The End of Innocence Part 6

Trowa leaned back in his chair, his expression solemn, as he watched the young blonde moving around the chamber. For the last week the pair had moved in wary circles around each other, neither talking beyond what was required for the young lord to perform his duties.

The Viscount frowned as he took in Quatre's appearance. He'd grown pale, large, dark circles under his eyes that indicated that he hadn't been sleeping. His fine, blonde hair had grown dull, the sparkle in his sapphire eyes, gone. This was what his captivity had done to him, but Trowa didn't know what else to do with him. He had ordered the blonde to stay within the chambers for his own safety. He'd been outraged that those orders had been ignored.

Didn't he know what the Baron would do if he caught him wandering around free? To all of them? It wasn't wise to go against Baron Khushrenada's commands. It usually resulted in someone's death, as the death of Lord Winner had proved.

That's no excuse for the way you treated him, he berated himself. And it wasn't. He couldn't figure out why he had acted the way he had. Violence, unless needed on the battlefield, wasn't in his nature. And even then... he hated it. He'd never raised a hand to someone he considered weaker than he.

Although, he had the feeling that if Quatre were really pushed, he could very well defend himself.

Suddenly he stood and indicated for Quatre to come to him.

With his head bowed, the young man walked over to stand in front of the brunette. He fought his conflicting emotions as he felt the nearness of the Viscount, his heart thudding heavily in his chest. He was terrified... enraged... wracked with grief... and filled with a strange longing... all at once. He flinched as he felt the cold metal band click shut around his wrist. And trapped.

And to a person, who'd been allowed an incredible amount of freedom in his life, the last feeling was the worst.

Quatre jumped as he felt Trowa's long fingers under his chin, gently untying the laces that held the neck of his tunic shut. Looking up he was drawn into those glittering green eyes.

Trowa finished untying the tunic and gently turned Quatre around, sliding the garment off one shoulder. Seeing the faded yellows and purples of the huge bruise under his shoulder blade, he winced. It at least looked better today than it had... fading from the dark hues of black and blue to this. It had been a wonder that Quatre hadn't broken his shoulder when he fell against the table that day. He also knew there were bruises on the boy's upper arm, from where he'd dragged him up the stairs.

When the Viscount had discovered the bruises, he'd been horrified that he'd caused this injury to the gentle blonde. And deeply sorrowed.

He gently ran a finger along the outer edges of the mark as he stepped in closer, breathing in the fresh, clean scent that was Quatre. His breath quickening he leaned in, his breath falling gently against the smaller boy's ear.

Quatre shivered as the soft touch sent a ripple of want through his veins, followed closely by anger. Even after what had happened he still wanted the Viscount to touch him... still found pleasure in it. He closed his eyes and pulled all of his anger to himself, stilling his racing heart. Why is he doing this? Then he wondered, with a trace of horror and fascination, if the taller man meant to use him. He knew that it wasn't unusual for captives to be treated thus. Why should this man be any different?

He was overwhelmed by a wave of fear. Swallowing heavily, he spoke, his voice flat. "Do you want me to disrobe?"

Trowa started. "What?"

"I asked if you wanted me to disrobe. Since all my possessions have been taken away from me, these are the only clothes I own. I'd hate for you to have to spend any coin on me."

Trowa jerked the blonde around, yanking his tunic back up over his shoulder. "I don't know what you think I want from you, but that is not it!" He growled.

"Isn't it? You actions say differently." Quatre knew he was pushing the Viscount, but he couldn't help himself. He was angry and afraid and he was reacting instinctively. He raised his chin and stared defiantly into Trowa's eyes.

Trowa stepped back. "Regardless of what you may think of me. I have no desire to lie with you, or any man for that matter." He snapped, turning his back to Quatre and storming to the door. "Nor will I ever!"

He left, slamming the chamber door behind him.

Quatre sat heavily on the hearth, his slender body shaking. The Viscount was wrong. He did desire. Quatre has seen the fleeting glimpses of it in those green depths. And it frightened him. The man seemed to be moved to acts of violence where he was concerned. And he didn't wish to end up like his cousin. Battered and broken, left to die.

With a sigh, he leaned his head against the warm stones, suddenly feeling tired and hot. Maybe I'll just sleep for a while. When I wake an answer will come to me. There has to be someway to escape this.


Heero looked up, from the papers he was reading, as the sound of the slamming door reverberated through the hallway. It seems that Trowa is still struggling with his feelings for the young lord, he thought with some amusement. He only hoped that they would come to terms with one another before it was too late and irreparable damage occurred.

Feeling someone watching him, he looked back towards the bed to find Duo sitting up, his violet eyes intense.

