Part 52 - Recovery
Heero watched his Master shake the salt container and get nothing out of it.
"We've run out of salt."
"I'll go buy some," Heero said as he stood up from his chair, fully clothed,
and put his sneakers on.
He left the apartment and went to the supermarket. He picked up a bag of
salt, paid for it, and drove back to the apartment.
He opened the door and held up the salt. "I got the salt, Master."
Silence greeted him. Heero looked round but saw no evidence of his Master.
Feeling worried, he went into the kitchen. No one was in there.
"Master?" Heero's heart rate picked up pace as wariness crept into him.
Where was his Master?
He hurriedly headed toward the bedroom and slammed the door open. An empty,
cold bed greeted him. Fear seized him as he studied the room. It felt like
no one had been in there for a long time.
"Master!" Panicking now, Heero stormed into the bathroom. Its floor was dry
and no sign of his Master there.
Where was his Master?! Heero ran from one room into another, opening
wardrobes and cupboards, hoping to find his Master hiding in there. But
wherever he searched, his Master was nowhere to be found.
Dread filled him as he realized he was alone in the apartment. The once
warm, cozy living room now looked like a nightmare to him. Empty couch and
unused coffee table. There was no one here. No one to serve and no one to
No one would love him back and protect him from the whole cruel world.
Heero's eyes snapped open as he straightened up. He blinked at the
brightness around him. His mind took notice of his surroundings. It was
morning. He was in a hospital and not the apartment on earth, Heero noted as
he tried to calm his racing heart.
His eyes fell towards his Master in the bed. Duo's eyes were closed. His
upper body, which wasn't covered by the blanket, was wrapped in bandages.
Heero shakily reached out and put his finger under Duo's nose. When he felt
steady breath of air brushing against his fingers, Heero's heart started to
slow its erratic pace.
His Master was here. He was not alone. It was only a dream. A nightmare.
Heero blinked away the tears that threatened to escape his eyes. He hugged
himself, feeling cold from the claws of loneliness caused by his nightmare.
It had felt so real, being left alone in the world. How funny it was. He had
been alone and had taken care of himself for as long as he could remember.
Now, just a few months of being Duo's slave had made him scared of living
alone. So scared that he would rather die than be alone.
Before his enslavement he had been coming home to an empty apartment
everyday with no ill feelings. Now the mere thought of having to live alone
scared the hell out of him. Body trembling slightly with the after effects
of the nightmare, Heero glanced at his sleeping Master. Duo looked so
peaceful and warm. Heero started to regret choosing the chair over the bed
last night. But Heero had wanted his Master to rest fully without him
getting in the way. Right at this moment however, Heero wanted to climb in
and snuggle up to his Master, feel his warmth and listen to his heartbeat.
Anything that would tell him he wasn't alone in this world, that his Master
was with him.
He rubbed his hands up and down his upper arms, trying to produce a little
warmth for his cold soul. He had risked his life again and again to save the
earth and had never asked for anything in return, but if he was allowed to
ask now, he would ask whoever 'up there' to not take Duo from him. He wanted
to spend his life with Duo, to enjoy together the earth they had saved from
annihilation. If Duo was gone, he wanted to be gone with him too. To be
together with Duo forever, even death wouldn't separate them. Heero smiled
not so nicely. Like it or not, planned or not, death would take them
Yes, together. He wouldn't live without his beloved. His Master.
Heero snapped out of his dark thoughts at the call. He turned his head and
saw Brat standing at the door, holding a tray.
Brat smiled slightly and approached him. "I brought you breakfast."
The wonderful smell of food reached Heero's nose and caused his stomach to
grumble, reminding him that he had had nothing since yesterday.
Brat had been close enough to him to hear the noise. The black haired sub
sighed in exasperation. "Just as I thought. You're just like Storm."
Heero raised his eyebrows, not feeling talkative enough to say anything.
Obviously used to the silent question, Brat explained as he handed the tray
to Heero. "When Kira was hurt once, Storm refused to leave him. I had to
bring the food to her or she would have let herself starve."
