title: this boy's life
fandom: Loveless
characters/pairings: Soubi's mother, Ritsu-sensei, Seimei/Soubi, Ritsuka/Soubi
rating: G
warnings: child abuse
summary: moments in time.
notes: speculative, so placing it in an AU universe, since it is destined to be jossed. (and it was...)

She rubbed her hand over her belly. She had gotten so big. Hard to believe.... The man in the white coat was whistling to himself again, that same tune. It annoyed her, but she had no right to say anything. This man... he was going to give her son a life, a life she couldn't...

"Hold out your arm, please." His tone was so clipped, so condescending. He looked at her like she was contagious.

Maybe she was. She couldn't blame him.

"You look too young to be a doctor," she tried to laugh as she did as instructed.

He made a face. "I'm not. I'm a teacher. And a scientist. Now, don't move..." The needle hurt, but she was used to it. He should have let her insert it. She was good at finding veins.

She rubbed her belly again. She could feel him moving inside of her. The doctor... teacher... He hooked up the IV bag, and went back to his desk. Ampules were lined up in neat rows, each a different color. He sighed and sat down, sorting through the various bottles. She swallowed hard as he got another needle out, and looked away. "You'll be good to him, right? I mean... he's important, right? You won't... like, dissect him when he's five or something?"

He smiled, looking disturbingly sinister. "Don't worry. I fully intend to take very, very good care of him." He pushes the needle into the tube running down from the bag into her arm. It started out sharply, the burn, and then it diffused. Suddenly, she felt like she had to go to the bathroom. He noted her wince with disgust. "Ah. This may tingle a bit. Try to bear it."

"I don't mind," she sighed. "It won't hurt him, will it? What... what are you doing to him?"

He sighed, and walked back to his desk. "It's not going to hurt him. It will give him a heightened immune system, higher muscle density, alter his metabolism to lower his nutritional requirements, grant him better reflexes... Various things. Don't worry."

She bit her lip, rubbing her belly. "Oh. He'll be a superman. ...Will I get to see him today?"

He frowned again, and sighed. "Certainly. Let's do it now." He pulled the ultrasound machine out, and waited for her to pull up her shirt. He squirted the gel onto her, and she gasped because it was cold, but then her eyes were on the screen. "Here. Just a moment. Ah. There he is."

She reached out to the screen. "My Soubi. Ah. You'll take care of him, right?"

He rolled his eyes. "Don't worry. We're not buying your baby to sell him into prostitution. Soubi-kun will be grow up to be very strong and happy."

She smiled. "Thank you, Ritsu-sensei. ...I hate this country. I should never have come here." She sighed. "But maybe... well, maybe something good will come of it."

He patted her hand disgustedly. "I have to say, I'm happy you are here." He smiled at the monitor. "Soubi-kun is going to be very important to me."

Sensei dragged Soubi down the hall by his hair. Soubi tried to keep up, but he couldn't keep his feet on the ground. People passed them, and averted their eyes.

No one would help him, even if he did cry out, and Sensei would get angry.

Sensei slammed the door to his office, and tossed Soubi to the ground. He practically fell on top of Soubi, his fists flying down so fast that Soubi thought Sensei had suddenly sprouted four or five more arms. "What? What were you doing, Soubi-kun? You filthy little whore. Just like your mother, and what can you expect, from a bitch who would sell off her baby? What? What were you doing?! What!?"

Soubi did not put his arms up to protect himself. He did nothing, said nothing, until Sensei calmed down and stood up, turning his back to Soubi.

"S-she dropped her bag, so I h-helped her pick it up, and then she was sh-showing me this game..."

Sensei's hand came cracking down on Soubi's head.

"Were you given permission to play that game? NO. You are not allowed to act on your own! You are not allowed to think on your own! You are given orders, and you follow them! I told you to go to the library, and get four specific books! It should have taken you fifteen minutes, maximum. You were gone for an hour!" He grabbed Soubi by the cat ear, and tossed him toward the desk, so that Soubi landed against the edge.