"Are you alright?" He asked, standing and walking over to sit on the edge of the bed.

"Yea," Duo replied. "The sound woke me, that's all."

Heero reached out and gently touched the boy's cheek, noting that his skin was cool and dry, also noticing that Duo no longer flinched from his touch. "How are you feeling?"

"Better." Duo answered softly, leaning into Heero's touch. "I feel stronger."

Heero opened his hand and Duo leaned his cheek against his palm. "You know," the Scot said softly. "Your touch doesn't frighten me, it's almost... comforting. Isn't that odd?"

"Maybe." Heero answered truthfully. "But, I'm glad. I don't want you to be frightened of me. I never want you to have a reason to fear." He caressed the faint hint of a bruise on Duo's cheek with the pad of his thumb.

Duo closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of Heero's hand on his skin. "Heero?"


"What do you think of me?" He opened his eyes and looked into Heero's cobalt eyes, his expression intense.

Heero's face showed his surprise. He dropped his hand from Duo's face and looked at him intently. He wasn't sure how to respond. Well, when I first saw you I wanted to protect you, help you heal. Then I realized I was attracted to you... but now... now ... I think I may love you. He almost laughed. He could see the chestnut haired boy's reaction to that now. Especially after what he'd been through.

How do you tell someone in Duo's situation something like that? He couldn't. He couldn't risk that much of himself, for any reason.

Standing up, Heero reached down a lifted Duo's chin. "You need more rest." He said gruffly. "We can discuss things like this later."

Duo watched Heero return to the desk and the papers he'd been going through, a small smile on his lips. Well... he thought to himself. Maybe... maybe there is a chance. But, a chance for what, he wondered. What do I want?


Heero left the main hall and wandered out into the gardens, behind the kitchen. He'd decided that while Duo was sleeping, he to get outside for a while. It was nighttime, his favorite time... he liked to sit out under the stars and breathe the cool, damp night air. Clear his head and think.

It had been three more days since Duo had asked that question... and he hadn't asked again. Heero was glad. He wasn't ready to answer. And he was certain that the violet eyed boy was ready or able to accept what that answer would be.

He found a spot, in the back of the gardens that he liked. Settling on the ground, he leaned his back against a large tree and gazed upwards. He knew that Duo would want an answer eventually. If nothing else, so that he could understand why Heero took care of him.

Something that obviously, the cobalt-eyed man didn't normally do for people.

Sitting there, watching the glittering points of light above him, Heero suddenly felt weary. It had been a long day and he realized that he was tired. He relaxed back against the tree trunk and closed his eyes. He'd rest out here, where he felt the most comfortable.


His first awareness was the feel of soft, warm lips pressed to his. Still caught somewhere between awareness and the hazy warmth of a dream, he responded openly, pulling them down against his own body. The lazy fingers of desire slowly curled their warmth around his limbs as he gently slipped in between those soft lips and tasted the heat beyond.

He ran his hands down their slim back, feeling the trembling under his touch, his body tightening with need. Sliding his hand back up, he wound his fingers in soft, silken hair as he slowly ended the kiss and opened his eyes.

And stared into twin pools of glistening violet.

Heero released Duo suddenly and sat up, spilling the boy onto the ground. "What the hell!" He yelled.

Duo sat up and stared at him, his eyes confused.

"What the hell are you doing?!" Heero demanded angrily.

The chestnut-haired boy shrank against the tree in the face of Heero's anger. "I j-just..." He stammered, blinking back sudden tears. "I-I'm sorry..."

Heero realized the boy's fear and forced himself to calm his anger, and his own fear. Didn't he realize what could've... He sighed and ran his finger through his dark brown hair. If I hadn't have woken?

"Duo," He said more quietly, reaching out to touch the Scot's pale face.

At the contact of his fingers, Duo jumped to his feet, his eyes damp. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean..." He whispered.

With a choked sob, he turned and fled into the building, leaving Heero sitting on the ground, his mind and body in turmoil. He reached his room and flung himself on the bed, his sobs wracking his slim form. What was I thinking? He cried to himself. He's been so gentle, I thought maybe he cared. That I could show him that I care about him.

He rolled onto his side and curled into a ball. But, I'm no good now. Soiled... I should've know that he wouldn't want me.

Heero stood in the doorway and watched the boy, curled up on his side, his long hair flowing around him, hiding his face. But, not hiding the violent shudders that shook him, nor the heart wrenching sobs that echoed around the room. He hadn't meant to frighten Duo, but he had startled him. If he hadn't awoke, then he might've taken him there, in the garden, without even realizing what he was doing. And that frightened him.

