There he was, stumbling aimlessly beneath the damp white lights of the street lamps, under which white mist whirled, giving the air a moldy, wet touch. He tried to understand where he was, where he should go. But he didn’t remember. Oh yes, he remembered some things - he could speak and think, he could read, and he knew what amnesia was... and he figured it was his problem. However, any memory related to his person, or to his former life, had been wiped out. He didn’t remember the place he was walking around in, he didn’t know that he was living in an A.C.-year, he had no idea what month he was in - or that there were months at all. And worst of all, he did not know his name, did not know where he lived or what life he had had before the incident. Incident? He had no clue what had happened...
His head was aching some, and he assumed it would just be a normal thing if you had lost your memory. He came to a halt in front of a large building, and he read the plate on the door. Maxwell Church and Orphanage. Okay... take it slowly. He remembered what a church was - somehow he did, although he didn’t care about churches or religion. The orphanage-thing was more difficult, though. He couldn’t bring the word into connection with any image or incident, or person, or anything.
The streets were totally empty, there was nobody about, as if the place was dead. Only the street lamps kept on throwing their white light towards the floor, casting a slim shadow on the asphalt in front of the boy. He looked at it for a moment. He didn’t remember what he looked like himself… How weird. He approached the glass pane on the entry of the Church and looked at himself, as good as possible. He was young, a mere teenager. He had figured he would be older, but apparently, he was only about sixteen or seventeen. He felt much older than that. He wore a suit, some thick, strange thing one would wear in space. He was coming out of space then? Then maybe this place - whatever it was - really was deserted? A spaceship crash, maybe? He could not tell whether he should brush these images away as a ridiculous assumption, as science-fiction. He returned his thoughts to the image, reflected on the glass pane. Under the suit he seened to be rather thin, which he probably was. He did not have a helmet, which made him doubt his insane space-idea. His face was rather long, with straight eyebrows and narrow eyes. Which color they were, he could not tell, the window pane showed hardly more than his outline.
There were also long brown bangs, hiding one eye. Weird. He brushed his fingers over his own cheek, and it was real. His appearance, he admitted, was quite okay, even though it did not look familiar to him in the least. Maybe this was not his body after all? He wished he could tell, whether falling out of space and switching bodies was either normal in the world he was in, or totally ridiculous. There was no one he could have asked, and even if there had been anyone, he should be cautious.
The boy turned around to see someone on the back of the street. Unable to tell whether what he was seeing was a friend or an enemy, and not understanding in which language the other was shouting, he decided, to move on, away from the person. He probably was afraid, an encounter could not be a good idea… Yet, he was calculating enough to not run, since he didn’t want to attract the other’s attention.
The boy kept on walking, passing around a corner.
Nanashi... nameless... could it be that the other person meant him? He, the one who did not remember who he was? But how should the other know, that he did not remember... - or maybe, he just always forgot his life when he was asleep and would wake up totally oblivious the next morning -or night? Maybe the other knew that. What a life would he have, then? A life in pieces he could not remember. How strange... how frightening, not to know one’s self.
Insistent person. He stopped dead on the spot, not turning around. If that person knew him, maybe he could tell him, who he was, and what he was suffering on? It would be worth a try. Apparently, he had nothing to loose anyway, so he could run right into danger, sacrifice his life for nothing - he wouldn’t feel as if he lost something. Fast running was what he heard behind from him, then a hand clasped his shoulder.
The nameless turned around, facing a boy about his age, or younger. He was blond and had blue eyes, a young, cheerful face, which currently showed a bit of worry. The blue eyes stared straight into his eyes. He was beautiful... And suddenly, the nameless had something. If this place held such beauty, then he now had to fear he would loose the sight of it. Deep inside, he knew, that such beauty was not natural - the one part inside him knew that, the part which also knew how to read and talk.
„Oh, my god, I found you,“ the blond one said, panting only a little from the running. The boy’s eyes traveled to the chest, which moved up and down in rhythm with the panting. It was covered in a thin, buttoned shirt, and it looked warm and nice. The bit of the neck showing under the collar, was soft-skinned, and the nameless wondered, whether there was more of that softness beneath there.
His eyes traveled back to the beautiful face, framed in light blond hair. And there were tears in the eyes of the blond.
„Trowa,“ he said.
„Is that my name?“ the nameless asked. The blond still held the other’s shoulder, still tears leaking. It was a painful, yet adorable sight. Maybe the boy was an angel, it occurred to ‘Nanashi’. He still did no know what was possible in this world and what not. So this boy could be an angel.
“Yes it is… Trowa Barton.” The blond looked at him pityfully. “You lost your memory again…”
“Does this happen to me very often?” he asked, almost horrified by the thought he had to go through this again and again – even though he would never remember. The bishounen stopped weeping, and brushed the tears from his own face.
“I know it happened twice, but there is a time, nobody knows what you have been doing, and what might have happened. However, this was always provoked by something unnatural…” he answered, still full of pity for Trowa.
“And… I never end up remembering again?” he asked rather carefully, not really wanting to know the answer. What if the blond just would tell him, he’d never remember what had been before? He would have to totally re-start and never really know himself. He would have missed years of life, somehow. It would give his life an artificial air.
“The first time, I think you never started remembering again,” was the regretful answer, “but the second time you did, some way.”
