And here it is! ^_^ Part one of my first angsty-type multi-parter.
Warning! Warning! Quatre torture ahead! Trowa abuse ahead! Really,
really mean and eeeevil baddies ahead! Some nice, sweet scenes here and
there to make up for all of that ^_^;

This fic contains both shounen ai(guy/guy) and yuri(girl/girl)
relationships... Nothing explicit tho' ^_^;

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[ Disclaimer: All rights and privileges to Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing
are trademarks and property of Sunrise, Bandai, Sotsu Agency, and
associated parties. The characters of these works are used WITHOUT
permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction
is not meant for sale or profit. ]

A GW fan fic: Tevel(Dearly Loved) - Part One
By Stargem

Key for punctuation:

//…// - flashback

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Quatre stumbled blindly onwards, one hand pressed against his torn
side, his breath coming in ragged gasps. Crimson fluid stained his
fingers, seeping through the cloth of his formerly white robes. His
blue-green eyes were glazed over with pain and fatigue; the road
blurred. Behind him, he could clearly her the angry snarls of his
pursuer. The powerful draining spell that he had been hit with had
temporarily bereft him of a sizeable chunk of his magic, so he could
not work any but the simplest spells.

The healer-mage halted, leaning against a tree for support as his
vision swam. Quatre's reserves were running dangerously low. He needed
to hide. But where?
A shadowy figure appeared before him. Quatre shifted his grip on the
rough bark of the tree that was his support and directed a weary but
defiant glare at the newcomer. The creature was humanoid in appearance,
but the long, wicked claws that tipped its fingers were definitely not
human. It wore a snug, black leather bodysuit and a malevolent smile.

"Quatre," it hissed.

"Go away, Mew. I have not time to play games with you."
Mew stalked closer, in the manner of a hunter closing in on its prey.
"You're in no position to give me orders, pretty boy."

Quatre stiffened but remained silent. Slowly, his fingers curled into a
fist and began glowing faintly as he called forth the last vestiges of
his power. He kept his actions hidden in the wide sleeve of his robe,
hoping Mew believed him to be all tapped out.

"Mistress Sze wants you. What she wants, she gets. You've evaded us
long enough, little rat." Mew's voice was filled with hate. "Mistress
Sze only specified that you be alive when I bring you in, so I get to
play a little."

As Mew advanced, her claws gleaming with the promise of pain, Quatre
pushed away from the tree and blasted her with the power he had built
up with a flick of his wrist. The white, raw energy struck the startled
creature full in the face, eliciting a howl of rage and pain. As Mew
scrubbed at her burning eyes and face, Quatre fled.

/I can't keep running forever…losing too much blood./ Quatre's steps
were already faltering, lacking the usual grace of his kind. /Tired…/
The blood was roaring in his ears. Each wheezing breath took more and
more effort until he was forced to stop. Quatre collapsed, almost
completely unconscious on the dusty road. Dimly, he heard footsteps
approaching. With a supreme effort, he opened his eyes. He saw a human
boy, emerald-green eyes wide with surprise, one obscured by long brown
bangs. His mouth was moving, but Quatre was deaf to his words. He
slipped into a grey world, senseless.

***

Mew carefully navigated the rooms of Sze's palace by smell and memory
alone. Her eyes still stung and her vision had been reduced to almost
nothing. She snarled, remembering the healer-mage she had been charged
with capturing. If she had a tail, it would have been lashing furiously
like a whip. Halting at the graceful white stone archway leading to
Sze's main chambers, Mew unconsciously smoothed the front of the pale
blue silk robes she had worn in place of her normal dark outfit. She
entered, her footsteps swallowed up by the soft white carpet.

At the far end of the room, where a fountain tossed glittering sprays
of water in the air, stood a small, stately fairy. She was dressed in
soft cream silks, her golden locks pulled up in a high ponytail with
small braids trailing down the sides, revealing her pointed ears.
Delicate, transparent wings sprang from her shoulderblades, shimmering
in the light. She turned as Mew entered, smiling down at her as the
creature fell on one knee, her head bowed submissively.

"You may rise, my pet." The fairy petted the glossy dark hair.

Mew lifted her head, her eyes glowing with adoration, "Thank you,
Mistress Sze."

"Have you captured him?" Sze asked, unable to keep the eagerness out of
her voice.

Mew's face fell. "No, Mistress Sze. He has escaped again." She
prostrated herself before the smaller fairy, her voice filled with
self-incrimination. "I have failed you."

Sze scowled in disappointment, her superficially lovely features
distorted by her expression. She irritably gestured for Mew to get to
her feet and turned back to the sparkling fountain contemplatively even
as she was instantly obeyed.

"You must try again, little one."

"Yes, Mistress Sze," Mew said, crestfallen.

