AU where Ryan was actually created to be a mercenary. Not even he knows if he was taken as a baby, or if he was created in a lab, but for the first 18 years of his life, all he knows is training. There were other kids, there, but he did not speak to them. Most of them did not survive training, and even those who did were taught to never act human.
His first owner is a piece of shit who gives conflicting orders and beats him. He’s sold and his second owner has him guard a safe house, Ryan, alone all the time, with only books to keep him company. He reads everything he can, scared but in love with his newfound freedom. When he’s sold again, it’s to a man who is cold but not cruel. Ryan accompanies the man’s wife to the opera and to the theatre and he learns the true beauty of what the written word can become.