Innocence Reclaimed Part 8
Quatre bolted upright in his bed. All around him whispers of voices echoed.
"You have no idea what you have brought upon my people."
"Quatre! Those gates won't open for anyone... not even you!" He could have sworn that had been Duo.
"Let me go! I have to tell him!"
"He knows, Quatre! He knows!"
The blonde buried his face in his hands as he was assailed with an overwhelming sense of grief... and fear.
"I love you, little one." So clear the he could have sworn that the speaker had whispered it directly in his ear.
"NO!" The blonde cried to the dark room. "Please! Just let me be!"
He jumped from the bed and faced the dark with clenched fists. "What do you want from me!!"
Suddenly he lowered his hands and stared around him with wide eyes, his chest heaving. "What is happening to me?" With a choked sob, he ran from the room.
Trowa stopped dead in his tracks, turning around his eyes scanned the dark hallway. Something was not right. He felt it as surely as he could feel his own heartbeat. With a low curse he ran back down the hallway and down the stairs.
Catharine emerged from the kitchen as his feet hit the bottom floor. "Trowa?" She cried as he rushed past her. "Trowa! What is it?"
He stopped at the door and turned to her. "Quatre." He answered the auburn haired girl evenly. "Something's wrong."
He flung open the door and stepped outside, lifting his face to the cool air. "I'm going to the keep."
"Trowa!" She ran out onto the porch as his slim figure disappeared into the dark. "Be careful... there's a storm coming." She whispered, her lavender eyes full of fear. Through all his lives, whenever they come together, he loses all common sense when it comes to Quatre Winner. She wrapped her arms around herself.
It's happening again... it always comes to this and then one of them dies.
Heero woke to a sense of a heavy weight pinning his legs to the bed. With a frown, he shifted and his hand came in contact with long, silky hair, bringing back memories of earlier that evening.
Moving carefully, he reached up and turned on the small lamp beside the bed and gazed down at the top of Duo's head. During the night the American had managed to wrap himself around Heero. One leg thrown across Heero's, while his head rested on the brunette's chest. Heero could feel the smooth skin of his cheek against his chest amid the soft swirls of chestnut hair.
He moved his hand down and gently stroked the long tresses. What now? I knew the moment that I touched him, I'd be lost. What am I supposed to do now?
Duo mumbled something and shifted, snuggling his head against Heero's skin. "Heero!" He cried suddenly, his violet eyes flying open.
For a moment he stared into Heero's cobalt eyes before he let out a strange sound and rolled away, sitting up on the edge of the bed and burying his face in his hands. Heero sat up behind him, his eyes watching Duo's back without expression.
"Oh... god... Heero." Duo whispered brokenly. "I thought it was just a dream... then... then..."
"You realized it wasn't." Heero finished quietly.
"We... you and I... but... how?"
"Meia would be better able to explain it, she was the one responsible."
Duo turned and looked at him, his face anguished. Heero sighed and reached for him, drawing him back down.
"How much do you remember?"
"All of it." Duo whispered. "It's like there are two people inside me now."
"Yet they are both the same. I know." Heero finished for him as he ran his hand up and down Duo's back. "Tomorrow... I'll take you to see her."
The chestnut haired man nodded slowly and Heero felt damp tears against his skin.
Quatre's breath came in harsh gasps as he ran through the woods, heedless of what direction he was going. All he knew was he had to escape this madness. Still, he was not surprised when he found himself in front of the old keep. Without hesitation he ran in through the doorway and collapsed on the stone steps.
He lay on the steps sobbing until he heard a noise behind him. Raising his tear streaked face, he realized that he was seeing the place as it had been several hundreds of years ago.
Across the main hall he could see three young children playing by the hearth. One he recognized as himself, the other was Duo and the other... a girl, younger than them, with jet black hair and bright blue eyes.
"If you and Quatre are going, then I am too!" She pouted, crossing her arms in front of her.
