The said healer turned around from his medicines to face the runner than had come into his dwelling. Sharp amethyst eyes focused on the panting fourteen-year-old apprentice, regarding him carefully. Something was up.
"What is it, Hamish?" He asked, the sweet lilting voice serious.
The boy, Hamish, gasped for air, resting his hands on his knees. "There-There are injured coming in!"
"WHAT?" The chestnut haired man strode forward, his braid swinging behind him agitatedly. "How?"
"The King's Riders." Hamish replied, running a hand through his messy blond hair. "They were ambushed in the woods by Sanq. This was the only place nearby."
"How many?" Duo asked as he turned back around and started packing his medicines. True, his power was great but there was only so much he could do before resorting to medicines.
"I don't know." Hamish replied. "Please come quickly. Quatre has taken to be ill, so he cannot heal. You're the only one."
"You go ahead. Prepare the medical tents. I'll be there." Duo replied as he busily put various jars into his pack. "Willowbark, yes. Now where's aloe? Damn this whole war…"
"Move out of the way! We've got the injured coming in!" Trowa Barton and Zechs Marquise of the King's Riders moved forward and cleared the way of the clustering villagers for Heero Yuy, prince for Peacemillion.
The prince was a shrewd man, with piercing cobalt eyes and a grim set mouth. Mocha colored bangs shadowed his face as he walked forward, his arms carrying his second in command who was injured, Chang Wufei.
"Move out of the way!" Zechs was yelling exasperatedly as the curious villagers tried to get a closer look at who was injured. More so, people were fascinated by the prince actually being there in their village. Heero glared at them coldly and they shrunk back, growing silent.
All of a sudden, a boy of about fourteen years old with blond hair and brown eyes popped onto their path. Zechs and Trowa stopped causing the others to halt as well.
"My lords." The boy said, bowing deeply. Zechs and Trowa inclined their heads to acknowledge the boy. "The medical tents are ready. If you would this way…?"
Zechs regarded the boy frowning. He was wearing a healer apprentice's robes, dark green with silver embroidery. After sizing up the boy, he nodded curtly. "Lead." He commanded.
The boy ducked his head respectfully and turned around, weaving through the crowd with ease, though as soon as the Riders crossed their path, the villagers made way for them, intimidated by the cold glare. Soon the white tents came into view and they were lead inside.
Laying Wufei down onto one of the beds, Heero looked around and frowned. "Where is the healer?"
A moan rose up from a nearby bed and Heero quickly turned to see a blond struggling to sit up.
"I'm here." A piteous voice croaked out. Heero scowled and turned to the boy who had led them there.
"Is this some kind of a joke? This is your healer?" He snapped. The boy however didn't seem to be intimidated by him. He looked around Heero's towering figure and gasped as he saw the blond trying to make his out of him bed.
"Quatre!" He rushed over and pushed the other man back down on to the mattress. "You must rest. You are in no condition to heal."
"But I must!" Quatre protested, struggling against him in vain. "I have to help them, Hamish!"
"No, you don't." Another voice interrupted. Heero, Trowa and Zechs turned to see another man with long chestnut hair and amethyst eyes, stride in and restrain Quatre. Heero's eyes instantly became focused on this newcomer wearing the dark green robes with the gold embroidery. This was their healer?
"Quatre, not today." Duo stated firmly as he poured something from a flask into a cup and held it to the other's lips. "Drink. Today you rest. We'll see how you're doing tomorrow. Healing will be put off until later."
Turning to the apprentice, he commanded. "Stay. Willowbark tea every four hours. Help out the others in the meantime." Getting a nod from the boy, Duo stood up and walked over to the three riders.
Heero looked at him carefully. Something was intriguing about this young man. Everything about him, the way he spoke, the way he moved, seemed to have a certain intent to it. However the gracefulness at which he did these was unintentional.
"Who are you?" He asked stoically. He had never been the one to show much emotion.
The other man seemed to regard him just the same. "I am a healer of this village." He stated firmly and proudly. Both of them stared at each other for about a minute, before turning to their patient. Duo's eyes widened at the sight of copious amounts of blood that leaked through the roughly constructed bandage. Quickly setting down his pack of medicines, he sat on the bedside and started to remove the bandage all the while keeping the pressure with his hand.
"How long has it been since he was wounded?" He asked.
"Three quarters of an hour." The blond general replied.
"Damn. All right. Hamish!" He called to the blond boy who came hurriedly. "Here. Put this on." He handed the boy a necklace with a cross hanging from it. "Now, apply pressure to his wound."
Turning to the other gentlemen, he instructed calmly. "Would you please back away a few inches?" They looked at him curiously but agreed. Duo turned back towards the patient, pressed his palm together and started to chant something.
The other three were thrown back at the sheer power emanating from the young healer. Black translucent strands of magic wove themselves to construct a barrier around the bed, enclosing Duo and the unfazed boy, Hamish along with Heero's second in command. Heero could barely make out Duo who now held his hands over the wound and had strands of magic connecting the young man on the bed and the healer. Hamish seemed to be untouched by the black strands for some reason.
Finally the power dissipated and the barrier unwove itself and flew back into Duo. The healer sighed and wiped his sweaty brow with the back of his hand, smiling tiredly. The wound was now closed but the man would still be very weak due to the loss of blood.
Heero observed the braided man as he went about setting up his medicines and instructing Hamish on various things. The prince guessed that he was Duo's student. Suddenly Duo stopped his instructions and frowned, leaning close to the man on the bed again. He seemed to listen to something intently before pulling back. His eyes widened for a fraction of a second before the cool, composed look took over his face again.
"Is he claimed to anyone?"
"Yes." Trowa replied. "To General Treize Khushrenada"
"Find Treize. He needs him." Duo said to the others. Heero blinked, surprised. Seeing Heero's look, Duo explained. "Claimed can lend energy. Wufei needs that now."
Zechs blinked for a second and then replied. "I have sent a messenger through the hills, since the woods are not safe. Treize should be here shortly."
As he finished saying that, a stampede of horses came loudly into the village. All the riders were wearing the king's emblem, a sword surrounded by two white wings, the villagers parted for the respectfully. Zechs stepped out to see the commotion and immediately spotted the cinnamon haired general looking around frantically.
"Treize!" He called out. The general immediately turned towards him and his eyes widened. In a second, he was by Zechs' side, asking him questions.
"Where is he? Is he okay? Please, let him be okay. I need to see him. Where is he?" A flurry of questions raced by and Zechs got a hold of the older man's shoulders and shook him.
"Calm down. He will be okay. I think he's just resting now. He's inside there." He gestured towards the tent and the other immediately took off inside.
Duo looked up as the entrance to the tent parted and in came in another general. He took one look at the patient and was by his side in seconds, holding the limp hand in his own.
"You must be Treize." Duo stated. The other general nodded. "Can you channel your energy into him?"
Treize looked up quickly at Duo and back at Wufei. "Yes. I will."
Everything was so foggy. Wufei felt as though he was floating to inky darkness. He could hear voices but could not make out the words. What had happened? Where was he? Where was Treize?
It's me, love. Are you okay? The reply echoed in his mind and Wufei relaxed. Treize was here with him.
Fine. Just tired.
Sleep, my love. His claimed's voice came, calm and soothing. Everything will be okay. With Treize's reassurance, Wufei slipped into a deep dreamless sleep.