Innocence Reclaimed Part 20

Quatre jumped as his jacket landed on his desk in front of him. "Don't you ever knock?" He glared at the chestnut haired man leaning over him.

"Nope. Not when it's your place." Duo winked. "Comon or we'll be late."


"For the hunt! Heero's got that old clunker of a car out front waiting."

"Uh, Duo..." Quatre moved his jacket aside. "I never planned on going to that."


"No!" Quatre glared at him. "I have absolutely no desire to go to such a thing."

"But, Quatre..."

"Goodbye Duo."

Duo straightened up and studied his friend. "You know, you're getting pretty hard to get along with these days. I never thought that falling for someone would affect you like this." Without another word the violet eyed man turned and walked from the room, slamming the door behind him.

Swearing under his breath he opened the car door and climbed in beside Heero.

"I told you it wouldn't work."

"Heero... just shut up and drive." Duo snapped crossing his arms in front of his chest and slumping down into the seat.

Heero raised an eyebrow in amusement as he put the car in gear and started down the drive.

Inside Quatre stared at the closed door, his face drained of color.

"I never thought that falling for someone would affect you like this."

"Where the hell did he get an idea like that?" The blonde mumbled flatly.

"You're in love with him!"

"What?" Quatre started and looked around the study.

"He's chained you... beaten you...! I don't think he's exactly into your type... everyone knows he spent time with Kara, when he first got here! Not to mention he's here to take your dead father's place! I can't believe you'd fall for someone like that! How could you!?"

"I don't understand what you make me feel. I never thought that I would want..."

Quatre shoved his chair away from the desk, his body trembling. Trowa's voice... he could swear that he'd just heard first Duo's and then Trowa's voices.

"Quatre! Damn you! Answer me! You can't die! Not here... not like this!"

The study echoed with the sound of Quatre's chair clattering to the floor as he jumped to his feet and stumbled, falling against the window. Tears flowed down the blonde's face as he was overcome with a sense of grief and he pressed his cheek against the cool glass as frantically whispered words floated around him.

"I love you... do you know that? I love you more than life itself. Somehow, you became everything to me... nothing was important but you. Not my reputation... the lands... nothing! Only I was too stupid to realize it, and once I did... too stubborn to admit it."

He clenched his eyes shut as the brunette's words from the other day came back to him... with the same quiet desperation that he'd just heard in these other words.

"I know you don't believe me... you don't think I know you well enough, but I love you, Quatre."

"Trowa..." He choked, lost in the whirl of memories. "I'm afraid... I'm afraid to love you again..."

Another voice joined the others, its tone heavy with its pain and terror.

"I swear... we'll all be together again."

An image of Meia... but not Meia... her hair tangled and falling over her shoulders... dressed in a bloodstained ivory gown flashed before his eyes.

"Soul to soul... heart to heart... life to life... through incarnations to come these lovers shall be reborn... until they meet, remember, and love again, shall the pattern repeat itself. As it is said... it will be done..."

Quatre fell to his knees, burying his face in his hands. "Oh... god... Meia... what did you do?" He choked as the tumult of voices faded from the room and he fell forward onto the carpet.


"Geez, Trowa!" Catharine looked over the horse's neck at her brother. "I swear you're more nervous than you were on your first hunt!"

"There's a lot riding on this today, you know that." Trowa responded quietly as he patted the animal's neck. "We can't afford to lose this."

"I've been thinking about that." His sister said turning away from him. "When you sell, I'm going to take an apartment in town."

"Why would you do a thing like that?"

"Because I won't be going with you."

Trowa stopped and stared at the young woman. "Cathy..."

"We moved around most of our lives, Trowa. I don't want to anymore." She shook her head. "I like it here... around people I am familiar with."

When her brother didn't respond, she shook her head. "Our friends are here, Trowa." She stepped towards the front of the stall. "Quatre is here... I still can't believe you are just going to give that up."

Trowa recoiled as if he'd been slapped as her words struck him. "Haven't I done enough?" He said flatly.

"Maybe not." Was her only response as she walked from the stall.

He turned around, slamming his fist into the wood of the wall, Raberba's Dream snorting and shying away from the sharp sound. Whispering a word of apology to the animal, he leaned his head against the wall and closed his eyes, taking a deep breath.

"There's nothing more I can do... nothing..." He murmured pressing his forehead against the wood. "I don't know how to reach him."


He still didn't know what he was doing here. He didn't even remember how he got here. The last thing he remembered was all the voices and then he was here, pushing his way through the crowd of people; searching for something... or someone. He wasn't sure.

