((Ricky and Whitney continued from: ... And they say that a hero can save us...
It wasn't... it wasn't supposed to be this way. This wasn't supposed to happen. So, why? God, all I wanted to do was find my friends and escape this stupid game. All of us, together. I didn't want to... to kill my best friend. Oh God, I didn't want to kill Eric. But it just... I didn't mean to. What was I supposed to have done? Would it be any different if Whitney had been the one I left in a pool of blood in the yard? No... it wouldn't. It'd be even worse, because Eric wouldn't have stopped. It wouldn't be any different, because I'd be there right beside her. The look in his eyes... he was gone, and he wasn't coming back.
He looked back at Whitney, who was following behind quietly. From his waking moments on the island, all he'd wanted to do was find that girl... and do what? Save her? Protect her? He'd done that much, sure, but at what cost? Since leaving the house where Eric had died, it had begun raining. It started out as a light drizzle, but by the time they neared where Ricky had left the remainder of his friends, it had picked up quite a bit. It was awkward, walking in silence with Whitney Acosta at his heels, but Ricky found that he had absolutely nothing to say.
"Hey..." Whitney muttered, causing Ricky to glance back at her slightly, "Are you okay?"
It wasn't much of a response, but what could he possibly say? Part of him wanted to turn around and go on a rant about what a stupid question that was, and how he could possibly be okay when not only had he just watched his best friend die in front of his eyes, but he had had a hand in killing him. Still, it wasn't Whitney's fault that Eric was dead. She didn't ask him to attack her. She didn't ask him to try to kill her. She was just an unfortunate victim of circumstance.
"Listen, I..." Whitney paused momentarily, a light sigh escaping her lips, "I don't really know how to say this, and I know that it probably doesn't mean much right now, but... thank you."
"Yeah," Ricky muttered back, perhaps sounding a bit harsher than intended, "It's... it's no problem."
"No, really... I mean it, you know?" Whitney retorted, jogging through the rain to catch up to Ricky.
"Yeah... I know."
How was she even supposed to respond to that? How do you thank someone for quite literally saving your life? It was still such a surreal concept that she might've died moments ago had it not been for Ricky. Maybe it was just her, but Whitney was starting to think that despite that gesture, Ricky Callahan was a real prick. Everyone had told her he was just like the remainder of the baseball boys at Franklyn Senior, but she hadn't believed them. Maybe it was the way he just brushed her off now, but she was starting to think that perhaps they were right after all.
So, what can you really say to someone who doesn't seem to want to speak to you? Whitney continued to walk, and the awkward silence between the two resumed. The situation earlier had clouded her mind, and she was just now starting to calm down to the point that she could think clearly again. It wasn't until then that she realized that somewhere in the fray, she had lost Matthias.
Or maybe... he threw me on the chopping block to save his own skin.
been after Matthias, now that she thought about it. That was probably the reason he attacked her in the first place. It was very unlike him, especially after he'd gone out of his way to help her out in the wheat field two days prior, but it did
seem especially convenient that he disappeared when Eric appeared with the spear.
Whitney, you know better. Matt's not like that.
All of a sudden, Ricky came to a complete stop, causing Whitney to nearly run into the back of him she had been following so closely.
Is that... Jackie?
He barely heard Whitney call his name. All he saw was Gail, bent over a body lying in a pool of its own blood. Ricky froze, in that moment. He had only been gone for maybe twenty minutes tops. How could their entire group have disappeared in such a short amount of time? How could Jackie Kovacs have gotten injured that badly in such a short amount of time? In the next second, Ricky was running toward Gail and Jackie, barely aware of the fact that he was moving.
"Gail? GAIL! JACKIE!"
The sound of the rain pounding against the pavement seemed to drown out the sound of his voice as he ran toward the two. Ricky finally came to a halt in front of Gail and the fallen Jackie Kovacs. That was the first time he realized just how much blood was oozing out, dissolving and running around in pools in the falling rain. His hand immediately moved down to Jackie's wrist, checking for a pulse, checking for anything. He got nothing in response.
"Dammit, Gail, what happened?"
Even had Gail answered, the sound of Danya's voice ringing out in the morning announcement would've drowned out anything she could've said in the next few moments. Whitney, meanwhile, had approached the scene tentatively. She had, perhaps, heard the announcement even more clearily than the two that were huddled over their fallen friend. Specifically, she heard mention of a B27. She subconsciously looked at Ricky's pack, only to see the same number emblazoned upon it.
Ricky completely ignored it. He didn't care who was dead. He didn't care who had killed them. He didn't want to hear his name announced for the world to hear. He didn't want to hear Danya taunt and tease him about having eliminated Eric from the game. All he wanted, at this precise moment, was for Jackie Kovacs to wake up. Sadly, it wasn't going to happen.
"Who did this, Gail?" Ricky prodded again.
"Hey, Ricky...?" Whitney attempted, getting no answer from the hispanic boy huddled over his friend.