Disclaimer: This goes for the whole story, cause I'm tired of putting it in EVERY chapter. I don't own this, don't make money off of it, nothing. No please don't sue me.

A/N: I really am a glutton for punishment. This'll make the third in-progress story for FF (four stories if you count my own novel). But the idea wouldn't leave. I'm going to try super hard to update regularly, but I have to be honest with you all, I might not (due to health). There might be weeks where I update every few days or months where you don't hear a peep outa me. Regardless, I hope you do like this story.

Warnings: Torture descriptions, but really it's nothing beyond PG13 (if that).

Italics = thoughts

Bold Italics = memories

It's bright.

Where did the grey go? Why's it gone?

It's open.

Need to hide. Not safe!

It's stinging.

The air's melting!

It's…it's…the word slips away from him into the darkness like so many others. He tries to bring it back, but a flash of light, of memory, stops him.

Is the little runt missing his home?

He curls inward and waits for the blows to remind him of his place. And waits. And waits. And…and…the word leaves. He rocks himself a little, decides it's nice, reminds him of something soft and accepting.

Flowing, golden hair, silk dresses, and encouraging melodies.

The heat gets worse and worse and worse. His lungs dry out. His skin burns. He wraps his arms around his stomach. His vision of his knees and the hot, hot sand blurs as tears rise up.

Why is he being punished again?

Did he do the Bad Thing again?

He whimpers. That must be it. He did the Bad Thing. He didn't mean to. He's been trying so hard to be good. Isn't he good now? Doesn't he listen to the…to the…

He shudders.

Who does he listen to? He must remember or more bones will break, more sleep will stop, more…and more…He's so tired his eyes hurt. Who does he obey?

Purple and mocking and pain and hunger and tears.


He serves Master now. No, he's always served Master. No…he didn't. He did. He does. He will. Anything to stop Them from hurting him again. Anything.

But sometimes…he wishes…wants…Why won't the one in his dreams come for him? The one with rain and sun and love. Thunder. He begs for him, but no one comes. Only Them.

This is your life now, runt.

"My life. My life," he whispers through his tears. "Mine."

Something crunches in the sand next to him. A boot. Two boots. Black. He flinches away. Bad, bad, he's been bad. Master won't be happy. Isn't happy. Master will hit him again. And again. And again. Master has sent Them to him.

"Sorry, sorry." His nails scratch at the nice shirt Master gave him. He stops himself. These are Master's clothes. Master is kind to let him wear things again. But…he's been bad. Maybe Master will take them away like last time. "Sorry. This one is sorry, Master."

"Get it in him," a deep rumble (Not Master, but still dangerous) says. "Now."

Someone kneels beside him. Pushes his hair back. Something sharp, thin (Needle, his mind supplies suddenly) pricks his neck. He wants to run, to hide, to plead, but he doesn't.

Master is always right.

The needle plunges into his neck and releases cold into his veins.

Cold, like a Frost Giant.

His body weakens as the cold spreads and he falls to his side. He closes his eyes, blocks out the view of his tormentors for a few more seconds (ripping, sneering, bruising) and slides into the safety of sleep.

And that's it for the first chapter. Please, review and tell me if you liked it, if you didn't, if you're dying to see a certain scene.