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Better to Have Lived and Lost...; Day 4, Mid Day [PRIVATE: B008 & G048] (CLOSED)
Topic Started: Nov 26 2010, 04:56 PM (1,316 Views)
Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
[Girl #48 - Kaitlin Anderheim. Continued from Measure Once, Cut Twice.]

That morning, the announcements came and it didn't seem like Kaitlin or Peter really enjoyed sitting there and listening to the names being read off the list of dead from the day before. Kaitlin really didn't know many of the names on the list but that did little to lessen the impact on her; every name that came out of that man's mouth meant she would be holding Theodore that much tighter. She didn't want to listen to that man speaking over the loudspeakers, but she knew she had to. Peter had been listening to them, writing stuff down like the danger zones, but Kaitlin didn't want to leave him doing all the work; if she could help, she was going to do it.

Of course, she didn't realize how soon she'd need to help him.

One name in particular seemed to hit Peter hard and it took a second for Kaitlin to realize it; up until then, Peter had been the strong one, the one to support the both of them through this. She didn't expect him to just shut down like that, so when the danger zones were being read off and Peter wasn't moving, Kaitlin scrambled to write them down before turning to Peter. What was he doing, just sitting there? Wasn't he supposed to... oh... oh god. Luke was his...

She didn't say anything or ask any questions; she didn't have to. When he grabbed her arm, she remembered that moment back in the tunnels... and wrapped her arms around Peter. The comfort she got from that hug when they first met she now offered Peter when he needed it most; just as he had, so long ago.




They'd been sitting there for quite a while in silence, Kaitlin leaving Peter to his thoughts and his mourning, not really knowing what she should say if she should say anything at all; this whole thing was hard on her, sure, but she didn't really have any friends before Peter. At least not from Bayview. So hearing so many names called off, so few that she even recognized, it just made the whole thing feel so foreign even if it hurt to listen. It was never quite so personal to Kaitlin; she didn't have any close friends or old flames to mourn, no one to cry for and no one to miss. She didn't have any names to react in shock to when they were called out... so when Peter broke down, she didn't know how to react.

This all seemed so new to her and yet familiar... but it wasn't the same, was it?

So, for hours they sat there together in silence, neither of them speaking for their own reasons and neither of them wishing to move from that spot. Kaitlin couldn't say anything to help Peter through this and she didn't even know what to think of as she sat there with the boy; everything just seemed to melt away as she remained close to Peter with Theodore in her arms.

But the silence wouldn't continue forever.

Eventually, Peter appeared to come back around and he was finally really moving again. Shortly thereafter, he was even speaking... but hearing him apologizing just seemed to make her feel even more useless than she had felt when he broke down. She should be the one apologizing to him, telling him she was sorry for not being able to help, not being able to as much to help him as he had done to help her. She opened her mouth to speak but he continued, talking about Luke and how they were so much alike. How they were into the same things and about how Luke had wanted to be a doctor.

"Peter, I--"

Before she could finish, he made his suggestion that they keep moving. Kaitlin didn't argue with that and she didn't try to bring the somber subject back up, no matter how much she wanted to tell him how she felt. She just grabbed her things and, holding Theodore tight, followed after Peter as he continued walking.

She couldn't help but think back to what she said in the tunnel...

You'll be my first friend...




Kaitlin had fallen back a couple steps behind Peter, holding Theodore against her chest and burying her chin into the stuffed animal; he was soft and warm, a comfort out there in the woods but she couldn't help thinking about Peter and how he'd broken down just hours beforehand. She felt so useless then, unable to do anything but return the comfort he'd given her early on. He was helping her so much, keeping her safe and protecting her from everything that neither of them would ever wish to encounter; he'd protected her from the sight of that boy dying and stood by her side when she stood against that horrible girl. Without him, she would probably still be sitting in the dark back in those terrible tunnels, crying alone.

Really, he was probably the only reason she was still alive.

