This is an AU fic with mature content. Contains illegal fighting, child cruelty, violence, abuse, coarse language and possibly sexual innuendo. Read at your own risk, no flames accepted. Thank you and enjoy.

He was confused. A drugged haze kept his mind dull, and vaguely, in a very disconnected way, he felt someone strap something to his wrists before the drugs pulled his under again. He didn't even feel the needle pierce his skin.

When he awoke, the scene was unfamiliar. Instead of seeing his mother close by, he was all alone in a circular area with pads on the high walls. Across the circular area, the ring, a dummy stood, painted features glaring in a provoking way. A sudden anger gripped his body, and he lunged at the dummy, which towered over him, but he beat at its midsection viciously with his fists, elbows and knees, then got several good bites in to its arms and succeeded in ripping stuffing out. In an all-out attempt to kill the dummy, he leaped onto it and bit for its throat, but all of a sudden, there was a thunk and pain hit him in the back. Moments later, the world had gone black.

Consciousness returned to his dazed mind, but he didn't open his eyes, for fear that he might see another dummy, and his body ached all over. Eventually, though, he did open his eyes, and what he saw made his sorely wish he was back with his mother. He was in a wire cage on what appeared to be a shelf, but the walls on three sides were blocked with plywood. He could smell others behind the plywood, in different tones, some in confusion and fear, like himself, others in a drug-induced stupor, others in anger, and a few in contentment.

Wer bin ich? He wondered, then looked down at his wrists. Two cable ties had been strapped on to each wrist, not very tightly, but not loose enough he could get them off. Each cable tie had a ring on it, and the loose straps, curving like spurs on the outside of his wrists, had been sharpened just enough to cause a prick of pain if he accidently touched them.

Taking inventory of himself, he realized he was fully naked, except for the cable ties on his wrists, a collar around his neck, four cable ties on his ankles, a cable tie similar to the wrist tie on his tail, and a belt draped loosely over his slender hips. Tears welled up in his eyes at the unfamiliarity of the situation. It wasn't as if having no clothes perturbed him, it was the fact he was collared and constrained like a dog, and at seven years old, barely knew what was going on.

He didn't start crying in earnest until he realized multiple braided chains snapped onto one of the many loops of his belt and collar held him within a foot of the back wall of the wire cage—which, while roomy now, was barely big enough to fit a sixteen-year-old. This cage was to be his home for the rest of his useful life.

A man came down the row of cages, looking in at each resident. He stopped at his cage and looked in at him for a few long moments before shouting to another person on the other side of his cage to loosen his chains. He could tell he wasn't a half-demon—he talked too loud and smelled funny and didn't look anything like his momma. There was a sudden release of pressure on his neck and abdomen as the chains were let out. The man nodded and moved on, down the cages, banging against the bars as one half-demon farther down began to scream at an unnatural pitch. He analyzed the scent of the Screamer. Fear and drugs.

Nervously, he took the points of his wrist spurs and bit on them, grinding his teeth against the plastic. Chewing on something had always made him feel better, and his teeth hurt especially badly right now because he was losing one and the dummy had been made of some pretty hard material. Pressing his finger cautiously to one top canine, then the other, he could feel the difference between permanent tooth and baby tooth; and it was the baby tooth that was hurting. Experimentally, he pushed on it with his tongue, squealing in pain. The scent to his left changed, and suddenly he could tell that the half-demon to his left was older and female, and felt . . . concerned for him.

"Wer bin ich?" he asked through the plywood, an involuntary sob entering his voice. "Wer ist meine Mutter? Warum habe ich Ketten? Warum ich? Ich will meine Mutter! Werde ich hier für immer sein?"

There was the sound of somebody fidgeting in a small space on the other side, then in a voice rough from disuse, the half-demon replied.

"Es tut mir leid, aber ja, dieses ist dein Leben jetzt, voll mit Schmerz, für immer." It was the cold, hard, bleak truth. He sniffled and bit harder on his cable ties, then tears started to leak.

