech's eyes widened and he actually stepped forward and in the middle of the entire hospital hugged General Treize Krushrenada. "That would be an excellent notion, sir!"

Treize hugged him back and then the two quickly parted, brushing off imaginary lint from their tuxedos and looking everywhere but at each other or the hospital staff that was staring at them.

Doctor Klineta walked into the room and cleared his throat. "General. The operation was a success. His vitals are in the stable range and so we're moving him up to ICU until a bedroom can be prepared for him."

General Krushrenada rushed up to the doctor and practically screamed, "Well done! See to it that you take an extra month's paid vacation every year! Now, show me where the boy's room is."

The doctor recovered and ushered them over to a map on the wall.

+

Wufei sighed. The darkness felt so sore and boring, but he couldn't open his eyes. Couldn't bring himself to speak. He sighed again. Got to try harder.

"Treize." He breathed softly.

The General's head snapped up from the hand it had been resting on -- Wufei's hand -- and he peered at the boy. Did he dream? Did the boy just call for him in his sleep?

"Dragon?"

Wufei licked his lips. "Treize," came the whisper again.

"Dragon. It's me. I'm here. How are you?"

Wufei's eyes fluttered for a good ten seconds before he could finally pull them apart. Slowly he opened his eyes, sucking in air through his teeth at the sunlight burned into his retinas.

"Treize," he mewed, this time with a little voice behind it.

Treize leaned over Wufei and brushed his hair back with his hand. "I'm right here, dragon. You are safe now."

"What... "

"You were sick. Very, very sick. You're in the hospital." Treize didn't rush it. He gave the boy several minutes to let that sink in.

"The.. ." Wufei breathed in deep and puffed out the air quickly, "hospital? Why? Didn't I do everything right? He didn't want it... he didn't want it, I'm telling you! I..."

"Dragon, what are you talking about?" Treize frowned, concerned.

Wufei Kept babbling. "Don't make me do it anymore. I can't. He doesn't want me!" The boy sobbed now, thrashing back and forth. "Don't!" he whined. "Don't!!!"

Treize backed off, stopped hovering. Une must have had the boy raped in the hospital at the base. She must have planted the device and had the soldiers or scientists rape the boy as well. Why didn't he kill her when he had the chance!

"Wufei," Treize's voice lilted. "Wufei. Come back. Focus. You are in a hospital bed here at my base. It's me, Treize. No one is going to hurt you... ever again!"

Wufei opened his eyes and the phantom figures disappeared. "Treize?" he cried out.

Treize felt wary but he moved back over Wufei. "I'm right here, little one."

"Don't call me that," came the reflex.

Treize smiled. "Yes, Wufei."

"Treize?" The boy seemed so happy. "It's really you?" He reached his lithe little limbs up and caressed the General's face.

Treize felt like he would cry. "Yes, it's me. I'm here now, dragon. You fainted at the ball; do you remember?"

"Oh! I'm sorry master! I...." Wufei palled. "Une!"

"That bitch," Treize ground through his teeth, "has been dealt with, I assure you. I have learned of your treatment while you were being transported to this base. All I can say is that I will endeavor to spend the rest of my life making it up to you, Wufei."

"You mean... you didn't order it?"

Treize felt like he would throw up. "Of course not! I had no idea... Wufei, I brought you here because you had no where else to go after the war. I wanted to make sure you were safe. It appears I delivered you into the very hands danger. I..."

Wufei reached up again. "Thank you. I didn't want to believe... that you could be that kind of person..."

Treize stood, speechless. His dragon touched him. For the second time in months. He didn't trust himself to speak.

"How... Did you find out?" The boy seemed pensive, withdrawn.

"Une told me, after you collapsed. You got sick because the implant in your arm broke. Dragon, why didn't you tell me about it?!?"

"What implant? What are you saying? ..." The boy tried to breathe but he felt so tired. "All I remember was... Laoshi O said you ordered me taken prisoner. I thought I was going to be tried for war crimes. When Une came, she told me... that I was" he gulped, "going to be your... whore... and then they took me to a lab... and they...." He cried. "The scientists were all women..." Tears flowed down his face and onto his white cotton shirt. "They put on these things... I don't know what they're called... and they..." he whispered now, "they did it to me... they put it in me... and said that you would do this to me, and that I better like it...." His little body wracked with sobs. "HOW I MUST OFFEND AND DISGUST YOU NOW GENERAL!" the boy screamed in rage.

Treize tumbled into the bed and wrapped his arms around Wufei and rocked him back and forth, murmuring to him as he had done before, after the garden incident. But this time, Wufei didn't have a device in his arm and there remained nothing to quell his rage.

"Get off me! Get the fuck off me! Don't touch me! Don't you ever fuckin' touch me again! You had no right, you fucker! Go to hell!" Wufei quickly became violent, thrashing weakly at Treize through his tears. "Fuck you! FUCK YOU! Who do you think you ARE General?!?! How many people had to suffer for you, you... Get OFF me!"

