12-14-2000

Title: Beauty and the Kitsune
Author: Eternal Treasure (sailoreternity@yahoo.com)
Feedback: *rolls her eyes* Of course. If it were for my own enjoyment, I wouldn’t post it. *laugh*
Archive: Oh yes please. *grin* Tell me where you’re taking it first though
Rating: NC-17 I guess, to be safe. I’ll get pretty raunchy as it goes on.
Parings: 1x2 for now... more later.
Warnings: Yaoi...very yaoi.... as much yaoi as I can pack in. Lemon too. I don’t think much violence. Did you hear? YAOI LEMON! NCS! SLIGHTLY BASTARDIZED HEERO. DUO TORTURE! OOC! AU! Got it? If you’re gonna flame make it for something worthwhile like grammar or spelling or plot, but don’t try and lay any hang ups on me. No one’s forcing you to read.
Disclaimer: Oh gods! I WISH this were mine! *sobs* But it’s not. I don’t own any of these bishonen or the tv series they are in. (Gundam Wing) Bandai and Sotsu and Sunrise and others do. But a girl can have fantasies, right? *sniffle*

 

Beauty and the Kitsune Part One
Eternal Treasure
<eternaltreasure@yahoo.com>

 

Duo hunkered down in the corner, struggling to remain perfectly still, forehead pressed to his knees. The Work Mistress was in the kitchens, searching among the slaves. Unable to help himself, his head jerked up at the sound of a piercing shriek at his right. He was just in time to see one of the Mistress’s burly guards grab a pretty young girl near the large sinks and knock her over the head. Her panicked scream ended in a strangled burble as her eyes rolled up and she sagged to the floor. Almost immediately two slaves picked her limp body up and dragged her swiftly out of the room.

Shivering convulsively, Duo tucked his head back down. There was nothing that could be done about it. It had taken him only a few days to realize that the only chance he had at survival was to stay low and avoid notice.

The very first night he’d arrived at the Palace, he’d been forced to stand by as the sweet-faced woman ordered a little girl beaten to death. This same strikingly beautiful, graceful, kind looking woman had listened to every scream, every whimper, ordering her guards to new heights of viciousness and cruelty. He had no idea how long the beating had lasted, but the bloody rag they’d dragged away in no way resembled the frightened little thing it had been.

The other slaves in the room had tried to forcibly hold Duo back, trying to avoid notice. Honestly, he didn’t know how one of the kitchen knives had gotten into his hands, but when he'd finally gotten near the bloody scene...

Duo flinched and hugged himself tightly. The only reason he was still alive was because the stupid bitch had gotten bored with listening to Duo's howls. As he lay there, twitching in agony, he watched her walk away. Delicately holding the hem of her skirt out of the stinking mess of blood and stench on the floor, she’d looked back over her shoulder, a strange gleam in her eye. Almost like she was marking him out.

A day or so later, when he was finally able to move again, he convinced the old man at the sink to allow him to use a knife. Then, sitting out of sight, he’d sawed and hacked at his hip-length braid, making his hair jagged around his head, then tossed the remains of his beloved braid in the ashes to be taken from the house. Kneeling before the hearth, he’d smeared his hands in the black ashes and fat drippings, streaking and coating his fair skin. The horrible bruises made the whole ugly image more real. He tore at his clothes, making them filthy as well.

This place was Hell.

He’d never been overly fond of his round cheeks, full mouth and almost girlish hips and thighs. Now he cursed them. His skin was too soft and he was too small and if he wasn’t careful, one of the sadistic monsters would snatch him up as a plaything. The sad thing was, if his father had not been impoverished, he wouldn’t be in this situation. The humans with money or titles or connections were not down in the lower levels working as grunts. They weren’t even called slaves. And they didn’t wear collars that Duo had ever seen either! They were called ‘companions’ and lived high in the lovely, fragrant halls of light and music above, in a strange and wonderful land of light and magic.

Duo had sneaked out of the kitchen, past the guards. No one ever noticed him, he was so small and so quiet. He’d made his ways through the halls like a shadow, up into the lofty rooms of glass and gold. Gripping his heavy metal collar tightly in his fist, he’d watch them, staring longingly at the lavish meals brought to them and imagining it was himself sitting there, so free. Even the servants on that level were cleaner, healthier. Their collars were made of bronze and not so thick as the large as the one dragging down at his neck.

