AN: I'M BAAAAAAAACK! lol. Here's the new story I'm writing. Indeed it is an AU but its a GOOD one lol. I enjoy writing this one a great deal. Its ttly adorable and sooooo cute. And just so you know. The sexy time doesn't occur until a few chapters later. Sorry but this is gonna be a lotta plot. CUTE plot and lots of decisions by Will. ANYWHOO! Enjoy :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Ranger's Apprentice. You would know if I did cuz Halt woulda screwed Will already.

August 6th 4pm

I couldn't believe it. I just COULDN'T. I was being thrown out of my HOME! I'd been here 18 years! 18 years in this orphanage! And 13 of those years were spent helping take care of the littler kids! But now I was packing my bags and getting ready to leave Cherry Hill Orphanage. I had only my meager clothing and items with $100 the government was giving me and the $200 I'd saved up from the small anonymous envelope I received on my birthday each year. It was 4 days before what we always celebrated my birthday as but the government said I was ACTUALLY born today. I refused to ever celebrate my birthday today though. The day I came here was my birthday to me. Technically I was 18 today and a legal man.

Sighing I put a small piece of paper in my wallet with my money and threw it in my duffel bag I was provided. The paper was crumpled and ripped in places but meant so much to me. 13 small words printed neatly on the front.

His mother died in labor

His father died a hero

Call him Will

Seemingly so trivial but so so important to me. Whoever wrote it cared about me. Well cared enough to write a note at least and name me. That was all that mattered.

Zipping up my duffel I smiled as I heard small footsteps down the hall. I had very could hearing and senses and I knew who it was.

"Will?" came a soft voice. I turned around without needing to. A small 8 year old girl edged her way inside his shared room. Her back length blond hair was coated in dust and her face a dirty mess. A pink spaghetti strap dress that was 2 sizes too big hung from her thin body. 2 wide blue eyes shone through the dirt.

"Alyss!" I smiled. "Come in! What's up, shortcake?" I asked as I ruffled her hair.

"Will, are you leaving me?" I froze as I stared at the pitiful face before me. Then, quickly, I pulled Alyss tightly into my arms.

"I wouldn't leave if I didn't have too, sweetie. But I'm too old to be here anymore. I gotta find my own way in this big, wide world," I smiled warmly.

Alyss started to tear up and pulled away to look at me. "Then adopt me so I can come too! We can find a place together!" Looking at that face I almost did. Alyss was so perfect. I knew as soon as she actually took a shower like I ask of her each night and she grew into her body more she would be a heart throb and I'd be the daddy pushing away all the guys.

"I can't, Alyss...I wouldn't be able to take care of you like I'd need to. You need to stay and wait for some good mommy and daddy to find you."

"But Will, why can't it be two daddy's like you are gonna be?"

She was right. It was a well-known fact at Cherry Hill Orphanage that Will No-name was gay. Although not flaming. I was very discreet about it...sometimes. It always got out somehow and that's probably why I was never adopted.

I sighed. "It won't be normal. And you will get made fun of."

"I don't care! I want you to be my daddy!" Alyss yelled as she gripped me tighter. I had taken care of Alyss for years and now I was leaving. This was killing her as much as me.

"I love you so much, Alyss! I promise when I can I will come get you. And I'll come see you all the time here!"

"Pinky swear?" she asked sticking out her little finger.

"Pinky swear!" I smiled as I clasped my pinky around her tiny one. I looked up at the clock and sighed for the thousandth time that day. "I gotta go munchkin'! I swear I'll be back to visit when I have time."

"I love you, Will," Alyss cried as I grabbed my pack.

"Love you, too," I said hugging her once more and leaving her crying in my room.

*&*&*&*&*&*&* August 6th 5pm

Looking up and down the street I decided what to do next. The orphanage director said I should look for an apartment. A CHEAP one and then immediately a job. $300 to get me an apartment TONIGHT. She was crazy. But I heeded her advice anyway. I had to start SOMEWHERE. I hiked down the street to the nearest newsstand.

I grabbed one of the free paper and skipped straight to the section with apartment offers. I stared flabbergasted at the paper. The cheapest one was $450 a month! What was this? Uptown? Were these people deluding themselves? This was DOWNTOWN! No one had that kind of money, the idiots.

Frustrated I threw the paper back down and stalked away. I didn't get any weird stares. It was New York after all. We had a...COLORFUL population of personalities...

Suddenly I remembered a large billboard about 10 blocks away. It was HUGE and TONS of people put their posters and fliers up. Most people would have taken a bus or cab but I never did things the easy way. Plus I could use a workout.

