Innocence Reclaimed Part 6

A loud pounding on the front door drew Duo from his room, grumbling. "Doesn't anyone actually sleep in around here?" He complained as he stumbled down the stairs.

Opening the door, his eyes widened as the sight of the young man that had brought Quatre back to the estate a few nights ago. "Mr. Barton." He said slowly.

"I'm sorry to bother you," Trowa bowed his head slightly. "Is Mr. Winner at home?"

"Who?" Duo blinked. "Oh! Quatre? Uh... I thought he was, but he didn't come down to answer the door." He stepped back. "Come in and I'll go check."

"Thank-you." Trowa replied walking into the foyer.

He was studying a painting on the wall when he heard light footsteps behind him. Turning he smiled at the blonde, "It's a beautiful painting, Renoir. Are you a collector?"

"No." Quatre replied. "I'm assuming that the Khushrenadas were, it came with the house. Is there something I can help you with? I'm sure you didn't come here to discuss art." The blonde added frostily.

Trowa flinched slightly at the cold tone. "I found this while I was riding at the keep this morning, I assume it's yours." He said holding out the silver locket.

Quatre's eyes widened as he stepped forward. "My god, I didn't even realize I had lost it." He said softly taking the locket from Trowa. "It's the only picture I have of my mother. Thank-you for returning it to me."

The blonde turned to leave, uncomfortable in the man's company, when Trowa reached out and grabbed his wrist. "Quatre..." His voice trailed off as he saw the man stiffen, his eyes going wide.

Turning back to Trowa, his sapphire eyes had taken on a faraway look and for a moment, the emerald-eyed man saw a flash of recognition in Quatre's eyes. "Quatre?" He breathed.

At the sound of his voice, Quatre blinked and shook his head. Without a sound he jerked his arm from Trowa's grip and fled down the hall. Trowa watched him disappear into the study, fighting down the urge to follow him. He knew it wouldn't do any good, the blonde had to remember on his own. With a sad sigh, he let himself out of the house.


The shuffling sound of feet on soft grass drew Heero's eyes from the calm waters of the pond. Not him again, he thought angrily as he watched the chestnut haired man approach him.

"What did I do to deserve this?" Heero grumbled as Duo came to a stop beside him.

Slipping his hands into his pockets, Duo shook his head. "Don't start. I didn't come here to see you."

"Then why did you come here."

"For some peace, maybe." The man replied, his violet eyes skimming the mirrored surface before him. With a loud sigh he sat down on the grass and leaned his chin on his knees. "This place is really weird. Y'know that Heero? My normally outgoing best friend has become a recluse since we came here. He won't even talk to me. I keep getting this feeling that I've been here before and that I know you... and that scares me." He glanced up at the brunette. "I don't even know why I'm telling you this."

Heero just shifted and remained silent, causing Duo to let out a short laugh. "Why am I not surprised at your reaction? Then again... yeah... why am I not surprised?? It's like I know your reactions before you show them. And to top it all off... I've got some crazy waitress that has spooked my cousin and has been following me around."

"You'd be wise to pay attention to things that Meia says." Heero said gruffly. "She knows things that most people don't." He looked around the park. "It's getting late. I'm going home."

"Whatever." Duo said quietly, still watching the water as the other man turned and started to walk away.

Stopping a few feet away, Heero turned and looked at the American. "Come on." He said curtly.

Duo looked over his shoulder at him. "What?"

"It's too damp in the evenings to hang out in a park all night and you obviously aren't planning on going home." He shrugged. "Whatever is bothering you... you seem to feel that you need to stay away from your cousin... I have a sofa you can sleep on." Without waiting to see if Duo followed him, he turned back around and walked towards the street.

Duo stared at his back with wide eyes... Gee... that was almost a speech... he actually spoke in several whole sentences! Then with a smile he jumped to his feet and hurried after the retreating Heero. What the hell... he thought, nothing ventured, right?

At the very least, maybe they could be friends.

Duo followed the quiet man to an apartment building just down the street from the park. From the living room window of the top floor of the apartment, the American could see the entire park.

"This is an amazing view!" He exclaimed to Heero as the cobalt eyed man walked into the room with an armful of linens.

Heero didn't respond at first, as he set the stuff on the sofa. Then he walked over to look at the park. "Yeah. I've always liked to be able to see the water."

Duo turned his head to say something and his eyes met Heero's. A current of something seemed to run though the pair as Duo found himself leaning in towards the other man. "Heero..." He murmured.