Yet here she was, lost in her thoughts and feeling she was absolutely useless to him, nothing but dead weight and baggage weighing him down. After all he'd done for her, she felt that she couldn't do anything to help him when he needed it most, not really. Peter had lost his best friend and all she could do was hug him? How useless was she that she couldn't offer so much as a few words of support, something to comfort him when he needed it, anything at all...

"Huh?"

Without realizing it, she'd fallen back further than she was really comfortable with and Peter had called out to her, pointing out something in the notebook he'd mentioned before. A short dash brought her closer to him, looking to see what he was pointing out and talking about. She was still a little lost in her thoughts so she didn't speak up, just nodding and smiling at Peter as he talked about the plants and mentioned giving her a crash course in survival techniques. Really, there was so much that she didn't know about this stuff... would she have any chance at surviving without Peter there next to her?

Reluctantly, she listened intently to everything he mentioned, looking at the notebook and reading what he pointed out as fast as she possibly could; she missed a few parts here and there, but she got the gist of things as Peter talked of them. Hey, she had to spend her time alone at home doing something, right? Learning quickly was a bonus of not having any social life to speak of.

Of course, she had to stop reading when he closed the notebook. What he said next... she didn't know how to react.

"You... you're kidding, right?"

Her smile slipped away and all that remained where that bright smile had once been was a look of disbelief and a sense of seriousness over their situation. Of course, that disbelief soon disappeared and was replaced by concern and worry, mixed with a dash of sorrow and a pinch of anger. How could he just submit like that, tell her he didn't think he would live... how could he just give up? She was supposed to be the one who felt useless, with nothing to offer him, not the other way around... she wouldn't stand a chance here without him and yet here he was saying that he wouldn't survive. She didn't want to be left alone again...

"Listen."

Kaitlin put her hand on his. It was about time for her to say something... Hopefully, the right something.

"I... I know it's not easy being here, especially with me following you around like a lost little puppy... but we're going to get out of this, remember? You and me, we're going to find a way off of this island, aren't we?"

She opened his hand and turn his palm upward, placing her hand in his.

"I can't do that without you and that knowledge of yours. I'd be completely useless just reading that notebook of yours, so I need you with me... and maybe, maybe you need me too."

She tried to look into his eyes and flash him another smile, something to make him feel better, anything to help break him out of this thing he was in.

"So we'll help each other, okay? After all... ice cream was on me, right? So don't go giving up just yet, you hear me? We still have to find a way out of this, together."

Interlaced fingers... and another bright smile.

"How about it? Friends?"
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
Looks like she got through to him. Looks like she wasn't completely useless to him after all, even if she didn't really know what else she could do to help besides what she'd already done. But that didn't matter. She was able to help and that's what was important, that's what mattered most. When Peter snapped out of his short lived rut and went right to work writing in that notebook of his, she couldn't help but keep that smile plastered on her face as she sat and listened to him and occasionally tried to peek at what he was writing.

She got a much better look when he motioned for her to read.

Kaitlin... well, she didn't really understand much of what he had written and drawn in the notebook, but she got the gist of it after a short moment spent reading. Not that she really had anything to add. Most of it made little sense to her but it did seem like he had a decent plan, so she followed his instructions and stayed quiet, at least for now. Peter seemed to be so focused on getting them out of this, getting those collars off of them and getting out of this place; she was certainly glad that he was out of his rut, but really, could they get out of this that easily? She snatched the pencil away from him and scribbled away on a blank space. She wasn't going to blurt out something he wanted to keep quiet

"So, um... what do we do?"

She couldn't stand to just sit there in silence as Peter thought. She wanted to help if she could but didn't know how and didn't even know what they really needed to do. Find copper wire, right? But where could they find it? What about making his plan work to begin with? Kaitlin certainly didn't know much of anything about this stuff, about circuits and whatnot. Did Peter?

"I mean, I don't know how I could help."

Really, she didn't. He pointed out earlier that she might be stronger than he was, but that was about it. Despite the effect Kaitlin had on him, she still felt useless to Peter even after what she said, even after mentioning that he might need her just as much as she needed him. That wasn't true. At least, she didn't really think it was. He didn't need her but she certainly needed him... and she would tell him anything to keep him with her. Even if it meant lying. Because in the end...