It also helped I wanted to save my money. So I started my long trek down the street frowning lightly. I hated doing this. I wish I could have known I was going to be kicked out like this and had more time to look. I had a feeling in the pit of my stomach I wouldn't find a good apartment. Fear and dread over took me. What if I really COULD'NT find anything? What would I do? There was nothing I could do. No where to go. I was alone. Utterly alone and screwed over. I thought distantly of Alyss, glad I left her there. Not like they would've let me take her...I had nothing and could give her nothing. They wouldn't give Alyss to a person like that. And for that I was happy. She really did need a home. With a mother and father. Not one where she would be called the girl with the "fagot father."

That word hurt the most. That name they gave me. I couldn't stand it. I hated the names and the things they said. It utterly killed me. I'd tuned them out as often as I could but the echoes stayed with me through the years. I could remember the names from years and years ago. And the pain and sting didn't leave them.

I was startled when someone ran into me. I looked up and apoligized as a man did the same and scurried off to do whatever he was doing. I looked around to see I finally reached where I was headed.

A tall, wrap-around billboard stood in a they city square and was very large. Nearly 5 feet tall and maybe 10 feet in diameter. I was going to spend forever looking for apartments.

*&*&*&*&*&*&* August 6th 7pm

And it seemed that way after about 2 hours of looking. It was late and I hadn't found anything I could afford. All of them were above $500 a month except for a few that I wouldn't stoop to if they were free.

I groaned and slumped against a brick wall. Again I got no stares. Kids my age on the street with a duffel bag were...well...common.

Closing my eyes I leaned back against the building. The sky was pink and red and I knew there was no way I was going to have a bed to sleep in tonight. I guessed I could always find an ally...I could curl up with my duffel bag as a pillow and-

My arm tugged violently as my bag was suddenly ripped free from me. Gasping I jumped to my feet as a dirty kid younger than me ran swiftly away from me. And he had my bag.

"Shit," I murmured as I ran after him. I hadn't kept my wallet with me. It was IN my bag. I chastised myself for being so stupid. That kid now had new clothes and $300. Well I wasn't going to just give it to him. "THEIF!" I screamed. "Stop him!" Of course no one did. This wasn't their business and they weren't getting into it.

Cursing I quickened my pace. I was already light on my feet and the adrenaline and extra force I put into each step helped me go even faster. But this kid obviously knew the place way better than I did. He took seemingly random turns and allies. Once or twice jumping a fence. The darkness was helping him get away too. I was growing weary as we took a back street. I couldn't stop. I couldn't lose my stuff.

Without warning a blur fell from a fire escape onto the thief. It tackled him and I froze as it stood, leaning over a knocked out street rat.

It was a man. And not just any man. A SEXY man. He was in his late 30's maybe with salt and pepper hair and a beard that didn't make him look old but seemed to show he'd been through a lot in his life. Both hair and beard were cut oddly but made him look oh so rugged. He wore a simple pair of well fit jeans and a white wife beater and black boots. He was also really tan.

He kept me in place with a brown eyed stare. This man was turning me on and he wasn't even doing anything but looking at me. He was a God. A fallen God, as simple as that. A God who was at this moment picking up the thief and waking him up.

When the kid woke up he gasped and tried to free himself. Silently the God freed him and sent him off. Then he picked up my bag and walked over to a still frozen me.

"This is yours?" he said in a husky voice. Oh jeez was it gorgeous. I couldn't speak so just nodded once. The older man handed it to me and slowly I took it. My hand grazed his and a shock went through my arm right to my heart. For a moment I thought I saw the same in him.

"Shall I walk you home? It's dark now," he said.

I lowered my head suddenly feeling very unworthy. "I...I don't have one."

He stood a moment thinking this over then nodded and grabbed my hand and pulled me along. He was so warm. "Then you'll just have to stay with me, won't you?" My face caught fire and I stuttered.

"B-but what! I-I don't even...we just met and..."

The man stopped and turned around. "Do you have somewhere else to go?"

"Well...n-no I guess not..."

"Then I'm the best chance you have for a warm house tonight aren't I? Plus I know you better than you might think," he said ominously.

What had I gotten myself into? This man could be a rapist for all I knew! Why else would he care so much that a thief took my things or that I had no where to go? And what did he mean he 'knew' me?

"S-sir, please," I stuttered. I had to get away.

"Call me Halt," he said.

"O-okay well 'Halt' why are you taking me in like this?" I asked.

"Let's just say I have a debt to repay," he whispered as we turned down a large street. What did THAT mean?

A few doors down we stopped. I looked up at a sign that said, "Magic Bakery". He took out a key and unlocked the door and walked right it.

It seemed to be a quaint little coffee shop/bakery. To my left was a counter to order with yummy pastries under glass. Everywhere else had tiny tables with stools and a couch sat in a corner with coffee table. Behind everything was a bathroom and staircase going up to the left.

"What is this?" I asked. Where he raped small children?

"My shop. I bake," He smiled. I stared up and swallowed heavily. He had a beautiful smile. It was thin and small but fit him well. I drowned in his luminous aura and felt even worse. I felt ugly and insignificant next to him. Which was stupid considering he may be a bad person.

