A Little Love

A Fan Fiction of Star Ocean

Note: This does NOT follow many of the rules of Star Ocean. This takes place in an unknown area, and some characters act out of character for who they are. Please do not take this the wrong way, I love Star Ocean and have watched The Last Hope played through twice, as well as read the walkthrough for Till End of Time.

He was really nothing more than a showpiece, but he still carried himself with pride and dignity, same as the others. Still, it was an odd place to consider one to be proud.

Faize Shiefa Beleth was one of several slaves on board a ship that catered to the more 'wild' natures of some of the races that lived among the star ocean. Faize was one of the ship's 'showpieces', often only serving customers while in the presence of his master, Arumat P. Thanatos. The other 'showpiece' was the young and beautiful Albel Noxx. It was often whispered among the other workers that the two were the private lovers to the master.

Albel paused next to Faize, a touch of worry on his face. He leaned his pale face close to the other's and whispered something, then hurried off.

Faize looked troubled and followed the other.

"What happened?" he asked.

"Maverick and Leingod are both ill, and need replacements. We were specifically requested." Albel replied. "Don't worry, Faize. They have been warned not to mark us."

Faize nodded and stepped into the room. His outfit consisted of leather pants that had one full leg and one that stopped just under his rump as though it were shorts. He wore low heeled boots, and a set of leather straps crossed his chest, all in white. Strung through his emerald hair was a silver chain, almost like a crown.

The person that was his 'customer' for the night was tall, almost reaching the ceiling, and clothed in a deep green suit. His blue eyes studied Faize a moment, and then he spoke in his deep, forceful voice.

"Lick my boots."

Faize swallowed, but did as he was told. Getting down on his hands and knees, he leaned over and licked the boots. But partway through, the man kicked him, sending him back onto his rump.

"Hey." Faize nearly shouted. The man roughly grabbed his wrists and pulled him up so he was standing, then chained him to the pole hanging from the ceiling. "What are you doing?" Faize asked, frightened.

"What do you mean?" the man asked. "You are the replacement for Edge Maverick, right? So act it." He took the whip down from the wall and swung.

Albel glared over his shoulder at the girl that had paid for his services. His hands were chained up over his head, and his beautiful black and gold hair was half-undone. His red eyes focussed on the girl, one Sophia Esteed, as she readied the cat-o-nine-tails.

"You won't be able to get away with this." Albel snarled.

"I know about you." Sophia said, strutting around to the front of Albel. Her high-heeled boots clicked against the marble floor, and her short jean skirt just barely showed her pink thong. She tipped his chin up with the end of the whip. "But do you know about the agreement for my using Fayt?" Without answering, she snapped the whip against Albel's bare stomach.

Albel screamed, only to have a gag put in his mouth. He choked, but realized he was stuck. He also noticed his feet were chained at the ends of a pole between his ankles. Eyes wide with terror, he glanced back, only to notice Sophia now held the longer, and heavier, whip.

"Huh?" Edge looked over. "What do you mean, Cliff? I'm not sick."

"But, that was what your client said." Lymle replied. She was the maid at the house, and not really good at anything but cooking and healing symbology. For these reasons, it was taboo to lay a hand on her.

"My client? But he wasn't supposed to be here tonight. He said he'd be busy." Edge looked over. "For that matter, Fayt's client wasn't supposed to be here, either."

"Yeah, but Sophia is known for changing her mind last minute. She's been here to beat on me at least three times a week ever since I came." He sighed. "She's embarrassed by what I decided to be and said she'll keep beating on me until I decide to come home."

"But they came." said Nel, one of the two prized dominatrix. "Do you have any idea who they asked for?"

Before Fayt and Edge could answer, Crowe ran past, dressed in his red leathers. He paused and grabbed Edge. "Your client just went too far."

