Innocence Reclaimed Part 5

Twilight. Duo Maxwell sat with one arm slung across the back of the park bench and watched the calm surface of the water. At the moment he was questioning his sanity. He almost didn't come here. He could think of several good reasons that he should not be here. So far, only two reasons for being here came to mind and neither one of them were very good.

Well, at least curiosity could be forgiven. Lust was outrageous.

Maybe he should have stayed at the manor and tried to talk to Quatre. His friend had returned earlier, agitated and quite pale. When Duo had questioned him, the blonde had said it wasn't worth talking about. That had been it too...he refused to say another word. Duo finally gave up and left.

So, here he sat. He glanced at his watch with a raised eyebrow, it was almost eight o'clock. So much for punctuality. "Guess it only works one way." He grumbled.

Duo waited a few more minutes and then stood to leave. "That's enough of that." He muttered.

"Enough of what?"

He turned to face Heero. "Sort of late aren't you?"

Heero shrugged. "You shouldn't have waited."

"Funny...I kept telling myself that. You came though, so..."

"I come here every night. You being here has no bearing on it. I'm just later than usual because of a last minute job." The cobalt-eyed man cut off his sentence.

"I see."

"Do you?" Heero shoved his hands in his pockets. "Look...I decided that we have nothing to say. There's nothing to talk about."

He walked past the bench and headed down the banks of the pond. Duo muttered under his breath and followed him.

"You thought there was earlier, dammit!" The chestnut-haired man snapped.

"I was wrong."

"That was an awful sudden change of opinion."

Heero stopped and whirled to face the American, his eyes flashing. "I'm not interested in forming 'friendships' with you." He growled. "From what little I've seen you are extremely irritating and I'd appreciate it if you'd stay out of my way for the remainder of your visit." Heero turned back around and stalked off, leaving a stunned Duo in his wake.

"Well shit! That was a waste of time!" Duo grumbled and headed away from the pond.

At the edge of the park he turned, his violet eyes falling on the faint figure of Heero Yuy, standing by the water just outside the bright circle of the streetlight. All of a sudden, he realized that this landscape 'looked' familiar...but he also sensed that it was different than it should be.

He also realized an almost overwhelming urge to go back and wrap his arms around the quiet form at the edge of the water. Then, shaking his head and mumbling something about strange food affecting his judgment, he turned and started the walk back to the manor.

Behind him, Heero turned his head and watched him out of the corner of his eye, a strange expression on his face.


Quatre opened his eyes and gasped. All around him soft light flickered and danced, casting the room in muted shades of orange.

A fire! He cried silently, jumping out of the chair, he'd been sleeping in.

He started across the room and stopped. This wasn't his room! He slowly turned in a circle, taking in the grey stone walls, the shuttered window, and the fireplace on one wall, a fire blazing brightly in its heart. The chair he'd been sitting in was beside a heavy wooden table, another larger, cushioned chair sat beside the fireplace, and in the center of the room was a large bed.

He walked to the window and threw open the shutters, his sapphire eyes taking in a large courtyard below him. Shaking his head in confusion, he whispered. "What is this?"

All of a sudden, strong arms wrapped around his waist and he was pulled back against a solid chest. "What is what, little one?" A low voice murmured.

Quatre started... that voice! I know that voice!

He started to turn around to see if he was right when he heard a loud crash...

And woke up in his bed at the manor house. Quatre rolled onto his back and stared at the ceiling, listening to Duo stomp up the stairs and to his room. Must not have been a good evening, the blonde mused as he sat up.

Getting out of the bed, he wandered down to the kitchen and made a cup of tea, then went to the study with it. Turning on his laptop, he scanned through his emails, most of them business related. There was a chatty note from Shannon, which caused him to frown. Three months and she still didn't seem to know that it was over.

He deleted her letter and then opened one from one of his sisters. Her new husband and she had finally settled in his hometown on the Arabian continent. Quatre had originally been very unhappy about her choice of mates. One that would take her so far away, but he couldn't stay that way in the face of her happiness. He smiled at her letter...she was enchanted with her new home and he thought maybe it fitting that one of them ended up living back in their old country.

