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

The Prize + Part 6

Wufei felt himself dragged, kicking and screaming, out of bed at the first hint of dawn, made to dress, shove hot oatmeal in his face, and proceed to accompany Treize, Zechs and young Marie in the humming black limousine parked outside the compound's gates.

"What do we need the limousine for?" he asked sleepily.

"Bags," Zechs replied, as he pushed his sunglasses farther up to conceal his bloodshot eyes.

"Bags," Wufei muttered and rolled his head over to the side to join little Marie for a quick nap.

+

Wufei couldn't help but smile. Shopping with Duo had been rather like a batan death march, but shopping with Treize and Zechs felt like some elaborate game. Store attendants fell over each other to accommodate them, with a "Yes, Mr. Peacecraft," here and a "Of course you may charge it General Kushrenada," there. It amused him, the first six or seven shops. Then it got to be taxing.

Wufei walked out of the dressing room feeling a little ridiculous at having to model everything he tried on, but it felt nice to have Treize's eyes on him with such rapt attention. Treize had let him pick some things, but mostly he left the choices to Milliardo, who seemed to have an eye for clothes shopping. Wufei emerged from the fitting room with black leather boots, sharp black pants, and a white shirt with a huge collar that draped over one exposed shoulder. He wore his hair down, and that was the only thing obscuring the silver necklace resting about the base of his throat.

"We're definitely getting that one," Treize murmured, as Marie squirmed about in his lap and sucked on the fingers she had recently embedded into her mouth.

"Treize! You said that about the last ten outfits! How many clothes does one man need?" Wufei felt a little exasperated. How could he ever hope to pay Treize back for the opulence the man displayed today?!?!

Zechs and Treize just smiled at each other and nodded before turning back to reassess the boy. "Perhaps its time to move on from casual..." Treize pondered aloud.

"Ooooohhhh! Just one more thing." Zechs, cooed with a very frightening glee, as he grabbed Wufei by the wrist. "Come on, Wufei!"

"Wait! I can't go like this..." Wufei started as Zechs hulled him out the door.

Treize merely got up and sauntered over to the register. "Charge it."

"Of course sir."

+

Wufei sat in the chair and tried to suppress his shivers. "How did I let you talk me into this?" he gritted through clenched teeth.

Zechs simply laughed and looked over the assortment of earrings in the booth. "Hoops or dangles?"

"Stud." Wufei growled.

"Why, thank you." Treize grinned. "Dangles," he told the clerk.

Wufei looked at Treize with something akin to fear. Treize leaned over the booth and whispered, "Aw, come on now, dragon... surely a Gundam pilot like you isn't afraid to get his little ear pierced?" Treize taunted.

"Fu -- forget you." Wufei sniffed.

Treize grinned like a cheshire cat. "The trick is to take your mind off it.... Maybe I can help." Then the great General Treize Kushrenada of all OZ hoisted himself up over the glass booth of a strip mall ear-piercing kiosk and planted a nice big kiss on Chang Wufei's forehead.

CLICK!

"There all done!" the clerk chirped.

Wufei blinked. "Baka yaro!" he squealed, as he tried to dislodge himself from the chair, only to find he couldn't move because the clerk still had his earring in hand, wiping it with stinging alcohol. He growled and squirmed. He looked over to see Zechs biting his lip, Treize looking way too interested in a magazine on the racks, and little Marie pointing and giggling at him.

"Hpmmm. Beeeee da!" he stuck his tongue out at the little girl, who only laughed harder.

Zechs held up a mirror. "What do you think, Wufei?"

Wufei looked at himself, surprised to see a bright, healthy face blushing back at him, soft black hair cascading around his chin, and a small silver streak of metal now swaying from his bright red earlobe. New clothes, new hair, and now jewelry. He didn't look a thing like the familiar pilot of Shenlong. Then again, the pilot of Shenlong never looked so good.

"Saa... are we done now?" Wufei whined.

"How many presents does that make now?"

"Eleven -- twelve including the sword." Zechs laughed.

"Nope. We still have four more gifts to go. Sorry Wufei, but spoiling you rotten is a tough business. I know you'll pull through though."

Wufei sneered and turned his head away as he jumped down from the chair and leapt over the counter with ease.

"Daddy!"

"Yes, Marie?"

"Toys now?"