Some of the people came as students to learn of the Earth magick wielded by the Kitsune. Others were temporary prisoners too important to be abused. Others sought political asylum among the elder race. Oh, it was one thing to abuse someone like Duo, but even these monsters didn't dare start a war by forcing themselves on a prince or princess. It was all he could to stifle a bitter growl. And he had over two years in his term left. What was he to do? How was he to survive?

Hearing movement, he lowered his head over the stew pot he’d been tending and furtively looked around. Workers, human slaves who oversaw the other slaves, were pulling people forward and peering into their faces, pinching their arms and legs and checking their teeth. Duo was revolted. Treating humans like livestock!

Then a horrible thought came to him. ~Oh no! They're searching out this weeks "stock" more closely. I've got to get out of here before I end up chained to a bed somewhere!~ he was almost noisily sick at the very idea.

"No, no, no!" a sickeningly familiar voice snarled. "A boy, you fools! With purple eyes and long brown hair. Bring him to me quickly. I know I left him in here." Flicking her tail irritably, she gestured toward the doors and more Workers began blocking the exits. Fiddling with a lock of her strange, purple hair, she frowned at the room in general. "No one leaves until he’s found!"

Thinking quickly, Duo slipped around the others toward the back. The elderly people were pressing themselves forward, trying to attract attention so that the younger people could escape notice this time around. Duo took the opportunity gratefully and crawled back toward the cubby hole that was almost behind the stove. Closing it up behind him, he wiggled down into a crawlspace and fled.

*******************

Duo scurried through the halls, ducking in and out of dark shadows. He was up in the higher levels of the Palace, a place forbidden. The only humans he saw around this place were escorted by kitsune. Even the servants. Gods, if he were caught they’d probably do worse than kill him! Still, there was nothing he could do. The searches were still going strong below. When the Mistress hadn’t found him in the kitchen, it seemed that she’d come completely unhinged. He had no IDEA what she wanted him for, but he’d be damned if he’d go back. In all his wandering around the lower levels, he’d never seen a way out. That could only mean that the exit was somewhere up here.

Exhaustion threatened to drag his eyelids closed, but there was only capture at the end of whatever rest he might find. Curfew was way past, but there was no one in the slave quarters anymore. The search had been strange and very thorough. All the strong, able bodied people had been hauled out of the kitchens and other work sections and shoved into cages. The young people had immediately been carted toward the soldier barracks. The only people more cruel than the Kitsune were the human slaves who were taken as gladiators to fight in death matches for the amusement of the people in the arena. Sometimes, a gladiator was offered a ‘reward’ for good service in the form of a pleasure slave for the night. Or, for whatever reason, one or two pretty or delicate slaves were tossed into the barracks for the evening. Duo had yet to see one of them able to walk out the next day. If they even survived the night. Frustration and helplessness rose like bile in his throat. All those people, his age and younger would probably be dead come morning. The older men and women had been taken out of the manor entirely and Duo had no idea where they were going. The weak and elderly...

Duo squeezed his eyes shut and clenched his jaw against renewed sobs. They’d just killed them. Tossed them to a large pack of dogs. There was no way out, anyone who came here didn't walk back out. "I've got to get out of here. Who's knows what they've told my family? They probably think I'm dead."

Head bowed in depressed contemplation, he didn't notice the movement in the shadows until it was almost on top of him. When the huge shadow fell over him, he bit back a cry of terror and attempted to roll away. A large hand caught him up by the waist and hauled him up off the floor, pulling him close. One look at the long tail of golden silk and Duo nearly went insane. His wild struggles, however, were met only with rich laughter.

"And what's this?" the kitsune asked. Duo kicked at him and punched furiously. The kitsune took the blows for a moment, then abruptly lifted the tiny human and set him on his feet so hard that his teeth rattled. Stunned momentarily, Duo stared at him stupidly when the kitsune took hold of his arms and lifted him up in front of his face.

~How can someone so beautiful be so cruel?~ The force of his despair made him sag in the iron grip. He could almost picture the red and white ridges his fingers would leave in the flesh of his arms. What was the youko going to do with him?

"I thought this years batch was cleaned out already." The kitsune muttered to himself. His nose wrinkled and he dropped Duo quickly. "Faugh! You stink!"

