Tears poured over Chesta's cheeks, as he lay curled up in a ball on the couch in Dilandau's study. His eyes were closed tightly and Dilandau frowned at the state his soldier was in.

Chesta had always been dedicated and bright. Although Dilandau hadn't quite acknowledged his dedication and skill in so many words. He'd seen it and it had impressed him, although he would never admit it, even to himself.

Nevertheless, here was one of his most dedicated slayers, trembling in fear and violation as tears poured over his cheeks. The cheerful slayer who had taken his beatings gratefully, who wasn't afraid to question him and be slapped for it if it would sway some eminent disaster, in tears. Chesta had only cried once before and not once that Dilandau knew of, since they had arrived as the beginnings of the Dragon Slayers. The one time had been after Dilandau had reamed him for not having enough dedication and slapped him. It wasn't the slap that had made Chesta cry it was Dilandau's disapproval.

Dilandau frowned at the poor boy's state. 'What could be so tragic to bring Chesta to this?' he questioned, not sure what to do or why Chesta had even come to him.

"What happened?" Dilandau asked, the words monotone and devoid of any emotion.

Chesta opened his eyes and looked up to Dilandau, yet unshed tears still gleaming in his eyes. "Dilandau Sama…I…it was… was…" More tears welled up in Chesta's eyes causing the ones already there to cascade down over his cheeks before he buried his face in his arms and his body was racked with sobs.

Dilandau sat on the couch, mentally bashing himself over the head for being so heartless. "Chesta, look up for minute." He did.

"Yes, Lord Dilandau."

"Shh, now tell me what happened." Dilandau felt like he was going soft, put he pushed it aside and decided this was just natural concern for his Slayer.

"Dilandau Sama… I don't know how to say this…"

"Then just spit it out already!" Dilandau was feeling frustrated, for once he was actually worried about the boy and now he'd hit a roadblock.

"It was Migel." A trigger of thoughts flashed through Dilandau's mind. He'd found Chesta sitting in the hall outside the Dragon Slayer's rooms while he was walking the hall with insomnia. Chesta had been curled up in a fetal position rocking slightly, dressed only in an under-shirt and a hastily grabbed sheet, outside the room he shared with… Migel. The thought dawned on Dilandau and he was ready to throttle that slayer if he could ever coax a just reason out of Chesta. The fact that Migel was one of his best slayers meant nothing at that moment.

Dilandau's left hand softly lay on Chesta's shoulder and his right clenched into a fist at his side. "What did Migel do, Chesta?"

Fear glimmered in Chesta's eyes and they filled with tears again. "I- I can't tell you…" He stammered out.

"Of course you can, I don't give shit what Migel said you can't say! Tell me, now and if I have to I'll make that an order." Dilandau pulled his hand away from Chesta's shoulder sure he would hurt him if he weren't careful.

"He hurt me…" That was a weak answer and both of them knew it but Dilandau decided it was a start.


Chesta was silent and he looked up into Dilandau's eyes wishing he could tell by just that look.

A thought occurred to Dilandau but he pushed it away, 'Gods no, that can't be it!' he screamed mentally.

"How, Chesta, how'd Migel hurt you?" He said it much more calmly than he expected to, sounding more like Folken, with his lack of inflection.

More silence.

"Do I have to go ask him myself?"

Chesta looked frightened, "N-no sir! Don't do that!"

Dilandau sighed, "Then tell me, what happened, why did I find you in the hall?" He'd forced Chesta to stand and come to his study. Dilandau had tossed him a pair of boxers with flames on them and left for a moment while he pulled them on. It seemed inevitable what had happened but Dilandau cringed at the thought, and he couldn't do anything about it until Chesta told him.

"I left the room after…"

"After what?"

"What I can't tell you."

"Do I have to command you Chesta?!"


Dilandau sighed; this was getting no where.

"Let start from the beginning what happened after dinner?"

Chesta sighed and began to recount what had happened.

"I went back to my room, the one I share with Migel, and changed out of my uniform and into pajamas."

"And then what?"

"I went over to Viole's room where I played cards with him, Migel, Dalet, Gatti and Guimel."

"When you left?"

"I left Viole's room with Migel, Gatti and Guimel and we went back to our rooms, all of us were a little drunk because Viole had snagged a bottle of wine from the kitchen for us."

"I should be disappointed with you guys for that but I'll let it go because it's more amusing than anything harmful to the kitchen staff… What happened next?"