Heero took the tray and sent Brat a fierce look. "I understand her." And
would do the same as she did, Heero's determined look said the silent words.
Brat sighed again. "Then I guess I will have to bring food to you everyday
too. Bloody stubborn, the pair of you."
"You don't have to," Heero said.
Brat gave him a dirty look. "Let me rephrase my words, no friend of mine is
going to starve himself if I can help it. And don't you think that letting
you starve yourself will make your Master get so worked up he could reopen
That thought hadn't crossed Heero's mind until Brat mentioned it. While he
didn't like to inconvenience Brat, he knew it would be better for them all
if Brat brought him the food. He would certainly ignore his needs. All Heero
wanted was to stay at his Master's side.
"Thank you, " Heero said a wholeheartedly. "I owe you one."
"I'll remember that. " Brat's green eyes shone with mischief for a brief
moment. He shifted his stance, causing something to clink. "Oh, I almost
forgot. Serpent asked me to give these to you." He pulled out a silver
string from his pocket. "This is the only thing we could salvage from your
Duo had worn the silver chain around his waist. Both of its ends were fitted
with automatic hooks, making the accessory something that could be used in
many ways. Heero knew because he'd once had it fitted to his collar as a
"I'll just put this here, okay?" Brat said, then without waiting for Heero's
acknowledgment, put the chain down on the nightstand.
"Please convey my gratitude to your Master."
"I will." Brat straightened then grimaced. "And speaking of Master, I better
go now or my Master will have my hide again."
Heero remembered then that Serpent had planned to punish Brat last night.
Judging from Brat's wince, Serpent definitely had.
"Are you okay?"
"Except for my ass, yeah." Brat waved his hand dismissively and headed out.
"Enjoy the breakfast. See you at lunch."
Heero waved back before turning his attention to the breakfast on his lap.
He was touched that someone he'd only known for a few days had taken the
time to worry about him. That Brat had thought of him as a friend, which was
worth him walking in his sore condition, had touched Heero more. Humbled at
the honor, Heero reached for the spoon and started eating his breakfast.
Other than his nightmare, the morning passed quite peacefully for Heero. His
Master woke up, ate breakfast in his half-asleep state, then went back to
sleep. Heero sat by his bed during the day, savoring every breath his Master
Duo was awakened when the nurse delivered the lunch tray. Heero then served
his Master lunch and was relieved when his Master ate it without protest.
The upper part of his bed had been raised to make eating easier for him.
"Where's your lunch?" his Master asked once he'd finished the hospital
"Brat will deliver it to me later, Master," Heero answered truthfully as he
tidied up the lunch tray.
"I take it that he also brought you breakfast this morning?"
"You are correct, Master."
"So kind of him."
Heero nodded absentmindedly as he put the tray on the table across his
Master's bed. "He is very kind." Finished with the cleaning, he turned
around and saw his Master scowling.
"Master?" asked Heero tentatively, not knowing what had sent his Master into
"Come here, Kitten." Duo pointed at the space next to his bed.
Heero stood by the bed hesitantly. He bowed his head, hoping that his
submission could somewhat improve his Master's mood. Calloused fingers
seized his chin and forced him to look up at his Master's violet eyes.
"Who do you belong to, Kitten?"
"You, Master," Heero answered without any qualm.
Duo nodded solemnly. "I have been remiss as a Master. I should have checked
your well being right after the debacle."
"You were in no condition to do that, Master."
"I plan to rectify it now." Duo released his slave's chin and made a swiping
The command surprised Heero. His Master wanted him to strip here? In the
middle of a hospital room? He made the mistake of hesitating too long which
earned him a warning glare from his Master.
"Kitten..." Duo said his name in an annoyed tone.
Heero hurriedly complied with the order. Since his slave costume had been
drenched in his Master's blood, he had been given a hospital robe last
night. It was this robe that he shed now. He wore nothing else beneath it.
His Master didn't say anything, but Heero could feel those violet eyes
inspecting every inch of his naked body.
"Turn around," ordered Duo.
