"It hurts…"

Hot tears ran down his cheeks. They felt like boiling water on his frozen face. The pain was strange and somehow reassuring.

"Does it? I'm sorry, Satoshi-sama. I didn't mean to hurt you." He passed his hand down Satoshi's cheek and the pain was replaced again by chilling numbness.

Satoshi's teeth chattered. Everything was very cold.


Krad bent to whisper in his ear. "It won't be, if you let me turn your heart to ice. Then it can't hurt you anymore."

Satoshi was too tired to answer. His wet eyes began to close. He felt frost on his lashes and his eyelids.


"A heart of ice cannot be harmed, Satoshi-sama. You don't want to feel anymore, do you?"

Satoshi made a quiet, sleepy sound. He was too tired to make decisions now.

"Dear one. Always not cold enough for a Hikari. You lacked the ice that keeps me back." He breathed on Satoshi's brow and little bits of frost formed in his bangs. "Sleep then, little prince. I'll show you how to freeze your heart another time."

Satoshi was encompassed in white, unfeeling slumber.

"There, then. A pretty little sculpture, aren't you?" He smiled. "The cold preserves you well. Who knows? You might, if luck is with you, stay frozen for an eon. It has happened."

He ran a finger down the boy's white arm. A little trail of branching ice followed the path of his touch. He brought his finger up, then, and brushed it straight across one sleeping eye. A sheet of ice formed over it, sealing lids and lashes in the cold. He did the same to the other. Then he touched Satoshi's lips and stroked his finger slowly left and right, until his mouth was firmly sealed in frigid hoarfrost.

"There. Now I've preserved you, little one. There's no need to thank me." Satoshi had not woken. "Now all that's left is your warm heart. We'll deal with that in due time." His eyes glanced bright upon the sleeping statue. "I'll save you soon, Satoshi. For eternity."