This was initially going to be a rewrite of 'Are We Human?', but it went in a completely different direction. Characters changed, and a whole new side-plot was added.

Anyway, enjoy this oneshot. In which all of the characters are not owned by me.


The boy cried.

And cried.

And cried...

He couldn't have been more than five, maybe six at a stretch. His cappuccino coloured hair was in gravity defying spikes, now with traces of red in then as he sobbed on his elder brother's chest.

"Hide..." The boy looked up as his brother choked out the words. "Quickly..." His eyes closed, and the boy ran to the cupboard, shutting himself in and trying to be quiet as he shook with fear.

He heard footsteps. A chuckle. "Ready or not, here I come!" He shook even more violently, trying not to run.

More footsteps. Coming towards his hiding place.

"Found you." The door was flung open, the man grinning, knife in his hand. The boy screamed. "Quiet you." He scolded, holding the knife to his own son's neck.

A lone bead of blood trickled down the boy's neck. There was fresh blood on the knife.

"Ready to see Mummy and Leon again?" He asked, mockingly, his face alive with sadistic glee.

The boy struggled.

A door crashed open. "ARMED POLICE!" A voice yelled, the brown-haired owner sweeping a gun across the room. The sight came to rest on the man. The second man, with the gun, saw him, the boy...

The knife.

His training, and orders, kicked in. He fired the gun.

There was a loud bang, and the boy's eyes widened in shock. Blood exploded over him, the knife dropping into his lap as the man collapsed, landing on his legs.

"Dad...?" He asked, his voice high, and quiet.


A boy bolted upright in bed, screaming. Cold sweat ran down his neck as he gasped for breath.

There was a loud thump on the wall, sounding so like a gunshot to the twelve year old, making him pull himself under the cushions. "Stop screaming or I'll give you a real reason to scream!" A voice called from the next room, male, with no hint of knowledge in the irony in his voice.

Instead, the boy resorted to burying himself underneath the sheets. Soon, only his eyes and nose peeked out through the fabric. They glanced at the digital clock on his bedside table, the numbers glowing red, so much like blood. 2:54.

The boy sobbed, quietly, hoping not to be heard through the thin walls. His sheets muffled the noise, but were still too few to be warm. He'd taken them the night before, for the same dream..

Most of his things were gone because of that. All he owned were a few sheets, his bed with it's thin mattress, his alarm clock, and a few books, along with his clothes and school books. The walls were bare white, not having been changed when he moved in. There was a radiator, but he wasn't allowed to use it.

He tried to think about that day, that Sunday that had just begun. He was going to see Aqua, his oldest, and only, friend.

He didn't bother with sleep. He knew what would happen. He would wake again, once again screaming, after about an hour. Which would loose him his sheets. Or the rest of his books. After that would be his bed, then the bedside table. Afterwards, the alarm clock, and then the mattress. Once that was done, He'd probably begin taking away school books, making his school work suffer even more than it was already, before confiscating clothes once everything else was gone. After that, it would probably be his room, making him sleep on the floor in the living room, before putting him back up for adoption.

There was a gentle knock on the door before it opened, revealing a woman in her late twenties, with raven hair and blue eyes. She was still fairly muscular from when she had been a professional boxer. A job that hid her true personality, a gentle, caring motherly figure, even from herself.

"I'm sorry..." She whispered, walking over the the cocoon. Eyes watched her cross the room, thankful eyes. She sat down on the bed next to him, at the top of his legs, looking into her lap. "I'm going to divorce him." She announced. "I already have the papers ready. I'm gonna get you outta here." She smiled weakly, turning to the blue eyed boy, wrapped up like a mummy.

"Thank you Tifa..." The boy replied, his voice quiet, timid. Afraid.


"Dad...?" He asked, his voice high and quiet.

"Aqua! Get up here!" After a few seconds, a woman ran into the room, barely panting. The first man gestured to the boy, and she nodded before she walked over to the boy cowering in the cupboard, a knife in his lap and a corpse on his legs.