"It has been a few hours Treize, and she's been so good," Zechs said.

"Yes, that's right. Marie, you're so grown up sometimes I don't even realize... Forgive me?"

"Depends on what we get at the toy store," Marie said as she gave her best imitation of a Wufei-sniff.

Treize threw his head back and laughed, as he picked up his daughter and sat her down on his shoulders. "All right! The toy store! Let's see what Daddy's princess wants?"

"Wai wai!!" Marie clapped. Wufei and Zechs trailed after, struggling with the overwhelming number of bags.

+

"How can he afford to be this generous?" Wufei whispered to Zechs.

"Oh honey are you kidding? The man before you is the oldest living heir to the Kushrenada fortune. He could burn money to keep warm in winter if he wanted."

"Honto?" Wufei wondered.

"Have I ever lied to you?"

Wufei turned to look at the blonde man walking beside him, helping him carry his recent bounty through the mall. "No, Milliardo. You've never lied to me. Or anyone, I imagine."

"I'll take that compliment just because I don't want to destroy your innocence," Zechs chided.

"Pbbtttt."

Zechs and Wufei sat down and watched Treize follow his daughter all around the store, pretending to examine each and every toy she picked to see if it was worthy of his princess. Treize even pretended to be her butler, holding purchases she considered, smiling with a very smart, "Yes, madam," and "You look divine in those rubies madam but won't you try the pearls," and "Wouldn't that teddy bear look cute on your shelf sets?" Marie ate the attention up and her little face shined with happiness and light.

"He really knows how to charm someone over doesn't he?" Wufei said, not taking his eyes off Treize.

"You think? Yes, he's very good at that. He's ... not always sure of how to show affection. Our families were never ones to express their love... so I think he gives his love by showering people with presents."

"That's not love," Wufei bit out.

"Do you realize how fortunate you are to know that?" Zechs bit back. Then he sighed and relaxed his frown. "With Treize... I think... It's a way of doing something for others. Giving them something they can hold on to, a physical proof of his attentions. Treize may be extravagant, but that's not the flattering part. The part that makes you feel special is that when he gives you something, you know it's from the heart -- he means it."

Wufei thought for a moment. He reflected on the way the General had presented him with his katana. "Yes, I suppose you're right."

"I'm always right." Zechs smiled.

"Wufei!" Marie called out and shook her little hands in the air.

Wufei got up and walked over to the girl. "Yes, your Highness?"

"Look!" Marie pointed to a small set of drums placed on a high platform. "Daddy says you play the drums... will you teach me?"

Wufei looked up at the pitiful drum set and then over at Treize. He licked his lips. "Would you like a demonstration, your Highness?"

Marie nodded. "That would be most satis -- staris -- factory....um, nice." For her credit, she did not loose her aristocratic air.

"Your wish is my command." Wufei bowed and then he pounced upon the little plastic chair and proceeded to twirl the stix in his hands. "One. Two. A one, two, three, four!" Wufei pounded on the drums like tomorrow would never come. At first, Treize glanced around, a little wary of what the store-owners might think, but then his eyes floated back to his dragon.

The boy's eyes were shut, his arms moved about in a flurry, and his face beamed. The beat sounded very complicated, very intricate and very, very addictive. Soon the whole store and customers walking by outside stopped to listen. Zechs stood up from the bench surrounded by bags to get a better look, as Wufei brought the rhythm to a crashing finale and then tacked on a little "chiiiing" from one of the symbols.

He looked up at Marie and grinned. "Daddy! I want that one! That's what I want."

Treize practically sweat-dropped. "But angel, drums are so noisy..."

A dark, omnious cloud descended over Marie's face and the threat of an incoming tantrum set in. Wufei, sensing Treize's growing distress, hopped down off the platform, picked up a Hawaiin tom-tom drum and quickly knelt beside Marie. "Your Highness?"

Marie glanced over at Wufei, clearly not in the mood. "Your Highness? All the masters have to start somewhere. This is the kind of drum I started on... back in my village..."

"This drum?" Marie blinked.

"Well, not exactly like this. Chinese and Japanese drums are a little different from Hawaiin, but it was basically the same. If you like, I'll teach you to play on this drum..." Wufei looked up at Treize who held his breath.

"All right."

Treize puffed out the air he held captive in his lungs and smiled appreciatively at Wufei. They paid for the drum and turned to leave.