She didn't want to be alone.

"We need more help to do this, don't we? And then we need to..."

She stopped writing for a moment. She knew exactly what they would need to do when she thought about it and she knew exactly where they would be able to do it. But... did they really want to go back there? After what happened the first time? Hesitantly, she continued.

"And then we need to test it, right?"

"If you're going to go back... I'll go with you."

"I want to help."
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
Peter was writing. Focused on finishing his plan, he was writing and writing and trying to figure out all the little details that Kaitlin really couldn't help with. Of course just sitting there and watching him, peeking at what he was writing every now and then, gave her plenty of time to think and mull things over. Sure, she still felt more than a little useless in the grand scheme of things and there was always the chance that she really was right about that, but that wasn't what was on her mind now. No, her mind drifted to more common and mundane things...

Like how the both of them were getting... kind of ripe.

"Um... Peter?"

She tried to get his attention without getting close to him and even scooted away when she spoke up. Not because of him but because of herself. There was no way in hell she was going to sit close to him when she brought attention to that little tidbit of information. It was embarrassing enough to bring up the subject with him let alone stay close enough for him to find out for himself. Still, the ocean was nearby and even though it probably wasn't the best choice, what other option did they have? They weren't able to stay at the sawmill and find out if it had working showers, after all. And they had long since passed that river and the odd sight of clothes floating down it.

"Maybe we should... um... get cleaned up?"

Oh god why did she have to bring it up, now he'll think...

"I... I mean, we've been walking a long time and haven't been able to... well."

Was that better or worse? Oh god this was a bad idea wasn't it, she should have just kept quiet and waited or slipped off and taken care of it herself without saying anything.

"And we can hear the waves and stuff, so the ocean should be nearby, right? We could... um, use that."

But... wait, did she have enough stuff left in her bag to even get cleaned up with? Anything to really change in to? She hadn't thought about it since... well, since ever, really, and now she was putting things up to chance without checking to make sure she had everything she needed. Really, she should have everything in there, all the little things she would need and all the little things she brought with her just in case she needed them, but she hadn't checked any of that since she woke up on the first day. She hadn't even opened her bag unless it was to take out or put away Theodore. So yeah... right now, aside from trying to avoid direct eye contact with Peter and hiding her face as best as possible in this moment of shear embarrassment, she was mostly worrying about whether or not she actually had anything to change in to.

But really, she could check all that when the time came. If nothing else, she could clean her clothes off and put those back on, even if that solution didn't exactly sound too appealing. Still, she really shouldn't just sit there. After bringing up the subject of hygiene to Peter, not only was the feeling of embarrassment building with every second she sat there but so was that yucky feeling that made her bring it up in the first place. So, as quickly and as calmly as she could, she scooted a little further away and stood up.

"I'm just gonna... um... go?"

She pointed off in the general direction the waves were coming from.

"I won't be too long, I just... um... yeah."

Kaitlin couldn't remember if there was ever a time in her life where she'd scurried away from someone as fast as she had just done, but really, could you blame her? She wanted to put as much distance between herself and Peter as she could without going so far as to leave him behind. After all, privacy was key in situations like this. Privacy above all else. Her stomach was in a knot and everything felt a few degrees colder then, from her head to her toes to that tight little ball in her gut. It wasn't until now that she noticed the red flush to her skin and the heat that came with it. Oh god... he didn't notice, did he?

No, no, he was probably focusing on his notebook too much... But what if? No, no. Don't worry about that. It's fine... there are more important things to worry about now.

So, for the first time in almost four days, Kaitlin finally had a little time to herself to attend to... well, hygiene.

And really, it was about time.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
[Sorry for the delay in getting this post out. Holidays, writer's block and just not knowing where to take the scene slowed down my response.]