The other shook his head. “No, you still could not remember what had been before the first attack, there are years in your life-“ He did not finished, he could not. There were new tears coming up, and having the angel cry, made Trowa sad and helpless. The other hand now grasped his shoulder on the space suit. They stood close, and it made him feel strange. This bishounen… there was something special about him. Somewhere inside, there must have been a memory connected to him, if only a spark. Trowa wanted something, he longed for something, but he did not know what.
“Who… are you?” he asked, wondering, fishing for that memory inside him. He could not grasp it.
“Quatre,” the other smiled, “I am your-“ he stopped in mid-sentence again, as if frightened. “Just Quatre Raberba Winner, a friend of yours.” The smile was still presistent, yet, there were tears, too. How bad, he made this boy cry constantly.
“I don’t want to make you feel sad,” he said, not knowing what to say, but feeling he should do something.
“Trowa, I am crying because I am happy I found you. I was worried. Come on, I’ll take you over to Duo’s place. I don’t know how you’ve fallen into the L2 Colony Cluster, but I am happy I happened to come across, really happy.”
There was a certain warmth streaming from Quatre. Angel… was all, Trowa could think about. And he trusted him. What else could he do, but stumble around in his street for the next days? By now, the angel was everything he could loose, and he would not risk that. If he knew him, he was his hope. Plus, Trowa did not wish to leave him. Not for the world…
“DUO! LET US IN!” Quatre banged the door firmly. Duo rolled out of bed, alarmed by Quatre’s yelling. It was not like he usually was. Sleepily, hardly able to see, he stumbled towards the door, falling over his usual mess of clothing, furniture, paper and various other items. He opened the door, still surrounded by darkness.
A very timid Trowa stood next to the Arabian, a bit behind.
“Trowa is back? Wow,.. hey, what have you been doing?”
“Duo, he doesn’t know… he forgot… it’s like when I -” again, Quatre did not finish, throwing a worried look at Trowa. “..like when he had been floating in space for too long.”
Duo raised an understanding eyebrow, banged onto the light switch and the room illuminated. Neither Quatre, nor Trowa, and of course not Duo, did care about the mess displayed here. He signed to the sofa, and the two boys sat down. Duo took a trip to the fridge, taking out milk and cookies, before he brought everything to the small table. He shoveled the papers there onto the floor to set three glasses, cookies and the milk on the table.
“So… what are we going to do with him?” he asked, slumping down into an arm chair. His hands and feet were not visible under the over-sized, fluffy pajamas.
“I don’t know. Is there anything you can remember, Trowa-kun?” Quatre asked concernedly. Something was sparkling in his eyes. Something like hope… something like fear. A strange mixture, and in addition, he tried to hide it.
“I figured I have abilities which are still in place. Like reading and talking. And there are also things I know. It’s hard to describe. I know what the things are called, I know, that there is an earth and that there are colonies. I even know what peace and war is... but as for my own memory… who I am… I just can’t remember. It’s all blank.”
“You don’t remember who Quatre is?” Duo asked. Quatre threw him a meaningful glance.
“I neither remember you, er… Duo, nor him. And I regret that. I must have had a great life, if I knew people as caring as you. Friends. I know what that is.”
Quatre almost wanted to cuddle him, but he did not, and Trowa took no note of it. While he was talking, and while the others were asking him some questions, he tried to get a hand on what had happened, and tried to pull out this spark of memory in him. He had no clue who Duo was, really… but Quatre… there was something about him. His head ached. He noticed how tired he was.
“Trowa-ch…k-kun, you look rather worn out. You should sleep.” Quatre was still worried. Trowa figured they really must be good friends, since they seemed to know him, seemed to understand what he was thinking. And he had the feeling, that he was not very obvious about his emotions in this moment.
“My head aches,” he stated reasonably.
“We’ll get you something to wear, and put you into bed. Don’t worry, Trowa-kun, we’ll get your memory back, kay?” Duo offered, stuffing himself with a cookie. He purposely did not seem as worried as he was. How bad must this be for Quatre? His lover did not recognize him… Oh, they needed to find a way!
The next day, two more visitors arrived. They introduced themselves as Wufei and Heero, and Trowa did not remember a thing about them. They had been informed about the circumstances, though, and immediately had come here. They were all pretty worried, all of them wanted to help Trowa.
When Heero had come in, he immediately hugged Duo in a suggestive way, and kissed him on his mouth.
“You two are lovers?” Trowa asked right away.
“Yes,…” Heero stated and threw a glance to Quatre. Trowa missed the blond one was shaking his head sadly. Heero disengaged from Duo and they had a close look on Trowa. This was a difficult task, but they were willing to help their friend.
“Maybe a punch…”
“DUO!” Wufei snarled. “This is not suitable right here, and won’t change a thing.”
“Trowa, do you remember clowns? Lions? A circus?” Duo started.
“Or big machines, fighting machines, guns, bullets?” Wufei eagerly joined in.
Trowa shook his head, sadly.
“Nothing about fighting in space, wearing uniforms?” Heero inquired further.
Trowa felt confused. He could not understand what these guys were talking about. Guns.. space.. uniforms. Was he a soldier, in the end? Had he been fighting a lot? But he was only young, only…
“How old am I?” he asked to the other’s surprise.