Sze tapped her bottom lip thoughtfully with one manicured fingernail.
"He is weak right now, so he must have gone into hiding. He could not
have gone far."

"There is a small town just west of the forest," Mew volunteered. "He
might have gone there."

Sze turned and tipped her head up to look at the taller, muscled
creature and smiled. "Very good, my pet."

Mew lit up instantly. Bolstered by Sze's approval she continued, "I
could disguise myself as one of the humans and search the area."

Sze smiled again. It was an unpleasant expression, dripping with
malice. "Quatre *will* be mine!"

"I go at once, Mistress Sze," Mew said.

Sze delicately lifted a finger, "Wait."

Obediently, Mew stopped before her. "Come here." Sze took Mew's face in
her hands and inspected the damage inflicted by Quatre. "You've been
hurt, little one. Why did you not tell me?"

"I do not want to trouble you, Mistress Sze," whispered Mew.

"You're no trouble, my pet." Sze waved a hand over the creature's face,
restoring her sight. "You would do anything for your mistress, yes?"

Mew stared into Sze's pale blue eyes with a look of pure, unfettered
adoration. "Yes, Mistress Sze. Anything you desire."

Sze released her. "Good. Go now, and bring back my healer-mage. I grow
impatient."

***

"Where have you been?" demanded Eliza.

The tall, brown-haired youth closed the door softly and hefted his
cloak-wrapped bundle on his shoulder. He looked at the middle-aged
woman, taking in her cruel expression and the disapproval in her body
language. He remained silent.

"What is that?" Eliza walked up to him and attempted to inspect his
bundle, but he backed off immediately. "Get back here, brat! What have
you got there? Give it to me."

The youth stared at her mutely but shook his head firmly.

Eliza's features contorted with rage, "Are you disobeying me??"

The brown-haired boy looked at her for a long moment. Then he walked
off, hunching his shoulders even as her shrill threats pierced his
ears. "You can't get away with this kind of behaviour under this roof!
I'm going to tell Carlo!"
The youth went to the small, bare room at the back of the house that
was his own. He locked the door and deposited his bundle on the narrow
cot gently. He did not know what had possessed him to pick up the
wounded fairy he had found on the roadside; this town he lived in hated
the fae for they stole their children and caused no end of mischief. He
flicked black the cloak, exposing the pale, drawn features of the
fairy, short-cropped golden hair not quite enough to hide the
delicately pointed ears. He spent a moment gazing at the creature; it
was not often he that had seen someone so beautiful. Then, he inspected
the ragged gash marring the fairy's left side. He had lost a lot of
blood, enough to weaken him terribly, but not enough to be fatal. He
removed the crude bandage he had wrapped around the fairy's damaged
side and used a cleaner strip of cloth, cleaning and doctoring the
wound as best as he could, with the limited resources he had at hand.
The rest of the fairy's injuries were relatively minor - bruises,
scrapes, mild burns and cuts.

The doorknob suddenly rattled. "Open this door!"

The green-eyed boy started. Hurriedly, he covered up his patient and
swiftly answered the door, unlocking it to admit an extremely ugly
middle-aged man, his thinning hair already greying. Carlo glared up at
him.

"Where have you been? You aren't supposed to go out without my or
Eliza's permission!"

The youth blocked the doorway with his body, clutching the doorknob to
hold the door slightly closed. He did not answer.

"Hmph. Dumb and stupid. You're lucky we let you stay with us. Come on -
it's time for the show. We've got an important guest tonight, so don't
mess up!"

Carlo trotted off, grumbling to himself. With one last hesitant
backward glance at the covered up figure on his bed, the unnamed youth
followed, firmly closing the door.

***

Mew waved a languid, gloved hand at the small crowd collected in the
small field just on the outskirts of their town. They jostled each
other, goggling at her and whispering excitedly. High-born ladies did
not often come to visit small towns like theirs. She curbed her
impatience, resisting the urge to snarl at the ogling idiots. She
affected a bored air, irritably waving off the occasional fawning
admirer coming forward to present some small gift. She kept a sharp eye
out for a blonde head - the healer-mage could not possibly have enough
magic left to cast a glamour to disguise himself.

There was a flurry of excitement, and a middle-aged man appeared,
dressed in garish robes of red, orange and yellow - Carlo, Mew recalled
his name was - leading a tall, lean youth on a leash. Mew was
intrigued. The boy stood quietly, his expression remaining impassive
even as the crowd jeered and hooted. Carlo attempted to bow, grunting
with the effort of folding his bulk.

"We have a special guest tonight, ladies and gentlemen! Lady Catherine
of Whitestone Keep!" Carlos gestured towards the mounted dais on which
Mew was seated.