After reading, he put the letter in a folder to answer the next day. Then his eyes fell on a letter from one of the lawyers for WinCorp.

The information he'd asked for earlier that day. As usual his legal team moved with amazing speed. He opened the letter and smiled as he sipped his tea, it had come with a personal admonishment from his top lawyer about how what he had requested was immoral. Leave it to Chang...he was the only one that would take that tone with him and despite the man's protests...he noticed that it had been done anyway.

He printed the rest of the document and took it back to his room. Settling in his bed, his back against some pillows, he started to read while he finished his tea.

Trowa Barton

Owns a small estate that was originally a part of the Khushrenada estate, purchased by him about five years ago.

Source of income is a small stable that he sells high quality hunters from.

Only known family is a half sister by the name of Catharine Bloom, who lives at the estate with him. It is not known were the two came from before settling in that area.

Outside of business, does not associate with the local people very much.

No known criminal background.

No available school records.

Quatre frowned and flipped the paper over... that was it? One of Chang's background checks usually yielded more information than that. He sighed and set the paper on the stand beside the bed, along with his empty cup. Laying down in the bed, he pulled the blankets up around him and stared at the wall.

Tomorrow, he's get a hold of Chang and find out why there had been so little information.


As dawn broke over the tops of the trees, the woods around the old keep rang with female laughter, broken occasionally by a low male voice as two figures on horseback broke into the sun dappled clearing outside the old stone walls.

"Trowa!" The young woman called. "He's perfect!" Her lavender eyes sparkled as she leaned forward and patted the stallion's neck.

Trowa reigned up beside her and looked over the blood bay. "He did train well. When we started I had my doubts, I thought he'd be one we wouldn't be able to do anything with. He was so wild."

"You did splendidly. He responds well to the reigns, but he's still got all of his spirit. This one will sell for a lot, Trowa. It will be a big help to the stables." She tucked a strand of auburn hair behind her ear.

Something shifted in Trowa's green eyes as he jumped down from the black, that he had been riding. Dropping the reigns, he walked over to the building, lightly running his fingers over the rough stone.

"I'm not selling him, Cathy."

She dismounted and walked over to the slender man, laying a hand on his shoulder. "What's going on, Trowa?" She asked, her eyes full of concern. "What ever has been bothering you has nothing to do with selling a valuable horse."

Trowa leaned one hand on the wall and lowered his head. "I found him, Cathy."

She gasped. "You mean..."

"Yes. He's here...and he's so different. I never imagined that he'd be so unlike what he used to be."

"It's been a long time, Trowa. The lives we have lived have changed all of us." She leaned her head on the back of his shoulder. "Does he remember?"

"No. He feels something, but he has no memory. It seems that the three of us are the only ones." He looked up at the building.

"We've spent more time around this place than the others."

"You wouldn't believe the hurt so unimaginably to see him. To see him and have him not know me." He turned around and leaned his back against the wall, closing his eyes. "All I wanted to do, when I saw him, was hold him...touch him in someway...and all he wanted to do was get away from me."

"Trowa..." She hugged him, leaning her head on his chest. "It'll work out. It has to doesn't it?"

He hugged her, his green eyes staring off into the woods. "I don't know, but I don't think I can bear to be this close to him and be apart from him."

"Maybe we should talk to Meia. She knows more than any of us about this."

"And she says she's told us all she can." Trowa gently pushed her away and walked along the wall.

When he came to the entrance he saw something glimmering in the grass, leaning down he picked the object up, turning it over in his hand. A small locket. He opened it and started at the picture inside. A tiny photo of a woman, who looked exactly like Quatre Winner, right down to the same golden hair and sapphire eyes. He touched the picture lightly, she was amazingly beautiful... as beautiful as Quatre was handsome.

"Cathy," He turned to find his sister standing behind him.

She smiled. "Take it back to's a chance to talk to him again."



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