“Sixteen, as far as I know. But we are not really sure…” Quatre answered timidly.
Sixteen… He couldn’t be a soldier! Had he been messing with dangerolus stuff then? Gone against the law? Trained for something? And the space suit? Why had he been wearing that?
“Excuse me,…” he said confusedly, and rushed towards the bathroom. A moment of contemplation – contemplation about what? There were not many answers in his head, at least not in the part he could reach.
“Why don’t you tell him, who you-”
“Duo stop it!” Quatre complained, “He is confused enough already. It won’t help him to know, he’d just be frightened, that he suddenly is even stuck with a lover. He’d think he would need to make something up to me. He has to deal with himself first, before he can deal with me.”
Heero laid a finger on Duo’s mouth, who was about to protest. He understood Quatre’s decision.
“How can we help him?” Wufei asked concernedly. “Right now, we have scared him off.”
Quatre looked quite sad, as if he was about to cry. “I don’t know,” he mumbled desperately.
“We need to be patient,” came Duo’s reply. “All we can do, is try to make him remember. You know, like show him to places, play music with him, show him to people he knows… Something must help him.”
While they were making up plans, how to help Trowa, the one, who still felt like the nanashi he had been called, tried to find at least a bit of what he had lost.
Trowa listened silently to some of the people's conversation. He didn't understand most of it, but that wasn't really upsetting to him. Other than the reason why he didn't understand...
Trowa just didn't want to face them again so soon... The guy called Wufei made him sad. The boy looked at him with almost a pleading in his eyes... Quatre made him uncomfortable and the other did just the same to him. He hadn't ever been around a gay couple before, or a straight one as far as he could remember, and the situation made him a bit edgy. But all those questions... It was so frustrating, and it felt like being put on the spot. He knew they only meant well, but it was all so fast and confusing...
He slipped into one of the rooms next to the bathroom, wanting to just be alone for a while. A computer was the only thing in the room besides the chair and desk it was perched on. For some unexplainable reason, he recognized it and knew how to operate it.
Deceiding to find out about himself possibly by using this thing, Trowa sat down and began. Something strange, ... instinct?... grabbed him and he was clicking away before he realized what he was doing. His fingers finally finished when the screen showed the words "CITIZEN DIRECTORY". He typed "Barton, Trowa" in the name slot and pressed enter.
Two files came up. Trying the first one, he read the contents carefully.
"What is Romefeller?" he asked himself quietly. When he reached the bottom there was a birthdate. According to the year, and the year it was now (he had got a hold of one of Duo's calendars), he was about 21. No, this wasn't him. According to the five guys, he was 16 or 17. Besides, he didn't look 21.
Going backwards, he clicked on the other file.
And read with stunned silence.
Barton, Trowa. During the war, Trowa's activites changed dramaticaly. He was given the Gundam Heaveyarms to pilot and was behind the killing of many soldiers from all sides. His motives were never fully realized. He was part of OZ and supported the original plan to drop a colony onto earth. The other Gundams stopped him. Nothing is really known about him except for the cold, hard facts.
Trowa read them all; all the accounts of every battlefield that Heaveyarms was spotted. From assasinating the OZ memeber who wanted peace for the colonies to slaying whole units of men, he read every single casuality report.
When he finished, he hoped that this wasn't him. The two accounts were seperated to show that whoever made this thought that they might be two differnet people. Trowa didn't know a thing about whatever then heck a Gundam was, but he knew that this was a bad, horrible person to have killed with such ease and seeming enjoyment.
He clicked the link to a picture that someone had managed to take before they were killed.
Trowa watched with tense paitence.
The picture finished loading.
Green eyes behind long brown bangs stared coldly back at him from the screen.
"No..." Trowa backed away from the computer in horror. I... I did those things, I'm... I'm him! In blind carelessness brought on from being sublimely upset, Trowa ran out the door, passing by the startled boys in the living room. He ran and ran, his long legs taking him far, but never far enough.
Never far enough from that blank face, those written murders, the past he couldn't remember.
He lost hold of time, knowing only he was running and trying only to get away, far, far away...
“NO!” Quatre saw Trowa pass by. Immediately he was up to his feed and following.
“Trowa! Please! Trowa!” He couldn’t loose him again! Not again! Not for the world! Duo had followed Quatre as well, but purposely did not catch up to him. While Quatre was senselessly stumbling about the colony, - which was quite understandable - Duo tired to use sense while he was persecuting. Trowa would not have run straight ahead. For someone running away from something – whatever it was in this case – the next corner would be the next hiding placen before the journey moved on.
Duo entered a side street, totally deserted. Trowa was not there, but there was another street down the hill. Duo did his best to run without making a noise. The one he was persecuting was – even under greatest shock – reasonably and calculating. It was his character, and he had not lost that, like he had lost his memory.
He found himself blocked by a wall, and Trowa was nowehre in sight. Had he been mistaking after all? His breath shot out of his mouth in small white clouds. It was a cold night, and it would become colder. On his right there was a small yard to an old restaurant which was closed at that time. Without hesitation, he jumped over the small fence, and into the yard. What looked like a dead-end would never be one for Trowa.
