Peter had just wanted to take a little more time to read his new gun's manual. Well, maybe he didn't want to actually walk back into that church just yet. Not until he'd done something to make up for Jackie.
He hadn't meant to kill her. He didn't even know how he'd managed to do that. The gun hadn't even been pointed close enough to hit her. But regardless of what Peter knew, that wasn't what everyone else knew. Everyone else knew he was the killer, and that would make it harder for people to trust him.
Hell, he was surprised that Brendan hadn't run off earlier when the morning's announcements had gone off.
So he spent his time leafing through the manual. There was a lot of interesting information about its specifications, as well as some fairly detailed diagrams of how the gun actually worked. There was a good chunk devoted to gun safety too, which Peter read carefully; he didn't want a repeat of what had happened to Stephen or to Jackie. So he took the time to educate himself about-
Shouts. The clang of metal impacting something solid. A gunshot.
Peter didn't know which of those had actually woken him from his intent reading. He didn't want to think about which one because it would mean that he hadn't been paying attention for the others. He looked around, trying to figure out where the sounds were coming from.
Of course it was coming from inside. From where Brendan had just gone a few minutes.
In a flash, Peter had snapped his new gun from its harness on his backpack and rushed through the church doors. It was another bloody tableau all over again. Anna Chase, wielding quite the hefty shovel and yelling at the other girl to get the fuck out. The other girl was Kitty Gitschall. Peter only knew of her, but never had any classes with her. Nothing special about her seemed to stand out from his memories. Which generally meant there wasn't much to worry about.
Except Survival of the Fittest changes things. Like adding that gun in her hand. Or that the blood on that baseball bat.
Blood that was also splattered on the ground around Brendan, curled up on the ground.
Who was he kidding? He couldn't protect anyone. He'd failed again. Every single fucking time.
"What the fuck did you do, bitch?"
The only thing left to do was to pay her back for her troubles. She'd fucking deserve it too- if Brendan was actually dead instead of twitching feebly... which meant Brendan was at least alive. Which meant that pumping Kitty full of lead might not be the most just thing to do at the moment.
But maybe a bullet in her leg....
Still, Peter had his gun trained on Kitty. She had a gun, after all. "Actually, scratch that. I can figure it out. And I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, since Brendan's still kicking." Peter tried to flash a reassuring smile at Anna, but he still needed to keep his eye on Kitty. "So here's how it goes: get the fuck out and I don't shoot you; stick around and I will. And don't think I won't if it means I can save his life."
Kitty eyed Peter, then flicked her gaze to Anna and Brendan, and then back to Peter. Or more precisely, at Peter's gun. Her mouth opened in an attempt to protest or reason, but Peter beat her to the punch. "I don't give a flying fuck about whys or any other bullshit that you're going to say. Just get the fuck out. Now." Her face twisted into a scowl of sorts, and then she quickly backpedaled out the side door of the church.
The instant Kitty exited his line of sight, Peter was on the ground and propping Brendan up to rest against a pew. "Brendan?" Peter asked, voice tinged with worry. His hands ran their practiced routine of checking for injuries. He could feel tender spots in far too many places. His arms, his shoulders, his back, his legs, his face. There was blood too, but Peter couldn't find any gunshot wounds. That was good. Well, as good as it could be after being beat into bloody pulp. Brendan would survive though.
"Jesus, she fucked you up real bad. Sit still for a minute. I'm gonna try to do, well, something. God, you're really helpless some-" Brendan gurgled something out, but he seemed hazy from the beating. "What?" Peter asked, praying that Brendan hadn't gotten hit too hard in the head. That would screw up all his diagnoses.
Brendan tried again, and this time coherent words came out, although in broken statements. That wasn't good either, but his words themselves lent new hope. Getting the collars off. Getting off the island. It was a dream come true. But when had...?
Right. It was when he'd heard that gunshot or whatever. The loud voices weren't just coming from inside the church. They had offered an escape from the island. A chance to get home alive without any more killing.
Except for the killers.
Would they take Brendan? It had just been an accident, but some people were sticklers for rules. Peter was a killer too. Would they take him, too? There had been blood spilt, but it had been for a good cause. Maybe they'd understand.
But that would be running. Peter had already made his decision a long time ago.
He could still save someone else though. Anna deserved to get off. She hadn't killed anyone yet. At least, he could help her get to the beach. He wasn't leaving Brendan behind either. "Alright then, big guy. Let's get moving. I got you, so just lean on me." Peter looked at Anna and tilted his head to the door.
"Let's go home."
((Peter Siu, Brendan Wallace, and Anna Chase continued in The Cavalry Arrives