Innocence Reclaimed Part 22

"Quatre? Quatre!"

The slender blonde turned to see a young black-haired woman running along the battlements towards him, her slim fingers holding the edges of her gown out of her way.

"I swear! All you do is daydream sometimes!" She said sternly as she approached him.

"Ah. I'm sorry, Hilde. What do you want?" He replied leaning on the stones and looking out over the land again.

"What I want is not the question. What do you want?" She poked him in the ribs. "Think about it cousin."

"But..." He stood to turn to her again, but she was gone. "Hilde?"

He started suddenly and found himself in his own bed, staring at the ceiling in his room. With a sigh he threw his arm over his eyes and shivered. That had been different from his previous dreams... almost like the girl had been talking to him now instead of some imagined past.

"Damn!" He muttered as he sat up and swung his legs out of the bed. "As if things weren't bad enough!"

He dug through the dresser in the corner and pulled out a pair of jeans and a sweatshirt. He pulled on the jeans and was just reaching for the shirt when a light knock sounded at the door and it swung open.

"Quatre? I heard you moving around, I thought you'd like some coffee." Trowa said quietly as he walked in the room.

The blonde grabbed his shirt and jerked it down over his head, but not before he noticed Trowa's eyes traveling the length of his chest.

"Thanks," He said stiffly as he took the cup from the brunette. This wasn't going to work; somehow he needed to convince Trowa to go home.

After four days of being under the same roof, all the pair seemed to feel was uncomfortable around each other. They weren't getting anywhere with Quatre's problems. Although, he did hate to admit it, but he had been sleeping better with the brunette in the house.

Okay... fine... I don't like being alone! I've always known that!

"I've got to go into town today. Is there anything you need?" Trowa asked.

"No. I'll use the quiet to get some work done." Quatre replied. Now... tell him he should just go home!

Trowa watched silently as Quatre stared at him for a second and then walked from the room. As his footsteps echoed down the stairs the slim man sighed. As each day went by Quatre drew further and further away. Nothing was helping.


"I heard that you were staying out at Quatre's place." Meia said as she leaned on the shelf that Trowa was trying to look through.

"Uh, where'd you hear that?"

"News travels fast around here, you know that Barton."

"I don't know about that," He replied as he plucked a box from the shelf and tossed it in his basket. "But, I do know that my sister has a big mouth."

She chuckled. "Maybe, any luck?"

"Excuse me?" He raised an eyebrow as he turned to her.

Her blue eyes turned serious. "Look, you know this is just as important to me as it is to you."

"No, I don't know that. The only thing I'm aware of at the moment is that it's important to me... and it's no one's concern but mine and his." Trowa said icily as he turned and walked down the aisle.

Meia continued to lean against the shelf as she watched him walk away. "Seems that things aren't getting any better there after all." She murmured under her breath. "I wonder if it ever will."

Trowa shook his head as he rounded the corner. He liked Meia for the most part, but sometimes he wondered if things would have turned out different before if she'd stayed out of it.

It was her pushing that had driven Quatre away from him and to his own death in the previous life. He intended to make sure it didn't happen again.


Quatre leaned on his desk and listened to the sound of the phone ringing on the other end. Usually Wufei answered it on the second ring; he wondered where the man was now. He'd wanted to see if the contract was ready so he could get it signed and head home.

He had to get out of this town.

So... why did he feel relieved when he decided that the young lawyer wasn't going to pick up?

Hanging up the phone, he ran his fingers through his blonde bangs and looked around the study. His thoughts were so confused nowadays, he wasn't sure what he wanted.

The sound of his front door opening made him jump. Trowa was back. Walking to the door, he opened it and looked out.

"You're back."

"Yeah. Everything alright here?"

"Why wouldn't it be?" Why won't you just go home? Quatre bristled mildly at the question.

Trowa shrugged silently and turned towards the kitchen. For a moment he paused and glanced back at the now closed door. Why won't you let me in?


The sound of the phone ringing pulled Wufei out of an alcohol induced sleep. Grumbling under his breath he reached out from under his blankets and fumbled for the offensive sound. Grabbing where he figured the phone should be, his fingers closed over something soft and warm instead.