Soubi coughed twice, and scrambled to get into the chair.

"You have work to do, Soubi. You can't play games while you have work to do. There are orders to follow. And there are things you must do. Soubi. Be a good boy. Follow orders. And you will be rewarded. Otherwise, you will be punished. Do you understand? Soubi? Answer me?"

Soubi picked up his pencil, his hand shaking. "Yes, Sensei. I'm sorry, Sensei. I'll be good, Sensei."

Sensei smiled. "Good."

Seimei poked him in the back of his head with a pencil. Again.

"Master. Is there something you want?" Soubi smoothed the brush over the canvas. Seimei was cutting school again to watch Soubi. They had a Fight last night, but Soubi was fine. He was already healed.

Seimei poked him again. "Soubi. Your painting isn't very good."

"Mm," Soubi murmured. How could it be? He'd only had a few hours to work on it since last night. It was due tomorrow. He never had any time to work, chasing after Seimei...

"Soubi," Seimei poked him again. "Where are your ears? Why aren't they on your head?"

Soubi froze. Seimei knew the answer to this question. He had to. So he was asking because... "Does it bother you, Master?"

"Of course it does," Seimei sneered. "You're all... used, and discarded. Who would want a fighter like that?"

His brush stumbled, and he lifted it from the canvas. Well, he didn't expect this to turn out well, anyway. "Do I disappoint you, Master?"

Seimei rolled onto his stomach, and thwacked Soubi with his tail. "You do. It's bothersome. Can't you be better?"

"If you require it of me, then I will be," Soubi replied matter-of-factly.

Seimei laughed. Seimei's laugh was a low, sinister thing. It chilled Soubi's spine, even though it was a sign that Seimei was happy. "You will have to be a great deal better to be what I need you to be."

"Yes, Master," Soubi narrowed his eyes. Be better was a vague order...

"And paint something worth looking at. I'm so tired of butterflies," Seimei yawned.

Soubi shrugged. "No matter what I try to paint, it becomes a butterfly."

"You need an imagination," Seimei sighed, rolling his eyes.

"Yes, Master," Soubi replied, and he put the brush back to the canvas.

"Soubi." Ritsuka stopped in his tracks, and glared over his shoulder. As expected, Soubi stopped just short of him.

"Mm? Ritsuka?" Soubi smiled blandly, as always.

Ritsuka bit his lip. "Soubi! Why don't you ever walk with me?"

"Eh?" Soubi blinked, his glasses slipping a little bit down his nose. "What do you mean? We're walking together now."

"No. You're walking behind me." Ritsuka narrowed his eyes, accusingly.

"Oh? I see, I see. I'm sorry." Soubi grinned, and took a step forward, taking Ritsuka's hand. "You want me to hold your hand."

"Th-that's not what I meant!" Ritsuka protested, blushing furiously. But he didn't pull his hand away.

Soubi squeezed Ritsuka's hand. "You don't want to hold hands with me?"

Ritsuka looked away, scowling. "It's fine. But why do you always have to be so weird, Soubi?"

"Am I weird?" Soubi chuckled. "Maybe it's so I can see this cute face of yours." He poked Ritsuka in the cheek with his index finger.

Ritsuka's cheeks puffed up, which only made him look cuter. Soubi chuckled a bit. "Hmph. I don't think that's it. Why don't you ever tell me the truth?"

Soubi stopped, causing Ritsuka to stop as well. He looked down at Ritsuka, so cute and small, and innocent, like Soubi always wanted to be. "Maybe, if I told you that I wanted you to love me so much, I feel like I could break from it, I'd be afraid that I'd scare you off. Or, maybe, I just like confusing you because then you yell at me in that cute voice."

Ritsuka's eyes crinkled, his nostrils flared out, he blushed, and slowly, slowly, slowly, he started to scowl, until finally, he choked out, "S-Soubi! Stop that!"

Soubi laughed, and held his hand a bit tighter. Ritsuka wasn't pulling away. "Yes, Ritsuka."