"Come on. Let's go upstairs. That's where my apartment is," Halt pulled me up the stairs with a muscular arm and faintly wondered if I would mind be raped by this man. Well isn't the saying 'You can't rape the willing'?

The apartment was small. At the top of the stairs you looked immediately at an counter to the kitchen. Behind that was, of course, the kitchen. It seemed a little small until I realized he didn't need something fancy IF it was just him. The living room filled the rest of the area. Against the wall to my left were two doors.

"Behind one door is my room. Behind the other is a bathroom. There is another room there," he gestured to the wall behind us, "But I've been using it as storage and an office. So I'm afraid you will have to use the couch tonight. Better than the street though." he might have laughed there...or smiled. But something told me he wasn't the type for either. I frowned thinking I may never see his smile again. But chastised myself for such a thought.

Halt's home was extremely neat for a presumably single guy. Nothing out of place at all. "And this isn't free," Halt said.

I sighed. There it was. A catch. "What is it?" I asked. Assuming to pay loads of money. Or worse, with my body (still maybe not a bad thing).

"You have to work in the bakery."

I frowned. "I don't know anything about baking."

"I'll teach you. It's not hard. And I do most of the baking. I just need a helper around. No one seems to want to work here. They think I'm a sorcerer or magician for some odd reason." He took my bag and put it beside the couch. "Hungry?" he asked.

I shook my head, fearing drugs. I sat on the couch as he left to the kitchen. I heard him moving around and doing something and he came back with a sandwich and water. "You're a terrible liar, Will," he said.

I froze. I never told Halt my name. NEVER! I jumped up. "I never told you my name, Halt."

Halt froze too and seemed to yell at himself silently. "Will," he said calmly, "Please let me explain."

"Oh my God! Are you a stalker or something? Maybe a child molester or rapist? Watching me until you could 'kindly' let me into your house. Was that kid part of your act?" I grabbed my bag and ran to the stairs. "You're a creep. I'm out of here!"

"WILL! Wait!" Halt said running and grabbing my arm.

"HELP! HELP!" I screamed. Hoping someone would hear me.

"Will! Please calm down! Shut up and let me explain!" I tried to scream but he pulled my arm and threw me on the couch, straddling me into place. Dammit I was going to get raped on my 'birthday' and mom's death day. This was a hell of a day.

"Will, my name is Halt and I've known you since you were born. I've always watched over you."

I screamed and he covered my mouth. My screams were muffled as I tried to pry loose from him.

"I knew your father!" he yelled. I dropped my hands at that and stared. "We were friends. Very close friends. We got into some trouble and he died protecting me. I felt indebted to your mother but she died almost as soon as I saw her. So I promised myself to take care of you," he said as he slowly released my mouth.

"'re lying," I said wide-eyed.

"I wrote that note and left you at Cherry Hill," Halt whispered.

"B-but...then you name me?" I asked.

"No," he said ruining what I'd always thought about that note. "You're mother and father decided to call you that before you were born. I just put it on the note."

Anger flooded through me as pieces put themselves together. "Why didn't you just keep me and raise me?"

"I knew nothing about kids. And I knew I wouldn't be able to take care of you like I could. So I sent a small amount of money each year to make up for it. But now I want to do something. I want to be owe your father."

I sighed as tears flooded from my eyes. I couldn't handle all this. He couldn't be lying. I could tell in his eyes. He truly wanted to make amends. The past couldn't be changed. That was my motto. And I felt like I could trust Halt now that things were out in the open.

"Okay," I said accepting everything.

Halt sighed and smiled. "Thank you." I blushed at his beautiful smiled.

I suddenly recalled his positioning on me. "Uh, Halt? Please get off me."

"Oh, yeah," he said getting up.

"Now what?" I asked.

"I'd really like you to stay here with me," Halt said.

I sighed. "Okay, yeah. I've got no where else to go." Halt nodded. I looked down at the plate on the coffee table. "Is that tuna salad?" I tried to keep my voice calm. I loved tuna salad.

Halt nodded and I saw a glint in his eyes. He knew I loved it. Trying to be cool I picked up the plate and looked at it as if it was no big deal. Halt turned on the TV as I ate. We watched some random show.

I finished the sandwich quickly despite my 'nonchalance'. And drank all the water. I looked up at a wall clock. Nearly 9pm and I was about to pass out. Understandable from all the activity in one day. I tried staying awake but my eyes wouldn't agree. Before I realized it my body fell over and I laid in Halt's lap. I tried to get up but I was just too tired. I felt Halt's hand on my head as he stroked my hair.

And soon I drifted off to sleep.

AN: heehee so how'd you like it? PLEASE REVIEW! I like to know if I did things wrong. I know I prolly got things like the note wrong or even some details about them wrong :( sowwy. GILAN SHOWS UP NEXT CHAPTER! OOOOOH!