"Shit!" The young man swore as he sat up, his eyes taking in the tousled dark-blonde hair of the young woman sleeping beside him. "How the hell did you get here??" He yelled, the ringing phone instantly forgotten.

Her blue eyes slid open and a smirk crossed her lips. "I imagine, much the same way that you did." She replied pertly, sitting up beside him and tucking the sheet around her. "Now, come on, Wufei. Don't tell me you don't remember me inviting myself to stay the night? You didn't seem to mind the idea."

He stared at her incredulously as he sorted through his memories of the previous night. She had invited herself up and he had been more than happy to have her. With a sigh he fell backwards and stared at the ceiling.

"This won't look good."

"And why not," Sally asked. "The sale is final; the contract just has to be signed by Mr. Winner. There is no conflict." She leaned over and Wufei could feel the warmth of her breath on his cheek. "After all, we are old lovers, aren't we Chang?"

"I have no idea what you are talking about!" He retorted jumping from the bed and reaching for his clothes.

Sally took a moment to admire the lean muscles of his back before sliding from the bed herself. "Yes, you do. And if it kills you, you are going to admit it!!"

"Like hell."


Trowa let out a weary sound and set the book, he had been reading, on the table. Leaning his chin on his hands he stared out the window at the dark, his expression sad. All day he'd tried to talk to Quatre and every single time the blonde had managed to put him off.

He had papers and emails to look through, he needed to talk to his sister... and several times it was to go try and call Wufei, who had suddenly seemed to disappear. Finally, the last time Trowa had tried to approach him, he claimed that he was tired and going to bed early.

"Face it, Barton. He's just going to keep avoiding you. Unless you corner him there's not going to be any talking about anything." He muttered to himself.

Problem was he knew that when Quatre was cornered, he could be very vicious.

Standing up, he gave the room another glance and decided there was nothing else for him to do but head to bed himself. Tomorrow, he'd try again.

Upstairs in his own room, Quatre tossed and turned in his bed, a frown crossing his pale features. "Where..." He whispered to the dark room.

"Where is everyone?" His sapphire eyes scanned the length of the main hall.

He'd come downstairs a short time ago to find the keep deserted. Usually, no matter the time of day or night, there was always movement. Whether it be one of the inhabitants or one of the servants going about their work. Now it was as silent as a tomb.

That thought sent a shiver down his spine and he hugged himself as he turned to go back up the stairs. Maybe they were all on the upper floor. His search led him up to the battlements, his concern about the disappearance of everyone increasing.

As he approached the stone wall, a gentle breeze picked up, lifting his bangs from his forehead. He leaned on the stones and closed his eyes, enjoying the feel of the wind caressing his skin, his concern momentarily forgotten.

"You're going to daydream your life away, cousin."

He jumped at the sound of the girl's voice and turned to look into Hilde's dark blue eyes. "Hilde. There is someone here then. I couldn't find anyone."

"Ah, but there isn't anyone here but you and me." The girl said with a laugh in her voice as she leaned on the ancient stones and looked down.


"You ask too many questions and never the right ones. Did you know that?" Hilde said, still looking down at that courtyard. "Why don't you ever ask the right ones?"

She stood and looked at him, her expression one of deep sadness. "Until you do... we'll never see each other again, Quatre. And, I miss my family."

"I don't understand. What is it you want from me?" He frowned.

"The question isn't what I want... it's what you want. Have you decided what it is you want, cousin? Have you realized what that is yet?"

"I don't know what you are talking about?"

"Don't you? Look inside your heart... who do you see there? They're the one person who's always been there... no matter how many lifetimes you've lived." She stepped forward and kissed him on the cheek. "Think about it... find your answer before it's too late for all of us, Quatre."

He closed his eyes and shivered, her touch running through him like tendrils of ice. When he opened them again, the young woman was gone. What did she mean, look inside his heart? With a sigh he leaned back on the stones and tried to think about the girl's word, but one word kept leaping into his mind.

Standing suddenly, a look of pure disbelief crossed his face. "Never! It couldn't possible be."

With a gasp he ran for the stairs, his eyes filling with tears as he cried out.



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