Duo was not tall and the kitsune was much bigger than he. Duo cursed his luck as he landed wrong on his ankle, a dull popping sound echoing along his bones. Forgetting himself, he barely bothered to cut off his pained yelp even as he collapsed on the floor. Nothing could drive a kitsune to rage quicker than the sound of a human voice. Shock rendered him unable to help himself and he clapped both hands over his mouth and wailed.

The kitsune stiffened and made as if to grab him. Duo flung himself back onto the hardstone floor and scurried backwards on his rump with his hands and his good left foot. Before the enraged kitsune could make a second move toward him another, larger kitsune stepped in between them. A long, glossy black tail flicked back and forth in front of Duo, it’s silk brushing across his legs.

"Stop it Mueller," the newcomer said in a cool monotone, "The human is injured, there's no need to beat him."

"Stay out of this Heero, I'll beat him if I want to. I found him." The words were sharp, but petulant. Mueller backed cautiously away from the anger this Heero was giving off. Duo watched in fascination as the ears on Mueller’s head laid back and the fluffy golden hued tail tucked slightly. "He's mine." Mueller asserted again.

"Not anymore." Was all the reply Heero gave. Duo shivered fearfully, looking for a way out of this situation. Heero almost seemed able to read his thoughts because he looked over his shoulder and fixed Duo with his golden glare where he sat huddled behind him. The violence in those eyes made Duo freeze like a rabbit staring at a snake. Mueller seemed to realize the danger as well, but he had the option of leaving. And that he did. Quickly. Silver tail lashing the whole time.

Duo flinched when Heero knelt beside him a frightened whimper escaping his lips. He squeezed his eyes shut. Heero took his chin in his hand and turned his face this way and that. Duo was mildly surprised to feel anger seething under the babbling fear inside him. What right did any of these people have to say that they OWNED him? Who said that they could torture him and do as they pleased? He inwardly shrank in on himself. If he was to follow the letter of the contracts, he still had over two years to go in service. Undefined service. Whatever they said went. What court would uphold such a contract? Who ever lived to contest it?

Before he could do much more than squeak in protest, Heero had him in his arms and was carrying him away. Duo's eyes flew open , startled at the length and power in his stride, the feel of his muscles moving smoothly under his clothes. One of Heero’s hands was almost as big as Duo’s entire head. He was being carefully cradled like an infant against his broad chest as Heero carried him up a flight of stairs and then down another hallway. They neared a door and Heero’s foot swung out, kicking it open, still being cautious of jostling the small person nestled in his arms.

Heero spoke softly, but with an authority and command that had the people in the room scurrying. Settling Duo on his feet gently, he watched with those burning golden eyes, face impassive and grim. He pulled Duo closer and made him lean against his side to take the pressure off his ankle, fingers like a steel manacle on his upper arm.

Duo stared around at the richly appointed room. With carpets and drapes even! It had been so long since he'd seen luxury such as this. His stomach rumbled alarmingly when he saw the trays of sweet meats and glazed nuts. Ducking his head, he sucked at the corner of his mouth to catch the moisture that seeped out. Never before had he known what it was to be so hungry that the thought of food made one drool. Until he got to this place. You’d think that working in the kitchens as he had, he’d be well fed, but every time he’d so much as reached out with the intention of swiping a morsel, the collar gave him a powerful static shock.

What the other humans in the room were scurrying to do escaped him for a few moments, but then they were all standing there, waiting with their heads bowed, chins almost to their gleaming bronze collars. Heero released Duo’s arm and touched the collar at his throat. The heavy piece of iron made a sharp clicking sound and fell into his hand. Duo gasped and clutched at his throat, tenderly massaging the red, sore places that the wide metal band had chafed. Eyeing the collar in Heero’s hand like it was a serpent, he blew out a short breath of relief.

Opening his mouth, he blinked in alarm and snapped it shut, remembering to keep silent and not question. What was going on? Suddenly he was very worried. He’d been caught where he wasn’t supposed to be. This youko had saved him, but why bring him here? Eyes darting, Duo caught a glimpse of a huge, I mean HUGE bed in a room across the way. His breath grew short. Surely not! What was happening?!