"No, Hilde!" Duo said angrily. "You're a girl! You have to stay here with the women while we men defend our home."
"I can do anything that you men can!" The girl, Hilde replied.
"But you aren't supposed to." Quatre said quietly. "You're supposed to stay here and wait for your husband to return... that's the way it always is. Women don't fight."
She stomped her foot and pouted. Then a sly smile broke across her little face. Grabbing Quatre by the arm, she leaned against him. "I'll stay if you'll be my husband, cousin." She said sweetly.
The blonde sputtered and yanked his arm from her grasp. "Don't be ridiculous!" He cried turning bright red. "I can't marry you!"
"I don't see why not!"
"Because you're not suitable for him." Duo broke in haughtily, pushing her away. "Everyone knows we are poor. Quatre will marry a rich girl someday."
The scene in front of him faded and he heard the sound of heavy footsteps on the stairs. His sapphire eyes wide with terror, he jumped up and pressed himself back against the wall. A tall man walked past him and Quatre got a good look at his face, half hidden by his brown hair. Stern... commanding... and angry.
"Quatre Winner!" He thundered.
"Yes, father." Quatre turned away from the hearth. He was only a couple years older now and the weight of his position in life was already showing on his pale face.
"I was told that you and your cousin were practicing with swords out in the woods!"
Quatre bowed his head refusing to speak.
"How many times do I have to tell you? What will it take for you to realize that fighting is not the way to solve things? Huh, Quatre? Tell me!"
"But, father," The boy cried stepping forward. "What if we are attacked? Who will defend our people?"
"If we do nothing to provoke, then no one will bother us!! You are not to speak to either of your cousins for the remainder of the week. Reflect on your actions for a while!"
Then the scene shifted and Quatre saw himself standing before a man wearing bright clothes. His head was bowed as the man spoke to him and turned and walked from the keep.
"Quatre!" Hilde cried rushing forward as the boy slumped to the floor.
"They've executed him. Because he wouldn't raise a sword in the name of the Baron, they killed him." He cried clinging to his cousin. "They say that one of the Baron's men will be here in two weeks to take his place. Some Viscount."
"Then we must pack quickly." She said pulling him to his feet.
"I've been ordered to stay here... as his prisoner."
"No!" Duo finally spoke up. "They may have taken your father but we won't let them hurt you!"
Hilde nodded, her blue eyes fierce. "We will be gone by the time they arrive!"
Quatre fell to his knees on the stairs clutching his head. "Stop!!" He screamed. "Please! For the love of God! Leave me be!!!"
Still holding his head in his hands he jumped to his feet and fled up the stairs. In the distance thunder started to rumble, but the blonde was so distraught he never heard it. At the top of the stairs he turned as started down the hall when a noise drew him up short in front of one of the rooms.
"What have you done with my brother!?" He peered in the room and saw the same dark haired girl, standing beside him. Both of them were facing a tall, slender, brunette. Quatre gasped... Trowa Barton...
"Young Maxwell is still alive, for the moment." The man shifted and looked at the girl.
"No, you've got it wrong." Trowa explained. "We're doing all we can for him, but I have my doubts as to his survival."
Quatre turned from the room. "No more..." He whispered and thunder crashed loudly around him. "Please... no more!"
With flashes of lightening showing the way, he ran down the hall and up the next flight of stairs. Reaching the old battlements... he winced as a harsh wind ripped at his golden hair and large drops of rain began to pelt him. Steeling himself to the wind, he walked to the edge of the wall and looked down.
"Why is this happening to me?" He choked.
He spun around, his hands up as if to ward off an attack, to see Trowa emerge from the top of the stairs. He cried out and tried to step backwards to escape from the apparition. Trowa's eyes widened as he saw Quatre stumble and fall backwards.
"Leave me alone!" The blonde screamed.
His back hit the wall and the ancient stones crumbled under his weight toppling him over backwards.
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