"Hello." She smiled, her blue hair framing her face. "Come on. I'll take you somewhere safe, where you can have a nice, warm bath." She held out her hand, offering it to the brunette. "What's your name?"

"S... Sora..." He whispered, barely able to get it out through his tears.


Sora looked at the receptionist, a woman in police uniform, as she waved to him, like she did every Sunday. He was early, as normal. A couple of hours, actually.

But, his appointment was always at eight, no one else was awake enough to have an appointment before his. So he went straight to the office.

Aqua was his oldest friend, and one of his only two. She had known him since his brother had died, seven years ago.

"Good morning Sora." She smiled, her sweet smile that always cheered the brunette up, just slightly.

"Hello..." He replied, quiet, as he always had been. She'd never know him to be loud, or even speak above his near-whisper.

He sneezed.

"Got a bit of a cold, then?" She asked, passing a box of tissues."

"Yeah..." He blew his nose, then dropped the tissue in the bin next to him, grabbing the glass of water, one of two, and draining it in one go. "Sorry..." He muttered, after getting his breath back.

"It's fine!" She told him. "So, is there anything you want to talk about?" She asked.

"Nothing new..." He muttered, looking down, away from her.

Aqua frowned, but knew better than to push. Otherwise, he would clam up, and not talk to her until he had to go home.

There was a low rumble. "Hungry?"

"Yeah..." He said it almost reluctantly.

"I'll get you something. Wait here. And feel free to have my water." She told him.


The brunette stood, wearing a black outfit, watching as the three coffins were carried towards the graves.

One was carried further down the path than the other two, going to a separate area, overgrown, for people who had been less than human.

The gravestone it was heading for was less than sympathetic. A HEARTLESS MAN, DESERVING OF DAMNATION.

The boy did not watch that one go. There would be no ceremony for him.

The other two coffins headed to a tree, an oak. Two headstones lay at their base, side by side. A LOVING MOTHER, MARRIED TO AN UNLOVING MAN, and A SON BLESSED WITH CARE, WHO DIED TOO YOUNG.

Sora cried, letting his hand he held by his new friend, Aqua. He knew someone would look after him, someone had to.

He walked beside the coffins, staring at his feet.

At the graveside, his tears fell as the coffins were lowered, as the earth fell on the polished wood.

When they were full, he placed two flowers on each grave, two roses. One red, one white.


Sora cowered in the corner of the room, wrapped in his lone remaining blanket as he huddled against the white wall, crying as he saw his bed being dismantled brutally, several splinters flying across the room and hitting him in his face, his arms, anywhere exposed.

The blonde man continued to demolish the bed, his splinters driving his anger towards the boy.

Sora was too scared to get out of the room, knowing full well what the results could be. His books had already gone, and his mattress was probably going too.

All thanks to Him. He'd been late to a meeting, and now had decided it was Sora's fault.

Oh, how Sora wished he could have stayed with her. Maybe he would be better, not worse. Maybe he wouldn't be at risk of pneumonia, even frostbite in winter. Maybe then he would have friends, have books to read, the courage to talk...

How he wished he had that life...


Sora looked between the two adults, the blue haired woman and the blond man. After a nod from him, Aqua knelt down.

"Sora, this is my friend Ven. He's going to look after you." She smiled.

"Why not you...?" He asked, scared to leave his newest friend.

"I'm sorry Sora, but I don't have the time to look after you..." Her smile faded. "But Ven will look after you. You'll be living with a lot of other little boys and girls. Maybe you'll even get a new mummy and daddy." She smiled, much more gently this time.

"I don't want another daddy..." He muttered, so quietly that Aqua barely heard it.

"I'm sure you'll have a lovely daddy." She reassured him.

"But I don't want one!" It was the loudest she'd ever heard him, and even then Ven didn't seem to hear him from halfway across the office.