"Was ist sein Name?" he asked timidly.

"Ich habe hier geblieben so lange ich habe keine."

"Oh. Darf ich Sie 'Key' hieβen?" he asked quietly. There was a moment of silence.


"Ich fühle mich besser jetzt ich eine Freundin habe. . . . danke."

"Bitte—aber wir müssen moment leise sein; ein Mann kommt."

Key fell silent as another, different man walked down the row. The man threw something in Key's cage, then stepped forward and threw something in his cage too. He crept forward and picked it up cautiously, turning it over in his hands.

"Was ist das?" he asked to Key.

"Futter. Ess das, oder du bekommst kein Futter mehr und dann bist du hungrig." Key replied, sounding like her mouth was full. Hesitantly, he put the cold, hard thing to his mouth and bit his two permanent canines into it. His teeth sank in surprisingly easily, and he bit off a little chunk, juggling the coldness around in his mouth with his tongue. He thought about complaining about the temperature, but didn't once it warmed up and he understood he was eating meat. Glorious food, meat, had never tasted so good and instantly he realized he was almost starving.

A few minutes later, when he had devoured the meat and was hungering for more, Key spoke.

"Ich habe vergessen zum fragen – was ist dein Name?"

"'ch habe keine . . . aber meine Mutter hat mir einige Kurt geheiβt . . . sie hat gesagt es war ihren Vaters Name oder etwas . . ." he said, curling up into a ball as far into the corner as the chains would allow, wishing for the warmth of his mother's body.

"Darf ich dir Kurt heiβen?" Key asked softly. He nodded his head, then realized Key couldn't see it, then said,


A comfortable silence fell between the two. Kurt rested his head against the plywood that separated him from Key. Eventually, he spoke again.



"Können Sie meine Mutter sein?"

"Jawohl, Kurt, ich werde dich beschützen." Key said gently, and she managed to fit her tail barb through a gap in the plywood. Kurt held her barb tenderly to his cheek, straining fully against his chains to be as close to the plywood, as close to his new mother as possible, and fell asleep.


Wer bin ich? – Where am I?

Wer ist meine Mutter? – Where is my mother?

Warum habe ich Ketten? – Why do I have [these] chains [on my body]?

Warum ich? – Why me?

Ich will meine Mutter! – I want my mother!

Werde ich hier für immer sein? – Will I be here forever?

Es tut mir leid, aber ja, dieses ist dein Leben jetzt, voll mit Schmerz, für immer – I'm sorry, but yes, this is your life now, filled with pain, forever.

Was ist sein Name? – What is your name?

Ich habe hier geblieben so lange ich habe keine – I've been here so long I don't have one

Oh. Darf ich Sie 'Key' hieβen? – Oh. May I call you 'Key'?

Ja – Yes

Ich fühle mich besser jetzt ich eine Freundin habe. . . . danke – I feel better now that I have a friend . . . thank you

Bitte—aber wir müssen moment leise sein; ein Mann kommt – You're welcome—but we have to be quiet for a moment; somebody's coming

Was ist das? – What is this?

Futter. Ess das, oder du bekommst kein Futter mehr und dann bist du hungrig – Food (contextual note: for animals). Eat it, or you won't get any more and then you'll be hungry

Ich habe vergessen zum fragen – was ist dein Name? – I forgot to ask – what's your name?

'ch habe keine . . . aber meine Mutter hat mir einige Kurt geheiβt . . . sie hat gesagt es war ihren Vaters Name oder etwas . . . – I don't have one . . . but my mother called me Kurt a few times . . . she said it was her father's name or something . . .

Darf ich dir Kurt heiβen? – May I call you Kurt?

Können Sie meine Mutter sein? – Can you be my [new] mother?

Jawohl, Kurt, ich werde dich beschützen – Of course, Kurt, I'll protect you.

Also, I'd like to thank FrankandJoe3 for her major help with this, turning it from a writing doodle to a Fanfiction, and a lot of other stuff. :D