The shinigami jumped over the next fence, findig himself on a factory yard. Dim lights were enlightening the black ground. A few trucks were parked close to the house, while on the other side, there were open fields. Trucks were a perfect thing shielding someone from sight who wanted to get away. Duo sneaked around in the shadows, still running as silently as possible, but panting.
The door to the great warehous stood ajar… The Nanashi was trapped.
Duo entered silently. Since he was casting a large shadow and the door made a squeeking noise, he could be sure, Trowa by then had taken note of him – assuming he was in here. The shinigami closed the door with a bang. Moonlight shone through the small windows. Finding Trowa before he would run away, that was his self-assigned mission. His purple eyes scanned the surrounding darkness, for a shape, a movement, his ears waited for noises. He slowed his breath to a silent, fast beat, so he could hear something. It brought pressure to his lungs.
Duo slid into the shadows, where he could not be seen and waited about thirty seconds. Then, he picked up a package of something, and threw it along the hall in the shadows, producing a clinging noise about ten meters away from himself.
The trick worked. A slender figure came dashing out from the other side of the hall – assuming Duo was exactly, were the noise had been - heading for the door. Duo left his hideout just in time to throw himself onto Trowa and knock him down onto the floor in front of the door. The tall pilot scrambled away from him, just a tad out of reach – but trapped if he wanted to get to the door.
“Get away from me!”
“Trowa, what happened to you?” Duo asked, not moving, but casting the face in the shadows. “A-are you crying?” he asked, as he saw something glistening there.
“I am not Trowa Barton! I haven’t done all this!” Trowa answered coldly, knowing, that he was lying to himself.
Duo sighed. “Yes, you are not Trowa Barton. Do you have to make things even more confusing?”
There was a moment of silence.
Trowa was dumbstruck, obviously. He did not even move a muscle. What was this guy doing to him? He had seen the picture of himself on the computer – he was Trowa Barton – there was no denying it.
“You still don’t remember,” Duo figured eventually. “That’s quite okay. If you don’t run away, I will offer you my help, okay?” Duo desperately hoped, Trowa would choose not to run. And he had not misinterpreted him. Trowa did not move.
“I’ll take that as a yes,” Duo decided, not daring to move, as if any movement could frighten the creature in the shadow. “First, you have to tell me, what you are talking about. Is there anything you know about Trowa Barton?”
“He killed in something they called Gundam, he wanted to drop a colony on earth, he looks like me. There are a thousane casualties on his list! He is a cruel person, but he is me!”
Duo wondered how he was supposed to order this entangled mind, and sighed.
“First of all… you are not the one who wanted to drop a colony on earth, and your name is not Trowa Barton. Look, there was this person, Trowa Barton, who supported an operation called METEOR. I assume you know what a colony is, so yes, he wanted to be so cruel and drop that colony on earth. As far as I know, Trowa got shot. By then, you were still under the impact of an amnesia fit, referring to yourself as nanashi – nameless. You were working on the Gundam Heavyarms as a mechanic by then.”
There that name was again – Heavyarms. So he had something to with it.
“Gundam…” Yes, now there was something to this word… as there was something to Quatre. Whirling memory, ungropeable like mist…
“Aw… Gundams are big, strong robots used in war.”
“However, Trowa got shot, for what he was planning to do. His death should never be known, and you offered to take his name, since you yourself had none. At least, you did not remember. Don’t ask me, I don’t know your real name. You took all the charges from Trowa, including piloting the Gundam Heavyarms.”
“I… did that then?”
“Yes, you killed many people, so did I, so did Heero, so did Wufei, and so did Quatre. At the beginning we were no team, Trowa. Everyone was fighting for what he thought is right. Trowa, this is war. You did not kill these people because you were cruel! You killed them, because it saved the earth from being destroyed or ruled by a cruel dictatorship. You were fighting for the right thing. And this war is not over yet. You knew what you were doing, you knew what for.”
Trowa shook his head, he started shivering. No… I can’t… No…
Duo had crawled over to him and shook him gently. “Stop hurting yourself like that… there was a motive behind this. You were defending peace, you were fighiting for peace. It may be unclear to you now, but you already figured out, that fighting for peace is necessary. Peace can only be achieved through war, and we did not start this.”
“I’m a killer…” Trowa muttered, more to himself.
“Don’t believe that!” Duo said furiously. He came close to Trowa, looking into emerald eyes. The youth was scared, it showed clearly from his face. And that, when Duo only remembered him to be stoic and controlled. He seemed so different…
“I don’t want to be this! I am a killer, you all are!” Trowa had a hard time groping that. The four teenagers, including the one he had thought to be an angel, were heartless killers? But that was what Duo had said. And … whatever this confusing thing about taking another men’s name, meant, he himself was one of them, too.
Duo was on the edge of speechlessness, how could he make Trowa feel less bad about what he had been doing, make him understand that it was, in fact, not as he saw it right now.
“You will understand once you have got your memory again. Don’t run away, please. I know you would break someone’s heart, if you did. There was a caring person inside you, and if you could remember at all, you would not want to let it slip away. Give us at least a chance to help you, don’t go away. You have been so much more, and you would never run away from the task ahead of you.”
“But I am not Trowa anymore! I have never been!” Trowa defended himself, still horrified. What did he care, who would mourn over his changes, when it meant, he would have a less cruel life, then? He would never take aremement again! If it was true he ever had, he would not be able to do this anymore.
