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MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
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Sometimes, Craig liked to wonder which was stranger: real life, or fiction? 'Stranger' wasn't always the right word in any situation, but it could usually be filled by 'more dramatic' or 'more intense'. The moment when a hero has been felled, dropping in front of the villain for the entire city to see. This all brought him back to the first time he found that issue of Superman in the comic book store, the one where Superman died (and it wasn't much of a spoiler, seeing as it was right there on the stupid cover). Sure, that particular issue might've been a bit overrated or the impact was somewhat lost when Superman came back, but it was a scene that no Superman fan, Craig included, would ever forget.

Here, in the time of his own defeat, the perception of the world was blocked... disjointed. There should have been a whole lot more pain shooting through him, yet Craig felt very little. Even things that weren't pain were hard to feel, as though his skin had decided to take a vacation. He felt himself roll off of Nik and flop to the ground on his back; the ground was there, but none of its hostility seemed to be at work as Craig struck it.

Hearing was out of the picture for now as well. The sound of that blast still rattled around in Craig's head, having disoriented him at first... or maybe that was being caused by something else. Eyes squinted shut, fought the blurriness that threatened to steal precious sight away from him, then opened to see Nik tearing away at his Punisher shirt... his favorite shirt. He seemed concerned, like something was wrong, like somebody was at great peril. The words of the boisterous young man pushed through the ringing to finally reach Craig, dividing the overpowering ringing sound.

"....mean it Craig! I didn't mean it...I just wanted to pass..."

Craig struggled to sit up, to lift his head even with the discomfort of the collar and prop himself up on his elbows so he could look down at what Nik was so concerned about. In the instant he had managed to view his own torn body before the strength in his arms gave out, Craig saw the blood plastered over his front. The amount that there was just seemed unnatural for what had to have happened. He was shot... that fact had now made itself apparent, but how or when it had happened... those details blurred together into a murky soup that Craig just didn't have the time or energy to pick apart.

"Craig, Craig, come on man, can you hear me? Come on man, I didn't mean it. I'm sorry man, I didn't mean it..."

Now the pain had decided to kick in. Far from how Craig had expected after seeing so much blood, it came in waves. A burst of pain would rip through him, then it would subside, then another tsunami of senses would pulse through him again. Breath was stolen away by the rushes, but as they thankfully slowed down to an occasional beat, he found himself able to talk. Nik just seemed so worried all of a sudden, Craig couldn't deny him an answer.

"H... Ha, I know!" He gasped, finding the first few words the hardest. "I know y- ungh!" The knot in his stomach tightened up, knocking the wind out of him more violently than any of this had before. After a few more desperate breaths, Craig struggled on. "I know... t-this really got out of control, huh? S-... sssorry about that..." With that, Craig smiled. The pain couldn't stop him from smiling, nor could the blood, nor the bullet. His will to smile, as long as somebody near him was in pain and needed to be cheered up, was indominatable. Right now, Nik needed that more than anybody.

"Don't blame yourself... th-... people make mistakes. D-Doesn't mean you're any less of a good guy!" Craig chuckled, even if the agony had made sure that another laugh would never escape his throat.

Everything was going to be alright. Craig was wrong... this guy before him, he really wasn't so bad, he just wanted shelter. His doubt had gotten in the way just for a bit, and it got somebody hurt. That wouldn't happen again, not as long as he was around. Everything was going to be alright, Trent would get up and he probably didn't suffer a major head injury... once Craig was all better, maybe he and the Kronwall could both team up and protect them.

Everything will be fine.

Craig wanted to say it, but for the moment, the pain in his abdomen had spread to his lungs, making it rather difficult to breathe. Instead, he smiled at Nik. He smiled, and he closed his eyes.

So slept the gentle giant of Bayview Secondary.

B083 Craig Hoyle: DECEASED
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