Heero was frowning at him impatiently. Unsure of what he was supposed to do, Duo hesitated. Stifling an oath, Heero glared and hauled him into the next room. It had a deep, wide tub built into the wall. It looked like it was modeled after a natural spring, circulating hot, fresh water. "Get in." He said simply. His voice was so savage, so firm and compelling. Deep, like the rumble of an earthquake and just as dangerous. It made a tiny shiver race up the back of Duo’s neck and he paused again, studying that strange feeling.

Then Heero’s meaning became clear. A scarlet blush spread over Duo's face. Of course he would like a bath... favoring his foot, he carefully walked over to the tub. Then he waited for everyone to leave. Heero scowled.

"Get in or I'll toss you in."

Duo gathered his dignity and straightened up. "Leave and I'll bathe." he asserted, greatly daring. Heero's eyes widened in surprise and Duo was sure he saw amusement in those glinting gold orbs. Before he could dodge, Heero planted a large hand in Duo’s chest, shoving him backward. The splash was spectacular. People were standing all around the tub now, ripping off his ragged clothing, securing his flailing limbs. Before too long, Duo was stripped naked and on his knees in the water, his arms held out painfully to his sides. Humiliated, Duo managed to lift his chin under the kitsune’s intense scrutiny.

Heero stared at him a long while, hands on his hips. Duo glared right back, boldly taking in his wild mop of jet black hair and strong aristocratic features... and that TAIL that he kept swishing. Heero’s eyes traveled over his body, not flinching, an insultingly direct gaze. Then his lips curved upward in a filthy grin. Duo thought that he turned red clear down to his toes. So much for audacity! He wanted to dive under the water and drown himself in utter embarrassment.

Abruptly, Heero nodded and waved his hand. "Be careful of his ankle, he needs it to be bandaged well and handled gently." He turned to go, but paused, eyes taking in Duo’s red face, "Mulberry," he said cryptically. Then he was gone. And the slaves descended. The humans attacked him with soft brushes, ignoring his shrieks and cries of pain when they scrubbed too hard at the ingrained dirt. The woman washing his hair dunked his head in the water repeatedly and without warning until Duo was sure that he was being drowned. His screams got weaker as he swallowed more and more water. As his struggles lessened, some of the hands got more familiar. He felt a hand running down the back of one of his thighs. When it started it's journey back up, Duo rallied again and managed to shove his assailant away. There was general laughter as the man got back to his feet, growling..

Finally he was hauled out of the tub, his skin stinging and pink. They roughly dried him off and quickly slicked him down with fragrant oils. A man grabbed him by the hair and held his head steady as a woman came up with a pretty silver necklace in her hands. It was odd, stiff, and slender. It draped over her fingers, but it formed a circle-- Duo gasped. Not a necklace! A silver COLLAR! The necklaces the rich ones wore were STILL collars!

"No!" he screamed shrilly, leaping up. The man expediently hit him over the head with the brush he was callously using on his hair and jerked him back down to his knees. Quickly, the woman put the wide silver collar around his neck and a lock clicked shut. Horror made Duo freeze. The look of jealously on the woman's face twisted his innards.

It seemed to go on forever, this torture. The collar was fastened to a long, slender chain that was fixed somewhere beyond Duo's line of sight. They yanked on it whenever he didn't move to their liking. They clipped and shaped his hair until soft honeyed brown locks fell around his ears and fell into his eyes. His eyebrows were shaped and his nails were clipped and smoothed and painted with clear polish. A light plum color was applied to his lips and kohl was applied to his eyes to emphasize their large lilac depths. They HAD been about to apply more, but in the end decided that he was too pale to put very much makeup on so they settled for a very fine dusting of gold powder over his exposed skin. When he inhaled, he got some of it into his mouth and realized that the powder was sweet like honey. Oh joy of joys....

All his efforts to resist were met with violence and lewd advances. Finally, he sat quietly as he was dressed in a long, pale blue dress. He barely twitched as they dragged him into the bedroom and shoved him down to sit at the foot of the bed. His ankle had been bandaged tightly and ice was piled plentifully near his foot.

His one other effort of rebellion was silenced with a blow behind the ear that nearly rendered him senseless. Against his will, his arms were secured above his head, soft leather tightly encircled his wrists. The only movement allowed him was the ability to sit or stand at the foot of the bed. He very much doubted that freedom would have been allowed if he could stand for very long on his foot. All this was done in echoing silence, no one spoke or ever really looked at him when he asked questions or demanded to be released.