“I beg you one last time, for the sake of those who care about you – give us a chance. One week, one month, maybe. But you owe us that. You owe that to yourself.”
Trowa contemplated the thought. He did not want to remember killing people. It would not be better to see them blow up in his memory, no matter for what purpose. Without memory, though… where would he go? What were the other things, the dark haired boy with the long braid spoke about. And…
“Tell me, whose heart would I break?”
“All of ours, lots of others, and one in particular. If you were yourself, you would not want to get that one hurt. But I promised not to tell you yet.”
Indeed, if he was himself, but he was not himself. Did he have the right to hurt someone? From the way, Duo had spoken, it seemed as if it really mattered. What was it now? Was he married? Did he have a girlfirend somewhere out there…? A caring mother and father? Family…
“Family… do I have family, or – love?” Trowa asked carefully, slowly easing up towards Duo.
“Yes, you have family, you are luckier than most of us. And yes, you used to love, and you are loved in return. I won’t tell you, it would be too painful to you and your love if you did not return the feelings anymore. You will, if you find your memory. I have never seen anyone loving as intense as you… Don’t give that up. It is something really blissful.”
Duo’s eyes sparkled. Trowa could hardly understand… he was talking to a yaoi-person, lecturing him about love? That person loved a boy! But then… the way he was shining from inside, the happiness… Did that mean, he himself had once had all that and could find it again? Was this not worth a try?
“One month,” he stated, “then I’ll go. I don’t want to live a killer anymore.”
Duo offered him a hand to help him up. Trowa hesitantly took it. Duo was not comfortable with the deal. It could take years until an amnesiac person retrieved his memory. A month was a short time. Trowa obediently followed Duo home. Duo kept talking.
“We are your friends, and we’ll let you feel that. We’ll do anything to help you. We’ll spend all the time we can get to bring back what you miss, and what we miss just as much. … Some things may seem strange to you, Trowa, but we are just trying to help you. We don’t know what helps, but we want to try anything… Tell us, please, if there’s anything. You can trust us. Any slight hint, anything… okay?”
“Gundam…” Trowa said slowly. “I started to connect something with the word.”
“You’ll see one, I promise.”
“And… Quatre… ” It was rather hard to admit that, “Just like Gundam there is something about his name and person, which I can’t place.”
Duo tried hard not to smirk. He also noticed, that the Arbian had been right. There was no use telling Trowa they were kois. He would probably be scared, or uneasy around Quatre. Who could tell, whether the current Trowa Barton felt for Quatre the same way the old one had. How sad this must be for Quatre. At least there was something there. But Duo would not tell Quatre that. The best thing the blond could do, was act normal, and trying too hard would certainly not do.
“Trowa…!” a panting Quatre ran up the street. “Duo, you found him… what happened?”
Duo shook his head. “It’s okay. We have got one month to retrieve his memory. Then, he wants his freedom. He does not want to steer a killing machine, he does not understand killing. We have to respect that.”
“Wha-what?” Quatre stuttert. Once again, Trowa noticed tears in the blonds eyes. This angel was crying quite often. How could this be one of the killers? Was there some cruel game behind this…? But these people seemed honest. And truyl concerned about him. Whatever it was, he owed them, he felt he did.
The next weeks passed with a lot of tiring activity for Trowa. They went to a circus, were some brown-haired girl fell around his neck, crying out what was supposed to be his name, and blurting she was his sister. It was rather frightening, and she, as well, was crying. All the strange happenings, all the tears, it made him just miserable. He made so many people sad, especially when they were told, that he did not remember. All the people they met, he did not connect a thing to them. And it made him sad, too. He had known so many kind people, and they seemed to really care, but – there was all emptiness inside of him, when he looked at their faces.
His “friends” told him stories and anecdotes, in most distinctness, trying to force his mind into remembering. They even re-built scenes, he should remember, but never achieved anything. And yes, they were disappointed, that they could not help him. And they tried not to show. They were cheerful, starting one attempt after the other. At the very beginning, the attention all drawn to him, made him feel uncomfortable. But once, he had gotten to know the four pilots, he started to ease up around them. And sometimes, they would forget to stick their attention towards him… and then, he watched them.
And when he watched them, sometimes, something would catche him, almost like a déjà-vue. Only for a split of a second, before it was gone. Maybe just a smile from Quatre, a movement by Duo’s hand, a laughter… But there was something there. That was why he never lost hope. Unfortunately, it was always himself, who broke those moments – without wanting to. Someone would say something like “Wide green pants, would be something for you Trowa, ne?” and look at him… and realize, that Trowa had no idea what he was talking about. And with a bang, the sadness came back to all of them. Trowa did not see a point in not admitting that it had that effect on them, they were bad at cachéing it with over-joy. He let them do it, nevertheless.
And there were strange things, too. One day, when they had returned from visiting Wufei’s place, hoping that Trowa would recognize it, he had a moment for himself. He was laying on the bed he had been given, and his mind was going over the events of the day. Suddenly, he heard music. Being nosey, he got up and strolled to the garden, seeing Quatre standing there in some sort of pavilion with a violin. And Quatre, he had to admit that, was an amazing player. He stood there, eyes closed, playing.
