((Craig Hoyle continued from One of Three))
Nothing was making any sense, but that was to be expected. Sometimes life at Bayview didn't even make sense.
Craig never truly got to appreciate just how easy it was to be a high school student, because just like many high schoolers, he was pretty well convinced that it was one of the hardest things in the world to be. Grades, sports and popularity were pretty much your whole life after a while, and Craig failed pretty hard at one of those, was lucky to find his niche in the second, and the third was a tenuous matter for just about any student. Still, it was now becoming apparent just how good they all had it. If the most worrying thing Craig had to put on his plate was the algebra test on friday, then he'd gladly take that life back.
Ever since the drugs had fully worked their way out of the boy's system, Craig had been trembling. If Kevin had found him when he was fully lucid, he probably would've wet his pants. As far as Trent went, Craig kept an eye on the boy who was stumbling along as his companion. He thought that Trent's wordless revival and departure from that cabin would come to make sense as Craig realized other parts of his plight, but no such luck; Trent's mannerisms confused him even in his proper state of mind.
The important thing was, when all was said and done, they were alive. Craig was alive, Trent was alive, and everybody was all nice and happy. Okay, maybe they were just dulling out the consequences of what happened... Craig still tried to distract himself whenever the images of his teachers being shot or the voice of that man crept into his head. There was only so far the boys could delude themselves, however.
They had both heard the announcements. They heard that there was death, and that there were killers.
Nowhere was safe anymore.
((Trent Savage continued from One of Three))
So sick of walking.
When Trent had wandered out of the ranger's station, everything was a fog. His eyes couldn't focus, and there was a constant ringing in his ears, leaving him vulnerable to the island as he stumbled through the plant-life. Luckily for him, he had a guardian angel; a giant, behemoth of an angel. With no uncertainty, he knew that he owed Craig his life yesterday after all the help he'd given with such simple things like walking, keeping them both out of danger, stopping him when he went to put his foot of the edge of a riverbank etc., but he didn't know quite how to put it into words.
He didn't even thank him after they'd camped out the night before in the woods. True, they were hidden pretty well underneath the dual layers of leaves and darkness, but without Craig there he might very well have spent his rest curled up and bloody out in the open air. But - and this was key - they had survived. They'd spent a full day and night battling creeping behind trees and watching out for signs of trouble, and somehow this unlikely duo had made it do day two. Who would've thought that someone like Craig could be this... capable? Not to mention a real man's man. At any point he could've taken down his partner; it would've been easier than dragging him halfway across the island, and yet he hadn't. This guy, who Trent had barely spent any time with back at Bayview, was now his sole protector. His life, as he saw it, lay completely in Hoyle's hands.
Now they sat, exhausted, in the shadow of the rec center, waiting for their breaths to return. As he rested, he felt the back of his head for the wound he'd received back at the station. Blood, dried, flaked away from his scalp, falling into the rest of his hair as he messed it slowly with the tips of his fingers. It was frustrating, not being able to see the extent of the damage, but he pushed it aside and focused on the more important things they had to worry about. Namely, he was worried of becoming a liability. Becoming? No, he was a liability. A huge one. Nobody asked the footballer to put himself in such enormous risk by keeping Trent alive, and yet he did. That meant he was willing to get himself hurt if it meant keeping the idiot safe. And how did he repay him? By adding more weight to the poor guy's shoulders. Amazing.
If only there was something he could do. Something he could say to let Craig know how much he appreciated everything he'd done. Oh, but that meant admitting that he'd done something wrong, that knocking himself out wasn't completely his own fault. The mound had been really slippery, that was all. It's not like he wanted to fall, he just did. He hadn't asked Craig to do all he had done, so why should he thank him? It'd make him seem weak, like he was some kind of project he could show off later on to prove he really was a nice guy. Then he'd pull off the mask and reveal his true intentions.
But no. That was stupid. He was being so stupid, and so ungrateful. If he couldn't grow the balls to thank the guy who'd saved his life, then he might as well rip them off right now and be done with it. Admit to the world that Trent Savage was truly rabbit-hearted. He looked over at his partner with guilt-ridden eyes. Just say it, get it out there and let him know that you're not a total sack of shit. His mouthed opened slightly. That's it, say it. Only once, then you've said it and you can stop beating yourself up.
Then nothing. A rasp of his voice, and then more nothing. He closed his mouth, along with his eyes. Turning away like a coward, he hung his head and cursed himself silently within.
Nice, man. Real nice.