Disclaimer: I regret to say that I do not own Wolf's Rain. Although knowing doesn't stop me from wishing.
Summary: What happens if it wasn't Granny who had rescued Toboe? What if he now lived with his 'master', his purpose to serve this man? Toboe finally gets fed up with his life and tries to escape, meeting up with several other wolves. Can he outrun his former master or will he forever be a slave?
Racing for Freedom
Chapter One- The Lone Wolf
The icy wind bit at the young pup's nose, his fuzz for fur, light brown in color, speckled with drops of snow. A small whimper escaped from its muzzle as the animal curled up to try to conserve heat.
He didn't know why he was out here in the cold with no mother to come to his rescue. All he knew was he didn't feel good and longed for a pair of hands to pick him up, tell him it was all right, and care for him.
The pup's silent prayer was answered as he heard the loud grating of a shovel on the sidewalk as one lone man began the hard chore of scooping up the slush and dumping it to the side. Unfortunately, one of these scoops landed on the furry head that had popped out of the nest of snow.
With a small yelp, the puppy was buried, entirely oblivious to the world once again. Trembling on stick like legs, he tried to rise only to fall back on the ground in defeat. 'Where's my mom?' he whined, sticking his head beneath his paws. 'Where's my mommy?'
He was but a newborn, not even a week old yet. Unknowingly to the small pup, his mother had been shot earlier that day, the gentle wolf being mistaken as a killer. His brothers and sisters had all been massacred in the shooting, but he had somehow survived.
Now in the middle of a town, hungry and cold, the baby wolf had no idea of what to do. The white powder pressed down on his shivering form, the air becoming harder to draw breath from. 'Someone help me!' he cried, pushing his black nose up against the mound to hopefully push it away from his face. 'Anyone!'
"And what's this?" came a sweet voice, the snow disappearing from view until a woman's face peered down at the small animal. She was a younger woman, most at about twenty. Bright, coppery curls framed her freckled face, a dark blue scarf wrapped tightly around her neck to keep out the cold. "Who are you little one?"
Gentle, gloved hands reached down and scooped the wolf cub into her arms. "You poor puppy," she cooed, removing her scarf and wrapping it around the partially frozen body. "What happened? Don't worry...I'll take care of you..."
The pup seemed to calm in her light grasp, giving a little lick with its pink tongue to show a sign of thank you. "You're quite welcome," she giggled, holding her precious bundle even more securely. "We're almost there," she said a few minutes later, her voice accompanied by the sound of the snow crunching beneath her feet. "Soon little one..."
Seconds later, the young woman stopped at the door to a rather dingy apartment, fishing in her purse for her key, careful not to drop the dog. With a creak, the door swung open and she entered the dark room, hand reaching for a light switch on the wall.
At once, a soft yellow glow came from a lamp that hung over a small table in what appeared to be the kitchen. Two chairs sat on either side of the table, a blue pillow making a comfortable seat for one who needed to rest.
A refrigerator hummed quietly in the corner, a sink piled high with dirty dishes next to it. "Here you go boy," she said, setting the freezing animal on the table. "Wait right here while I go get some blankets."
Leaving the small room, the young woman turned to the main hall and entered a small bedroom that belonged to her. Pulling a large towel off of the ledge above shower in her private bathroom, she raced back to the brightly lit kitchen, the darkness of the rest of the apartment seeming to close in on her.
"I'm Sarah," she said softly, taking the still form in her arms and wrapping the towel around him after removing her damp scarf. "I apologize for the mess," she said with a laugh, gesturing at the dishes. "I just haven't had the time to clean up for a few days."
With one arm cradling the dog, she opened the fridge and took out a gallon of milk and poured some in a baby's bottle that she had from when her niece had been visiting. Popping it in the microwave above the oven, she waited patiently for the liquid to warm.
Pulling off her navy jacket, Sarah dropped it on a vacant chair before sitting down in the other, the wolf pup still in her arms. "Here you go boy, drink up," she said, pressing the bottle against the brown muzzle.
Instantly, small, pointed fangs took the nipple and contentedly began to suck, the creamy drink disappearing. "What sharp teeth you have," she said, never knowing a puppy to have that many. "I get the strangest feeling you're not a dog," she said after the puppy had finished his drink. "But what else could you be?"
The pink tongue flicked out again in a happy kiss to the woman's chin, another thank you from the animal. "I'll call you Toboe," she mused, stroking the puppy gently. "My great-grandpa named his dog Toboe and I've always loved the name. Seeing as both he and his dog are dead, I don't think they would mind, do you young one?"
Toboe, as he was now christened, yawned, the teeth glinting in the lamplight before curling up on Sarah's lap. "You're tired, aren't you?" When the brown wolf didn't answer her she gave a soft sigh and rose to her feet, Toboe back in her arms. "Time for you to go to bed," she said softly, leaving the kitchen and heading for her bedroom.