Trowa approached carefully. The blond looked beautiful, soft and nice, almost gleaming, as he stroke the bow over the strings softly. How wonderful. And how wonderful, Torwa still knew what a violin was, and what music was! Something wonderful he had not forgotten…
Quatre opened his eyes and saw him. He tensed for a moment, then kept on playing. He nodded to Trowa, who took the invitation to sit down on a bench and watch until Quatre had finsihed. All the while, Quatre was smiling at him.
“You are a good player… assuming I can really tell,” Trowa acknowledged.
“I am sure, you can…” Quatre answered and set the violin on a small, round table, next to two open cases. Trowa peeked inside the one that was not a violin case.
“You play the flute, too?” he asked, as he recognized the instrument inside.
Quatre shook his head: “Uh-uh… you do.” He took the silvery instrument out of the case and carried it over to Trowa, placing it in his hands. The brown-haired looked at it bewilderedly. He was supposed to be able to play that? He was able to make something like music? For once, that seemed to be a good discovery about him… but no, he could not remember having a flute, so how was he supposed to remember playing it? He moved a finger of the clean, shining surface.
“You don’t want to try it?” Quatre asked carefully, having sat down next to him.
“I cannot… I have no idea how to play that.” Quatre nodded sadly. Really, how should he? Nevertheless Trowa moved the flute up to his lips and blowed some air inside. A long tone emerged, steady and strong. Quatre blazed in happiness. It seemed that there was something left… Trowa closed his eyes and moved his fingers. A senseless tune was emerging, but at least it was a tune.
“Trowa, you remember!” Quatre cheered. The Nanashi lowered the flute.
“No… it’s instinct, I guess… something inside of me. There’s- there’s no memory of it.”
“Will you play some for me? – Just whatever comes in your mind!”
Trowa, nosey himself, how much he could make out of it, nodded, and took the flute up again. He started playing, moving his fingers, without having a clue where he was heading. He held his eyes closed, it was easier to concentrate.
Trowa was totally unaware of Quatre’s gazing at him. The Arbian’s eyes were wide, as he watched those skillful fingers move on the shining silver. Quatre knew Trowa was not just pressing the numerous keys on there without sense… He used the right grips, he held the flute perfectly, he played it perfectly. And in his tunes, there were bits and peaces of songs they had played together – just that Trowa was had no idea about that. Quatre would not tell him, being sure that it would confuse his now. He had to approach slowly, had to make more music with him to make him remember. But – but Trowa would not be here in hardly a weak. He was determined to go, if he did not regain his memory. He would just leave forever.
When Trowa had finsihed, finding some end to his music, amazed by himself, Quatre was packing his violin away silently. His back was towards the other.
“Can I … borrow that flute for a while?” he asked Quatre.
“Keep it,” Quatre answered briefly, “it’s yours.”
The violin case snapped close. The blond turned around.
“Thank you, korohyou.” It was all he said, before he turned around and ran up the path to the house. Trowa gazed after him. He was so strange… and why had he called him ‘korohyou’, panther? And… again, there had been tears sparkling in his eyes. Why did he always make people cry, especially Quatre?
Then, there were Gundams… Duo, Quatre and Heero had taken him to a junkyard, where they hid three of five large machines. They were huge, extremely huge, heavily armed, strong and frightening. And they were absolutely unfamiliar to him. The ones they saw were called Deathscythe Hell, Sandrock and Heavyarms. But he even did not remember Heavyarms, not even when they were pressing him on the steering seat inside. In the end, Trowa tugged on Heero’s shirt and asked to leave. He did not want to watch the killer machines, much less sit in one! He did not even want them to make him remember, who he was.
One night, he was hardly asleep, as always. More than three weeks had passed since his arrival, and even though he hardly admitted it, he had grown fond of the others. He would not know where he would be going, maybe back to the circus, he was supposed to come from. Maybe right into space… from which he must have fallen. He couldn’t stay here, though. The depressing atmosphere pushed more and more onto him. He loved these people, but even though he was there, they missed him. It was a strange feeling, hard to bear for long. It was one of these nights, he spent in Quatre’s places. As far as he knew, Heero was there, too.
Quatre… with no other person he connected as much. It was, as if the boy resembled someone he knew, and yet, he did not. It was, as if he knew him well, and just had not seen him for a century, and yet, he did not know him. And Quatre was everywhere he went, caring, trying to help, being joyful, kind… but full of sorrow. Trowa did not miss that.
This night, he got up, just to be on his own. The others were always clinging to him, he hardly had a moment for himself; all good intend, he knew that. He wandered through the empty living room. Quatre lived in a huge place. He wandered and watched the stars. He wandered up the stairs, passed many rooms he did not know. Almost, as if something took hold of him, he laid a hand on a door knob, on a door right next to the stairs. Carefully he turned it around and pushed the door open. What made him do that? He had no idea.
The light from outside, provoked by the stars and the moon falling through huge windows shone in the room he was facing. There, in a bed, half under his covers, laid Quatre. He was sleeping peacefully, but his face showed the lines from dried tears. It somehow felt, as if Trowa not only assumed he was the source of the tears, but as if he knew. Quatre was crying for him, but why?