Heero raised his hand to lightly touch the American's cheek and then he suddenly jumped. Dropping his hand he stalked across the room. "Get some sleep." He growled as he disappeared into his room.

Duo gazed at the door for a few moments. What just happened? He didn't understand why he was so drawn to the man and why Heero seemed determined to stay away from him.

Sighing, Duo walked over to the sofa and shook out the blanket. He turned off the lamp beside the couch and lay down, pulling the blanket up around himself. Then he wrapped his arms around the pillow and stared off into the darkness.


Heero tossed fitfully in his bed, his finely chiseled features drawn into a frown. Finally opening his eyes, he glanced at the clock beside his bed... he'd been trying to sleep now for four hours. At that point he decided that inviting the violet-eyed American to his flat was the stupidest thing he'd ever done.

Rolling onto his back, he stared into the dark room... images flashing through his memory. Duo... only a different Duo... one that he had cared very deeply for. The young man standing on the battlements of their home, staring pensively at the stars. Violet eyes sparkling as he laughed merrily at something that Heero had said to him. And those same violet depths dark with desire as the chestnut haired man wrapped his arms around his neck and gently kissed him, murmuring words of love.

He'd had no idea until the night he'd seen Duo in the bar. After leaving these memories had flooded through his mind, crippling him with their intensity. Meia had found him in the park, curled up on the banks of the pond, his face streaked with tears as he battled the grief of losing the vibrant man that he'd loved centuries ago.

When she had pulled him into her arms, he recognized her also. Daughter. He realized what she had done... and he had struck her in rage. She had condemned them all.

Meia had sat beside him on the grass, her brilliant eyes never wavering as she tried to explain to him why she had done what she did to them. This is the first time since then that all of us have gathered in one place... this time... it will be right, she had told him quietly.

She had fixed her bright blue gaze on him as she spoke. You won't be able to stay away from him. Your love was too strong.

Watch me, he had said. I want nothing to do with any of this.

Then you will destroy each other, she had replied sadly.

Now, in the darkness of his bedroom, the cobalt-eyed man fought a silent battle with himself. Meia's story had been fantastic, yet he had the memories to prove her right. Common sense waged war with his desires... he knew that eventually Duo would return home and he'd be left here alone, but he desperately wanted to be close to him for the short time that he was here.

"Damn you, you red-headed witch!" Heero swore as he threw back his blankets and jumped from the bed.


Quatre found himself wandering through the stone hallway of the keep, his fingers trailing lightly along the rough walls as he went. Somehow, he knew this was not real... it was a dream, but this time he didn't try to fight it.

Descending the stairs he walked across the main hall to slip out the door into the courtyard. Taking a deep breath of the clean air, he started walking across to the gardens. His mother's gardens... and his private haven, tenderly cared for after the lady's death.

Just as he entered the edge of the gardens, a strong hand gripped his arm. "I made it clear that you were NOT to leave the chambers."

Quatre lifted his head and glared at Trowa. "I want to see Hilde!" He heard himself saying.


"She's my cousin! I'd like to know that she's alright... and to tell her about Duo."

Trowa's expression darkened even more. "She's already aware and she's fine."

"And I'm supposed to believe you?!" Quatre threw back.

Trowa tightened his grip and started to drag the struggling blonde back into the hall. Swearing loudly, he grabbed Quatre by the other arm and propelled him up the stairs. "I will NOT have my orders disobeyed! By you or anyone else!" He said with a calm iciness.

He lost his balance and fell into the room, blinding pain exploding behind his eyes as his shoulder struck the table. Trowa's eyes blazed as he strode into the room and jerked Quatre to his feet, the blonde trembling with the rage he saw in his eyes. He cried out as Trowa grabbed him and pulled him into a brutal kiss, his hands gripping the back of head and his waist roughly.

Then as quickly as he had started, the brunette shoved him away and pulled a silver chain from his pocket. Wordlessly he clamped one end of it around Quatre's wrist and then the other end to a ring on the hearth. Then without a word he stormed from the room.

Quatre sank to the floor. Why? He... he... His tortured mind ran in circles, then following closely on the heels of his confusion over the kiss. A slave chain! We haven't used these in generations! He started to cry, his body wracked by great shuddering sobs. I'm not an animal!! I can't be chained like this!!!

"Please, let me go." He sobbed to the empty room. "Please... I'll die like this...!!" Quatre bolted upright in his bed, his heart pounding wildly against his chest.

Looking around him he realized that he was back in his room at the manor... the nightmare was over. Reaching up his fingertips brushed across the wetness on his cheeks, he didn't know how much more he could take of this.



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