I started writing this 6 years ago when I was 14. I did not expect the love and recognition it got. At first it started out just as a small story of my OTP to sate my abduction kinks, but it became something much more. It's been years since this story has ended, but I hope you new readers enjoy it and take something from it. Over the years I've grown as a writer, and looking back on my old work is very strange... Sometimes I think of deleting this and rewriting it, but I think I'll leave it how it is. Flaws and all. I have so many memories surrounding this story and rewriting it, even if it would be an improvement, would be a shame. So I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it so many years ago. Long live bronzeshipping.

Malik shivered, drawing the warm blue jacket of his school uniform closer around himself, rubbing his hands up and down his arms in a sad attempt to become warmer. His teeth chattered, feeling lonely and dejected from walking home alone from school in the horrible winter weather that plagued him every year since moving to America. Heat, he could stand. After all, he was raised with its sweltering feeling. But the biting, chilling winds of cold he could not. And snow was, in his opinion, quite truly the white death. Pausing to tighten his jacket even more around his slim frame, Malik frowned at the sign blocking his path.

Construction had been booming on his little street where his apartment was perched, but he'd never thought it would be large enough or a big enough deal to close off the south street that was adjacent to theirs. But apparently it was. Letting out a frustrated growl, Malik shuffled his feet, changing his course and began trudging down a smaller road that wound around, taking its good sweet time to finally connect to his street. His mood worsening by the minute, Malik cursed nonsense under his breath softly at the inconvenience. This 'little' detour would not only take him into one of the worse parts of the neighborhood, but would also take twice as long. Completely-fucking-brilliant.

And Malik gulped, shivering once again, but this time, not from the cold. It was true that he did not exactly live in the best part of town, the suburbs only a far off dream to wish upon when one saw a shooting star. But then again, shooting stars were only pieces of space junk that explode when hitting the Earth's atmosphere, creating a beautiful spark of light. Its name was just a disguise for it's dull and unexciting actuality.

'Just like my life,' Malik thought, begrudgingly,' it's just one big old lie.'

His thoughts trailing off onto different things, Malik hardly noticed the increasing slums of his surroundings, choosing to block it out in favor of more pessimistic thoughts. It wasn't until the tip of his ragged tennis shoe caught a hole in the sidewalk, causing him to stumble and fall most gracefully onto his ass, did he notice that his depressing thoughts had brought him farther into the dark corners and alleys of the neighborhood.

Shifting slightly, he rubbed his backside, grimacing at the bruise he had some how achieved in his clumsy performance. And then glancing up, Malik's heart raced a little faster, finally coming to terms with his predicament. Like the poorly written sob story of his life, his day becoming increasingly worse, Malik had somehow, miraculously, gotten himself completely and utterly lost. Scowling to hide his fear of becoming lost, Malik stood back up shakily, still sore from his close encounter with the ground, picking up his bag and swinging it back over his shoulder. He frowned, scanning the area to see where exactly he had come from, where he could go from here, and where exactly 'here' was.

The walls of ramshackle apartments and buildings on either sides of him seemed to lean over. They cast shadows across his slim form, creating an allusion of being caged, and a distinct feeling of claustrophobia. Gulping for the second time that day, the blonde jumped, swiveling around when something in the alley clanged, letting his mask of courage drop.

A tin lid of a trashed can swiveled in place on the ground. Malik sighed (once again!), thankful that his fears only reached so far to the din the metal had made. Probably only a cat... Feeling less on edge at his self-reassurance, Malik turned around, only to bump into something very much solid and, well, unexpected.

Malik's lavender gaze slowly drifted upward from the filthy concrete, up a chest covered in filthy rags, to finally, a grizzly and grungy face. A face, which he really couldn't help noticing, in desperate need of a razor and a nice supply of facial wash.

Frozen to the spot (Malik was never one for hobos, especially not in this part of town, where the man could easily kill and rob him), Malik stared at the man for a long while, a little lump of something coming up to rest in his throat, waiting for the other to address him and not just stare at his gold ring and neck ornament. He rubbed his hand, fingers grazing over the smooth metal in nervousness.

"Hey kid," the voice matched the man's appearance quite well. Gruff and croaky, "Mind if I look at that pretty jewelry you're wearin' ?"

And when the dark and filthy hands raised themselves up to lightly touch his neck piece, Malik ran, not wanting to humor the bum any more. All he wanted was to put as much distance between him and the dark alleys and the man within them.

Gasping for breath, Malik wheezed as he continued to run from the labyrinth of alleys, not seeming to make any progress. Choking, he gulped for air, the winter chill making it hard to let the god-be-praised-air into his lungs. His feet continued to make contact with the ground, running still at full speed, and Malik started to worry. He was hopelessly lost now, the encounter with the beggar and the flight from him making him even more astray and disoriented than he had been before.