A kitsune came and demanded to know if everyone was ready. The servants packed everything up and cleaned quickly. The woman who had collared him, fingered the silk sheet on the bed with a sad look on her face. The glare she gave Duo was absolutely hateful. Then she too, turned and left under the youko’s escort. The youko didn’t even give Duo a second glance from where he stood in the next room over. Then he was alone.

As everyone left, Duo finally gave in to tears. After all he’d done and everything he’d gone though. Ever after cutting off his hair! He was right where he’d fought not to be. At least the bonds were not metal. Duo tried to work his way free, but he couldn't bring his hands together and the harder he pulled, the tighter the leather got. Finally he had to stop and he sat there sobbing for the longest time. It would have been better if he had goaded them into killing him. Better than what lay ahead. He had seen what happened to slaves like him in this situation.

The door opened off to his right outside of the bedroom and Duo froze, his tears drying up in the face of his very real peril. He would die messy, but at least, in the end.... he would die.

***************

Heero sighed irritably as he walked behind the young human male carrying the dinner tray. He was thinking out the evening's events. He hadn't really wanted to take a companion, but there was nothing for it now. He couldn't just stand there as his cousin Mueller abused the little one. Heero was, by and large, indifferent to the workings of the manor. But he'd taken one look at the tiny figure that even in it's fear refused to cower and had to give aid no one else would. Mostly it was his own damned curiosity. The spirit it took to fight one of his kind was great considering thethings he'd seen going on in the Palace. He'd heard worse rumors. He grunted sourly as they neared the corridor where his rooms were.

~I couldn’t even tell if the dirty little thing was male or female until I'd taken a closer look at him~ Heero mused silently, ~And now that I've got him, I can't just toss him back. Mueller would find and torture him for certain now. I didn’t go through the aggravation of all this JUST to give him back now.~

Heero growled softly as the young man in front of him briefly struggled to open the door to his rooms. He was stuck with the child now. At least he was young and healthy. He'd give the human a comfortable life for as long as he continued to interest him. After that, well...

Heero shrugged. Already this project was fading in his interests.

The human pushed open the door and paused to allow Heero to enter first. Heero snorted softly and instead of going to into his bedroom, he headed through the sitting room to the washroom to clean up. He did manage to catch a glimpse of the human where he sat perfectly still on the edge of his bed. A child! He was even smaller than Heero had first imagined and thinner than he normally liked. The boy was hiding his face in his arm, turned away from him. A smile tugged at the corner of Heero’s mouth as he took in the stiff set of his back, full of defiance. If he wasn't careful, he'd wind up liking the little human, after all.

A loud crash startled him out of his thoughts. Growling menacingly, Heero wiped the cleansing rose water solution from his hands and stepped into the main sleeping room. The foolish slave was staring at the boy from across the room, a shattered glass at his feet. Heero was annoyed. That delicate glass was very expensive, for it took great care to make it so thin and smooth. The fact that the idiot was staring at his new companion infuriated him. He gestured.

The man cried out and clutched at his throat, trying to lift the collar away from hisblistering skin. "Ahhh!" he yelped.

The boy gasped and turned his head to glare at Heero where he leaned against the doorframe. Wide violet eyes startlingly large in a small heartshaped face flared at him furiously. Those soft, moist lips parted and a silky alto voice, breathless with emotion, demanded curtly. "Stop it!"

Heero lost hold of his concentration and the man went down on his knees gathering the pieces, ignoring the slashes they cut across his palms. The child’s face was perfect. Stunned into silence, forgetting his anger, Heero stared in unabashed wonder. Not knowing how he got to his side so quickly, he drew the little one to his feet and pulled him close. Yes, he was too thin, but that could be remedied. His hand cupped his cheek and his thumb gently caressed the fullness of his mouth. Purple eyes, darkening to a stormy dark hue, spit sparks at him and his lips drew back from his little white teeth. Heero pulled his hand away as the child snapped at him. Frowning slightly, Heero sent a gentle rebuke in the form of the silver collar heating just enough to cause discomfort.

At the sound of sliding glass, Heero finally remembered the fool behind him. "Get out now." he whispered. The man quickly stood and bowing the whole way, took his leave. He’d probably be beaten for not having an escort, but Heero didn’t really care. He turned his attention back to the boy. The little one was sullenly staring him in the chest, eye level. "Your name." he demanded.