Faize lay across the floor, bloody. Again, he tried to pick himself up, only to fall on the slick floor back into his own blood. His body was sore, and yet the weapon still cracked over him. His pale face looked up at his tormentor, only to be grabbed by the hair and have his mouth forced over the erect member at the other's waist. While he had been trained to do this, it still made him vomit as the white seed flowed down his throat. He choked, and the fluid flowed from the corner of his mouth.

"You're useless. And you're supposed to be the prize pick of this group? Ha." The man dropped Faize and stepped on his chest. He leaned his weight onto the smaller until he heard bones snap.

That was when the door was unlocked and opened. "What do you think you're doing?" Arumat asked, stepping in. "Faize isn't on the list of acceptable workers here for you to use."

"I was having a bit of fun, but if this is all your 'best' can offer, I'll take my business elsewhere." The man kicked the bloody creature aside as he left.

Arumat carefully undid the restraints from Faize's bloody wrists and removed the binding from his body. When the smaller didn't respond, Arumat carefully lifted his limp body and handed him to Crowe. "Attend to his wounds, and see that he rests."

Crowe nodded and carried Faize away.

Turning, Arumat went to enter the other room, only for the door to open and a slightly panicked Sophia to bump into him.

"What is it?" Arumat asked.

"I didn't mean to." Sophia said. "I just . . . there's so much blood."

Albel coughed from where he still hung from the chains. His wrists were raw, and across his body were red marks from where the cat-o-nine-tails had stuck him. One leg seemed to have caved under him, and it was there that he was bleeding. He looked over towards Sophia, frightened.

Baccus, the house doctor, walked over and inspected the wound. "Broken bone, torn ligament, ruptured blood vessels, and he's gone into shock. What did you do?" As he asked, he undid the restraints and eased Albel down into his one arm.

"I just . . . I hit him, blamed him for Fayt not coming home." Sophia watched as Albel was carried past. "I hit him with the hard end of the whip. His leg caved under him, and he tried to scream. I didn't pay attention until I'd stepped in his blood."

Faize tried to move his head as he lay in the small medical room. His whole body hurt, and it was a struggle to breathe. Crowe was saying something, but he couldn't make it out.

"We have no idea the extent of the damage." Crowe said to Arumat. "I've given him something for the pain, but with him incoherent like this, he can't even tell us what happened." He carefully took one of Faize's wrists and felt it. "He dislocated several bones on Faize's body. It'll take hours to patch him up."

Albel looked over from his bed, his leg in a cast. He would be off the duty roster for a while until it was properly healed. Still, he wasn't prepared for the mess that lay in the other bed, gasping for his next breath. "Faize." He whispered.

Faize coughed, choking on some of the blood that had run down his throat. He knew Crowe had leaned him up, and he heaved. His purple eyes stared blankly in front of him, and he struggled for his next breath.

Arumat gently tilted Faize's face up. "Baccus, can you repair the damage?"

"The physical damage, yes, Mr. Thanatos. However, any emotional damage he has suffered will take time."

"Please do so." Arumat sighed and walked over to where Albel lay. "Perhaps you can tell me. Why were you and Faize working without my supervision?"

"Cliff told us that Leingod and Maverick were ill." Albel replied. "The maggot said Faize and I had been requested as their replacements, and that the clients wouldn't mark us." He winced and held over where he'd been stuck across the stomach with the cat-o-nine-tails.

"Sophia Esteed has paid for your wounds, Albel. Be glad it was the leather one that struck you, those injuries will fade." Arumat ran a hand through Albel's part-colored hair.

"What of Faize?"

"Only time will tell if he will be able to return to work, or even speak to us again."

Three weeks later, Albel stood in his room wearing a walking cast. He was clothed in purple leathers that looked like a skirt and belly-top, and one boot. His hair was tied in its characteristic wrapped ponytails, and his one arm was covered in his traditional armor-like cover that denoted his once-noble stature. He sighed. While he had been able to leave the medical room, and had actually been able to do light work in Arumat's presence, Faize still lay like a doll.