"Gatti and Guimel went back to their room, and Migel and I went back to our room… Migel was pretty drunk, you know he doesn't take alcohol well…" He stopped, not wanting to go on unless he had to.

"I know, this isn't this first time it's gotten him hurt." Dilandau sighed, there were two possibilities now, either Migel had physically hurt Chesta as in beating or… He didn't like the other option and wouldn't go there unless he had to. He sighed. "What next, Chesta?"

Chesta looked at his hands and wove his fingers together, not willing to look up into Dilandau's face, expecting cruelty and anger to be there.

"Chesta, what happened?" Dilandau clenched his hand in fist, it couldn't be the first, Chesta would be willing to tell something like that, but also he wouldn't be so upset about it either. 'Why should I care? That sort of thing happens all the time, I mean, we are in the army… and boys will be boys…' He cringed at his own mental process.

"Chesta, how did Migel hurt you, I can't do anything about it unless you tell me."

Chesta bit his lip and looked up for a second, wringing his hands like dish rag. "He raped me." It was whispered and so quiet Dilandau barely caught it, but now he had Chesta's testimony.

'Damn! Migel you fucking idiot I'm going to kill you!' He mentally raved, his hands clenching into fists. Chesta saw his reaction and cringed, fearful of Dilandau's wrath and anger.

"Dilandau Sama...." Chesta whispered a little louder this time. "Please… don't…"

"Then what do you want me to do Chesta? What am I supposed to do? Under Zaibach law he's responsible for this! I can't just let it go! I won't have that sort of uncontrollable… mess, going on!"

Chesta wiped his face and began studying the lines on his palm, tracing them lightly with his fingers.

"I don't know," was his only timid reply.

Dilandau frowned and was silent for a moment.

'You are being so horrible to him.' It was Celena, Dilandau did his best to ignore his alter ego. He didn't know that the voice that whispered to him so softly was really Celena.

'And? Your point would be?' He replied bitterly.

'You know what he's feeling.'

'Shut up, that was a long time ago.'

'How long? Three… four years? That wasn't that long.'


'So, tell him, comfort him, stop being such an arrogant fool and be more of help than you are being harmful.'

'What if I don't want to?' Dilandau looked at Chesta who had once again curled up in a ball on the couch with his face buried in his arms. Chesta looked up at him with tear filled eyes.

'Can you say no to that?'

'No… but…'

'Go on.'

Dilandau shook off her coaxing, or had she stopped? He didn't care.

"Chesta, I'm… sorry. I can't make this any better but I've been there. Those sorcerers… I could kill each and every one of them and feel nothing less than triumph." Dilandau sighed. "I just thought I was the only one." He laid his hand softly on Chesta's shoulder who was staring up at him in amazement.

"Dilandau Sama… I never thought…I'm sorry."

"Yeah, I am too." Dilandau wondered at this strange feeling of sorrow that came over him, it was rather different from the anger and pain he'd become used to. It had been masked by them and now had finally resurfaced and he could hardly contain himself. He began to tremble and he bit his lip doing anything he could to hold back what had been hidden inside of him for so long. Chesta sat up and scooted closer to Dilandau, clinging to him.

"Why Chesta? Why do things like this happen to the most innocent of people?" Dilandau sobbed, not able to contain himself any more. Memories flooded him as he remembered being younger, when his training had just begun… he couldn't remember anything past that but he could remember how innocent he'd been then, how they'd desensitized him to death and killing, but he remembered that he had been innocent, no matter how long ago.

"Dilandau Sama…"

"Skip the formalities please Chesta."

"All right, Dilandau… I-I… thank you."

"No Chesta, thank you." Dilandau gently wrapped his arms around Chesta. "I'm here for you." He whispered.

"Thanks." Dilandau could tell Chesta was tired and finally after endless nights on insomnia he finally felt like he could rest as well.

"Stay here tonight, on my couch, it's a pull out, I hope it will do."

Chesta nodded emphatically, glad he wouldn't have to go back to his own room.

They pulled out the bed and Dilandau found some extra blankets.

"Good night Dilandau." Chesta yawned as Dilandau tucked him in like a little child.

"Good night Chesta." Dilandau made his way into his room, he pulled the comforter up around his chin and sighed, the burden on his shoulders having shifted off some and a little bit more added on but now he had some one to share his burden, maybe, just maybe living wouldn't be so bad. Dilandau closed his eyes and fell soundly asleep for the first time in weeks.