Where is all this inspiration coming from!?

Warning: Contains material that may be triggering

x.o.o.x

Bang

Aqua watched with an annoyed expression as her boyfriend and one of his meathead friends balled up pieces of notebook paper. Unlike everyone else, she was actually trying to mind her own business. Just because it was the last week of school didn't mean she had the right to act like a neanderthal before class even started.

She wasn't looking, but she could hear the paper hit it's target. The sound was followed by a round of masculine snickers and giggles, and a few rude comments about the kid slitting his wrists. They had been torturing this Ienzo kid all year. Everyone in the class was a senior, but this particular kid was supposed to be a junior. He had been skipped up because he was extremely gifted. The rest of the seniors didn't like that at all, so they've been picking on him since school began.

"Stop it, Terra," Aqua hissed. "Don't you think he's had enough?"

The brunet haired teen raised an eyebrow. "You want me to stop throwing paper at him?"

"Would you please?"

He scoffed, but closed his notebook. "Alright guys. My lady wants us to stop throwing paper at him."

He and his friends upgraded to pencils.

Aqua snapped her arm quickly, connecting the back of her hand with his cheek. Terra's friends chortled as he ducked away from her and rubbed the reddening spot on his face. "Cut it out!"

"Babe, chill. It's not like the fucker is going to do anything about it. We're just trying to make sure he has a decent graduation present."

"That's not cool. I have to tell you to stop every day when I shouldn't. Either you're just that dumb or you've got the attention span of a child with ADHD."

Terra wasn't at all the rude jock he pretended to be. He actually cared a whole lot about people. But for whatever reason, he acted like an asshole in front of his friends. He was so different when they were alone.

The bell rang to start class before he could reply. The teacher walked in and addressed the class, getting them all quiet in an instant. "Since it's the last day, we'll go around the room and talk a little bit about what your post-high school plans are. Why don't we start with you, Braig?"

The class groaned. Braig was first for everything and he always found a way to incorporate smoke weed everyday into his little speeches. He was adamant about not going to college, which was fine, but he was also adamant that he was going to live the life of a poor stoner and be happy about it.

"Well, I'm pretty sure that I'll be in jail or sonething," he said. There was no smile, no laughter, and no quip about marijuana. It seemed odd, but everyone sighed in relief.

The students behind him each went on about their plans with varying degrees of enthusiasm. Terra talked about his sports career, Aqua talked about her future degree in psychology, and then some more people went after the two of them.

Some time went by before it came to Ienzo. and the teacher smiled. "I'm interested to hear about where you've decided to go after high school."

"Hell."

The teacher blinked as Ienzo leaned back in his seat. "You...mean Yale?"

"Yeah, sure," he smiled. It was forced, but Aqua seemed to be the only one to notice. She found it odd and wished for nothing more than to apologize on behalf of her idiot boyfriend.

Class was boring and long, but Aqua was glad when it was over. She pushed past a few people to get to Ienzo, but he was fast. By the time she caught up with him, he was already down the hall.

"Hey, Ienzo!" she breathed. How was he so fast? "Hey, I just wanted to say I'm sorry for Terra. He's really not that bad of a guy. I don't know why he's acting like this."

Ienzo smiled that forced smile again, pushing his hair more into his eye. "I appreciate it, but you have nothing to apologize for."

That's when it finally hit her. He wouldn't accept the apology unless Terra did it himself. So she smiled and nodded. "I understand. Sorry for bothering you."

"You should get to class before you're late," he muttered.

Aqua watched as he quickly disappeared into the crowd. Ienzo wanted Terra to apologize? She'd get it done. It'd be hard, but not impossible.

x.o.o.x

The first thing Aqua decided to do was butter her boyfriend up. There was a step by step process she had to follow, but it would take time. To get into his head, she would have to go through his stomach first.

"You can cook?" Terra asked, staring at the plate of food as if it had spoken to him.

Aqua inhaled deeply. Getting offended would get her nowhere. "Yes, I can cook."

"Did you poison it?"

"...You are not that bright."

Terra rolled his eyes as Aqua sat at the table across from him. "I may not be the brightest, but I'm pretty smart in my own right. It takes a certain amount of talent to play Struggle."

That's where the second part of her plan came in. She would bait him into playing struggle with her. He took his sports very seriously and loved it when Aqua showed some interest in it.