Heero complied, turning his back to his Master. He bore a few minutes of
scrutinizing silence before his Master broke the silence.
"You still have your cat ears. That's good. " Duo paused for a second, "but
where's your tail?"
Heero tensed as he recalled the unpleasant moment with Wind. He really
didn't want to remember that moment.
"I'm sorry, Master," Heero said weakly.
There was a pause. Then..."Turn around and explain yourself, Kitten."
Heero followed his Master's order but he didn't dare look at his Master when
he spoke. "Wind pulled it out. I'm sorry, Master. I couldn't stop him."
There was a sharp intake of breath from his Master. Heero knew it didn't
take a genius to know why Wind had pulled his tail out.
"What else did that bastard do?" His Master asked the question in a
deceptively mild tone.
Heero felt his body become as tense as Gundanium alloy. He knew his Master
well enough to predict his reaction were he to answer that question. "I'm
really sorry, Master." Heero tried once again to placate his Master. "He
didn't do anything harmful..."
"But he touched you, didn't he?" His Master's voice turned into a hiss. "He
violated you, didn't he?"
"No, he didn't." When Duo looked skeptical, Heero hurriedly tried to appease
his Master. "He tried, but I goaded him into losing his temper. He hit me
and I used that chance to disarm him."
Heero hoped the mention of Wind hitting him would distract his Master, but
no such luck.
"He hit you?" Duo repeated, staring sharply at his slave. "He didn't rape
"No, he didn't," Heero answered, hoping his expression betrayed none of his
swirling thoughts. Fingering didn't count as a rape, did it? His logic said
it didn't. His submissive side said it did.
Unfortunately for Heero, his Master seemed to sense his inner struggle.
Those violet eyes narrowed into slits. "So, he didn't put anything inside
Checkmate. Heero gulped. Should he lie? No, it would only make it worse. For
him and for his Master.
"Only his fingers, Master," Heero answered weakly then braced himself for
what was to come. His Master reacted just as he had predicted.
"I'll kill the bastard!!" came the wounded roar.
Heero acted quickly and stopped his Master from leaving the bed. "Master,
please calm down. You can't leave the bed."
"The hell I can't!" Duo roared and swatted Heero's hands on his chest away.
"No one touches my Kitten and gets away with it!"
"He didn't get away. The Preventers have him now." Heero was worried. He
didn't want to use force to make his Master stay still. If his Master kept
fighting him, his wound could be reopened. However, if he didn't restrain
his Master and let him out of the bed, the same thing would happen. Either
way was not good for Duo's wellbeing.
"Master, please calm down," Heero pleaded in distress. He put one hand on
his Master's chest and the other one on his cheek. "You can deal with Wind
later, after you have recovered."
"I have recovered enough," Duo snarled and pushed Heero's hands away.
"Duo, please.." Heero tried using his Master's name and put his hands up to
prevent his Master again.
"Do not stop me, Kitten," Duo growled. "That's an order."
The last sentence stunned Heero. An order. It was an order from his Master.
As a slave he should obey his Master's order. But not this one. He couldn't
obey this order, not when it would jeopardize Duo's life.
"Master, please stop.."
"Do you dare disobey me?" Duo roared.
Angry sparks from his Master's eyes stabbed deep into Heero. He didn't want
Duo to be angry with him, but he couldn't let his Master go. Heero felt so
torn. So at loss. He couldn't use force to restrain his Master and he
couldn't just let his Master do whatever he wanted. What should he do now?
How could he soothe his Master into staying in the bed?
How could he keep his beloved safe?
Frustration and desperation drove Heero to do the first thing came to his
mind. Not thinking about the consequences, he seized the chain on the
nightstand, looped it around Duo's wrist and locked it there with one hooked
end. He then placed the other end on his left nipple ring
His Master had exclaimed in surprise when Heero looped the chain around his
wrist. In reflex, Duo quickly withdrew his bound arm. Heero had managed to
connect the other end to his nipple ring by that time so Duo's tugging had
straightened the chain, which in turn, yanked at the ring.
