Own nothing. Enjoy.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Washington DC. August 1965

A young boy, about ten or eleven years old, crawled into his bed, shivering. He had glossy, dark hair and sensitive chestnut eyes. "Mom... I feel ill..."

"Fox, I know you feel ill. You've been saying that all day. Now stay in bed! I'm lighting the fire, so you'll be warmer."

Fox nodded, and burrowed further down into his blankets as his mother left the room.

~~~ Two hours later ~~~

Opening his eyes, Fox coughed and sat up. His room was filled with smoke, thick and heavy. "Mom? Mom, what's happening?"

There was no reply, and Fox called again. "Mom? Dad? Where are you?"

The smoke was growing thicker by the minute, and Fox coughed again, falling back down to the bed when the smoke became almost too much. Remembering the lessons he had received at his school, he rolled onto the floor, and pressed his face into the carpet, holding his sleeve over his mouth.

Crawling out of the open door, Fox called again, wanting desperately to hear a reply.

"Mom?" Fox bumped into the banister, but before he could grab it to halt himself, the motion carried him forwards, tumbling him down the stairs, twisting his arm painfully and banging his head on the wall at the bottom.

Groaning, Fox collapsed, his head pounding and his arm throbbing- he had heard a sharp snap. He really didn't want to think about what that snap had been.

The last thing Fox saw were flames, licking up the corridor towards him. Unconscious heaps a few metres into the inferno were his parents.

~~ 30 minutes later ~~

A man in heavy fireman's gear stumbled out of the house, carrying a small shape in his arms. "It's a kid! His parents are crisped- I brought them out a minute ago- but he's still alive! Where are the damned medics?"

A woman dressed in the luminous yellow/green of the paramedics approached, clutching a canister of –the label said- oxygen and a breathing mask. "We're here, we're here. Lie him down, so we can get him breathing properly."

After a few moments of the pure air, the boy sat up, coughing, but managed to gasp out, "Who are you? Where are my parents?"

The fireman left, understanding what the boy was going to have to go through. The woman put her arm round his shoulders, but didn't answer the question. "What's your name?"

A few more minutes of coughing left the boy shaking, but the oxygen mask steadied his breath. "I'm Fox. Where are my parents? They're not... they're not dead, are they?"

"I'm really, really sorry, Fox. It was too late for them. Now, we have to get your burns treated now. Please, Fox. It's too late for them, but can still help you!"

"No... please... no..." Fox's broken voice tore at the woman's heart, making her eyes tear up.

"Fox, I'm so very, very sorry. But we have to get you sorted out, or your burns will only get worse."

"NO! They... they can't be gone! They can't be..." A tear fell slowly from Fox's left eye, drawing a slow path down his cheek, which was already burned an angry red.

"Mom... Dad... Why did I have to live, when you died...?"

= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Oh great. Now the authoress is depressed. Stupid plot bunnies.