"Well dragon, we still have four gifts. What would you like?"

"A pony, world peace -- forever this time, all the Tokyo X CDs and Zechs to get his nose and nipples pierced."

Zechs choked on his yuppie bottled water. "I am not," he coughed, "getting my nose pierced!"

"How bout your nipples then?" Wufei teased.

"Already done."

Wufei rolled his eyes in the back of his head and collapsed back onto the leather car seat. Treize merely lifted a curious eyebrow.

"Noin likes it," had been the only explanation Zechs offered. Wufei sunk lower in the chair and looked over at Marie, who was ignored everyone, tapping her drum. Present company considered, if this child doesn't grow up to be a psychotic world dictator, then I'll faint from shock, he thought.

"Seriously dragon. What four gifts can I give you to?"

"You already have... I get them in two days!!!"

"Hm?"

"Heero, Duo, Trowa and Quatre..." Wufei murmured as he closed his heavy eyelids for just a moment. It had been a long day.

+

"Are you insane?!?!'

Treize smirked. "Decidedly, as you keep saying so."

"But, but, but, but..."

"Redundancy is the soul of mediocrity, dragon."

"GO to HELL!" Wufei sung back at Treize and proceeded to repack his luggage for the third time that week.

"Not very nice, to talk to your sensei that way... especially before your final exam."

"You are just being a bastard," Wufei accused, without any heat in his argument. He knew he already lost, but he wouldn't back down without a fight. "Why are you giving me a test now, the day before I meet minna? Can't it wait 'till I come back, or do you seek simply to torture me?"

Treize considered a glib retort, then considered Wufei's past torture, and decided against it. "Wufei. The best way I can see what you've retained is to force you to recall it under pressure. Now, I'm going for a brandy with Zechs. If you're not going to study, then I suggest you get some sleep. I expect you to impress me, dragon." With that Treize slipped out the door.

The moment he left Wufei ran over to the writing desk and hauled out all his books and began to cram like his life depended on it. He would show that smart... son of a.... darn! Where did his ability to curse go?!?

+

Later that night Treize returned to find his little dragon asleep on a mountain of books piled high on top of the writing desk. He gently carried Wufei over to the bed, shook off the boy's shirt and tucked him under the covers before settling in and locking the boy into a warm embrace.

+

Wufei had taken three hours to finish his exams. He had no clue how he did. He thought he knew all the answers but he couldn't check, as Treize removed all the books. He paced the room. Tomorrow he would see minna, and the next day he would see Quatre and Trowa marry. His excitement mingled with his perfectionist inclination towards nervousness until Wufei got so keyed up he bounced off the walls.

He decided to work off the energy and he put Trowa's CD into the large stereo next to the fireplace. Wufei had thought to meditate. Maybe do some katas or breathing exercises. But then, Trowa's CD had not been simply tenko drums in traditional songs from the Meiji Period. This had tenko drums and a kick ass techno beat in the background. Wufei had too much energy to begin with, and now he couldn't keep himself still.

Wufei began to jump up and down, banging his hands on his chest in a parody of yesterday's drum playing. He bounced all over the place, and soon he closed his eyes and abandoned himself to the rhythm. In typical teenage angst, he threw himself on the bed, jumped up and down on the mattress, flung himself up against the walls and generally went totally ape shit. Treize opened the door to the blaring music to find his dragon banging on imaginary drums and tossing his head from side to side. Treize just stood there, transfixed, and then he started to chuckle.

Wufei remained oblivious until he practically bumped into Treize and then he let out a piercing shriek and tons of little gasps as he backed up until he fell onto the bed. "For the love of the stars!" he yelled, as he hurled a pillow at Treize's head. Treize just gave in to a fit of giggles and then attempted to straighten himself up and look dignified. Wufei blushed deeply and stammered into silence.

"Dragon...."

Wufei did not look up.

"I finished grading your test."

That got Wufei's attention. "And?"

"And I must say I'm not too pleased...." Treize turned off the music.

"You're....I ...."

"You only got a sixty four, you know..."

Wufei sunk onto the bed and stared up at the canopy ceiling. "Impossible," he whispered.