He was so deep in thought, he didn't notice when someone came into his room. The footsteps were soft, made by bare feet, and shuffled. A hand reached out and touched Albel's hair, catching the other's attention.

Albel turned, only for his breath to catch. Still dazed looking and bandaged, Faize stood before him. He seemed to be mouthing something, but no sound was coming.

"Faize?" Albel touched the bandaged pale cheek. "Is it really you?"

Faize opened his mouth again, this time taking Albel's thumb in his mouth and licking it. His faded purple eyes looked lost, and he seemed to be searching for something familiar. A tear ran down his face, and his bandaged hand reached out again.

Albel caught his hand, and a tear ran down his own face. "Faize." He held the pathetic, wounded creature close. "It's alright. I'm here."

Faize blinked slowly for a moment, then leaned on Albel. Still, he kept mouthing something, as though trying to speak. When it became obvious that he wasn't getting through to the foggy object holding him, Faize reached down in front of him and grabbed a rather tender package near Albel's lower extremities.

Albel looked at Faize. There was an odd look on the other's face, like he was trying to recapture a fading memory. And he knew all too well the memory Faize was trying to capture.

"I can't, Love. You're hurt." Albel looked at Faize's pale, wounded face. None of the others in the ship knew it, but Albel and Faize weren't Arumat's lovers. They loved each other.

Faize merely blinked at Albel, then collapsed, unconscious, against the other.

"Someone, help!" Albel called, trying to get to his knees safely. He was semi-relieved when Crowe came in.

"What happened?" Crowe stopped. "How did he get here?" He carefully picked Faize up.

"I'm not sure." Albel said. "Little pixie managed to get from the medical to here, though. Looked a little dazed, like he was sleeping." He followed Crowe back to the medical room.

"Thanks to Lymle and Nel's healing symbols, both of you should be finished healing by next week." Crowe said. "I need to go, there's a client waiting for me."

Albel watched him go and sighed.

"There's been no change." said Baccus. He looked at both Arumat and Albel. "He doesn't speak, and doesn't seem to see that well anymore. He may never be able to properly work again."

Arumat nodded and looked at the subject in question, Faize. The young Eldarian just sat there; his head leaned against the wall, staring blankly. "Albel."

"Yes?"

"I'm placing Faize in your care for the time being." Arumat stood. "Thank you, Baccus."

Albel walked over and took Faize's hand, leading him like a lost puppy to the room where they both stayed. He closed the door, only to notice, Faize was touching his hair again.

"Faize, can you hear me?" Albel asked.

Faize nodded, still holding one of the wound ponytails. His foggy vision only allowed him a guess at who was standing in front of him; he had to touch in order to know who. Now that he had the ponytail in hand, he knew it was his lover. Stepping closer, he tried again to speak, but no sound came out.

"I'm sorry, Faize. You're not making any sound." Albel gently caressed his beloved's face. He looked startled and looked down as Faize again grabbed that tender package. "I think I understand." he said. Gently, he unclothed Faize, licking and nipping the other's neck and chest.

Faize smiled and licked Albel's neck as best he could. He missed on several occasions, but still managed to run his fingers through his lover's hair.

Albel smiled, not the cruel or wicked smile he often gave the other workers, but a soft, gentle, and caring smile that he reserved only for Faize. Gently, he sat his lover down on the bed and began the careful work of arousing his partner. Gentle caresses over the dainty package at Faize's waist soon had the young Eldarian lying on the bed, trying to moan. Albel licked him over and over, then briefly wet his fingers and pushed against Faize's entrance.

Faize gasped, enjoying the feeling, yet at the same time, frightened. His tormentor had forced himself upon Faize in this manner, and in made him nervous.

"Faize, you're tightening up." Albel said, gently reaching up to touch his lover's face. "Relax, it's me."

The gentle touch and calm voice allowed Faize to relax, and he tried to reach for Albel. His partner understood, and with ease and grace, joined their bodies together. Leaning over so Faize could hold him, Albel started to gently rock against his beloved.