A dark presence seemed to fill the hall, growing stronger as her slim hand reached for the doorknob. "I'm being silly," she muttered. "What's gotten into me all of a sudden?" With resolve, she twisted the brass knob and let herself into the small bedroom.
As soon as she saw the curtains blowing into the room from the wind through the broken window, Sarah knew something was wrong. Nervously, she took a step back, only to run into a closed bedroom door. Whirling around, the auburn haired woman came face to face with the man she'd vowed to never speak to again.
"Kevin," she gasped, stepping towards the phone on her nightstand, her light blue eyes never leaving his dark brown. "It's such a...surprise to see you... How did you...get out of...out of..." She stopped as he suddenly lunged, rough hands cupping her chin.
"Out of jail Sarah?" he asked, eyes narrowing in hatred. "What does it matter? I'm out and you're going to pay." From within the folds of his black leather jacket, he withdrew a knife, the silver blade glittering in the faint light from the open window. "You're going to pay after what you did to me Sarah."
"It was for your own good," she cried, stumbling backwards, wrenching her chin out of his grasp. "You were doing horrible things Kevin! You murdered my parents! Destroyed my life! Were stealing and drinking! You deserved what you got...they could have helped you there."
"They did help me Sarah," he said, still eerily calm. "My fellow inmates showed me how wonderful it is to kill, to enjoy the last pleas and hear the screams. They taught me how to torture even in the last few seconds of life. I think it's time to put that knowledge to use."
"You don't understand what you're doing Kevin," she cried, now in hysterics as she realized the phone line had been cut. "If you turn yourself back in before you do anything they won't give you a harsh punishment, I promise!"
"Sorry angel," he said, sneer on his face. "When you told me you wouldn't take my hand in marriage three years back you made the gravest mistake of your life. The life that is about to end now."
Moving with catlike grace, the shaggy black haired man ran forward, knife raised high. With a scream, the woman dropped Toboe to the floor, the small pup now wide-awake and cowering in fear beneath the bed.
With a cackle of glee, he drove the knife deep into her side, the blade coming free with crimson blood. Sarah collapsed to her knees, hands pressing over the wound. "Stop it Kevin!" she wailed, deflecting his next attack with the receiver of the phone. "STOP IT!"
"Let me hear you scream," he whispered, eyes glinting madly. "Let me hear you beg for mercy. Come Sarah...No one can hear you now..." His rant was cut off as a small, but still sharp pair of teeth sank into his right ankle, the wolf cub running out to help. "BLASTED DOG!" he yelled, kicking his leg out, Toboe flying across the room and lying still on the ground.
"DON'T DO THIS!" she screamed, the phone lying in pieces around her. "DON'T DO THIS KEVIN!"
"Good bye Sarah," he said softly, kissing her gently on the lips, a sad smile on his face. "But this is the end for you..." She screamed as he plunged the knife down, the cry ending as her lungs slowly filled up with blood before she fell over on the floor, never to move again.
A small whimper attracted Kevin's attention and he looked at the puppy, trying to get back on its feet. "I think your time is up too dog," he growled, stalking over to the injured form. "Time for you to meet your end."
Roughly, he picked the wolf up by the scruff of its neck, enjoying the sound of pain the creature made as his fingers pressed hard against the fragile neck bone. But something, easily not compassion or remorse, stopped the man before he strangled the animal.
"You're not a dog," he said softly, "you're a wolf. And I know the truth about wolfs young one," he said, voice growing harsh. "But I'll spare you now... Someday you'll wish I had killed you but you will live."
Squeezing the discovered wolf's neck until the animal passed out, Kevin exited the apartment, bloody knife tucked back in his jacket. Leaping into the front seat of a dark black sports car, he gunned the engine and set off down the road, an evil smile playing over his lips.
Fourteen years later...
"HURRY UP WITH IT BOY!" yelled the enraged man, face red with anger and the effects of the beer he was consuming. The boy came running into the den where his 'master' was watching television. Wordlessly, he handed Kevin another beer before silently making his way out of the room, somewhat glad for the man's drunken state.
Toboe slumped down wearily on the blanket in the corner of the kitchen. The amber eyes glinted with a smoldering anger and deep hate for his master. Although events weren't clear, the youngster could recall being named Toboe by a woman called Sarah. Shortly after, she'd been murdered and he'd gone to live with Kevin, who had instructed him to call him master.
He worked hard for his master, doing all of the cleaning, cooking, and any other chores requested of him. Unfortunately, Kevin never seemed pleased with his work and often beat him, whether it be his fists or a belt. Long red welts as well as purple and blue bruises covered his body from head to toe.
Toboe didn't know how the man learned about wolves, and truthfully didn't care. But it was a small matter of importance of why the man treated him so. As soon as he'd been six, Kevin had forced him to come into his human form.
A small, half-starved child had emerged, reddish-brown locks of hair covering his head with large amber eyes that he kept in his wolf form. As a child Kevin hadn't beaten him as much but he was still required to do all the work, except cooking unless Kevin planned to eat garbage.