He lightly leaned against the doorframe, watching the beauty. Yes, the boy was beautiful, and the angel-thought returned to him. This person was anything but normal… And he was sleeping so silently, his cheeks slightly red, a fist next to his face, the other on the blanket. It was, as if he was inviting him to watch him. And Trowa didn’t care whether it was odd, or inappropriate, to watch that sleep. He himself could not sleep away from this world. Ever since the time he had woken up without remembering anything, somewhere in the steets of an L2 colony, he could not remember having slept deeply. Not in the last three weeks.
His own feeble shadow just reached over to Quatre’s bed, the tip of his shape touching the blanket. He stared at the picture, still leaning against the doorframe, his arms crossed.
He heard footsteps on the stairs. Someone joined him, standing next to him and casting another shadow. Trowa did not turn his eyes away. He knew who it was, anyway, and he could – for some reason – not take his eyes off Quatre.
“Heero…” he began, still fixed on Quatre, “who is he?”
Heero paused a moment. In a few, Trowa would be gone anyway, and if anything could keep him…
“Quatre used to be your lover,” he whispered tonelessly.
Trowa’s eyes widened… He, the angel, the one who made him feel so uncomfortable around him, the one who had found and cried for him, was his lover? Quatre had played music with him and taken him to all the places he could think of, he had had the idea to re-built situations to make Trowa remember, he ahd been trying so desperately. But that actually meant, they both were gay. How could Trowa be gay, if he felt so weird around Duo and Heero?
And yes, you used to love, and you are loved in return. I won’t tell you, it would be too painful to you and your love if you did not return the feelings anymore. You will, if you find your memory. I have never seen anyone loving as intense as you… Don’t give that up. It is something really blissful.
Trowa recalled Duo’s words. He had been talking about Quatre? There was no denying the little blond was beautiful, had a warm heart and could be a great lover, but Trowa didn’t remember loving him at all. And as Duo had said, it would hurt Quatre. Wasn’t it weird that he could forget about love? Had he really been in love, then?
“It’s okay,” he heard Heero saying. “He understands if things change. There is no pressure on you to return that emotion anymore, if you don’t love him now.” That was all he said before he turned and left Trowa alone. The Nanashi closed the door. He was confused. Duo said he had been loving intensely, and he should not give it up. As it seemed, he didn’t love as intensely anymore, however beautiful that blond bishounen really was. It saddened Trowa, as he kept on thinking. If he had been loving so intensely and was loved in return by someone like Quatre, he must have been really lucky, even though Quatre was a boy. It hurt to have to break that angel’s heart, but he was so foreign to him now, that he couldn’t imagine loving him.
Trowa didn’t talk about that night, neither did Heero. However, the slander Nanshi could observe from a different angle now. He could see Quatre’s sadness everywhere, and it emphasized him on the thought, that it would be better if he just left them – left him. However, he had told the four boys, that the times he grasped emotions were always those when they did not try to make him remember, and just forgot about him. Ever since, they had changed their plan on trying to make Trowa remember. They just went to places and tried to be themselves with Trowa sitting by. It worked sometimes, and sometimes it didn’t, but it never brought back much. It was always just an ungropeable déjà vue. As it seemed, Quatre couldn’t be himself anyway, and he watched Trowa a lot. Every gaze of the blue eyes pierced Trowa’s heart for he felt, what he was doing to the cherubic bishounen. He couldn’t change it, though. And so, another week passed by and Trowa did not have to fulfill his promise anymore. He was allowed to leave and begin a new life, if he had to.
“Trowa,” Quatre said on the morning of that fateful day, and his voice spoke volumes of sadness, “You won’t go this morning, will you? You can still be our friend, you know… if you want to leave tonight, nobody is going to keep you, but for our last day, we would like to go the fair with you, accepting you as a new person, not trying to seek the old you. Is that okay?”
Trowa nodded silently, contemplating Quatre for at least the hundredth time. There was no denial he was extremely handsome, but he couldn’t make hopes were there were none. Instead of giving away more pain, though, the blond smiled broadly and thanked Trowa for coming and promised they would, after all these strange days, have fun, all five of them together.
In the later afternoon, they went to the fair, and it really was fun. Like five ordinary boys, they went through the place, ate ice cream and popcorn, enjoyed the loops of the roller coaster and had french fries for dinner. The only thing that kept being uncomfortable to Trowa, was that Quatre was paying everything for him. Trowa had not had any money after he had woken up and for a months he had lived on his and Duo’s cost. Although Quatre was richer than they all were, it was not right to accept that. And yet, he couldn’t refuse the polite gesture. Also, Quatre made sure, that on the rides, Trowa was able to sit at his, Heero’s, Wufei’s and Duo’s side in terms. If they had been lovers, they would have sat next to each other all the time, but Quatre didn’t let it happen. It was clear, that the blond didn’t even want to indicate their former relationship – he had no idea what Trowa knew now. It was no miracle that Quatre grew sadder and sadder towards the evening and tried anything to stretch it. He was almost desperate.
The last thing they did was shooting. Every single one of the boys shot the main prize, which was no surprise, because supposingly they were pilots of war-machines and good at aiming. Heero and Wufei, however, refused to take the prize, since they did not think it was fair for them to the owner to participate in this. Quatre had free choice and choose a nice porcelain sculpture which he would give to one of his sisters. Trowa shot a teddy bear and gave it to Quatre, for it was about all he could do. Quatre accepted it happily and hugged it tightly to his chest.