Kaitlin really should have responded to Peter when he called out... but really, what could she say? It was bad enough just knowing that he was nearby while she bathed, so having him follow her and be even closer wasn't exactly high on her priorities. Sure, she hated being alone in this place, but there are some things that just demanded privacy. So, despite her misgivings about being so far away from him and being alone, she just had to ignore what he said. For now, at least. She was a big girl and she wasn't as weak as she appeared to be, she could protect herself. Yeah, she could protect herself.

She still didn't like being alone.

But in the end, she spent the time at the beach alone. No one around and no little critters in sight made her feel a little more at ease as she dug through her personal bag and pulled out all manners of little things she needed to use. After all, this was her first and possibly only chance to take care of certain hygiene issues, so she might as well go all out, right? Her shoes were the first things to come off and boy, was she glad to have them off. Up until now, she hadn't ever really taken them off for fear of being left without them. What if they needed to get up and get moving quickly and she wasn't wearing them? She'd rather wear them at all times than risk the chance of being left wandering the island barefoot or, as would likely be the case, in her socks.

Of course, those were the next things to come off.

There may not have been much of it, but the sand in this tiny little section of beach felt really nice. Then again, anything would probably feel nice after four days of wearing those shoes. Hesitant to continue, Kaitlin looked around again and examined her surroundings as much as she could to make be absolutely certain that she was alone there. That was the last thing she wanted... someone showing up when she was in the middle of bathing. Just thinking about it had her too nervous to even set her shoes too far out of reach. Of course, Peter would probably be the one to show up since he was, after all, the only other person she knew was around. And he did know where she ran off to. That little realization right there had her skin getting warmer and a nice blush showing, but she tried to shake it off.

He wouldn't do that, right? Of course not... but...

But she couldn't really be certain. All she could do was trust that he wouldn't be the kind of person to do that. She didn't really have base that trust off of but still, she had to trust him. He hadn't appeared during a moment of privacy yet and she hadn't done the same to him, so there wasn't any reason to think it would start now. She was just being paranoid. Yeah, that had to be it, just paranoia. There was nothing to worry about. Nothing to worry about. Of course, with a little confidence came the continuation of her actions, and it wasn't long until she was holding all her essential supplies and slipping into the water.

Obviously, the water was... quite cold.

A shiver ran up her spine, accompanied by goosebumps as she hesitated to go any further. The water was, as far as she could tell, clean and the view was great... but she caught herself cursing the environment she was stuck in. All the beautiful vistas in the world couldn't replace the comfort of a hot shower or a nice relaxing bath, but here she was, stuck on some island in the middle of nowhere, forced to bathe in the cold ocean. It was horrible, but at least she didn't have to worry about someone coming around and seeing her. Peter wouldn't come out here and no one else was around. At least... she hoped no one else was around.

Right, time to bathe. Time to bathe really, really quickly.

Of course, bathing quickly and bathing thoroughly were too different things, and Kaitlin was at odds with herself over which to focus on. Bathing quickly meant she could get dressed and run back to Peter as fast as possible, but she might not be very thorough if she tries to rush. But then taking the time to bathe thoroughly meant Peter would be left to wait up there on his own and made the risk of someone stumbling upon her that much greater.

"...I hate camping. I really, really do."

She spoke through chattering teeth as she scrubbed and cleaned, jumping at every little wave as it came and shivering the whole time. Really, standing out there soaking wet and only partially in the water, bathing in cold water mind you, wasn't the best idea she had. But she didn't want to go any further out and she dreaded submerging completely, so sitting there was the only choice she could stand. At least for now. But at least it was getting the job done.

In the end, Kaitlin spent a lot more time bathing than she really wanted to, but at least she was clean. At least, as clean as she could be in this place.

Drying off was a bit tricky, lacking a towel and all, but that horrible, hateful breeze saw to it quick enough. Now she just needed to get dressed and hurry back to Peter as fast as she could, hoping that he had started a campfire or something or maybe had a blanket or a warm cup of hot cocoa waiting for her. She was still shivering and her fingers and toes felt more than a little numb, but the important thing was that she was clean. She may have hypothermia but at least she was clean. Very clean. And fresh smelling too, since she had body wash and shampoo and all sorts of other stuff in her bag. What kind of person would she be if she didn't bring stuff to bathe with when going on a trip where getting dirty was in the brochure. Well, not this trip... the planned one. The camping trip...