"Got ya! You got a ninety four! I'm so proud of you dragon FEI!" Treize chanted as he rushed towards the bed. Wufei didn't move for a second and then he reached back and yanked a pillow to his chest, and stood up to wail at Treize's injustice, but he changed his mind at the last minute and decided to just pummel Treize with the pillow instead. Treize took the abuse for a few seconds and then dove into Wufei, knocking him over onto the bed.

"Uhhhhnnn." Wufei grunted. "Ha! You can't best me, Treize Kushrenada!"

"Oh? Looks like I've already got the best of you right here, dragon!" Treize whispered as he wickedly tickled the boy beneath him.

Wufei fought to breathe and lost and soon Treize had him writhing and laughing and gasping for air. When Wufei looked like a fish out of water Treize let up a bit, only to have Wufei knee him in the ribs and continue to beat him with the plush pillow, little white goose feathers floating everywhere.

Treize decided to move away and counterattacked with the pillow Wufei hurled at him previously. Soon the pilot of Shenlong and the General of OZ were engaged in a heated pillow fight, tumbling about the room with excess mirth, gleefully trading whallops and exaggerated grunts.

"Take that!" Wufei commanded as he whomped Treize across the head. Treize feigned certain doom and keeled towards the bed, making sure to take Wufei with him.

Treize didn't move and Wufei was too out of breath to fight back at the moment. So he and Treize merely grinned at each other, lying side by side, white feathers snowing down on them. They found themselves locked into a staring contest. Slowly, Treize inched closer to Wufei, encouraged by the fact that Wufei did not retreat, but merely stared at him with curiosity... and... hunger? Treize leaned his neck out and capture Wufei's lips in a soft, warm, demanding kiss.

"Mmmm." Wufei moaned.

Treize continued his demands, gently brushing his tongue across Wufei's lips, requesting them to part. They didn't. Treize pulled back slightly and licked and nipped at the corners of Wufei's mouth, hungrily kissing his little dragon, and tenderly purring to him.

"Wufei...." he whispered.

Wufei had not moved once since the kiss began and Treize pulled away, but he kept his eyes closed. "Wufei... is this all right?"

No answer came. Treize opened his eyes to see large black orbs transfixed with fear and distance. Treize scooted back. Wufei's brow creased, his mouth twitched and his eyes looked right through Treize. "Wufei... I'm sorry. I didn't mean to push you so far..."

Wufei seemed to look over at Treize, and register his worried face. Treize looked so sad.

"Wufei. I'm sorry."

Wufei couldn't speak. He lay there in total shock. He felt so utterly confused and time seemed to slow to a complete standstill. Treize had kissed him and something in him ignited. He wanted Treize to kiss him again, to hold him close and to whisper to him again. But he felt terrified. This had been his enemy! How could he forget that so quickly! This had been his master, no matter how kind, his keeper! Because of this man, he was captured, wounded, raped and sold. He should hate this man! He must hate this man! How could he ever face minna again?

Treize sighed, utterly defeated. "Ah little one... I know... don't call you that! You have suffered so because of me...Still... I sought to make it right... to take care of...." Treize trailed off. He couldn't getting through. He cupped Wufei's face in his hands and started again. "Wufei. I never intended for all your pain. I only wanted to bring you here and show you every happiness. But I failed. I know now, that I can't keep you caged like this.... You deserve the world. Even if the world doesn't deserve you. I'm so sorry, dragon..."

"Treize?" Wufei whispered, suddenly very afraid.

Treize did not look at him. He carefully removed his hands from Wufei's face and lowered them to his necklace. Without touching the golden soft skin beneath the metal, Treize removed the collar from the boy's neck and quickly got up off the bed. He turned his back on Wufei, to hide his tears. "Tomorrow when you go, go for good."

"Treize?"

"I am releasing you of your obligations as attaché. You may join your friends, or go wherever you please. I free you...."

Wufei's jaw dropped. He... He didn't want him anymore! He had been used, he looked ugly, he didn't kiss him back! And now Treize felt disgusted with him! He felt so dirty, so lowly; he couldn't bring himself to drag his eyes off the carpet.

Treize turned around abruptly. "Please, take everything with you. In case... you ever want to... remember me. I will understand, though, if you don't. I will... I will leave you in peace tonight. The butler will take you to the plane. Good evening....." Treize marched towards the door. "Good bye, Wufei..." Treize whispered as he shut the door with a click.

+

[cont]