It was always dark.

He doesn't know what actual color is really, only when he's forced to bring them forth - it hurts at first.

The feeling. The sharp burning through his veins when they force him to emit - what? Light – no, it was dangerous, scarier then light - hotter, painful. He doesn't know what warmth is.

He doesn't know anything they don't want him to.

"More. Burn the pole down." Crackly voices through microphones on the other side of thick glass.

He stands in the middle on the inside as they watch through bug eyed lenses. Watch him scream - watch him hurt as shocks of blue bolts fly every which way, leaving black explosion shaped scorch marks behind.


He does, limbs shake - eyes glow as his blood burns him. It wasn't a burn, not from heat - it was like a live metal wire stuck in a plug outlet and it was electrocuting him from the inside.

But he aims.

He gets better.

Once they're done for the day they put him back in his dark box to cry. He does - he's not sure why though.

Every night he cries. Nightmares that he can't remember hurt his head. Sometimes he'd wake up screaming for something.

But there was nothing there.

There never was.

Just him. And the darkness in the box.

Then they take him back and he burns all over again.

It shakes the entire complex.

An explosion that wasn't caused by him. He sits in his box and listens - ears ringing from straining so hard to hear. Footsteps, he's used to those - can distinguish who's coming for him by listening to the footsteps. But these ones are new sounding. They're hurried and maybe even a bit panicked.

His heart's making it difficult to hear what's happening. Sounds – harsh, grating, something screams - sirens wail, he clamps his ears shut with his palms and curls into a ball, he doesn't understand what's happening. He can't think. The sirens shrieking scatter his thoughts.

Voices rise, another explosion shakes him in his dark box, he cowers back and huddles tighter to himself. Breathing uneven as something bangs at his box's door. He jumps, eyes wide in the dark.

A gritted curse sounds from the other side - yells get louder, curses get harsher. He pulls back further and further and -

He screams when something flies through his door, the sound of metal crunching apart like a squealing machine that's stuck.

It suddenly a hundred times hotter in here - and there's - light?

A stranger stands - he's not in a bug eyed suit, he's practically bare, only his lower half decent. He looks up at this new spectacle of a stranger with wide terrified eyes.

The stranger shakes up and glares right back, he's glowing in the dark. The darkness is fading, seemingly crying as it does.

The stranger lifts his eyes and something flickers in them when he looks at the poor huddled creature in the box.

He stretches out a burning hand.

The box dweller shakes, his mind shakes. He thinks for a moment - something they don't want him to think. He feels something reach into his chest and tug - then he reaches out and takes the hand.

He's being pulled, hard and fast out of his box - he almost cries out to stop, he's not supposed to be out of his box - they won't like that.

The sirens sound even worse out here and the entire place is flashing red and orange flames. He swallows a mouth full of smoke and chokes, something shakes underneath the ground.

Then an ear splitting shriek fills the air as walls come together and crush them. He watches with sick fascination as the beings who have kept him in control for his entire existence are suddenly crushed pathetically between to rock surfaces.

The dust and smoke meld together, the hand that's holding on to him tightens its grip. A lanky figure walks through the smoke and derbis.

There's a ray of something new - of light - real light. He has to blink to see, vision clearing just in time to catch a glimpse of a smile.

A sharp, knife like smile that's all teeth and blood.

"Move." The smile says.

That's when he realizes what was happening. He is suddenly dragged - body and mind right out of the dark and through the giant hole in the only world he's ever know and suddenly - there's an outside.

He's standing in the outside -and that light. He looks up, the light is warm - there's a whisper of something that cools the warmth and rustles his hair.

Suddenly the knife like smile stretches and it separates to let out a howl, long and sharp as something explodes behind them.

Then he's being dragged into a run.

And he has no idea what's happening to his face as it stretches in response.

Six months . . . some place, somewhere.

"Oi! Hey! Wake up ya little prick."

"Ow!" Haru blinks his sleepy blue eyes in response to the whack on his dark haired head. "Jeez, whad'Ido?" He slurs at his attacker.