"Duo," the boy replied promptly, if still full of rage.

"How old are you?" Heero asked. Humans had such short life spans. He just wanted to make sure that his new paramour wasn't TRULY a child even if he looked like one.

"What do you care?" he snapped. Inwardly, Heero chuckled. Bold little thing. Duo gasped in pain and pulled at his wrist restraints. "Stop that!"

"No," Heero said simply. Duo went off like a firecracker.

"IF YOU THINK I’M GONNA SIMPER AND BOW AND SCRAPE FOR YOU, YOU CAN WAIT TIL YOU FUCKING ROT!" Duo cried. Then he flinched and shook his head, "That hurts!"

Heero released him and walked away to sit at the table. Ignoring the increasing frequency of the boy’s protests, he served himself a hearty serving and settled in his chair. When he took his fist bite, Duo was panting and straining futilely to get at the collar. Heero kept it just hot enough to burn, but not enough to scald that delicate skin.

"Twenty!" he blurted.

"Hmm?" Heero managed around a mouthful of food.

"I'm twenty! Now STOP it you monster!" Suddenly Duo’s mouth fell open and he convulsed.

"You have freedom to speak, but watch what you say." Heero whispered softly. Duo sagged and flopped down onto the bed. The menace in Heero’s voice caused him to look up fearfully. "And if you ever call me a monster again, I'll thrash you until you can’t walk." Heero focused on him with a fierce regard that made Duo’s heart freeze in terror. "Do you understand?"

Duo swallowed a sob and nodded his head quickly. Heero was suddenly at his side, his fingers on his chin again. His eyebrows shot up in surprise when he took at look at his face. "Don’t cry," he murmured. Ignoring Duo’s flinch, he pressed forward and swiped his tongue along the boy bottom lip, "Sweet," he said in tones of deep satisfaction. "You’re mine now. Forever."

Duo refused to nod. He didn't even blink. Someday he would escape.

Heero’s eyes flashed possessively and his fingers stroked Duo’s throat, "You will do everything in your power to please me. I will make your life...pleasurable." he drawled softly.

The sound Heero was making! Deep in his chest. Duo felt his breath coming short, "You made that ‘here' sound awfully final," He whispered, his voice rough with suppressed tears. Heero’s breath was hot and moist on his cheek and Duo had to bite back a whimper. HOW could he be affected so? He didn’t like men. Not that way. "W-what do you mean by my pleasing you?" he asked, though he was afraid that he already knew. Heero gave him another heated look, their noses inches apart.

"You will keep me satisfied in every way," While this reply almost made him moan aloud, his next words made Duo’s heart stutter almost to a stop, "You will never leave these rooms."

~Shut away from the light forever?!~ Duo quailed at the thought. ~No more sun? Never feel the wind again? I can't. No Gods, please no...~ When Heero shifted, Duo blinked. Had he spoken aloud? Yes. He could tell that Heero was angry now.

"You will not cry!" he said sharply, "I refuse to have you moping around and sobbing every five minutes. Perhaps I should have just let Mueller take you." Heero scowled, putting emphasis on the word ‘take’, trying to frighten him. The very IDEA of it however, laid his ears back to his skull. The child was HIS! NO ONE would ever touch him AGAIN!

Yet Duo shook his head quickly and his eyes dropped in momentary submission. Good enough. For now. Heero was going to see to it that VERY soon Duo would be unable to THINK of being anywhere but by his side. Reaching up, he quickly freed the boy’s wrists.

After a few steadying breaths, Duo lifted his head and stared at him. The bleak despair there in his eyes made Heero reach out and unfasten the chain from the collar. Duo lifted his small hands and ran his fingers over the smooth metal, seamless silver under his touch.

"Don’t try to leave, you'll regret it." He gestured toward the table. When Duo just sat there, not even attempting to get up, Heero picked him up and dumped him in a chair.

Duo managed a few bites, but couldn't swallow any more. It tasted like dust. He stood up and walked away from the table. Heero just watched him, not saying a word. After a long while, he rose and left, closing the door behind him. Of course he didn't lock it, he didn't need to.

Duo slid down the wall to sit on the floor and wept bitterly.