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The Sound of Silence; Private Thread
Topic Started: Feb 6 2011, 03:46 AM (1,212 Views)
MK Kilmarnock
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Hate, hate, HATE!!!
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Ivan Kuznetsov continued from Meet Again))

The most hellish day of each of their lives thus far was over for now, but the night and the following morning can't always wash away the the sadness. With the way the sky looked, dawn was just around the corner. The sun would soon come to warm them up the rest of the way, yet Tabi was still curled up, even shivering a little. Ivan felt guilty for not giving in to the slight urge to hug her, to hold her close, as slight as the urge itself may be. He simply couldn't bring himself to do it and cross that boundary when she was in such a state. Also, it was more than likely that it wasn't the cold she was shivering from.

So here they were, sitting under the laughable shelter of a tree that stood adjacent to the tennis court. It had been so dark when they managed to fumble their way here, but as daylight came, it would likely reveal the body of the girl laying in the court, and possibly even the nearby crate that held his shotgun, assuming it was still there. He decided not to bring up that this was where he went to pick up his weapon. That simply wasn't the thing Tabi wanted to hear right now.

But what did she want to hear? What could he say to make her feel better or to relieve the pain? He had been in her position, he knew how terrible it felt when he had killed somebody, but what did she say to him when he felt like that? There was something... he tried to remember, when he was there on the riverbank and she was in the bath. She said something, shattering him. Did she forgive him? Did he want him to forgive her?

What if he didn't think she did anything wrong? What if there was nothing to forgive?

He was at an endless loss for words. Each time something sounded good, a moment's thought made it sound terrible. What could he do... why wouldn't Tabi say anything?

SCREEEEEEEEEEEECH.

That noise. That terrible, terrible noise.

In a fine example of Pavlovl-style conditioning, he had learned to dread the creaking of the PA system, as it never brought good news. Only the impending death of more and more of their classmates, who would have to fall systematically if any of them were to survive. Ivan quickly glanced at Tabi's unmoving form before looking back up, making a vain attempt to try and see one of the sources of the noise.

The monster in charge of all of this was as cheery as usual, speaking about who had died, who had made it to the next day... so on and so forth. As he rattled off the names, Ivan remembered back to the first announcement. None of the names had mattered to him except Keith, his own personal crime. He didn't have any of the poor children that were slaughtered, but he couldn't bring himself to open up his heart to them. If he made himself that weak, he'd cry at every name, and he just couldn't do that.

But the names were bothering him now. Because each time Danya said a name, Ivan knew Clio's would be next. It was right around the corner.

He put his hand down next to Tabi to support himself, looking at the girl. She needed to be strong... she could get through this.
Edited by MK Kilmarnock, Feb 11 2011, 10:24 PM.
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MK Kilmarnock
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There were so many things he felt like he should have been doing for her, but Ivan could do nothing, as though he were frozen in place. So, the terrorists had decided her actions were every bit as worthy of a reward as his were. They truly were going through the exact same things, and yet he could only let her sit there and take it all straight to the heart. To think that they had been cruel enough to drop this on her, to suggest that she was a monster at all... it was so hurtful. Ivan looked to the wreck sitting next to him and wondered just how anybody could think ill of her.

He looked down at his own outstretched legs, feeling uneasy about just watching Tabi sit there with that look on her face, clearly in immense pain. After all, part of this was his fault anyway, wasn't it? Killing Clio had to be done, but it was his responsibility after what she did to the both of them. They had both tried to get away, but in her determination to survive and be the last one standing, Clio had cornered them both. Ivan should've been able to finish the fight and kill Clio herself, taking care of Simon if he really had to. Instead, he had failed and forced Tabi's hand. He may as well have pushed the gun into her shaking fingertips and screamed at her to pull the trigger. Now look at her.

He only brought himself to look back at her when he felt a hand cover his. A moment's inspection showed Tabi had just accidentally dropped her hand onto his. It was only polite to pull his hand back and mumble an apology, maybe giving the girl some space to have a good cry by herself. That was probably what she wanted. Before he could act on this, though, Tabi reset her hand onto his, holding it with a deliberate and firm tone. She looked away, which he thought might've been a sign that perhaps he should move his hand anyway.

His hand would not move.