"We're here. Quit complaining."

Haru blinks again, evidently annoying his companion in front of him.

"Get up."

"Ok, ok." A yawn splits his head, he doesn't have time to react when the door he's leaning on is suddenly yanked open and he goes tumbling out onto the asphalt. "Ooooow, Souma!"

Souma snorts. "I said, get up." And he walks away without so much as a pitying look.

Haru stand up and rubs his aching head, then he grins and trots after the taller male. "You're a jerk."

"Never claimed to be anything else." Souma says, amber eyes glittering forward, searching for something in the hazing crowd. "Where is that little -"

"Looking for me Hotso?" Knife like grin pierces through the crowd.

"Toki! Where were you?" Haru smiles at the yellow haired boy as he saunters up towards them, flashing them a less sharp smile.

"Around. Got us some nice rooms for tonight though? Wanna stick around?" His green eyes flicker to Souma.

"I guess. For one night." Souma answers, large hand carding through his red hair. "Just one."

Haru grins. "Yah! Come on Toki." He grabs the boys' wrist and they're off to the elevator, Souma grumbling behind them.

"It's been half a year. We shouldn't be this inept."

"We're doing the best we can, if word gets out that we let those monsters go then - our entire sector will be condemned. That cannot happen or - "

"Or you'll all be shipped off to Guantanamo bay." A voice like a razor digging into flesh cuts the air as an unnaturally tall woman with an even more unnaturally sharp face walks in, her face is stone carved with features.

"We - director?" Bug eyes radiate fear at her, her black eyes narrow.

"Were are the projects?" It's a sharp question, one that already knows it's answer, dry as the desert.

"We - think they're in North America, though how they got there is anyone's guess."

A calm fist wraps around the answerers throat, bug eyes look into black holes. "I want them back. Now." If words were bullets, this man would have several holes in him.

"Y-yes Director."

She seethes, eyes flash a terrifying red and then he's dead. She lets go, the body, now an empty husk, falls to the floor.

She turns to the other workers. "Find them."

Haru screams.

And screams.

And screams.

The sound rips itself from his undersized body, shredding his throat as he arches against invisible hands and struggles, choking on spit and tears - flashes of electricity fly and blow up anything with a current and burns anything that doesn't.

"Haru! Haru, get up - kid it's just a nightmare, Kid!"

Hands grip him, he's hurting, his blood burns him - he's choking, can't breathe, red eyes - red - red eyes and then he's dripping, warm red liquid seeps from all the places that hurt.

"You're mine."

The final scream before he breaks into reality tears at anyone who can hear it. His wide terror filled eyes find Souma's glowing amber ones. His thin chest heaves and he chokes on a sob, this was the part where he hates himself the most. He shoots up and wraps himself around Souma's tight torso, blubbering out of control and digging marks into the elders back.

Souma doesn't say anything. He never does. He wasn't much for words, he just presses lips into the kid's hair and hands into his spindly back.

Toki just stands there, eyes hard - face taut, fingers shaking as he grips his shirt, chewing on his tongue. "Stop it." He hisses at the sobbing boy. "Stop it."

Haru hiccups and doesn't stop.

"Damn you." The yellow haired boy shifts away and kicks the nearest object, fist shaking.

In the dark, Toki was more apt to show anger - in the light you could never tell what he was thinking, always hiding behind that sharp cutting smile.

"They did this to us - and we're hiding. . . we could take them all down, destroy them - hurt them like they hurt us, everyone would be afraid - we could - "

"That what you want?" Souma cuts in, voice as cold as he was hot. "For people to be afraid of us. Get over yourself you whiny brat."

Toki's eyes flash. He and Souma butted heads a lot.

Haru reaches a hand and fists the front of Souma's shirt. "D-don't." He sobs pathetically.

All three fall into depressed silence.

And away they go.