Aqua smiled calmly. "I'll tell you what. I'll come and visit you when I can. You'll see me every Sunday too." She smiled. "I promise. We'll be friends forever."

"Forever?" He whispered, timidly.

"And a day." She replied, holding out her pinkie. "I promise." With her other hand, she pulled out a flower, a forget-me-not.

Sora did the same, linking their pinkie fingers. He smiled, just slightly, taking the flower. "Thank you..."


Sora wandered through the streets next to Tifa. She was taking him to her lawyer, for the divorce. He stayed close, staring at his feet. "Aqua will be there." Tifa had promised. The two women were the only people Sora could trust, and she didn't want to leave him alone.

Sora only nodded, silent. There was still a mark on his cheek, from where the blond had slapped him earlier.

"Why is Cloud always so angry?" Sora asked, suddenly.

Tifa had to pause to think for a second. "I don't know..." She admitted. "But I'm not going to let you keep on getting hurt." She continued. "Careful." She stopped him seconds before he would have walked into the road.

"Thank you." He smiled.


Aqua held the boy's hand as he stood for the prospective parents, Sora looking nervous as the two talked to the other kids. He was in a corner, sitting, watching, while Aqua was next to him, hoping to find a way to distract him, but failing.

"And what's your name?" It was the man who asked that question. Sora cowered back into the corner.

"I'm sorry. Sora here's pretty shy." Aqua told him, lying ever so slightly.

"I'm not that scary, am I?" He crouched down and smiled.

That did it for Sora. He pushed the man and ran for the door, Aqua muttering a quick apology before running after him, going to his room.

He huddled in a corner, crying. Aqua walked over to him, sitting next to him. She placed an arm around his shoulders, hugging him gently. She'd found it was the best way to calm him down, to make him feel safe.

"Don't worry... You're safe..." She whispered, soothingly, into his ear.


Sora lay on the cold floor, wrapped in his lone blanket in his freezing room. He was too cold to sleep, but he didn't mind. He could avoid the dream, the nightmare, like this.

He just hoped he wouldn't fall asleep when it was warmer. In class. At Aqua's. Even outside.

It would be worst in class. He'd suddenly scream, bolting upright with cold sweat pouring down his neck.

At Aqua's, she at least knew how to calm him down.

Outside, anything could happen...

He turned, trying to find a comfortable way to lie down, failing. He sighed, standing up instead, pacing to try to keep warm.

How he wished they'd never come... That they'd never found him.

That He'd never found him.


Sora was crying, silently. Aqua wasn't there, and Ven had no clue what he should do. The other children all avoided him, keeping their distance from the solitary boy. He hadn't talked to anyone in the time he'd lived there. Nobody but Aqua and, rarely, Ven.

But he didn't trust Ven. The crying only worsened when he tried to calm him down.

The only child to try, a young girl called Naminè, got him to draw.

Then Ven found out what he was drawing, and how it was upsetting the boy even more, and took them away, telling Naminè to not try it again.

Then Sora had continued to cry. He didn't stop, or even leave his room, until the next day, when Aqua finally got a chance to visit, calming the brunette down, reminding him that he did have friends

She had promised him, after all...


Sora had a place he went to when he felt like he was ready to cry. He went to the woman who had treated him with the same friendship for six years, never wavering. She never grew impatient, or angry. She always took his side, no matter what.

She didn't know, however, about the bed, or the sheets, or the books. Sora hadn't wanted to worry his best friend. He always said that everything was fine.

No matter how far it was from the truth.

He didn't want Aqua to worry.

He rang the bell to her flat, and was buzzed in quickly. He walked up the stairs to the first floor, heading straight for her apartment.

It was nice, with various shades of blue and some pink, with a large fish tank opposite the door. That was where Aqua was now, feeding the fish. She dropped in the last of the pellets, then turned to Sora and smiled.

"What do you want to do?"


Aqua wasn't there when Sora was adopted. The visitors had arrived childless, and left with a son, five days later.

