Now was no time for relaxation. Now wasn't really much of a good time to take a fucking bath, either, but Tabi was about to do that, so Ivan figured a little relaxation couldn't hurt too much. They had been running across the island ever since Clio drove them away from the shore, and they had kept on going for much longer than either one of the kids had really been keeping track of. The day, or at least the lit part of it was over, and the sun had long since faded, taking all of its light with it.
While the darkness often held a tendency to stir up a very primal fear in people, Ivan found the dark a bit relaxing. He wasn't really afraid of it, and given the current situation, he reasoned that students were less likely to travel in the dark. Yes, he and Tabi had been travelling, but purely out of the necessities of keeping themselves alive and getting away from... that incident. His arms gave a few contractions or so as the unpleasant thought was brought to the front of Ivan's mind, but the twinge of pain shooting through his right arm mercifully dragged it away once more.
Ivan let Tabi lead the way, silently forming a mantra that everything would be fine. This was a cooldown period, and soon they would be able to get some rest before they had to be on the run again. They would always have to run. The only alternative was fighting, and Ivan was sick of fighting. It was also fairly safe to assume that Tabi didn't want to see any more fighting, but if they had to in order to get away, well... that was too damned bad.
But... how long has the sun been down, anyway?
It was a good question. With all of their walking, running, and living in the moment just so they could see the next hour, it was now impossible to tell exactly what time it was, and just how much time they had left before the sun was to rise. A thought like that was the exact opposite of comforting... they'd have to fight for their lives again at less than 100%. Could survival be guaranteed with conditions like that?
Ivan looked to the girl in front of him, shaking his head admonishingly. Taking Tabi along was supposed to be so he could use her in order to keep himself alive, but whether he could do that now or not, he did not know. If she didn't really serve any benefit in that sense, then keeping her around was only a liability; it made sneaking around harder, and people would probably try to take her captive or something, as if Ivan would sacrifice something for her. Even worse, maybe he would, if only because thinking about his brother... thinking about Louis watching him do something like that... it hurt.
"Um...if you could uh...if you could uh...go...over there I guess...I-I'll be out...soon..."
After adjusting his glasses by pushing them up a bit further on the bridge of his nose, Ivan picked up the pack dropped by Tabi and sighed. "Whatever... just make it quick." It would've made more sense if she had set him as a watchman, at least making sure nobody was around to kill her. Yes, it was still dark out, but the comfort that the darkness could have offered had begun to wear thin; there could very well be students lurking about, obsessed with their slim chances of survival and willing to do anything. But if Tabi wanted to just remove all of her means of protection and scream 'I'm vulnerable', well, that wouldn't hurt Ivan's conscience. It wasn't him putting her in danger.
The girl had pointed over to a small bunch of trees, which Ivan walked over to without comment. The dirt looked compact enough, but he still didn't sit down directly. Slinging his own pack off of his shoulder and dropping Tabi's pack right next to it, Ivan placed his umbrella onto the two bags and then crouched low, squatting in a similar manner to a baseball catcher. It was a good way to rest, and at least he wouldn't have to get his ass dirty on the ground - he sure as hell wanted to limit his own 'bath time'. By the time he looked back over to where Tabi was just moments ago, she was gone. Before he could so much as move his head, though, he heard the gentle splashes of Tabi entering the water, and left it at that.
Now Ivan was alone once more, the way he liked it. Tabi may have only been a few yards away in the water behind him, but she wasn't in his face. He didn't have to look at the ridiculous amount of pain in her eyes, the same look that all of them were now holding. Their life back in St. Paul, Minnesota was over; Ivan had gone over the fact before that nearly all of them were going to die, save for one 'lucky' soul who would return home, scarred by the fact that they sacrificed others so they may live, and that all of their friends were now dead.
He wasn't friends with most of the kids who went to school with him, and he was even sort of a stand-offish prick to Louis when they were in the halls together, but he still recognized that they WERE fairly good people. Tabi was annoyingly spunky and overall an irritating bitch at Bayview, but here, her energy was just... gone. Clio was sort of depressing to be around, but any part of her humanity was pretty much dead and gone. Etain seemed... almost the same, sadly including his grating voice, but without fail, each and every person Ivan had encountered was a bit deader on the inside.
And Keith... well, now he was dead, period. And there was nobody to blame but himself.
... No... I'm to blame to, but... it can't ALL be me. He was still stupid! He wouldn't listen!
Ivan looked up at the sky, biting his lip at the sight of the gradient dark-to-light blue. The sun was now rising... fuck. That meant it was morning, and that everybody would become active again, prepared to kill to try and recover the life they thought they could get back. Ivan prepared himself to stand up, only to fall back right on his butt when the hellish electronic creaking of some sort of speaker began to blare.
