Innocence Reclaimed Part 4

Struggling to focus his vision, Quatre became aware of a dull throbbing ache in his head. Wincing, he started to sit up when gentle hands pushed him back down.

"D-Duo?" He whispered.

"Yea." His friend replied sitting on the edge of the bed. "How do you feel?"


"Good!" Duo exclaimed. "You scared me half to death! Shit, Quatre! I go out for a few hours and you run off into the woods and try to get yourself killed!"

He got up and walked over to the dresser picking up a glass of water and a bottle of pills. Taking two of the white tablets from the bottle he shoved them at Quatre. "Here!"

"What are those?" The blonde eyed them suspiciously.

"Aspirin... what the hell do you think they are?"

He waited while Quatre took the painkillers and then returned the glass to the dresser. Going back to sit on the bed the chestnut haired man glared at his friend for a few moments. "Do you remember what happened?"

"Sort of... I think. I went for a walk out in the woods and came across the old keep that they said was there. I was so fascinated with it, I decided to check out the inside."

"Oh, yea! That was smart, Quatre. Wander around in a crumbling stone ruin that's hundreds of years old." Duo snorted.

Quatre just smiled. "It was amazing Duo... the place is in such good shape it could be restored. I was in what I think was the main hall when I heard something. Felt something. I could have sworn there were voices."

Duo raised an eyebrow. "Maybe we should get your head checked a little more thoroughly."

"No... I'm serious. It was really weird. It startled me and I ran outside, I slipped and fell. I remember vaguely something standing over the top of me. Then I woke up here."

"That something, dear friend, was not standing over you. It was a horse and you frightened it. You were damn near trampled!" Duo grumbled. "Lucky for us that Mr. Barton had a good idea as to who you were and he brought you here."


"The horse's rider. He owns the estate bordering this one. It seems that he'd heard about us from a couple of the locals, or enough anyway that he recognized you."

Quatre stared at the ceiling. Barton... why... why does that name sound familiar? Or more like... feel familiar? He frowned at the thought. Maybe the blow to his head had addled him.

Duo sighed and got to his feet. "You need more rest. We can talk about this more when you feel better."

Quatre smiled and watched Duo leave his room. Then, wincing at the pain in his head, he rolled to his side and stared at the wall. I need to go back there, he thought as his eyes grew heavy. I need to see if what I felt was real.


"Where are you going?" Duo demanded as he saw Quatre heading for the door.

The blonde turned and looked at him. "For a walk. I've been out of bed for two days now, I'm fine."

Duo made a strange sound at Quatre's statement. "You're going back there aren't you."

Quatre didn't answer him.

"Dammit! Wasn't once enough? Do you want me to go with you?" He asked, realizing that it would be now use arguing. When Quatre decided he was going to do something... he did it.

"No. I'm fine, Duo. Honest." The blonde smiled brightly.

Duo crossed his arms and frowned. "Fine... but I don't like it."

Quatre laughed as he walked from the house. Reaching the edge of the yard, he took the path through the woods, that he had taken before, until he again stood in front of the old ruins.

Standing in front of the building, he had a distinct sense of knowing this place. This was the main hall... only a small part of what had once been here. Turning around, his sapphire eyes scanned the area, he shivered as he took a deep breath. He could vaguely see where the other buildings were... and what they may have looked like.

I'm standing in what used to be the courtyard... he thought with a start. How the hell do I know that? He shivered again.

Then, as if in a trance, he walked into the old building, his steps taking him to the main staircase. Eyeing the old stones, he decided that they were safe... climbing up to the next floor. As he walked down what used to be a hallway, he looked up at the bright sky overhead... why did this place feel so familiar to him?

Shaking his head, he laughed. "It seems like that waitress has you spooked, Quatre."

"Do you talk to yourself often?"

Quatre jumped, spinning around to see a young man standing in the hallway behind him. He couldn't explain it, but his heart skipped as he took in the tall, slender man, leaning casually against one of the stone walls, his brown hair fell forward into his face, only allowing Quatre to see one brilliant emerald eye.

He pushed himself away from the wall and walked toward the blonde, raising one eyebrow. "How's your head?"

"Uh... f-fine." Quatre stammered. "How did..."

His eyes widened as the man stopped in front of him and reached around to gently touch the back of his head. It was like he was held under a spell, unable to move... almost unwilling.

"It was my horse whose hooves you tried to run underneath of." He said lowly. "What were you doing wandering around out here in the middle of the night, anyway."