"I suppose it does. Hey, maybe after we finish eating you can teach me how to Struggle."

Terra froze with a fork full of food just inches away from his open mouth. "Wha?"

"I want you to teach me-"

"No, no, I heard what you said. You never wanted to learn how to play before. Why now?"

He wasn't supposed to ask her that. She needed to think of something believable, and quick. "Because...b-because school's almost over. You'll be going all the way across the country for school and I'll be stuck here. I want to spend as much time with you as I can before you have to go."

He tensed a bit, lowering the fork back down to the plate. Unfortunately for ger, she had brought up a sore subject. The two of them knew they needed to talk about this before it was too late, and she planned to bring it up during the summer. Why did that, of all things, have to come out of her mouth?

"You know it's my dream to go to Departure State..."

"And that's fine. I want you to go. I just want to make you happy before you go."

Blue eyes narrowed in confusion. "What makes you think I'm not happy? I'm the happiest I've ever been with anyone. And I told you, I'm coming back to you."

"You can say that now, but what happens when you go off to college and find someone better than me?"

"Baby, there's nobody better than you. Not for me. I love you." Aqua didn't meet his eye. He reached over the table and grabbed her hand. "Do you still think we should see other people in college?"

She nodded gently.

"If that's what you think is best, then...I'll respect you're wishes. But no matter where you are or who you're seeing, you'll always be my girl. And I don't care what you say, I will cone back for you. You listening?"

"Yeah..."

Terra sighed. She wished she would have thought of something better than this conversation. "Eat up, baby. We've got some struggling to do."

x.o.o.x

"You see the way my muscles flex when I follow through, as opposed to when I fake a swing?" The brunet haired teen demonstrated once more, drawing her attention to his arms. "You have to pay real close attention to the difference, or it's lights out for you."

"These things can knock someone out? I thought they were plush..."

Terra grinned, most likely happy that he knew something she didn't. "The exterior is a thick layer of plush, but underneath that it a metal rod. That's why the bat is so heavy."

Aqua nodded, watching as he demonstrated a few more times, then took his usual Struggle stance. "Now I'm going to swing as slowly and as gently as I can. You just focus on blocking me."

She smiled and watched his muscles as he swung at her in slow motion. She turned her bat sideways and let them connect. The two of them did this for some time before Aqua became bored with it. Terra could see it on her face, so he stopped.

"Now let's try normal speed. You're still blocking, alright?"

"Or we can try full speed," she grinned.

Terra smirked, hoisting the bat over his shoulder. "I don't think you can handle full speed. My teammates can barely handle it and we've been playing together for four years."

"I'm a lot stronger than I look. I think I can take it."

"You won't last thirty seconds."

"I can last a whole min- Wait!" Aqua dropped her bat and jumped out of the way of what looked to be a fatal blow. Her eyes were as wide as saucers and she was pissed. "I wasn't ready!"

"Once that whistle blows, your opponent won't wait for you to be ready. Get your bat."

Aqua breathed shakily as she grabbed her blue weapon off of the ground. "Maybe we should try a little less than full speed?"

"My thoughts exactly. Now remember, you're defensive for now. Once you've gotten better at reading me, then you'll switch to offensive. And then I'll be able to Struggle with my girlfriend," he grinned again. He was so full of this...almost child-like excitement. For a split second, Aqua had forgotten what her ulterior motive was. Seeing him excited and happy like thay warmed her heart and reminded her that he wasn't a total monster like his friends.

But then the thought of Ienzo's forced smile brought her back.

"I think you should apologize to Ienzo when we get to school tomorrow," she blurted in the middle of her Struggle training.

"You want me to what?"

"Don't do this, Terra, please. Ienzo has had more than enough torture from you and your friends. I know you're a good person at heart, so just apologize."

He frowned. "Why the hell would I do that? The guys will think I'm a loser!"

"Whose opinion matters more to you? Your friend's or mine?"

His anger was gone in an instant as he visibly deflated. He didn't answer the question, but he didn't have to. She already knew who came first in his life because he said it almost every day. "You really think I should?"

"Yes. And at least act like you mean it, even if you don't. You don't have to be his friend or anything. Just apologize. You never know what someone's going through."

Terra nodded. "I will. I promise you, no funny business. I'll apologize because you asked me to."