After two or three skipped heartbeats, it began to sink into Ivan's head that it was some sort of PA system, not unlike that of his high school. And the voice pumping through it was one that he honestly wanted to forget.
"Kids, I have to say that I'm truly impressed with your first day showing. Blood! Tragedy! Explosions! Mayhem! You've utterly smashed the record for first day kills; it makes an old man proud to see you all taking his instructions so thoroughly to heart! Congratulations to those of you that are still alive, because you've already outlasted 19 of your classmates."
Nineteen? Nineteen of them were already dead!?
Ivan pushed up to his feet and leaned against the biggest tree he could find, his legs shaking. There were quite a few people on this island who really meant it. They honestly thought they were going to win, and how many of them were going to find him? He listened in horror as the man began to list each and every death: a couple of them, like Remy, were based off of sheer stupidity. Clio stood out in his mind... she had indeed killed somebody, and it was a very real possibility that she had already killed by the time she found Ivan. The boy clutched the wound on his right arm as he imagined her face in vivid detail, hoping that he would never see it for real ever again.
There were others, yes, but most of the names, faces, and heinous crimes were a blur. There was... something about a bear, but the absurdity of something of that sort was lost on him, especially since just a few moments after it was...
"Unlucky number thirteen was Keith Christoph. He got beaten to a pulp by Ivan Kuznetsov and trust me folks, it's one for the highlight reel! What do they say about the quiet ones, eh?"
Ivan's throat immediately locked up at the mention of Keith's name. Keith's face, before AND after the poor boy's death, flashed in Ivan's mind. That could not be undone. Even if Ivan were to somehow survive, he was still responsible for the murder of Keith. That made him a murderer, didn't it? He wasn't a killer... Keith didn't have a weapon on him. At least, not a visible one, but neither kid really searched him. No... Keith probably didn't have a weapon on him, or he would have had it out, and that made Ivan a murderer.
Ivan placed both hands against the tree once more, almost in a reprise of his actions at the clearing just a little higher up on the mountain. His jaw locked, unlocked, and his chest heaved to let out a gag. He swallowed, trying to fight off the next reflex, stifling and choking on the next gag as the announcements went on. Nothing tangible had come spewing out by the time he stopped his reaction (which was probably a good thing since he had very little in his stomach by this point in time), but Ivan still felt like curling up into a little ball and hiding from the world. Why... why wouldn't it just leave him alone? Why wouldn't this voice shut up, and stop reminding him of what he did?
Well, the voice had one more nutshot to deliver.
"One last thing. We've been running our little poll and the runaway winner of today's best kill award is the one and only Ivan Kuznetsov! Congratulations kid, we'll be leaving your prize on the greens for you to collect. Don't worry, we wouldn't blow the collar of our MVP!"
His arms turned to jelly, causing Ivan's forehead to knock against the tree. Pushing off in frustration and rubbing what would no doubt be a bruise on his forehead, Ivan turned and pressed his back against the tree, slowly sinking down towards the ground as the realizations began to flood in. For that brutal killing he enacted on Keith, he was.... being rewared? For a 'best kill'?
This meant, that of all the kills on the island, Ivan's had somehow been the most spectactular.
Of all the acts of brutality on the island, Ivan's had been the most brutal.
Of all the monsters on the island...
I'm the biggest monster.
Whatever pain his arm had felt from a bullet was now trivial, for a bullet could not hurt Ivan in the way this had. His eyes had shut almost involuntarily, and his face sought comfort in his hands, or in the knees that he tucked up to his chest.
"Why Ivan...." He heard Tabi call to him from the water, and he wanted to just disappear. He didn't want to know what she meant or what she was referring to, but he did. He didn't want to answer... what could he tell her? He did it because of self defense? Keith had no weapon. Because he was scared? Tabi was scared too, but she hadn't just up and killed somebody. Because he didn't want to be attacked again like Clio had done? Well... according to the world, he was even worse than her. "Ivan...why?"
It was a question that Ivan could only answer with choking sobs.
- [+] Spoiler
Jerry Fury - The man, the myth, the legend
Coleen Reagan - The girl who half-loved the world
- [+] Spoiler
Cody Patton : That bitch.
Sean Mulcahy : The world was kind to reprieve him of his fear...
Jessica Sanders: She hoped it would be quick...
- [+] Spoiler
20:17Sideliner:Toben and Ricky are like a sibling version of the Joker and Batman, only Batman is just as much of a mass murderer. He just hides it better.
19:58LaurelsHow does your dick smell like Fritos?
14:36 MimiI THOUGHT YOU GUYS WERE FRIENDS > 14:36MimiI THOUGHT YOU REALLY LICKED HER