Mew raised a hand and smiled, accepting of the light applause. Carlo
kicked the boy accompanying him in the leg, sending him sprawling on
his knees. The crowd roared its approval. After an abortive attempt to
rise, stopped by Carlo's next kick, he stayed in his position, kneeling
in the dirt.

"Folks," Carlo addressed his audience grandly, "this here's a
one-of-a-kind freak. It has a Talent for shapeshifting; it can copy
anybody's face and shape down to the last hair. Who would like to
volunteer and see this amazing feat performed?"

Mew leaned forward, her interest mounting. A shapeshifter? She briefly
considered bringing this amusing little bauble back to Mistress Sze,
but dismissed the thought. She was here for a different reason. /But
perhaps I can somehow use this creature to my advantage…/

A little boy and stepped forward, egged on by his peers. He stared up
at the shapshifter in awe and fear, receiving a calm, expressionless
gaze in return. Carlo chuckled.

"No need to be afraid, boy." He tugged roughly on the leash.
"Transform! Now!"

The youth's eyes suddenly flared to life - with amusement, Mew saw that
it was hatred for his captor. The fool did not know the danger he was
tempting by treating the creature like that. Just as quickly, the
emotion faded back into a blank mask. Obedient to Carlo's command, the
boy looked the boy over briefly and began to change his shape. His lean
frame shrank in size, becoming more compact with each passing moment.
His eyes, once a deep emerald flashed to the chocolate brown and his
hair took on the same glossy, jet black colour of the boy. In mere
minutes, the youth was gone, replaced with a perfect replica of the
boy. The crowd murmured in surprised appreciation of the show. Some of
the braver ones went forward to poke and prod the leashed boy,
confirming that it was not an elaborate illusion.

"What did I tell you?" Carlo said, a trifle smug.

Mew applauded lightly. "Bravo, master Carlo. That was a brilliant show."
Following the noble's example, the crowd cheered. Carlo beamed, drawing
up his stocky frame, his chest puffed out importantly. Mew tossed a
handful of gold at his feet. Almost immediately coins began to shower
the ground, thrown by the audience. Copper, silver, bronze - Carlo's
eyes gleamed as he mentally tallied up the profits of the day's venture.

'Lady Catherine' had seen enough. The healer-mage was obviously not
here. She rose gracefully, stepping down from the dais. Carlo hurried
to her side, raining her with praises and effusive thanks for her time.

He inquired, "Will you stay with us tonight, lady? Eliza is a fine
cook, and I'm sure you'll enjoy her soup-"

"No, thank you, master Carlo. I must be getting back, for I have
business to attend to, but I shall remember your kind invitation." Mew
gave him an empty smile. "Your creature is quite remarkable. I'd like
to give him this, for putting on such a good show." She pulled out an
elegant green collar from a pouch by her side, a small diamond
glittering in its centre.

Carlo's eyes widened as he took the obviously expensive piece,
reverently stroking the soft leather. To ensure the fat fool did not
take the gift for himself, Mew caught his eyes and put him in a trance,
speaking in a firm voice, "This is my gift to the creature, not you.
Make sure it stays with him always." She broke the spell. "You may go."

Carlo blinked a few times, nodded and scuttled out of the way as she
swept off in a cloud of silk and perfume.

***

"Eliza!" Carlo bellowed, jubilant. "Look at what we raked in today!"

Eliza hurried into the kitchen as Carlo poured out a sizeable heap of
coins on the table. Her eyes rounded.

"Carlo, where did you get this much money??"

"It was that lady from Whitestone - the Lady Catherine." He poked the
youth standing behind him silently. "I think she took a fancy to our
freak 'ere."

Eliza eyed him with profound disfavour. "Humph. Well he isn't getting
any food from me tonight! Not after that little stunt earlier." She
squinted at him. "What's that around his neck?"

"Something the lady decided to give him. A collar."

"That's too fine for the likes of him! We could sell it for a pretty
price…"
"Never mind that! Help me count this…" Carlo waved his hand impatiently
at the boy, dismissing him.

Obediently, the brown-haired boy left, swiftly walking to his room. The
excited chatter of the couple faded as he closed the door. The fairy
was still there; he had not disappeared as the boy had half-expected.
He was still sleeping, but he had apparently been up for at least a
little while. The scattered medical supplies had been put away neatly
and the dirty bandages were gone. The fairy was curled up on his side,
the worn blanket sliding off his shoulder as he drew in long, steady
breaths. He looked small and vulnerable, completely unlike what he had
heard in stories the townspeople would tell.

The youth hesitated, then carefully took a seat at the very end of the
hard, wooden cot. He simply gazed at the lovely creature, content to
just look. For once, his companion was not only hunger and loneliness.
The diamond at his throat glowed softly.