Faize gasped and clung to Albel, as though seeking comfort in the soft hair he buried his face into. No matter how much he tried to tell himself it was his lover, he was still scared. As Albel released himself inside him, Faize tried to scream.

"Love?" Albel parted their bodies and held Faize close. "I'm sorry, Love. I hurt you, didn't I?"

Faize shook his head, then touched his throat. Again, he buried his face into Albel's hair.

"Oh, Faize." Albel held him closer still, trying to comfort him. "If only you could tell us what was wrong."

Faize sat there as Albel dressed him, constantly talking so as to not frighten him. There was a knock at the door, and Faize hid under the covers.

"Yes?" Albel answered the door. "Oh, Nel. What is it?"

"You have a customer." Nel said. "He's with Master Arumat right now. And I was told to tell you to bring Faize."

Albel nodded and retrieved the frightened Eldarian before heading down to the room where Arumat and the client waited. When he stepped in, he couldn't help but notice the man was about Arumat's height, or that he wore a suit.

"Did you bring Faize?" Arumat asked.

"Yes, Master." Albel replied. He led his beloved into the room.

Faize's faded eyes seemed to dart about the room. He didn't seem to recognize it, or the blurry shapes that occupied it. He reached out and took one of Albel's ponytails.

The client stood, and Albel swallowed. The man was definitely taller than him, and probably about as strong as Baccus, judging by where the suit seemed to bulge from the muscles. He walked over and carefully removed the ponytail from Faize's hand, tilting the Eldarian's face up to look at him.

Faize sniffed slightly, then bit the client. He seemed rather upset, and hid behind Albel when the client let him go.

"Not the reaction I expected." said the client. His voice was deep, yet kind. "But your suspicion is correct, Arumat. He is partially blind."

Arumat nodded.

"What is this?" Albel asked. He noticed Faize was again holding one of his ponytails as a form of security. He got in the way as the client again approached Faize.

"Move, Albel." said Arumat.

The young Aryglyphian scowled, but did as he'd been asked. The reaction was almost instant from Faize. He tried to call out, but no sound came.

Again, the client took hold of him, and Faize struggled. But he stopped as soon as the client's hand went over his throat. He just stood there, numbly, as the client checked him over.

"Body language indicates extensive abuse, including rape." the client said. "Also, he seems to be more acutely aware of certain genetic scents. He stiffens whenever I get close to his face. It was my brother that did this to him, wasn't it?"

Arumat nodded. "That is correct." he said. "I was hoping you might be able to help him at least speak again, since you are a speech therapist. You will be compensated for your efforts."

The man looked at Faize, then at Albel. "Remove the Glyphian." he said.

"What?!" Albel snapped as he was dragged out by Arumat.

Faize reacted. He looked up from where he was standing, and a horrible sound came from his throat, followed by coughing, and eventually vomiting.

Albel elbowed Arumat one and ran over to his beloved. "Faize! Faize, I'm here. It's alright, it's alright." He held the little Eldarian close, smoothing the tangles out of the other's hair.

Faize leaned on his lover, blinking. His throat hurt, but he'd made sound. Swallowing, he tried again. "L . . ."

Albel looked at him. "What is it?"

"L . . . Lo . . ."

Arumat grinned.

"Love." Faize panted, but seemed glad to have said something, at long last. He took hold of one of the wrapped ponytails. "Love."

"Your suspicions were right, Arumat. He and the Glyphian are together." said the client.

Arumat nodded. "Do as you need to, Loki."

The client nodded.

It was a struggle to get Faize to cooperate. He refused to let Loki touch him, biting the other any time he got close. This was a serious problem, as Loki needed to constantly check his throat for damages.

"You, Glyphian." he said.

"I have a name, maggot. It's Albel."

"Fine, then. Albel, can you restrain him before I come in?"

"He won't like it." Albel said as he stepped into the room. What he saw frightened him.