They never stay in one place too long. Never. It wasn't safe for them, or the people they encounter. Although they don't encounter much people anyway. Souma doesn't like people, Haru's fascinated by them and Toki would just like to make fun of them.

"Son of a - Haru!" Souma's voice bellows out from below.

Haru blinks his blue eyes away from the horizon and looks down from his perch at the end of a sharp cliff. "Yah?"

"Don't you 'Yah' me you little prick, get down here before you kill yourself." Souma seethes, he's hot and bothered and the, 'Nevada' Haru thinks Toki called it, air was stifling. Haru could see the elder sweating from up here which was funny because he could -

"Get down before I light you up on fire!" Flams spark in his palms for emphasize.

Toki snorts from his place under the car, white legs the only thing peeking out. "Yah, cause this place needs more heat."

"Shut it wise guy." Souma snaps as Haru shifts down and gives his glare a sheepish smile.

"It's pretty up there." The boy says truthfully. He'd decided he likes pretty things. They were better than the dark.

Souma scoffs, running a hand through his red bangs in irritation, the sun was burning on his slightly colored skin. "Jeez, you're such a dweeb."

Haru smiles wider and hops to where Toki's standing. "What's up?"

"Radiator's all dried up. I told you we needed water back there - but do you ever listen to me? Nooooo." Toki exaggerates his annoyance purposely attempting to irritate the red haired male in front of him.

"Get over yourself pebble brain, we'll just walk and find a nearby store or something." Souma says, eyes already scanning the burning hot sky line with dread.

Toki snorts. "Yah. Just walk -we're going to die out here! I wanted to go to Canada but you insisted that we - "

"Shut up."


"Shut. Up."

A chill runs down Haru's spine at Souma's tone.

"A droid."

It was a round orb that hovered through the air on silent engines, it had eight leg like metals pieces attached to it underneath and folded against its main body like a dormant spider. A giant heat sensing lens was attached to both the back and the front of the thing. An R-s Droid.

"Dammit." Souma curses under his breath and yanks both younger runaways into the shadows of the rocky canyon they were stuck in.


"Shut up." Souma hisses, clamping a large hand over Toki's mouth, much to Toki's displeasure which he voices by narrowing his eyes.

Haru stops breathing, heart in his ears as he pushes against the rocks and Souma's side. Please go away - please go away - please . . .

Sweat trickles down his brow, the side of his face, into his collar.


The infrared ray scans the sad looking, fading red Toyota Corolla . . . he can hear Souma's heart against his cheek. It was getting harder to breath.

The laser fades, it beeps in an angry way and hovers on spouting out calculations and coordinates.

They practically melt to the sandy ground.

"Damn." Toki huffs and just falls, sticky arms collecting sand.

Souma lets out a dry laugh. "Yah. Come on - we're gonna have ta figure out how to move without running into that thing where there isn't a place to hide."

A loud shot rings through the air then a sputter then an old blue pick-up rolls up and a man just as old pokes his head out of the window pushing up his truckers' hat. "You fella's alright?"

Toki lets that sharp man eating grin cut through his face, "No actually, our car broke down. Can you give us a lift?"

Souma's brow twitches, an obvious sign that he's forcing himself to keep calm about this. He hates asking for help from strangers.

"Sure, hop in, I'll take you to the nearest stop off."

So they do.

Haru shuffles after Souma's long legged strides as the elder mutters profanity's as they practically tear through the small town they're currently in.

Toki was in so much trouble when Souma finds him. It was like he disappeared the second they walked into the plot. He tends to do that usually in the most irritating times.

Speak of the devil.

"Get out ya little freak!"

And there he goes - Toki comes flying out of a saloon, hair in shambles as he lands in the dusty road and rolls to a stop on his back, chest shaking as he laughs, the sun in his face. "Touchy Bastard." He snickers and blinks through the light up at Souma's less than amused face.

"Oh, heya guys. How long have you been standing here?" He flashes them a cheeky grin.

Souma rolls his eyes and bends over, fisting a hand in Toki's thin T-shirt and yanks him up to his feet but doesn't let go. "You want people to remember you?"