***

Duo jauntily sauntered through the dissipating crowd, grinning a little
to himself. This lot was easy pickings for a thief of his caliber. They
were your typical sleepy, comfortable townfolk with full purses that he
gladly helped himself to. The freakshow had been interesting, but he
had felt sorry for the youth, forced to endure the derogatory of that
fat guy's nastiness. He had picked his pocket too, and now possessed a
fine gold watch on a chain, a fat silver ring and a huge, red silk
handkerchief.

The noble lady that had attended the show had given him a bad feeling.
For a moment, it had been as though someone had poured an entire bucket
of wriggling slugs all over him. He had a sneaking suspicion that she
was not what she said, and his inner voice was rarely, if ever, wrong.
He had steered clear of her, keeping hidden in the milling crowd. Duo
decided to stay for a little while - this town had plenty of sights to
see, and if it was true what he heard the people say, he might even get
to see a fairy in the nearby forest. He looked up at the brilliant
splash of orange, red and gold that marked the sun's departure.
Besides, he wanted to see if the sunrise here was as gorgeous as its
sunset.

He entered the first inn he encountered, smiling winsomely at the woman
he took to be the innkeeper. "What do you charge for a night and some
food here?"

The kindly-looking woman, probably somewhere in her late thirties,
blushed and smiled. "For you lad, I'll take fifteen coppers. I can have
a tray delivered to your door for dinner."

Duo winked. "Sounds fair to me! Where's my room? I hope you've got one
with a nice view - I'd love to see the sunrise tomorrow. And what's the
fare you serve here?" He followed the innkeeper up the stairs,
continuing to chatter brightly. "This is a lovely inn you've got here -
the best I've seen so far! It's very well-kept, and the owner is such a
pretty lady."

The innkeeper immediately warmed to him. "Why thank you, dear. I
haven't seen you around, and all the townsfolk come here every once in
a while. Are you passing through?"

"Oh, yes! I've just come from Aelfdene."

"My! That's quite far away! Are you a minstrel?"

"No, ma'am! I just like to wander. It got boring back home where I come
from, so I upped and left to see the world; so here I am now." Duo
spread his arms wide for emphasis, grinning.

"Well, here we are," the innkeeper said, stopping in front of a door.
"I'll bring something up for you a little later. I hope you enjoy your
stay…"

"Duo," the thief supplied, beaming at her.

"Duo," she repeated, smiling back. "If you have need of anything, just
ask."

"I will!" He closed the door after she left and grinned. "Yup, still
got it!"

***

Quatre woke slowly, floating in a haze. The ache in his side had
lessened a little, to his relief and the twinges of pain all over his
body were numbed. He tried moving his arm experimentally, a bit
dismayed to find it almost too heavy to lift. He was exhausted. As he
stirred, he thought he could vaguely hear some rustlings somewhere in
the vicinity of his feet. What is that? He opened his eyes and tried to
look, but the all-pervading heaviness refused to lift. A face swam into
his blurry vision - emerald-green eyes, brown hair. /I've seen that
face before…/ It was the same boy he had seen just before he blacked
out. /Eyes…familiar…/ Surely he had seen those jewel-deep green eyes
somewhere before?

//Quatre stroked the human's cheek gently, his voice thick with tears,
"It'll be just a short while, won't it, my love? I'll find you again. I
promise."
Trowa smiled up at him painfully. "I know…you will…I'll be waiting…"
The fairy memorized the beautiful emerald gaze, quietly assuring of his
love until the lids slid shut, veiling them forever. The healer-mage
wrapped his bloodied cloak around Trowa loosely, stroking the white
hair and aged skin gently, tears trickling down his face. He would
leave shortly, to wander the earth until he found the soul of his loved
one once again, reincarnated into a new body.//

He remembered. His heart thrilled - he had found him! After so long, he
had found his soulmate's current incarnation at last. He wanted to
speak, to tell the beautiful youth everything. /I love you, I love you
and now that I've found you, everything is all right./

The door suddenly slammed open, and a harsh, grating voice assaulted
his ears painfully. The face above his disappeared, turning to the
source of the intruder. Quatre turned his head, ignoring the pounding
in his brain and focused on a human face, features twisted in a grimace
of fear, surprise and anger. With a jolt of panic, he realised that he
had not cloaked himself in a glamour, and his true form was visible to
the mortal. The fae had suffered horribly at the hand of humans, and it
looked like he was about to become the next. /Oh no…/

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(© December 1999 by Stargem)

Tevel(Dearly Beloved) - Part One is dedicated to Djinn ^_^ Without her
speedy, encouraging response on the TQML, this part wouldn't have been
churned out as quickly. Special thanks to StoryTeller, kumiko and
Reishin for proofing.

Send your comments and criticisms! The more I get, the faster I write
^_~