She smiled, jogging over to hug him. Out of all his previous accomplishments, this was the one she was the most proud of. It didn't take a whole day of emotional manipulation to get him to apologize and she was thankful for his effort. "Thank you so much."

Terra wrapped his arms around her and squeezed tight. "You're lucky I'm in love with you," he chuckled softly.

x.o.o.x

The brunet looked extremely uncomfortable as he walked into the school building. Aqua was a little ways behind him, keeping an eye out for Ienzo. He was nowhere to be found, but that wasn't unusual. The poor kid was probably hiding from Terra and his friends in the library again.

"Well, he's not here. Guess I don't have to apologize anymore," the jock shrugged as he opened his locker. It was supposed to be cleaned out last week, but he and a few other people still used theirs for whatever reason.

"No, that means you're gonna have to go find him. He's probably at the library. Let's- Oh, there he is."

Terra rolled his eyes as Ienzo walked down the hall with a dark hood over his head. The only reason she knew it was him was because of the steel colored hair peeking out from under the hood. Terra looked back at Aqua, but she pushed him in his direction with a firm look.

"Ugh..." He rubbed the back of his neck as he stood in front of the younger boy. "What's up, man? I was looking for you."

"I've been looking for you as well. I wanted to give you a graduation present."

Terra opened his mouth to ask why he would give him a present, but froze when he saw him reach for something in his waistband. His thoughts scattered as the gleaming object was pointed directly at his face. The first thing he felt was a stab of fear right in his heart. This was what his actions had caused and he instantly regretted everything he had said and done to the kid. An apology wouldn't do him any good at this point. He was done for.

"Aqua, ru-!"

A loud pop echoed throughout the hallway as a burst of crimson sprayed over the lockers before hitting the tiled floor. Terra's lifeless body followed shortly after. A deathly silence passed throughout the hallway as Ienzo walked over to a friend of Terra's and, with another loud pop, ended his life as well. That was all it took for panic to flood the hall like a Tsunami. Students all around were running, screaming, and pushing people out of the way to get as far away from Ienzo as possible.

Another pop caught the student body's attention, but it hasn't come from Ienzo. A little ways down the hall was a taller, dark haired boy with a bandana tied around his mouth and nose. Aqua turned her head slowly as he quickly made his way towards her and Ienzo, parting the sea of frightened students effortlessly.

Her feet were rooted to the floor as she locked eyes with him. He advanced, lifting his polished glock towards her. She stared into the barrel blankly, just waiting. Unlike everyone else, she wasn't afraid. Her life didn't flash before her eyes and she didn't feel a rush of nostalgia like she thought she would. In fact, she felt nothing.

"The girlfriend too, right?" Braig called over his shoulder.

"No. Definitely not her. Let's go."

Aqua didn't react. She merely watched as they disappeared around the corner. A few more pops could be heard, somsome screaming, and then silence.

Only then did she allow herself to fall to her knees. A bit of bile rose in her thoat as she crawled towards Terra's body with trembling hands. Everything had happened so quickly and she had no time to do anything. Maybe it was a bad idea to force him to apologize after all. Maybe she was the cause of his early death. If they had stayed home, or if she had made him apologize the day before, or if she had been more firm when telling him to stop earlier in the year or, what if, or if, what if?

This was all her fault.

Why didn't they take her with him?

How did she not notice that it was this bad?

Hot tears rolled down her cheeks as she closed her eyes. She didn't do or say anything. Even when the police came and combed through the school to find that she had vomited next to one of the casualties. She merely stood and walked where they told her to.

She later found out why Ienzo had covered his eye with his hair. Apparently, he had a nasty looking scar on his eyelid, which the police discovered was the result of Terra's friends. While Aqua was at Terra's house enjoying dinner with him and his parents a couple months back, they had been beating the kid up behind the scenes. Aqua never even knew they had gotten physical with him. She was so blind, so stupid.

And now the both of them were dead. Turned out that the popping she heard when he and Braig disappeared were the shots that ended their lives. She never found out Braig's motive, but she never wanted to either.

But she would continue to feel guilty for everyone involved for the rest of her life.

x.o.o.x

I have no clue where this idea came from, but I must have rewritten this three times before I finally came to an ending I liked. Yes, it's a bit abrupt and no, there's no happy ending. I meant for it to be that way. This is exactly how I wanted the story to come out.Thanks for reading. I hope I didn't cause anyone too much pain.