Now, he was treated lower than dirt, his body and spirit both broken and in pieces. His master didn't even give him proper clothing, only a pair of black track pants that were now fraying due to extensive wear. He believed a shirt was useless, seeing as he could whip him whenever he felt like it without tearing material.
The only joy the boy ever received was when he and Kevin left the house. He was forced to retain his wolf form, luckily small enough to pass of as a dog, and left outside of buildings but it was there he learned to cling to his sanity.
Often, people would feel sorry for the animal, chained up to a pole and would offer him bits of food if he was lucky, but most often a pat on the head and a few kind words. Because of this, Toboe didn't hate humans the way he would have if his only source of life were Kevin.
The only reason he was taken along outside was the man was afraid Toboe would bolt from the house unattended and run away. He didn't plan on losing his pet and servant any time soon, so the poor wolf was dragged around. Toboe often used to wonder why the people never arrested Kevin for mistreating his dog, but soon realized that his fur covered all marks of abuse.
"AWW, DAMN IT!" swore Kevin, in a foul mood now that his team was losing. He'd betted heavy money on this match and if he lost he didn't know what he'd do. So using the best stress reliever he had, he yelled out, "GET YOUR BUTT IN HERE SLAVE!"
Kevin never called Toboe by his real name, never having learned it and never asking. The wolf didn't mind. His name was yet to be tainted by this vile man and he would rather keep it that way rather then to flinch in fear whenever it was called.
Like a man being taken to execution, Toboe entered the room cautiously, mentally trying to prepare himself for the beating he knew was coming. "WHAT TOOK YOU SO LONG?" Kevin yelled, lashing out with his fist.
The hand caught Toboe neatly under the chin, throwing the thin figure off his feet and slamming him into the door he'd exited from. Before he could even rise, Kevin was already letting his fists fly, the hard punches slamming into the already injured body of Toboe.
Despite how many times he'd tried, tears trickled down his bloody cheeks, the result of Kevin's nails scratching deep into the tender flesh. "Stop it...please," he whimpered, curling up and trying to protect himself from the vicious onslaught. "Please Master..."
"Begging never got you anywhere before boy, and it ain't going to get you anywhere now," Kevin snarled, brown eyes alight with fury. Undoing the belt from his pants, he lashed down cruelly on the boy's bare back, smiling in glee as the metal buckle embedded itself into the flesh before he tore it out, bits of skin flying through the air.
Toboe screamed, arching his body in agony as he desperately tried to evade the blows to no avail. After one hour of pure agony, Kevin stopped, the belt hanging limp by his side, the soft sobs of the bloodied youth and the television the only sounds in the room.
"Go back to your bed," Kevin snapped, "after you clean up this mess you've made. I don't want to see your face anymore tonight."
"Y-yes, Master," stuttered Toboe, knowing he had been given a small amount of peace tonight. Painfully sitting up, he struggled to rise fully to his feet, in the end having to use the wall as support.
Stumbling into the kitchen, the wolf filled a bucket of warm water and grabbed a rag, then headed back out to the bloodstained carpet. Dipping the rag into the soapy water, he began to scrub at the russet marks till they had all faded after two hours of hard work.
Dragging himself back into the room, he dumped the dirty water down the sink before collapsing on the thin blanket in the corner. Pulling his knees up to his chin, he tried to block the pain with happy memories.
"Look Mommy! Look at the puppy!" A tentative hand reached out, patting the brown head. "He's so soft!" the small child squealed, blond pigtails bobbing. "Can we take him home with us? Please Mommy? Please?"
"I'm sorry honey," the mom said, bending down to give her daughter a hug. "But he probably already has a nice home. Besides, your dad is allergic." With a last pat to the head, the little girl left hand in hand with her mother.
'That didn't help much,' thought Toboe to himself. 'I don't have a nice home...I would have loved to live with them...'
Too tired and in too much pain, the wolf pup closed his eyes, trying to calm the raging fire within him. 'I wish I could find some way out of this...Any life must be better.' Transforming back to wolf, Toboe curled his tail around him, resting his head on his paws.
He could only look for tomorrow and hope that it would be better then the rest of his life. Someday...someday he would be free from his master. Someday he would be among people who loved and cared for him. Someday he would be happy.
If only someday could come sooner.
It's my first Wolf's Rain fic!! As most of you can probably tell, Toboe is my fave character! I luv that wolf! Tsume is anothe fave, and I like to see him and Toboe in a father/son relationship. For some reason, yaoi pairings don't seem to work for them...
And now...to vent...AHHHH!!! Fanfic won't let my stories be put in with tabs!! WAAAHHH!! I don't like their new uploading system!! Okay, done yelling, you can come out now.
A review would be much appreciated so I can tell if you hate or luv it! Personally, I like my idea but it is your opinions that shape the story! So press the pretty button?