Chaos: I'm alive? -collective gasps- Yes, and allow me to explain the absence. Again. It has do, sadly, with the fact that the RP with Az has become a full commitment of mine now - soon to be a manga, and a website, if I EVER get around to it. But enough of that. The other main reason is that I have now finally succumbed to the Sonadow following. Please don't shoot. Blame Az andNam for spending a good six months gradually poking and nudging - looking at you, Nam - me along the path.

So here it is. My debut to Sonadow. This grew entirely out of a short piece by Namelessmoonshine(who blatantly refused to continue it herself, -mutter-) a dabbling, if you will, into the pool of Sonadow fanfiction that snagged the fishing line of an idea in my head. Forgive the metaphors. Attempting to imitate, to some extent, Nam's style for a couple of days will do that to you. Don't like Sonadow, don't read. It's as simple as that. But this story isn't just a fest of out-of-character hideously unlikely coincidences and random lemons. It may be AU, but I've tried to keep the character principles the same. And for those of you that DO like... the fluffy stuff... you'll have to look a long, long way ahead to find it.

And since nobody will know what the hell I'm talking about - I lost my miniscule following to boredom months ago, I believe - hi there. I'm Chaos. I almost never update my other stories, though I will regularly on this one. Blame Flower for my other writings, if only because she's too busy scrawling 'shibby' doodles to help me finish them.

This story is also posted at sonadow dotcom, and will probably be updated more regularly there.

Thanks for reading!


"You were indeed a costly purchase." Shadow commented aloud, resting his chin on his gloved hand as he observed the creature, the hedgehog before him. There was no answer, no falter in the near-brilliant intensity of the gaze, but after all, he hadn't expected one.

Slaves, and especially wild ones, were prone to sealing their words away – a last show of rebellion, of dislike or disrespect. They were renowned for it. But no matter. He was used to getting their voices out, be it one way or another. And this represented a fresh challenge.

"I should hope that you will be worth every gold coin." He continued, regarding the green eyes closer for any flicker of recognition or understanding. There was none – just that levelled wariness, neutral alertness. Was the thing, beautiful as it may be with such blue fur – a rare and unknown colour for a wild creature, which had only heightened its price - even sentient?

It was unusual for any slave to meet his stare for this long – even other Lords had trouble with it. But after all, this was a Wild, a mystery just waiting to be explored.

He stood with a soft sigh, brushing the light folds of his cloak away from the chair and still not looking away from those eyes, shining out of the shadows of the travelling cage the slave had been deposited in.

"Be it sooner or later."

With that, he strode from the room to complete the ownership papers for the hedgehog, and wondering whether it had really been a good choice to rest so much money on. It was nearing winter, and such a large purchase… well, he would discover for himself soon.


He was becoming frustrated. And that in itself was a rare event. It had been weeks, fruitless weeks, and the creature would not-

No! He had to calm himself. It was intelligent, it would exult in seeing him annoyed.

He knew it could speak. He knew it. It could scream, he had discovered that with ease, though the sound made his soul wrench with something miserable and aching, some dark inner feeling that he could not place.

And it had sentiency. It watched him, it learned, he knew it understood. Yet he couldn't stop thinking of it as an 'it' while it remained the same, stubborn as a rock and just as unyielding.

Once again, he gave in and walked from the room, where the slave occupied a larger cage, now. He paused in the corridor outside, allowing a hand to cover his eyes and an annoyed sigh escape him.

He wondered whether he was, perhaps, insane. Too much money, too many responsibilities, it wasn't good for him. Why else would he be so fixated on a single slave, one so difficult and undeniably Wild that it might as well just be put to labour somewhere out of his sight?

But something indefatigable inside him kept striving, kept pushing to break the blue hedgehog, to hear a single word, any word, escape from it. He had never failed in his efforts before – other slaves always gave in within days, even hours, sensing that he would not allow them light or relief until they did.

But this Wild, it seemed, matched his will. It was insane! For a slave to match him when no other could!

He furrowed his brows, leaning back against the wall so that his elegantly curved quills slid out of place, releasing the tension that he had gathered while in the dark room. Every time it was the same – every new sighting of the hedgehog made a little shiver of pleasure run down his spine; that beautiful fur and shape, and those bright burning eyes.

It looked like it should be a house slave, a high-class well-bred servant somewhere, not the lean, hard-bitten and oh-so-stubborn Wild it was. And try as he might, he couldn't bring himself to use harsher methods to make it talk after the first attempt.

His first attempt. It had remained as silent and fixed as ever despite the pain it must have felt; he had almost lost his temper than, and used the cruellest trick, which never failed to produce a sound – he had removed the spiked chains and other tortuous instruments, turned to leave, and then spun without warning and slashed.

He had put on a clawed version of the black gloves he wore when reduced to more unclean tasks, and the small blades had slashed deeply into the sapphire-blue form, which had just begun to relax, as any other would.

And then that one agonised scream.

The hedgehog had writhed against the leather collar that he held it by, that it was normally secured to the cage by, eyes suddenly showing such pain and shock, and it had almost looked betrayed, as though Shadow had cheated it somehow.

It made him shudder still. He had almost fled from the room at the sound, despite all composure and anger. Somehow he had made it to the hall, feeling more shocked than he had in a long time.

A reaction. A definite reaction. But he would have vastly preferred not to have seen it, to have gone on and perhaps believed the thing was incapable of emotion.

And now here he was again, still unable to beat this beautiful creature into submission. Unable to make it yield to him, unable to make himself use the stronger techniques that no doubt would be necessary. By this point he was assured; verbal attacks did not work.

He sighed again, some vague wish in his mind begging for a chair to collapse into. But he wouldn't allow such weakness for himself; he never had, and he wasn't about to just for a single unbreakable slave.

He had tried everything, and it seemed to be having an odd effect inside him. Rather than the rage he had expected, he felt… fatigued. As though every time he tormented the creature and tried to force it to his will, he was straining a muscle, one that wouldn't take much more before snapping.

His anger had burned out. The thought of returning to abuse it again made him feel faintly sick, as did the thought of leaving it there, which would be a torment in itself for the hedgehog.

He must be going insane. He should just resell the damned thing. What a waste…

With a final shake of his head, the moment of weakness ended and he strode away, back to the lighter world of his normal life and duties. Though they were dull; there were no conflicts nearby, his slaves obeyed without rebellion since he was not overtly cruel – not fool enough to breed resentment within his stronghold – and there was nowhere to go during the change from autumn to the inevitable frosts of winter.

Supplies were in surplus, and his fort was complete and had no more requirements for expansion. Really, the ongoing work was only against the hedgehog, a constant task.

He wanted to hear it speak. A part of him demanded that from all his slaves, another simply wanted to hear what voice the hedgehog held so secretly… and he simply couldn't let it go.