"Where am I?" he asks. His voice is calm and even. There is no fear in his tone, and only the mildest hint of curiosity.
"Phobos..." He turns towards the window. Across the void of space, the planet that hangs beneath them is massive. Tiny wisps of cloud stretch thin and weak above the surface. It looks dead compared to another planet he remembers. "Phobos is a satellite of the fourth planet in the solar system."
"Why am I here?"
A hand caresses his face.
A comb is tugged through his hair, pulling clumps of wet strands forward to hang before his eyes. "Do I have a name?" he asks.
"I can't remember what it is."
Strong fingers align his chin, and chill metal slides across his forehead. He knows before he hears it that there is something satisfying about the sound of scissors cutting through his hair.
"Your name is Treize."
The rest of his name unfolds into his mind like blood pouring from a wound. Natural. Inevitable. "Treize Janak Khushrenada," he says. He smiles and looks up into the face of his keeper. "And you have cut my hair before."
"Yes, and yes. You're remembering more each day." Soft lips paint a kiss on the side of his mouth. "Now, hold still until I finish."
He is left alone for weeks. Loneliness turns to boredom, to restlessness, to frustration, and finally to anger.
But, anger, like flame, burns hot and fast, then shifts and fades, withering until it too turns to something worse.
Despair becomes his companion.
He is faint and weak when he is found. He is tended to again, fed and bathed with great care. Kissed and held and showered with apologies until he cannot forgive enough for how loved he feels.
"Is this how it has always been?"
"No." There is wetness seeping into his shoulder.
"But, Milliardo," he says, "I have always needed you."
The body beside him shakes.