Disclaimer: Neither Gundam Wing or Sailor Moon belongs to me.

It's a sequel … and I truly hope it doesn't go down the path of most other sequels. :x But I'm posting so that I'd be pushed into writing more for it. :D I'm willing to write it, though, because I have the majority of the plot in mind and it really doesn't have too much to do with the original … other than Innocence and the couples, of course. :D But here you go. Enjoy. ^^

Cry :: Prologue :: Thorns

She leaned her head back and let it rest against the white brick. Her legs were pulled up to her chest and her entire body shivered as gentle drops of water fell soundlessly from her wet clothes and hair. The rain poured on, uninterrupted, around her; gray sheets of it fell with fury toward the ground.

The small porch she had snuck into was tiny but adequately protective. The door itself was enormous and tall but to either side of it, there was just enough room for her to rest.

This house wasn't familiar to her but she knew of it. She knew of its structure and knew of its occupants.

Her heart leapt to her throat as the door beside her creaked and cracked open. Eyes wide with dread, she turned around slowly.

"You know, you don't have to stay out there. You're welcome inside."

She stood up shakily. "I … I, uh, don't want to be a burden." Her voice sounded hoarse and thick. "I-"

"It's not a problem. We have plenty of rooms in which you can stay."

A shaky smile spread across her face as she drew in an uneven breath, stuttering, "T-Thank you very much."

The man smiled back at her. "Can I get your name, Miss?"

She thought quickly. "S-Serena. Serena Lucian."

"It's nice to meet you, Miss Lucian. Call me Rashid."

…………………

"I really think this has gone too far. I mean … how long does he expect he can stay in there without food or water or…" Quatre shook his head and stared at the floor. "I really don't know what to do. I mean … look at you all."

Trowa and Wufei's faces were bleak and unrelenting. They hadn't come into contact with Usagi but once and it was while she was unconscious. And though they weren't despairing over her, they were wondering how her death could affect Innocence and in turn, the world.

Wufei cleared his throat and leaned forward in his chair to eye each of the men gathered around him. "That isn't all, Winner. Studies of Innocence have shown that it covers about half a million cases a year which means it keeps half a million cases from needing federal intervention. And of these half a million cases, a majority would require costly procedures that include tracking missing people down and so on."

"Yes, Wufei has a point. The world has just fallen into the rhythm of having Innocence around after the brief fifteen years it has existed. And from our experience, Tsukino Usagi is the keystone that holds Innocence together."

"Because Artemis depends so heavily on her," Quatre finished softly, realization dawning upon his face. "Are we looking at a universal crisis or something?"

Trowa shook his head. "I don't think it will go that far. With Tsukino gone, Artemis might very easily crumble which will cause Innocence to disappear. Then the Earth Sphere Unified Nation will have a bit of budget adjusting to do."

Quatre nodded, brow furrowed in thought. "I see your point, Trowa. It's completely inconvenient. As for Hiiro…"

"If he hasn't been down then that just means he hasn't been hungry or thirsty…"

All eyes turned to the final member of the circle, surprised that he had spoken. Duo Maxwell, the life of their group, looked like he wanted nothing more than to die. His unkempt, auburn hair fell messily over his face, brushing lightly against his gaunt cheeks whenever he moved. Those familiar blue-violet eyes were dry but far from cheerful and their intensity stood out eerily against his colorless skin.

Duo hesitated. "That just means he hasn't been hungry or thirsty … for the last three days."

Wufei stared at him before clearing his throat and trying his hardest to make things the way they were before. "You say that as if it isn't a problem, Maxwell."

Everybody smiled at the weak attempt at derision.

…………………

"You shall be staying in this room." Rashid opened the door for her. "The bathroom is connected to it and is yours alone."

After climbing a flight of stairs and walking a short bit, they had arrived to a blank, nondescript door. As Rashid led her, she had occupied herself with not dripping on the patently expensive carpet but that didn't stop her from sneaking glances at the man ahead of her. 

She had heard almost legendary stories of Quatre Winner's "personal army" and this man, this Rashid, had always been at the center of them. It was rumored that the tall, bearded, and brunette man didn't let anybody but the people he trusted most get anywhere near his young master. And she had heard that he could and would do anything to protect Quatre from harm, even to the point of committing felonies. She smiled at the thought. There were no doubts in her mind that she and this man would get along perfectly.

"Thank you." She smiled at him and entered the room.

"It's the guest room. Master Quatre's sisters often stay in here so you shall be able to find adequate clothing and supplies."

"Thank you," she repeated. "I don't know how to ever thank you."

"There is no need, Miss Lucian. I just ask that you go about quietly as it is near midnight."

She nodded. "Of course. I understand."

He closed the door after him.

…………………..

"Have you tried to talk to him?"

Quatre frowned. "Of course I've tried to talk to him! What kind of friend do you take me for?"

Trowa stared at him placidly. "That's not what I meant, Quatre."

The blonde sighed and rubbed his eyes. "Yes, yes of course. I'm just getting a bit tired."

"Now, with Innocence's success rate dropping, is the worst time to have Yui sick and starving himself."

"But can you blame him, Wufei?" Trowa pursed his lips. "Can you expect him to act like nothing has happened when Tsukino Usagi, the woman he was willing to give up his career and life for, is dead?"

Duo sighed. "It's difficult to believe she is gone."

"Hn. Killed in a drive-by shooting. What a load of crap." Wufei rolled his eyes and crossed his arms. "Does the press honestly believe that the Tsukino Usagi could be killed so simply?"

"If she died in any way, it'd have to be on the job." Trowa nodded his head in agreement.

"And I'm sure Hiiro knows that. He's blaming himself for not convincing her to come with him. Or not going with her so perhaps he could have been there," Quatre concluded.

Duo shifted in his seat and frowned. "If Hiiro has any common sense, he'd know she's not the type of person to be convinced. There was no way he could have had her come to us."

"Yes, but people in despair often don't have much common sense."

Wufei snorted. "That's obvious. If Yui did, he'd be eating right now."

…………………

Artemis smiled to himself as he dimmed the lights of the building and headed home. He had almost laughed when he read the newspaper article about Usagi.

Five years ago the ESUN had hated his guts and wanted Usagi dead. Five years ago, the Preventers would have given anything to end Innocence.

Yet now, with Usagi gone and Innocence floundering, the press couldn't stop shipping out depressing headlines and mournful articles.

But Artemis wasn't the least bit worried. There were plenty of other agents around and it wasn't as if Usagi would be gone forever. Of course not. This was only a vacation and a desperately needed one at that. And while she was gone, probably waltzing to the Yui boy she was so infatuated with, he could make do with the others.

It'd be a hassle without her and with the press chasing at their heels, but he was willing to go to that kind of trouble for her. Anything for her.

…………………

How was it? Wow … I just realized how much I missed Gray Matter. ::sigh:: And on a random note … there are a lot of fragments in my writing … lol. But … there you have it. :D Please comment! I wonder if you guys still remember about Gray Matter … ; I hardly do. xD Thank you for reading! Yours, Angel.