Faize was holding one of the whips. He seemed lost in thought, turning the weapon over in his hands. When Albel touched his shoulder, he dropped it, tensing.

"Put your hands over your head." said Albel.

Faize did so rather shakily, noticing he was being restrained against the iron X. "Love." he whispered, scared.

"I'm sorry, Faize. Master Arumat told me to do as asked in order to help you." Albel held close to his Eldarian lover. "I'm sorry." He backed away and let Loki in.

Faize knew what was coming and tried to look away, only for Loki to carefully take his face and tilt his head up. "Did you run into something? Your neck is bruised, but it wasn't yesterday."

Faize only tried to pull his head away. In his struggles, he wore his wrists and ankles raw.

Loki waited until the struggle was over before continuing his examination. "Albel, has anything happened to Faize recently?"

"He had a nightmare last night." Albel replied. "I found him gripping his throat, and had to pry his hands away."

"That explains the nail marks." Loki said. "Alright, Faize. Try to make a sound."

Faize spit at him. He was in no mood to comply with Loki today, that was for sure.

"Now, now, that was uncalled for." said Loki. He gently touched Faize's face. "Don't you want to tell us what happened? Or is it that frightening that silence will only ever be your answer?"

Faize remained quiet for a moment. "Whip." he said softly.

"The whip?" asked Albel. He walked over and picked up the weapon that Faize had been holding when he'd come in. "What about it?"

Faize only looked at his back. It was almost like he wanted to be beaten.

"I can't, Faize." said Albel. "We are Arumat's prizes, and cannot be marked."

This happened again and again, for several days. Finally, they brought Arumat in for one of the sessions.

"I don't understand why you need me." Arumat said.

"Whip." Faize whispered. He had gone from just saying it to almost begging. As always, he was chained to the upright X.

"What?" Arumat asked.

"It's this one specifically." said Albel, holding the heavy whip. "I tried giving him the other ones, but he wouldn't even look at them. Only this one."

Loki sighed. "Aside from 'love', 'whip' is the only thing he says."

Arumat walked over to Faize. "What do you want with it?" he asked.

"Whip." Faize replied. He looked at his back again.

"You want to be hit? Are you mad?"

Faize sighed, lowered his head, and closed his eyes.

"Albel, strike him with the whip." said Arumat.

Albel swallowed. "I don't know how." he replied.

Arumat took the whip and snapped it across Faize's back.

It was instant. Faize's eyes flickered red, and he screamed. As he gasped, Arumat hit him again. Another scream escaped him, louder than the first.

Albel was torn. He didn't want to interfere with his master, and yet his lover was in pain. He watched, worried, as Faize was struck again. But he got in the way of the fourth strike.

"Albel." Arumat warned.

"Please, don't hurt him." Albel sobbed. "Please. I can't stand it, seeing him in pain like this."

Faize coughed. "A . . . Albel."

"Love? What is it?"

"Pain." Faize gasped, then tried to speak again. "I . . . pain . . . talking."

"But I can't lose you, just to speak." Albel held him close. "Please, Faize. We'll find another way."

Faize shook his head. "Pain. Took away . . . sounds. Chains. Aching, where I . . . I love you. Bones. Cuts. Whip."

"I don't care what happened to you." Albel sobbed. "Just as long as I can keep you, Faize. Nothing else matters."

Faize smiled. "Ok."

Two days later, Faize again took hold of the heavy whip.

"Thinking?" Albel asked.

Faize nodded. "Loki left." he said. He speech wasn't all that perfect, but he spoke again. He put the whip back on the wall.

"Yeah, he said his work was done." Albel walked over, closer to his lover. "How's your eyesight?"

"Still fuzzy." Faize sighed. "Arumat not want working."

"Master Arumat doesn't know how stubborn you are."

Faize looked at Albel, gently taking hold of one of the woven ponytails. "Love?"

"Yes?"

"I do next one?"

"I have a client. I don't see why not." Albel smiled. He took Faize's hand, and they headed off together.