Quatre blinked, the spell broken. "I don't think that's any of your business!" He replied, knocking the man's hand away from him.

He stepped back from the blonde. "I apologize. My name is Trowa Barton, I own..."

"The neighboring estate, yes I know. What are you doing here?"

Trowa looked up at the crumbling stones. "There hasn't been anyone on these lands for most of my life. I prefer to ride here, than where there are people." He reached out and ran his fingers along rough wall. "And I like this place."

"So much for the legend."

Trowa looked at him in surprise. "Yes, well. I hope that you'll continue to allow me to ride here."

Quatre shrugged. "Do what you want. You've been here longer than me."

"I thank-you. I'll leave you alone." Trowa replied, turning away and walking towards the old stairs.

Quatre watched him disappear, the mood of the keep washing over him once again. Suddenly he gasped as he heard the sound of running feet down the hallway, light laughter floated along the breeze the suddenly came up around him. The footsteps stopped and soft voices filled the air... whispered words of love... the laughter of lovers at play.

With a shiver, the blonde ran towards the stairs, his mind whirling. What was he hearing here? On his flight down the stone steps he failed to notice some of the stone that was crumbled along the edges, as his foot hit it, it gave way throwing him off balance. Tumbling forward, he found himself caught by a strong pair of arms and he was clasped against a solid chest.

"Idiot." A gentle voice whispered in his ear, the breath warm against his skin. "You're always running headlong into things, without a thought of your own safety. You've never changed."

His position slowly dawned on Quatre as the words started to sink in. He realized that he had fallen against Trowa Barton, who was now balanced with his back against the wall. The taller man was holding the blonde tight against his chest as he spoke, then leaning back and running his thumb across Quatre's cheek, his eyes held a soft look.

"Wha-what are you doing?" Quatre demanded.

Trowa blinked and set him back on his feet on the stairs. "You should be more careful in this place. It can be quite dangerous."

Quatre felt cold and hot all at the same time... what the hell was going on around him? Has everyone lost their minds? "I'd appreciate it if you'd leave me be!" He snapped, brushing past the man and running out of the building.

Trowa stood on the stairs and watched him go, a strange expression in his green eyes. "I would if I were able too." He whispered.


After Quatre had left, Duo decided to take a walk into town... if nothing else he was hoping to run into the cobalt-eyed man that he had met before. Something about him... Duo couldn't get him out of his mind.

I can't figure out why I'm so drawn to someone I don't even know, but I can't get him out of my thoughts. The violet-eyed man mused silently as he wandered through a small park in the center if the town.

Coming around a corner he found himself on the banks of a small man-made pond, sitting on a bench nearby, staring out over the water... was the object of his thoughts. Without even thinking about what he was doing, Duo wandered over to the bench to sit down beside Heero.

"What do you want?" The cobalt-eyed man grumbled, not even looking at him.

Duo leaned forward, resting his arms on his knees and watched the mirrored surface of the water. "I wish I could tell you. I thought maybe you could tell me what that was the other night."


"Look, I was as upset as you were... I know you don't know me and probably don't care too, but I feel like I need to talk to you about this."

Heero closed his eyes and sighed. This is stupid... he's only in town for a couple months... and how do you know he'd even be interested. He stood and glared down at the other man. "Fine... you want to talk? Then meet me here tonight."

Duo started. "Excuse me?"

"Seven, tonight... I won't wait for you. If you really want to talk about this, then you'll be here." Heero threw over his shoulder as he walked away.

Duo sat back and watched him leave, a puzzled expression in his eyes. "What the hell was that all about?" Then a small smile crossed his face. "Maybe this trip will be more interesting than I thought."

The idea of a short fling, while on vacation, greatly appealed to the American. Standing up he turned to see a flash of red. The waitress? He ran towards the trees where he'd seen the girl, but when he got there she was gone.

Maybe Quatre is right... this place is strange. At the very least that girl is.


Inside the woods, Meia leaned against one of the trees, holding her breath. She didn't want the American to find her, all she had wanted was to see the interaction between him and her friend.

Finally deciding that he'd given up, she pushed herself away from the tall oak slipping through the trees towards her home.

Walking into the small cottage, she stopped to light a candle, breathing the light scent that floated off of it. It seems that what once was destroyed is finally coming together again... please... She closed her bright blue eyes. "Please, let it be as it should this time."



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