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A White and Soundless Place; Private
Topic Started: Apr 30 2011, 05:49 PM (2,473 Views)
MurderWeasel
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((Kimberly Nguyen continued from Bloodgarden))

Kimberly wasn't used to running. Fuck sprinting. Her lungs were burning, her thighs aching. They'd thrown Brook off, it seemed. She wasn't sure how far they'd gotten. They were still in the woods, still somewhere relatively close to the sea. They'd finally stopped. Kimberly immediately released Dutchy's hand. They stood for a brief moment. She wasn't focusing on him, just panting. She could feel her heartbeat slowing, her breathing returning to normal.

There was no time to waste. She had some fucking pressing questions for Dutchy.

"So," she said, taking a couple of breaths, then spitting off to the side, clearing her mouth of excess saliva. "What the fuck happened to land you with a gun in your mouth? Sarah and Bridget give up on their plan to magic up a dragon to whisk us all away? Where are they, anyways?"

That was the important part. Kimberly was going to find them, and she was going to give Dutchy back to them and politely inform them that if they ever ditched a teammate again she'd find them, slash those tendons that they needed to walk, and force them to beg the people they'd left behind to carry them out of a danger zone. That seemed about like justice right now.

It was one thing for Kimberly to walk out on the group. She'd been pretty fucking upfront and honest about that whole thing. She'd never played it any way but straight with them all. She hadn't needed them, and they hadn't needed her. They'd decided they didn't give a shit about her priorities, and she'd felt the same about theirs.

It was different with Dutchy. He couldn't hold together on his own. He was as helpless as they'd treated Kimberly. That he was still alive was something of a miracle.

He hadn't responded to her questions yet. Kimberly glanced over at him.

She froze completely.
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MurderWeasel
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Dutchy mumbled something. She didn't hear what. Didn't need to. She saw his hand. Saw the blood. Saw him fall. It clicked into place. The gunshot had missed Kimberly. She'd thought nothing further of it. She'd assumed that everything would be fine. It should've been fine. Dutchy should've been fine. Of everyone she'd met on the island, he was probably the one who most deserved a happy ending. He—fuck, who was she kidding? He wasn't her favorite person she'd spent time with. That dubious honor went to Aislyn or Rhory. He still didn't deserve this, though. Not after they'd come so close.

She ran to him, knelt next to him. It felt weird. Wrong, somehow. What the fuck was up with the world when Kimberly was the only person here to comfort Dutchy? She was the group bitch, the skeptic who abandoned the rest to their fates.

She was the only one here. Sarah and Bridget and Roland were gone.

Kimberly choked back her rage. There would be time for that later. Plenty of it. For the moment, she had amends to make. She put her hand out, touched Dutchy on the shoulder, gave him a little shake.

"Dutchy?"

She didn't know if was going to die. Quite possibly he was. Kimberly's optimism had sustained a mortal wound before she even encountered Dutchy. Didn't matter. He didn't deserve this. That was all that was important.

"Hey, Dutchy," she said, giving him another little shake. She could see the blood leaking from him. "Hey, look at me. Come here."

It was awkward. Kimberly wasn't exactly strong before a week of malnutrition, and she was still using only her right arm. Still, with a couple grunts of effort, she managed to lift Dutchy a bit, to get his head in her lap. She didn't know what she was doing. She had no fucking experience tending the wounded. She hoped Dutchy was going to be a better patient than she had been. There weren't any good rocks around here, at least.

It was hopeless. She didn't know medicine. All she could offer was companionship.

She ran her hand through his hair. It felt strange to touch someone without ulterior motives. Everything felt cold. She was afraid for some reason. She was hurting.

She couldn't do anything about this. She could just sit here and wait to see what happened.

It dimly occurred to her that Dutchy had run off when she'd been shot.

She didn't give a fuck about that, though. Not now.
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Kimberly just sat, cradling Dutchy's head in her lap. He'd stopped moving, stopped breathing some time ago. He was gone. He wasn't Dutchy anymore.

This wasn't supposed to hurt.

He'd looked so scared, at least at the start. She wondered if that had been how she'd looked, back on the beach. It was pure chance that she'd recovered, that she'd walked away from that. It was all too easy to see herself there, lying in Sarah's lap, eyes glazed, thoughts gone. She adjusted her glasses.

Dutchy was dead. No hiding from that. Things were feeling pretty damn grim all of a sudden. Kimberly didn't care. Fuck it, she could swing grim. She could deal with this. She could hold herself together, just like she'd been doing.

She had a new mission, though. A new task ahead of her. Something that just might edge out fucking over Kris on her list of priorities. Someone was responsible for this. Someone had directly caused the chain of events that led to Kimberly sitting on the forest floor, running her fingers through Dutchy's hair, sniffling back tears, her pants soaked through with his blood. Someone had, probably offhand, fucked up her life in this very special way.

There was only one solution.

Make them pay.

Kimberly had learned early in her time here that nothing took the edge off hurt quite like anger. Now that Dutchy was gone, she could stop fucking kidding herself about lectures and poetic justice and shit like that. The world wasn't nice enough for that storybook garbage. No, she'd take out all the stops. Someone had killed Dutchy. Someone had hurt her badly.

That someone was not Brook.

Yeah, sure, he'd held the fucking gun, fired the fucking bullet, but he was a rabid dog, just waiting to be put down. Someone else would take care of that. Brook was a nobody, another psycho on an island of psychos. Sure, if Kimberly just happened to stumble into him on a pleasant stroll, she'd probably cut his tongue out and make him swallow it, but only on principle. The real issue was the condition Dutchy had been in in the first place, that is to say, the fact that he was alone and without any of his belongings. Someone had fucked things up real bad for that to come about.

The obvious suspects were his friends.

Sarah. Bridget. Roland.

Kimberly had trusted them. She'd thought they were all going to die, but there was a difference between everyone dying in some fucking stupid heroic last stand and everyone splintering and getting picked off one by one like panicked ants under a mean kid's magnifying glass.

There would be answers. Kimberly would figure out who'd made mistakes.

Of course, perhaps she was being too hasty. Perhaps some external force had shattered the group.

If Sarah and Bridget couldn't tell her that, though, then god help them.

Time to go.

Kimberly leaned down, her lips barely an inch from Dutchy's cold ear.

"You were dreaming, Dutchy," she whispered. "I never left at all.

"Go back to sleep."

She lifted his head off of her lap. It was something of a challenge to do one-handed, now that she wasn't burning on adrenaline. That done, she lay him gently upon the ground. She didn't bother arranging him in any particularly respectful position. Brook had ruined that sort of thing for her. Dutchy was dead. He wouldn't feel any better if she tried to pretty that up.

She felt tired. Hurt. Defeated. It infuriated her.

She'd sleep in there somewhere. For now, she was heading back to town. She had a house call to make.

You saved my life, Sarah.

But if you got him killed, I'm going to make you wish you'd let me bleed out.

((Kimberly Nguyen continued in Where Have All the Flowers Gone?))
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