When she did find out, she drove right there, introducing herself and letting Sora, who had been cooped up in his room, know that she hadn't broken her promise.

She wouldn't allow herself to.

Sora's reaction to the bluette's appearance had convinced his adopted mother that she could help him, but it only seemed to spark the anger that had been building up inside her husband.

Aqua's befriending Tifa was what made Sora grow close to her too. But Aqua had never truly liked Cloud, and Sora could never trust another man.

Not after his own dad...


The boy cried.

And cried.

And cried...

He couldn't have been more than twelve, maybe thirteen at a stretch. His cappuccino coloured hair was in gravity defying spikes, now with traces of red in then as he sobbed on his step-mother's chest.

"Hide..." The boy looked up as she choked out the words. "Quickly..." Her eyes closed, and the boy ran to the cupboard, shutting himself in and trying to be quiet as he shook with fear.

He heard footsteps. A chuckle. "Ready or not, here I come!" He shook even more violently, trying not to run.

More footsteps. Coming towards his hiding place.

"Found you." The door was flung open, the man grinning, knife in his hand. The boy screamed. "Quiet you." He scolded, holding the knife to his step-son's neck.

A lone bead of blood trickled down the boy's neck. There was fresh blood on the knife.

"Ready to see Tifa and Aqua again?" He asked, mockingly, his face alive with sadistic glee.

The boy struggled, remembering the night, years before.

A door crashed open.

A woman, her hair a dark blue. "Stop right there Cloud." She held a gun in her hands. She looked like she knew how to use it.

Her hands, and legs, were trembling. There was blood coming from a wound in her chest, to her left. It had hit a vein, blood slowly oozed out. Her free hand covered the wound, but the blood was still seeping out, and it obviously hurt.

Cloud was obviously surprised. His eyes widened, then he threw the knife.

The gun went off.

Cloud went flying onto Sora's legs.

The knife hit Aqua.

Whether it was luck or skill, Cloud had managed to hit Aqua in the middle of the chest.

Sora pulled his legs from underneath the corpse, running over to Aqua.

She collapsed to her knees, then to her front. She cried out in pain, the knife was driven in further.

Sora took her hand. "Aqua?" He asked. "Aqua, please don't go!" He begged. "You... you promised you'd always be my friend..." He whispered, crying.

"Sora..." Her voice was weak. She was dying. "Please, don't cry. Be strong. Please. For me..." She gasped. "Thank you for being my friend..." She whispered, as she closed her eyes.

"Aqua?" Tears were running freely down his cheeks, falling from his chin.

The door crashed open.


Sora couldn't bare the pain any more. He was only twelve, but he felt he had been hurt more than some people were in their whole lives.

He cried, looking at the knife.

He had never held one so big, so sharp.

He would end it. He would let himself go...

He brought the blade to his wrists.


The boy cried as he walked along side the three coffins, being carried towards their graves.

He was wearing black, watching only two. The third split off from the convoy, heading to a separate area, overgrown, to a gravestone, with an epithet that was on every gravestone.

The other two headed for an oak tree, a tree with two graves already planted at their base. There were two more bug, opposite them, a headstone lying at the head of each of them. A WOMAN WHO HELPED AN INNOCENT, AND PAID THE ULTIMATE PRISE...

And...

THE BEST FRIEND ANY PERSON COULD EVER HOPE TO HAVE.

Sora cried, walking beside the coffins, staring at his feet.

At the graveside, his tears fell as the coffins were lowered, as the earth fell on the polished wood.

When they were full, he placed two flowers on each grave, two roses. One red, one white.

Then, on Aqua's grave, he placed one more flower.

A single forget-me-not.


Please don't shoot me for writing oneshots!

I'm sorry, but I'm just waiting for my muses to return, and I figured this might coax them back into life.

Anyway, I hope you liked this. Aqua was not actually such an important character initially, but I decided to stick with her.

As for the end, well... Don't ask. I don't know.