Wufei began pulling the I.V.s out of his wrists and elbows in his attempt to remove Treize from his bed. Treize quickly got up and stepped back. "Calm down, Wufei! You'll hurt yourself!" he scolded.

"What difference does it make now!?!" came the scream, as nurses' footsteps could be heard pounding down the hallway. "Get out! GET OUT NOW!!!"

The screams were like howls, and Treize felt stunned. The nurses pushed him out of the room with a stern look and then rushed back in the room and closed the door. Treize stared at the door for some time and then walked back to his apartments in a daze, for the first time in days.

+

A week passed and Treize had not come to see the boy. Zechs did not visit, because he had been on some diplomatic mission, Noin had said. Noin stopped by to drop off flowers; a big huge bouquet of yellow roses. Wufei would have to ask Zechs what they meant when Zechs came back.

Wufei felt bored. Very, very bored. He had counted the holes in the ceiling three times, a little dismayed that he came up with a different number all three times. His arms and legs ached, but he didn't feel like getting out of bed to exercise them. He thought of his friends, and tried to go over his Latin and French exercises, conveniently forgetting to do his Greek. But these things only made him think of Treize, and that made his heart sink deep in his chest.

He had treated the other man so rudely. He had spit in his face and slapped him. He had told him to fuck himself and accused him of his rapes, as well as all the suffering because of the war. He didn't really expect to see the man after that. Still... he had hoped....

At first a pang of panic came over Wufei as he wondered what the General would do now, and if he let him go, how Wufei could find the other pilots and if he could stay with them. But he'd only be in their way... It didn't really matter anymore. Nothing did. Wufei spiraled into a deep depression. On the sixth day, Wufei refused to eat anything, and merely stared out the window at a little sparrow's nest in a neighboring tree. He said nothing, ate nothing, and did nothing for hours. He seemed truly shocked when his silence had been disturbed by the loud bang of his hospital room door.

"Hello, dragon! How are you feeling today?" boomed Treize's cheery voice.

Wufei stared at the man as if he had three heads.

"Are you still wearing that cotton thing? Tsk tsk. We'll have to take you shopping sometime with Zechs and we'll teach you the basics of fashion. Would you like that?" Treize didn't give the boy time to answer as he whipped out a huge bouquet of Tiger-lilies. "Here you are. They came allll the way from China, Mr. Chang, so you'd better be impressed!"

Wufei took the flowers absent-mindedly. When he looked at the bright golden oranges and yellows speckled with black dots, he clutched the flowers to his breast as if they were an infant, and looked back up at Treize as if he would cry. "You.... are not angry with me?"

"Yes. I'm furious! Dragon! I hear you're not eating!"

"Wh...what?"

"You're not eating! How can you hope to keep up with me if you don't regain your strength?"

"Huh?"

"Have you forgotten how to articulate in my absence, dragon? I'm telling you, you must eat, and grow strong, because I challenge you."

Wufei blinked. "Excuse me? You CHALLENGE me?"

Treize removed one of his white gloves and lightly brushed it across Wufei's left cheek in an erotic motion. "There. It's official. We must have a duel. You and I will fence, everyday, until you build your left arm up. Then, when you are ready, we will have a real duel."

Wufei leaned forward in his chair, his curiosity tweeked for the first time in a week. "And if you win?"

"Then you must continue to duel me everyday until you do win," Treize said good-naturedly.

"And if I win?"

"What would you like?"

"My freedom," came the swift response. Wufei thought it best to test his boundaries.

Treize frowned for a long time and said nothing. "How about a compromise? If you win, then you may go off the base during the day, while I am in meetings and the like. But you must return at night."

"Why?"

"Because you gave your word when you came that you would not try to leave."

"No. I said I would not try to escape. You never said I couldn't earn my freedom."

"I never gave it as an option either." Treize's face was a mixture of stern anger and fear.

Wufei huffed. "Am I still your trophy then, General?"

Treize walked over to Wufei and leaned down until they were nose to nose. "No, Wufei. Haven't you figured it out yet?" he whispered. "I'm yours." Then he placed a quick kiss on the corner of Wufei's mouth and whirled around to retrieve his coat. "Tomorrow. We will move you back up to our room. You will still need your rest, but I think your mind is up for some lessons. EAT!"

Wufei's mind, at the moment, was still spinning form the kiss.

"Wufei!"

"Yes, master?"

"Treize."

"Treize."

"Count to one hundred."

"Un, deux, trois..."

"In Greek." Treize said as he turned the doorknob. A pillow hit the back of Treize's head but he kept walking as if he never felt it, and never had a huge smile plastered all over his face.

Wufei began to count and Treize shut the door.

+

[cont]