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MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
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After all that he had to say, Ivan could only hope that Tabi took it all in and made some sense of it. Her momentary silence was telling of something, but just what it said was a bit of a mystery. Perhaps he didn't make the point he was getting at across, which made him frown a little bit. She would be easily forgiven, though, considering just how much each of their minds had to take in right now. While he was fantasizing about the skies of home, her mind could have been completely elsewhere. Strangely, it was this 'elsewhere' that Ivan found himself dying to know. For the moment, with Tabi, his old ally, 'silence', was now his enemy. What she was thinking about or feeling, he wanted to share.

When the girl next to him began to stutter uncontrollably, Ivan's focus dropped from the sky to her. This wasn't good... when Tabi began to speak like this, she was likely on the verge of crying. Before she could even finish asking him her worries, Ivan felt like kicking himself for having mentioned home. Now it seemed like a terrible course of action; he was getting rather homesick, and there was no reason to assume anything but the same case for her. The further Tabi stammered, though, she made him concerned more and more as if that were even possible.

Every time he saw a camera early on, he thought of his family. He felt so self-concious even if he hadn't let it on. No matter what he was doing, somebody was watching him do it. And so, it came as a bit of a distressing matter when he began to notice the cameras less and less, losing focus of the possibility of him being watched. It couldn't be that he was actually acclimating to this terrible game, could it? His motions had become more natural, which was something that couldn't be denied. He had opened up to Tabi, become somebody that nobody else at Bayview had ever seen except his brother. Was that... wrong? Did he do something wrong?

"Do they want us back home or...or do they want us to...to..."

"Don't say it", Ivan finished for her, turning his entire body on its side to face her. "You can't... honestly think..." He had started off so strong, but Ivan's tongue started to feel heavy in his mouth. His mind started to pull itself into a pit of doubt and, while he knew it was someplace he didn't want to be, there were a few questions and facts to be faced. He had killed, a morally condemning act. Would his parents really want him back home? Could they trust him around his little brother? The two used to wrestle and play-fight all the time. If he went back home, those days of innocence repeated might look like a bout of PTSD. He'd be branded as dangerous for the rest of his life, and that's not counting if he was sent to prison. Or worse... if, for some reason, he really did lose his temper and kill his brother...

No, that isn't me. That isn't us, we aren't killers!

This wasn't a road he wanted to go down again. Both of them had been running down it for far too long and if they continued, they may likely find themselves at that road's dead end. It was time that they found a different path, and Ivan would be the one to find it if he had to. He owed Tabi that much, a girl who he had joined to himself with the shackles of murder. She blamed himself for having to save his life, and it was his own failure that necessitated that sacrifice. For as long as she blamed herself, he would not be able to find peace.

And so before he could say anything else, a trembling boy on the beach reached out to a girl on the same road as him. Ivan draped his injured arm across her stomach and onto her far arm, holding on to her as though to keep her from being pulled away by some irresistable tide.

"What you did wasn't your fault... they know that. Anybody who saw knows that, Tabi. There's still a place in that world out there for you!" Ivan said, though his jaw was quivering between his words. "And if anything else... I need you to understand that... j... just hold on to that, please!" He didn't know her family, and how could he? It wasn't like he had ever been to her house before... hell, before this whole incident, he didn't really know Tabi. Just like the others, she was a face in a hall of an establishment that he only went to in order to learn and better himself. But now, this girl had become part of his life and, while he still knew so very little about her own, there were some things he could just feel. Nobody in their right mind could ever want Tabi dead. If anybody at all did...

They'd have a lot of pent up fury to go through.

"Come here... and l... l-look at me..." Ivan's voice fell into a near-whisper as he gently tugged on Tabi's arm to draw her onto her side and square with him, the pain in his right shoulder be damned. His dampened eyes looked to hers, showing that he shared every bit of pain she was right now. His hand fell down to her unprotected side without him even realizing it, as he just continued looking at those eyes ready to cry.

"We've..." He cleared his throat to steady himself. " ... been through so much, here, struggled so hard. We have so many fears and r-regrets, but we have to be stronger than that. You've done nothing wrong... Tabi." All of a sudden, he couldn't remember the last time he had called her out by her name. "It was an accident... you were only trying to protect me, and you did. You saved my life... you stopped me from being killed when I was protecting you. And I'm going to go on protecting you for as long as I'm alive, because... if there's anybody who deserves to go back home, anybody who needs to be back in the arms of her parents... who WILL accept her... it's you."
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Still in the Dark · The Beach: East