No one could have prepared for what the trip ended up as.

"Um, I'm done..."

Finding her way back wasn't hard, it was, for the most part, a straight shot back to Peter and the place they had chosen to rest.

"The beach is just down that way, if you want to... um... y'know."

With arms wrapped tightly around herself trying to get warm, she moved over to where Peter sat and took a place nearby, sitting with their bags.

"Sorry for running off so suddenly."

And ignoring him, don't forget that.

"And not saying anything when you called out."

She really hoped he wouldn't be mad.

Maybe a smile would help smooth things over. Smiling always helped... right?
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
Oh wow, he really was prepared for anything. As Kaitlin was just sitting there trying to warm herself up, there he was pulling clothes and soap and more towels than she could really count from that bag of his, watching as it slowly but surely decreased in size. She could have sworn it was something like Mary Poppin's bag until she saw it actually lose much of its shape. He just seemed to be pulling more and more things from it all the time that simply surprised her, but really, was there really much to be surprised at? He was, after all, a scout. They're taught to be prepared for anything and they spend a lot of time camping, don't they?

"You really packed a lot of stuff for a relatively short camping trip."

She commented as he pulled yet another item from the bag, a fleece jacket that he so generously offered up to her. She didn't really know what to do besides smile, nod and accept the small gift, not quite realizing the blush that began to creep its way back on to her cheeks. She really should have noticed though, given that her cheeks and skin were becoming that little bit warmer when she was so cold. But maybe it was because she was so cold that she didn't notice, still shivering and occasionally chattering her teeth. She really, really wished this place was a little bit more tropical instead of being so cold. Then again, it really was her own fault that it was so cold.

"Thank you."

She chattered out an apology before slipping the fleece jacket on over her blouse, zipping it up and carefully flipping her hair out from the collar. By the time she actually had the jacket on, Peter was gone. Just like that. Maybe he was in as much of a hurry to bathe as she had been? Oh well, she just needed to wait and given how long it took her to bathe, maybe she should make herself a little bit more comfortable as she waited. It's not like she'd expect him to hurry on back after she took so long herself, it was only fair to let him take his time. Let him take his time with bathing...

Shaking her head, she tried to shake off those blush inducing thoughts.

The minutes ticked on by as she sat there alone, the afternoon slipping on further and further. Maybe she should try and do something productive beyond sitting by herself and warming up in Peter's jacket. She didn't think about it until then, but she was wearing his jacket. It's not like it was just any old jacket, but his jacket. Whenever she thought about a girl wearing a guy's clothing, it was always scenes from movies or TV shows. Some sweet, romantic little gesture on a cold night or the shirt the next morning. And there she was, wearing Peter's jacket while he was off being... well, y'know. She didn't really know what to think about that and didn't even know if she wanted to think about that, or the implications of it. Oh god, this was just making things worse.

Think about something else. Do something else. Like the notebook, try that, see about helping him with his plan, that works.

Scooting closer to where Peter's things were, she glanced around to make sure that he wasn't just standing there behind her, watching her rummage through his belongings. She didn't mean to, obviously, but she was just trying to get the notebook. Kaitlin spent a few moments flipping through the pages, glancing at a few things he had written before. He really had a lot of notes written down in there. Page after page, she just sat and read what he had written down in there. She knew that she shouldn't be reading his notebook, least of all without his permission, but once she started reading she couldn't stop. It had everything he mentioned before and more, and pretty soon she had completely forgotten the reason why she picked up the notebook in the first place.

Of course, sitting there and reading his notebook didn't exactly leave her much time to focus on when he was coming back. When he was returning... well, she was more than a little embarrassed to be caught reading what could easily amount to his 'diary', and fumbled with it when he spoke up.