So, finally, when they were heading for the exit of the fair, Quatre had become unusually quiet. He clutched the bear in one hand and walked next to the others, not saying a word. It’s all my fault, Trowa thought sadly and stayed behind a bit, following those four. He considered just staying behind and disappearing in the crowd, so he would prevent a grand goodbye-scene, but he couldn’t quite make himself do that.
Suddenly, the four in front of them stopped as a tall man crossed their way. He was in jeans an sweater and didn’t seem to notice the five at first, until Wufei cleared his thoat audibly and obviously fakely.
“Oh, Wufei!” the man exclaimed, “How could I have missed you?”
“I wonder, Treize!!!” Wufei growled angrily. The man, Treize, came towards him and hugged him.
“I tried to call you, but you didn’t pick up the phone.”
Wufei actually blushed. “Oh, right, I was at Duo’s…!”
Treize smiled a little half-smile and searched for Wufei’s hands. Duo giggled and poked Quatre in the ribs, but the blond didn’t quite have the mind to react.
“So, Wufei, what are you up to tonight?” Treize asked, holding both Wufei’s hands.
“N-nothing,” the black-head stuttered, staring up at Treize with a weird gleam in his eyes.
Trowa of course tried to put his mind on who Treize was. And then, this picture with Wufei holding the older man’s hand like this, beaming up into ice-blue eyes with his dark black ones had something to it. Trowa knew he had seen that man before – with Wufei. A headache started and Trowa had to put his hand on his head to make sure it was still there… That picture…
Wufei laying in a bed, tied up and blindfolded… Treize next to him, both only hidden by the blanket, and Wufei started to have a nose bleed. The picture lasted only for seconds before it was wiped away by another one: Gundams. He looked out in the midth of space and there were four Gundams. The one he recognized in front of him was Deathscythe, swinging his beaming tool and destroying Mobile Suits. Even that image fluttered past. Without anyone noticing, Trowa crouched down, one hand on the soil, the other on his head, and shaking. Deathscythe… that was Duo’s Gundam. And there was this weird picture of Duo in the kitchen with his hair open, falling around his back and shoulders down to his hips. And Heero came up behind him, slung his arms around the ‘shinigami’ and buried his nose in that hair. The imaginary movie flimmered back to Treize and Wufei in the bed. Trowa was looking at the scene with both, amusement and shock. Next to him was Quatre, legs spread, holding a gun, but paralized by the sight. He was in his pajamas although the sun shone through the window brightly and it was afternoon.
And then, there was an image in the dim light of the basement, a counter with shadow on top of it… and of course – Quatre. He stood next to him, and watched. Trowa dropped the toothpicks he had been holding and picked them back up again, before excusing to Quatre with a throbbing heart. But the blond thanked him for… whatever… And then he said ‘Ai shiteru’, softly, his eyes closed. Back then, Trowa could hardly believe his luck, but it was clear what Quatre had meant. And he fished for that pale white hand, touched that cheek and they kissed… and he felt really happy for the first time in his life.
How could he have forgotten about all this – ever?
“Qu-Quatre…” he called, as he crouched there, his head burning like fire and threatening to explode, his body shaking all over as the wave of memory enclosed him in tight clutches. Finally, they noticed he was on the floor and ran over to him. Quatre immediately was at his side, holding him, trying to help him, but not knowing what to do. More pictures swamped Trowa’s memory, more than he could take. Circus, army bases, Mobile Dolls and Suits blowing up, uniforms, Heavyarms, lions, Catherine, Duo, Heero, Treize, Wufei and Quatre… Quatre, Quatre, Quatre…
He cried out, loud, unmuffled, painful. The pain was worse than remembering being shot. When the flood finally was over, he collapsed into Quatre’s arm and was held comfortingly. Even Treize was crouching down next to them, wondering what had happened.
“Mizu Me,” Trowa adressed Quatre in the way he knew to, “how could I have forgotten about you?”
Yes, how could he? How could he have forgotten about the soul which had saved him, which had given his life a meaning other than killing, which had made him take down that mask and cry.
“Trowa!” Quatre exclaimed and hugged him tightly.
“I’m sorry, koi.”
“It doesn’t matter now,” a tear-choked voice answered.
Duo rubbed both their backs and laughed merrily and loud. “No it really doesn’t! Trowa, you got us really scared!” His laughter continued until everyone was forced to join in, whether he wanted to or not – even Heero.
“And what do we do now?”`Wufei asked.
“I don’t know about you,” Treize said, “but I’ll enjoy the fair.”
“On your own?” Wufei asked dubiously.
“No, with you, of course.” He stood up again. So did the others. Quatre helped Trowa up.
“And what do we do?” Duo asked curiously.
“Depends on Trowa,” Quatre answered, “What do you want to do?”
Trowa leaned forward and whispered into Quatre’s ear, not audible to the others. The blond blushed deeply red and nodded (quite eagerly).
“We’ll see you later, guys!” he said and dragged Trowa away with him. Wufei and Treize disappeared in the crowd. Duo wondered whether those two weren’t afraid of being seen together. Well, that actually was Treize’s risk to take. He and Heero were left behind. Duo yawned.
“Let’s go home, I am tired. This day was exhausting.” He dragged Heero towards the exist. The Japanese smirked. He would see to whether Duo really was so tired.