"Unbelievable," Voices murmured around him in a heavy hum.

"So unlike them," He heard from another direction.

"The loss will destroy him..."

He looked around at the people, his blue eyes confused. What were they talking about? "Excuse me," He tapped a man on the shoulder. "Can you tell me what's going on? Who won the hunt?"

The man turned around and studied the blonde in surprise. "You don't know?"

"No. I'm afraid I was late getting here." Quatre replied.

"It's not who won... is who didn't win that had everyone excited." The man explained. "Everyone bet on Raberba's Dream... he's the fastest hunter around here and we all know it."

"So... he lost?"

"Lost! That damn Barton threw the competition!" The man snorted. "Knew he should have let that sister of his ride... she'd never let herself lose such an easy hunt!"

Quatre started. "What do you mean 'threw the competition'?"

"It was obvious from what we've heard from the others. He forced the horse to shy from one of the jumps and then just took off into the woods. No one even knows where..."

The blonde didn't even hear the rest of what the man had to say, his mind reeled as she slowly backed away. Why would someone like Trowa Barton; a man whose whole life was wrapped up in his stables, do something like deliberately loose?

"Hey! Are you alright?" The man asked reaching for him. "You look awfully pale."

"Huh? Yeah... I'm fine..." Quatre mumbled before turning and running towards the woods.

"Strange fella," The man shook his head. "must have had a lot riding on that horse."

Quatre ran blindly through the woods, at first keeping to the path the horses had taken, but suddenly veered off, crashing into the dense growth around him. Oblivious to the branches slapping across his face, he ran until he was out of breath, a sharp pain shooting through his side as he struggled for air. Collapsing against a tree, he gasped, his fingers digging into the rough bark.

Turning and leaning against the tree, his attention was drawn by the sound of low voices coming from the forest beyond. He frowned as he took a shuddering breath and pushed away from the tree and started towards the sounds.

"What do you want, Maxwell?"

Quatre gasped as he peered around another tree to see Trowa sitting with his back against a trunk, his horse standing not far away. Duo was leaning against the tree, frowning down at the young brunette.

"To know what prompted you to do something like that?"

"What difference does it make? I did it." Trowa glared up at him. "Why the hell would it matter to you? You don't even know me!"

Duo sat down beside him and rested his chin on his knees. "I don't have to... not in this life. I know Quatre though, that's enough."

"So, you know?"

"Of course, you idiot! You think I could have the relationship I have with Heero and not know?"

Trowa stared at him for a brief moment before looking away. "I don't think it's something I can make you understand. You and Heero... you've always managed to work thing out when you find each other. Maybe it's because you had an easy time of it at the very beginning." He glanced back at the chestnut haired man. "I don't know how it all works, but that's how it seems to me."

"I can imagine I'd get pretty discouraged if it were the other way around." Duo said softly.

"He's changed so much." Trowa added. "We all have in our way... but his has been the worst. It's like he's become completely unreachable."

"Say, like maybe the previous losses have caused him to close his heart off from more hurt?"

Trowa looked over at him. "I never thought... yes... it could be... but how do I get through to him? How do I open him up again? Where do I find the strength to keep fighting?"

Blue eyes widened as Quatre listened to the conversation between the two men. What in hell are they talking about?? Why did their words cause his heart to twist in his chest?

"Your feelings will give you strength." Duo's voice floated to him.

"Or they, and him, will destroy me..." Trowa's soft reply could be heard.

Clasping his hand over his mouth, Quatre barely managed to stifle a sudden sob that rose in his throat. Why was he suddenly so distraught? His face pale, he stepped back from the tree, his hand still over his mouth; and with a choked sound he turned and fled.

Trowa's head snapped up at the sound of cracking in the woods.

"Seems like we had company." Duo pointed out.

"I wonder how long..."

"It doesn't matter." The violet-eyed man nudged him. "Go. I'll see that your horse gets back to your sister."

Trowa jumped to his feet and started in the direction of the noise. Stopping suddenly he turned back to look at Duo. "Thank-you. I know that you never fully trusted me..."

"Paugh!" Duo waved his hand. "You're wasting time!!"

As the slender brunette disappeared into the woods, Duo stood and took the horse's reins. "Well, we'd better head back. Heero and Catharine are probably frantic." Then he chuckled and shook his head. "I can't believe it... I'm talking to a horse named after my best friend!"

Raberba's Dream snorted and nudged the American with his nose.

"Yeah... yeah... let's go. I hope you don't think I'm going to ride you though!"



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