The very first few chirps of Tabi's voice shattered something. It was a deeply terrible sound - gentle on the ears, but murder on just about everything else. The PA system's hiss and whine, Imraan laying down the law, the screams and wailings of Clio as she bled out on the ground, and even the pulpy mashings of the branch coming down on an already-dead Keith, all of those paled in comparison to this. They were only so horrible because they were so instantly identifiable. It was only a matter of time before the girl finally broke down and sobbed, but she squeezed his hand the entire time. Tighter and tighter she squeezed, making the boy feel, if just for a moment, that it showed just how strong she really was.

Silence continued to grip at his throat while he lost himself in what to say to her. What could reach her in the darkest of her hours? His hand gave a little squeeze back, just to show her that he was trying at the very least. He couldn't do much to help her pull through like this, and yet it was the least he could do. Ivan never expected the next move to come.

Tabi turned to him and pulled on his shoulders, locking herself in close. Before the gesture could even sink in, her arms had locked above his arms and around his back, sobbing into the embrace. Ivan sat perfectly still, wide-eyed and confused at the sudden movement. There were no sounds anymore; Danya and his foreboding message had left them alone together, and Tabi's sobs were all he could hear. Her weeping spurred him on, willing him to support her. To do something more than he had been asked. Gradually but strongly, his arms rose to hug her close to him.

He hugged her tighter than he had anybody before.
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MK Kilmarnock
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The last few moments of Ivan's mind had become so clouded so fast. From where they were, the thought that they were both in an unimaginable amount of pain was now just a memory. Somewhere in those memories, Tabi was crying. She had experienced the same trauma Ivan had and deserved it even less, while he himself could do nothing except offer his hand, and even that was accidental at first. Following the accident, it morphed into a gesture of effort, the least he could do. The best he could hope for was to ask himself what he could offer in aid. This was a question Tabi decided to answer by hugging him.

The embrace had come out of nowhere and caught the boy with his defenses down. At an earlier point in time, Ivan might have let his arms hang awkwardly at his sides, unable to return any of the hug. He may have even pushed her away. It wasn't that he had any reservations about contact in general, but Ivan had never bothered to foster any respectable connection to other students at Bayview. Aside from the occasional necessary motions or actions on the court and in other athletic settings, or the polite shaking of hands, there was no reason to initiate such contact. To hug anybody that wasn't part of his family, his mother or his brother or his aunt just seemed unnatural.

But now, there was nothing unnatural about what the two were sharing. Tabi had been weeping again, not a unique occurence, yet something made it special. Before, Ivan had handled Tabi's weaknesses and her crying as though he had been made from iron: unyielding, unforgiving. When she had her head on his shoulder, her tears trickling down onto his shirt and his hands gently working and tending to her back, he wanted to show her that it was okay to cry. There was no shame in giving in and finally letting it out, because in the end, it only meant you were human. Nobody could expect more from her.

Then, in the next instance of his memory, her head had raised and he had kissed her. The tears glistening on Tabi's cheeks changed their thoughts, if only for the moment, as he continued to hold her. His heart fluttered and he felt so giddy even when the quick peck on the lips had broken off. Tabi had blushed and withdrawn a bit, but had still been so receptive to the kiss, at least so he thought. Then, for a dark second or two, the lights in Ivan's heart dimmed when he realized that Tabi may have not exactly felt as passionately about the kiss as he had.

Then Tabi kissed him back.

It's arrival had been less expected than the kiss, and so it was all the more exciting. At that moment, it was clear that the emotions both of them were feeling were as though looking into a mirror. Just for now, their world consisted of just Tabi and Ivan, and all other things had been locked away. There was no threat of imminent death hanging over their heads, or the fear that somebody else may join them. There were only the emotions Ivan held in that first kiss to Tabi, and those that she held towards him when she returned it. Still so nervous in her movements, how she lightly caught his upper lip and quivered a little, but her arms around his back pulled him close. Everything in the world was all right, and this wasn't just 'in-the-moment'. There was no falsifying what they were both feeling, no way to cheapen it.

Feeling truly happy for the first time in almost a week, a smile slipped on to Ivan's face, and he leaned in close to kiss Tabi once more, just a little longer and a little more deeply. No matter how much time they might have together after this, he'd do all he could to improve it for her. It was the least he could do.

Everything was okay.
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