Toki shrugs. "Maybe?"

"I bet." Then the red head promptly whacks the shorter boy over the head and yanks him along towards the convenience store. Haru follows with a hidden snicker as Toki whines like a child.

"Why you gotta beat on me all the time?! Why can't you beat Haru." He draws out his words to be extra annoying.

Souma's eyebrow twitches. "Because Haru's not as annoying as you, you selfish prick. Now shut it and move!" He tosses Toki's lithe form through the doors scaring an old lady who flashes Souma a disgusted look and waddles out.

Haru can't help the snort that escapes him. Toki glares and dusts himself off.

"Spoiled little brat." He mumbles in fake anger.

Souma clocks him again and reaches for the car maintenance aisle, oil, water, and a few bags of snacks for the road on. He pays with cash that he manages to make in random places for random things like selling his last pair of shoes.

Haru browses, blue eyes flitting every which way, he's a pretty excitable kid - but he's learned to channel his energy into small things, like laughing or curiosity, for safety reasons. Then his eyes fall on a shelf filled with crinkly bags of dark cookies with white sandwiched between them.

He smiles and remembers ~

It was right after they'd escaped, where ever the place was it was surrounded by nearly dead desert, except for the occasional movement from small scaly creatures Haru learns about later, they were lizards.

Souma was thinner then, they all were, Haru had been barely eighty pounds and according to the books he's read he was severely underweight for someone his age which they guessed is around twelve to fourteen.

They were thirsty, Haru barely noticed, he was sweating, skin burning under the searing sun and yet - he couldn't stop looking at every single thing, even though there wasn't much - mostly multi colored sand and rocks, but he'd never seen them and the space was - it was so big he felt tiny.

Toki fell then. Passed out - the ground cracked where he landed and a tremor shook under their feet. Haru remembers panicking a little when that happened, then Souma hisses something he didn't understand and lifts the skinny yellow haired boy over his shoulder and they trudge on, the sun lowering and becoming impossibly hotter.

After what feels like an eternity they see a building. A small run down shack with its sign falling off. Against better judgment the fumble inside. It's empty - only a few lizards and big eared rodents and random boxes and articles of packaging lying around.

Souma drops Toki and lumbers for something liquid anything - he finds water, hot but still water. They drink and force Toki to drink too, he's groggy but alive, neither boy moves as they fall to the creaky ground and just stop -

Their breathing mixing in the dusty darkening air.

"Who - are you?" Haru finds his throat hurts, a lot. Burns like sand paper.

"I don't know. You?" Toki had answered from his spot on the ground.

Souma just grunted and pushed against a rickety shelve.

"Guess it doesn't matter." Toki says, voice sounding like it was killing him. "Where are we anyway?"

Silence makes their ears ring.


Haru's eyes widen. "Out? But they never told me - "

"They don't tell us anything kid." Souma sounds worse than both of them.

They all fall uncomfortably silent as they stare at the elephant in the room. Until Haru pipes up unexpectedly.

"What now?"

"... we keep going. We never stop - just keep going." Souma answers after a hard moment.

Toki's passed out by then.

The next morning, they get up, woozy from paranoia and heat, and collect what they can and carry to leave.

"Hey, look at this stuff." Toki's filling his pouch up with strange packaged things.

Haru doesn't care much for what he has. Souma just scoffs and reaches for a blue packet of something, he eyes it hard then with a decided tone turns and hands it to Haru.

"I think it's sweet."

It was a packet of a bunch of two dark flat disks that crunch sandwiching something white and soft looking.

Haru smiles. "Thanks." His face hurts from the expression ~

"Haru, hey, you comin'?" Toki calls out as Haru snaps back to reality.

"Yah - yah, hey - can I get these?" He pulls out the package of cookies and hands them to Souma who smirks.

"Sure Kid."

Then they leave and find their abandoned car. After some quick maintenance they're back on the dusty road to who knows were.