A/N: The way Shaw treats Erik when they meet as adults suggests that what went on between them was not just captivity characterized by unmitigated brutality. (Whew, that's a mouthful!) It was actually probably more twisted than that; I bet Shaw deliberately got into Erik's head on a whole bunch of levels. This is a short, non-violent peek at the sort of creepery I think was typical of their time together.
Shaw surveyed the mess with an enormous frown. Broken syringes all over the floor, a guard nursing a bloody nose, and his prized pupil cowering in the corner, covering his head with both arms – which were marked with ropeburn and streaks of blood. "What happened here?"
"Wouldn't sit still," the youngest doctor answered. "Again."
"I see. Everyone out." Shaw crouched down next to the hyperventilating child and waited til the room cleared. Then he sighed softly. "Erik."
Erik sucked in his breath and held it.
"Look at me." Shaw waited until he raised his head before speaking to him again. "Erik, why do they tie you down every morning to draw your blood?"
The boy frowned. "I-... I don't know," he said, fearfully, as if it might be some kind of trap. "Because you need it for your research?"
Shaw waved that away. "Yes yes. But what I mean is: why do they have to tie you down?"
He smiled, encouraging, as understanding dawned on the boy's blotchy face.
"That's right, son. They tie you down because you fight them – and they stick you up half a dozen times because it's hard to find a vein when you won't hold still. I'm sure that hurts. Doesn't it?"
"Then, how about this. From now on, you'll sit still and cooperate with the blood draws like an adult, and then it won't be so bad. Do you think you can do that, Erik?"
Erik sniffled and then wiped his face. He shrugged.
But Shaw knew better than to entrust the watershed training moments to any of his assistants; this first time was something he would have to do himself. "Let's find out. Give me your arm."
He shook his head frantically and hugged himself.
"Erik." Shaw hardened up his voice. "This is for your own good, to make things easier on you, and I won't take no. I'll say again: give me your arm."
The boy finally moved to obey, but Shaw stopped him with a soft touch on the wrist. "Your other arm – that one's already had enough for one day, don't you think?"
Erik looked down at all the needle marks and gave a little laugh. He pushed up his other sleeve.
"Good boy." Shaw drew a clean syringe. "Now look away – it's better when you don't watch. There you go. Prick on three: one, two and three, that's right, keep looking away... and... done. There." He leaned away, tapping the syringe thoughtfully. "See how much easier it is when you cooperate? Here." He handed Erik a piece of tissue and had him press it to the tiny wound. Then he stood up and cleared his throat. "Now: was that easier, or not?"
Erik nodded. "Easier."
"Then that's how it's going to be every day from now on, Erik – isn't it."
By now Erik knew a warning when he heard one. "Yes sir. Um... Doctor?"
"Will you do it? Instead of the others?"
Shaw hid his elation and pretended to be put out. "I'm a busy man, Erik. You know I don't have time to come in here every time you need a blood draw."
"I know, but... but when you can?"
"All right. When I can."