"I wasn't reading it!"

She blurted out her defensive little statement a little quickly and a little loudly, not quite sure how he would react to her reading the notebook. She knew that he told her to take it if something happened to him, but reading it when he was just off cleaning up might not have been something he would be happy about.

"Um... I mean, uh... yeah, sure, we can get going I guess."

It took a while for Kaitlin to notice the scratches on his face, and it took a few moments more before she remembered to ask about where they came from. She really was too focused on what his reaction would be to her reading the notebook, worrying and panicking, but she did take a moment away from her mostly internal and largely unnecessary panic attack to ask about the scratches.

"What happened to your face?"

In a fashion that was horribly blunt and to the point.

Not even a nervous little smile could make this one seem better, so she just stuck with worry and slight concern. Yeah, that should work.
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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Dr. Nic
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How cute.
[ *  * ]
[This took way too long to get done. Sorry for the delay.]

"Um, right. Sorry, I just panicked a little. It's really... um... interesting."

Kaitlin was relieved to see that he wasn't mad, but still more than a little embarrassed. But Peter didn't seem to mind that she was reading the notebook without having asked. In fact, he seemed happy that she was reading it. Not that Kaitlin knew why, she was just content with the fact that he didn't mind that she was reading it. Maybe she could even keep reading it, since it really had been interesting, even if it did read like a survival guide or a handbook. But right now, she really shouldn't be worrying about the notebook, she should be worrying about Peter and the cuts on his face. He tried to explain how they got there, something about a branch and rushing back to their little temporary camp. Trying to get back to her quicker so she wouldn't worry.

Don't you mean so you wouldn't worry?

"Oh, I'm sorry."

She started to apologize since it seemed to be her fault he got hurt, moving back over to her own bags as he was packing. She wasn't putting anything away but rather digging something out. She was looking for something and seemed to be determined to find it as quick as she could, biting her lip as she made a mess of her bag to dig whatever it was out. Aha, there it was. The first aid kit she'd been given, the one from the day pack.

"Here, let me help."

Before she would let him get up and begin leading the way again, she was going to clean up those cuts. The last thing she wanted was for him to get sick or end up with an infection in a place like this. Of course, to get him to hold still, she had to be a bit more forceful than she had been, making him stay still and holding his head still with one hand while applying the disinfectant with the other. Band-aids came after and just like that, she was done, feeling rather accomplished in the fact that she was able to actually help.

"There, that's better."

But there wasn't a lot of time to dwell on that little moment of usefulness, something that Peter made painfully obvious as he continued to pack his things. Kaitlin was all but completely packed again, just having to put the first aid kit back and she would be ready, but Peter just had to ask if she was ready. He just had to ask if she really wanted to go through with what they were planning. Asking if she had changed her mind. It was nice to see that he was concerned and all but she made up her mind already. There was no way that she was going to let him do all the hard work. She may not be the bravest person when it came down to things like this but she didn't want to go on with being useless. She wanted to help in any way she could, even if it meant just being there to support him.

She didn't want to be the damsel in distress.

"I'm ready. I'm not going to run away from this. I'll... I'll be right there with you the entire time. I'm not giving up now."

She breathed deeply and nodded, giving Peter the biggest smile she could muster. Her stomach may have been in knots and she may have been doubting herself, but she was going to help. No matter what, she was going to stay with him. No matter what she had to do, she was going to help him.

"I'll stay by your side, no matter what."

As they walked away from their temporary little campsite... Kaitlin took hold of Peter's hand.

And never let go.

[Girl #48 - Kaitlin Anderheim. Continued in Even the Best Fall Down Sometimes.]

[End of Thread]
Boy #??? - Joshua Edwards
Hanging out somewhere, playing his heart out.
Writer and local retail slave at the comic book store.

Girl #??? - Viktoriya "Vika" Starikova
Floating in the void, unfinished and half-formed.
Hot headed member of the soft ball team, secretly wishing she could fly.

Those who were
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