He walked across the room. "Duo," he said, gently as he sat down on the edge of the bed and touched the boy's shoulder.

"Go away, Heero."

Heero pulled Duo up and brushed his hair from his face, realizing how even more stunning he was with his hair unbound. "No, I won't."


"I wouldn't before, when you asked me, and I'm not going to now. I'm sorry... I wasn't trying to scare or hurt you. You startled me." He took one of Duo slim hands in his. "Now, can we start that over? Why were you kissing me in my sleep."

Duo looked away, refusing to answer. He couldn't answer, it was too humiliating. He gasped as Heero stood and moved to sit behind him, on the bed. Settling one leg on either side of the boy, Heero reached out and drew him into his arms. Leaning back, he tucked the chestnut-haired boy neatly against him, his cheek resting on Heero's chest, too stunned to argue or struggle.

"Do you realized what your actions could have caused, if I had not come to my senses?" He asked gruffly.

"You wouldn't have hurt me." Duo whispered.

"I could have." He looked down at the top of Duo's head. "I desire you greatly and I could have hurt you without even realizing it." He pressed his lips to the soft hair.

Duo pulled back and looked at him, his eyes wide. "No, I don't think you would have." He then averted his eyes, a hint of color creeping into his cheeks.

"I am sorry, Heero. I shouldn't have done that. I just... I came out to find you and saw you sleeping. I had to... I-I... I can't explain it... but..."

Heero pressed his fingertips to Duo's lips. "I understand."

"You do? But..."

"Shhh." The dark-haired boy said softly, pulling Duo's face around to his. "Yes, I do understand. I have to fight that impulse, every time I see you... sleeping or awake."

He lowered his head, looking briefly into Duo's bright eyes before tenderly touching his lips to Duo's.

As Heero very gently kissed Duo's mouth, his tongue slowly touching, tasting here and there, Duo sighed and leaned against him, his hands sliding up his chest. It was the sweetest thing he'd ever experienced. There was nothing he could even compare to this gentle exploration. And he felt no fear.

Heero lifted his head and pulled the young man to him, slowly running his hand along his shoulder. "I haven't spoken for not wanting to frighten you." He said quietly.

Duo rested his head on Heero's solid chest, listening to the steady rhythm of his heart beneath his ear. "As long as it's you, I'm not frightened. Was it anyone else, I think I'd be terrified. But not with you or of you. Never you." He spoke softly.

Heero closed his eyes and held the violet-eyed boy closely, something close to relief washing over him. "Will you allow me to do something?" He asked.

"What?" Duo responded.

"Just let me hold you."

Duo rested a hand on Heero's chest and snuggled in closer to him. "For as long as you want."


Trowa crossed the main hall to the stairs. He'd spent the previous night in front of the fireplace here in the main hall. His anger and pride keeping him from his own bed. Now, he hoped to get in, change his clothes and leave without another confrontation with Winner's son. He was getting weary of these arguments.

Reaching the door to his chamber he opened it and walked in, noting the chill in the air. The little fool had let the fire go out and the window was unshuttered, letting in the cool damp air from the previous night. And to make things worse, the blonde was still sleeping, only a small bit of tousled blonde hair visible above his blankets.

With a low curse he crossed the room to the hearth, where Quatre slept, thinking that maybe he ought to just leave the boy to sleep on the cold bricks. Would serve him right to wake up to muscles stiff and aching from chill. But then he'd have to suffer the discomfort himself.

"Wake up!" He yelled, grabbing the edge of the blanket and yanking it back.

Then he threw the blanket to the floor, dropping to his knees beside the blonde. "Quatre?"

The boy had not responded in anyway. He lay curled up on his side, breathing shallowly. His short blonde hair lay plastered against his damp flushed face.

Trowa touched his shoulder to shake him and at the slight touch the brunette jerked his hand back and jumped to his feet, swearing.

Throwing open the chamber door, he leaned into the hall. "Heero!" He yelled towards the chamber where he knew his friend would be.

Heero rushed out of the room. "What? What is it?"

"Find a healer as quickly as you can."

"What's happened?"

"Quatre. He's sick, burning up with fever. He won't wake." Trowa responded quickly.

Heero nodded and without a word set off down the hallway.

Trowa spun on his heels and strode back into the room. Leaning over he opened the metal cuff around Quatre's wrist and picked the smaller boy up as if he weighed no more than a feather.

Carrying him to the large bed against the farther wall, he reached down and swept the bedding back, gently laying the blonde on the mattress. He pulled the blankets back up around him and sat down on the side of the bed to wait for Heero to return.



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