The pain caused Heero to automatically close his eyes and grit his teeth to
prevent screaming. He arched his body forward, trying to lessen the strain .
The surprise caused his Master to stop struggling. Heero's nipple felt like
it was torn and on fire. Tears were brimming in his eyes. Whether they were
from pain, frustration, or desperation, Heero didn't know. He couldn't think
of anything else except for the pain in his left nipple. It hurt so much.
Heero heard his name said in an alarmed tone. The strain on the chain
disappeared and then he felt his Master's hands on him. One hand touched his
left nipple, causing him to hiss in pain.
"Stupid Kitten, what the hell were you thinking?"
Eyes still closed, Heero felt his Master's hands caress his face and upper
body gently, as if trying to reassure himself he was okay. When one hand
stopped on his cheek, Heero tilted his head toward it, seeking the warm
"Open your eyes, Kitten," came his Master's tender voice, so different from
Heero slowly opened his eyes. The movement caused the tears, that had been
brimming behind his eyelashes, to roll down his cheeks. Some landed on Duo's
hand, who was looking at him in concern.
"Why did you do such stupid thing?" asked Duo quietly.
"I didn't know how else to make you stay in bed," answered Heero.
"So you hurt yourself to stop me from hurting myself." The caressing hands
paused for a second before resuming again. "I have been a bad Master."
"You are not," Heero immediately countered. "You are a great one."
Duo laughed harshly. "So great that I didn't put my slave's welfare before
Heero didn't like the way Duo belittled himself like that. He reached up and
covered his Master's hand on his cheek. "I'm fine, Master."
"No, you are not," Duo countered back. "I should have realized that
"I'm really fine," Heero insisted. He gestured to his left nipple. "The pain
is negligible now. It will disappear soon."
"I don't refer to only that pain, Kitten." Duo pulled his hand from Heero's
cheek and reached for the hook on Heero's nipple ring.
"Master, don't..." Heero made to stop his Master. The fear of his Master
leaving the bed and hurting himself came back to him.
"I won't leave the bed, Kitten." His Master's promise stopped Heero. Feeling
slightly reassured with the promise, Heero watched him carefully undo the
hook on the ring. His Master made sure not to touch the sore flesh any more
than necessary and Heero kept his expression blank, not showing the pain
from the slight shifting of the ring.
"Bend forward, I want to kiss your chest," ordered Duo.
Heero bent forward. He felt cool lips touching his hot flesh. There was pain
but there was also comfort. Heero savored both of them.
"I'm sorry, Heero," Duo murmured near Heero's chest.
"It's okay," Heero said, slightly quivering at Duo's breath caressing his
Duo kissed the sore flesh once again before ordering Heero to straighten up.
He then removed the chain from his wrist and put it back on the nightstand.
"I want you to go out and refresh yourself. You can come back here in two
Heero shook his head during Duo's speech. He latched one hand on his
Master's arm. "I don't need refreshing, Master."
"I insist on it."
Heero shook his head again. "I won't leave you."
"You are afraid to leave me, you mean," Duo pointed out. "Afraid that once I
am out of your sight, I will disappear."
His fear, spoken out loud, left Heero shaking. "No, I.." He still tried to
deny it but when Duo tried to pull his arm from Heero's clutches, Heero
stopped denying. "No! Please don't leave me." He put his other hand on his
Master's arm and grasped it tightly, not wanting to let it go.
"Don't leave me, Master," spoke Heero weakly.
"I won't leave you," said Duo soothingly. "Come, lie next to me."
Still too shaken, Heero meekly followed his Master's pull. As long as his
Master didn't leave him, didn't leave the bed, then he would do everything
his Master wanted.
After a little repositioning, Duo was lying on his back with Heero curled up
against his side, head resting slightly on his chest. The bed sheet covered
both of them. Duo caressed Heero's hair quietly.
"Everyone dies someday, Heero."
"We both will."
"No." Heero didn't want to talk about death. Just the thought of Duo leaving
him made his stomach churn and his body shake.