His legs finally collapsing on him, Malik dropped to the ground for the second time that day, gasping for well needed breath. He started to sniffle quietly, hating himself for his girlish emotions, but the feeling of depression and everything that had happened caught up to him, and he allowed himself then to cry quietly in the dark and dingy crevices of the back street. Rubbing his arm across his nose and face, he sighed, feeling a little better from releasing all of his pent up emotions, and he began to reflect why, exactly, he was stuck and confused in this horrible place.

Malik had grown up not exactly well, but not exactly terribly. Despite his complaints and temper tantrums of not being able to join other children of his age, Malik was home schooled often by his sister Isis. His father was a sorry excuse for a man, his state of mind and temper often changed on a whim, and he often opted to drinking himself into a stupor at one of the local bars instead of attempting to raise his children. Isis, the perfect and all holy wonderful sister, often took on that job. Malik was grateful, he supposed, though he rarely admitted it.

Malik's mother died shortly after his birth. Something had gone wrong while she had delivered him, and through his hate and anger at this, Malik's father blamed it on him for her death. Rishid, his adopted brother, and Isis tried once and twice again to veer their father from his out of control rage, but it did no good, and Malik was abused throughout the time he had known the man. Luckily though his father had died ironically enough from alcohol overdose. Isis had proven herself to be mature and competent enough to raise Malik herself, and although she was only twenty at the time, all legal and residential ownership was handed over to her.

Wanting to leave Egypt as quick as possible, Isis arranged to use some of the very little amount of money left over from their father's drinking spree to move to America, the land of opportunity, where she hoped for them to start over a new life and forget about all that had happened before. Isis had contemplated moving to Japan as well but had later changed her mind due to the population and the fact that it was an island. None of them in their family were very keen of water, not knowing how to swim, and just the knowledge of living on such a small country surrounded by water frightened her. (Though, she wouldn't listen to Malik's reasoning that EVERY country was surrounded by water.)

Although Isis had wanted and imagined a life better off than the one they had lived in Egypt, it had not started out that way, and they were currently struggling to make ends meet in their small apartment on Treaty Boulevard. Isis, with her job as a manager of creative activity at their city's local museum, and Rishid as a mechanic (he did not have the luxury of proper education, but had quite the knack at machinery), brought in little money, which was sucked up by rent, utilities, groceries, and Malik's own continuing education. Although he felt bad for not having a job, Isis stressed him to not go to work, and to keep his head in his studies. So far she had done at keeping him focused, for he no longer got in the fights he used to back in their hometown. In fact, he would be quite the perfect child that he imagined his father always wanted...

And so here he was, cold, scared, and bruised in a run down excuse for a neighborhood, sitting and crying on the pavement. Looking into his lap, Malik-

"Help me!"

And Malik paused, his head jerking up and his heart rate increasing, clutching his coat out of habit and pulling it closer. No way could it be the same hobo.

"Help me, please!"

The voice was faint, and far away, it's sound drifting through the air current and wrapping around him, enticing him to ignore any inhibitions he had to go see what, or whoever the voice was, the voice needed help with. It's voice began to increase in volume and desperation when Malik did not reply.

"Help me, please! I can't get out!"

"Who...who's there!?" Silently cursing himself for his slight stutter, Maik stood up, turning around twice, trying to figure where the voice was coming from.

"Oh-oh! Somebody's there!" it seemed to get excited, and Malik could almost imagine the person jumping for joy and clapping, not unlike a child. ...Although, that seemed highly unlikely. "If- if you're there, I'm in the gray building! The one next to the brick one!"

He paused, looking for the 'gray building next to the brick one,' feeling foolish when he realized he had been standing in front of it the whole time. Cupping his hands, he called out to them. "I'm here, what's wrong?" No matter what a bad mood he had been in, Malik could not leave a person in trouble. Never did he imagine that the person could have a more malicious intent and would want to harm him...

"The building, I was cleaning it out for the company that used to work here, and a beam fell down blocking the door! All I need is you to push the door a little...I think I can get it from there."

It did seem iffy; the building looked old and used. Not a place a company would want to use, especially in this part of town. But Malik listened to their story and found the back entrance, jiggling the handle a little too see if it was locked. It moved, and he pushed it open, feeling the door swing open as he stepped inside the dim and dusty old building. Confused at it's easy opening, he called out into the abandoned room.

"I think I got it, but I don't see any b-"

Malik's words were cut short as he felt something crashing down upon his skull, not even having the time to scream or see the person standing above him before he fell unconscious onto the cold and rough floor. Nor did he hear the voice chuckle softly.

"It seems I've found my savior."