"I acted like you are once," Duo spoke, eyes focusing on nothing. "I had
lost Solo, my best friend. Then I met Father Maxwell and Sister Helen. They
were so kind to me that it was no surprise I cared a lot for them."
"One day, I dreamt about Sister Helen dying. I woke up crying and screaming
for her. I told her about my nightmare in between my sobs. She said it was
just a bad dream. I was worried she would die soon. She said that everyone
had to die, sooner or later."
The story didn't soothe Heero one bit. He told Duo so.
"There's more, Heero." Duo took his slave's chin and tugged it up. "I was
determined not to be alone anymore. I told her that if she died, I would
follow her. I didn't want to be left alone."
Heero stared at his Master. "I will follow you too, Duo."
"You will follow, but only when it's your time, " Duo smiled. "You might not
see me or hear my voice for a while but don't doubt that I will always be
with you. When your time has come, you will see I'm standing right by your
"Was that what Sister Helen said to you?" Heero asked quietly.
"I still fear for you."
"I did too after she told me that." Duo resumed his story and released
Heero's chin. "I kept on worrying that something would happen to Sister
Helen. I followed her almost everywhere, never letting her out of my sight.
If she wanted to go on an errand, I would demand to do that errand and if it
failed, I would follow her. I spent all my time trying to protect her.
"Then one day OZ soldiers came to the orphanage. They held Sister Helen and
the others hostage and demanded mobile suits. I went to steal a mobile suit
for them. I would do anything to protect Sister Helen and the others."
Duo was silent for a full minute before he continued his story.
"However, when I arrived back with a mobile suit, the orphanage was no more.
I found Sister Helen buried beneath its ruins. She was dying, but she smiled
at me and told me to live until my time came."
Heero felt something wet and warm on his head. He knew what it was. "I'm
"I tried to protect her. Tried to second guess and prepared for anything
that could hurt her, but no one knew the future, Heero. No one could guess
what would happen tomorrow. I spent all my time worrying about her safety
whereas I should have enjoyed the time I had with her."
"Master...." Heero trailed off, not knowing what to say. Half of him
understood what his Master was trying to say but the other half was still
afraid for his Master. He put his hand on Duo's chest and caressed it
gently. "I am sorry." Sorry for Sister Helen? Sorry for being scared of
leaving his Master. Sorry for worrying him? Heero didn't know what he was
His Master seemed to sense what he was trying to say with those three words
though. Heero felt a light kiss bestowed to his forehead.
"Heero, I worry for you just like you do for me. But I don't want these
worries to rule our whole life."
Heero nodded hesitantly. "I'll try, Master."
"Do that," Duo said, then he lifted his slave's chin up and stared straight
into those blue eyes. "Just remember that I won't leave you, Heero. In life
and death, in sickness and health, I'll always be with you. Forever."
"Master..." Heero was too stunned to say another word. He recognized the
words, of course. Hell, almost everyone recognized those words.
Duo smiled tenderly. "I love you, Heero."
Eyes wide and heart beating wildly, Heero could only stare as his Master
leant down and kissed him tenderly.
"I love you." Those three words were whispered again near his ear as light
kisses touched his face and neck.
"Call my name." Duo interrupted in a whisper.
Heero could feel Duo's smile against his forehead where the recent kisses
had been bestowed. "I love you, Heero. I will never ever leave you."
Safe in his beloveds arms and with those soothing words whispered again and
again as Duo kept kissing him, Heero felt his fear abate and his body relax.
"I love you too, Duo," Heero whispered back, eyes starting to close. "I
will never leave you. In sickness and health, in life and death, forever
we'll always be together." Duo didn't ask, didn't demand from him for the
same vow but Heero said the vow nevertheless. He wanted to.
Duo's response was a very long kiss on his lips which Heero didn't remember
ending since he had succumbed to his fatigue.
When Brat came in to deliver his lunch, the black haired boy found Master
and slave sleeping, their hands entwined. Both had peaceful smiles which
couldn't help but bring a smile to his own face. He put the lunch tray on
the nightstand, next to the silver chain, and left the room as silent as