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The Mighty Sparrow
Topic Started: Oct 15 2011, 02:09 PM (4,003 Views)
MK Kilmarnock
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((Ivan Kez... kuzna... k... Kuznetsov, continued from Awe of She))

One hand held a shotgun pointed down at the ground. The other one had run behind Tabi's back and rested under her far shoulder. Ivan had supported Tabi periodically to ease the pain of walking and speed the both of them up. He thought it was a grand excuse, too. Tabi could have been perfectly healthy and he still probably would've put his arm around her, enjoying the closeness of the only companion he had on their long, long journey. Looking around the both of them, Ivan remembered back to their last visit in this particular location.

He looked to the spot on the street where the fateful encounter with Clio occurred. The imagination of a weary mind played out the events once more as they happened. The gun had been kicked out the door, and two kids made a mad scramble for what they both knew would be the tool to end somebody's life. Clio got to it first, and Ivan simply knelt in defeat. He should have died there.

And yet, there they both were.

"Do you want to stop here?"

The ghostly images of the kids fighting in the streets disappeared when Tabi asked her question. At first, Ivan's only reply was in the form of a short nod. Running around would do nothing positive, and in fact would just expose them from all sides to any would-be attackers. It would be better to play it safe and hole up in one of the residences again, wait it out the best they could. Much like an intangible chain tugging on the very real collar he wore around his neck, they'd have to be wary of that restricting rule the terrorists had placed: a student must die every 24 hours, or they would all die. He hoped they would get some sort of warning before that occurred, however; Ivan wanted for them both to stay safe the best he could, but that obviously couldn't happen if the collars decided to turn on him. There was simply no defense for that.

"Let's find someplace to stay for a while, Tabi", Ivan responded. There was a fraction of a second of silence before he turned his face to her, giving her a reassuring smile. Almost instinctively, the hand that had been placed around her drew out and swept a strand of her hair out of her face. He was glad that he had switched from his green-lensed glasses to his clear ones. He didn't have to hide anything from her anymore, almost like Tabi was a part of his family. At this point, she practically was. Maybe when all of this was over, she'd visit his old home, meet his mother, aunt and brother. She'd visit them for him, since... both of them couldn't go home.

With that unhappy though, Ivan turned his attention towards the rows of buildings. There were at least two he wanted to avoid: the one where both he and Tabi encountered Clio, and the one in which Maria's body was resting eternally. 'Luckily, both locations remained locked in the boy's mind. There was an inconspicuous residence just on the other side of the street that looked harmless enough, but they'd have to double check.

"On me," Ivan instructed, dedicating both hands to the shotgun as he approached the door. The door itself wasn't ajar, so he freed his off-hand to try the knob. The doorknob turned all the way, and the hinges operated without protest when Ivan pushed it inward. The pancor jackhammer led them both through the doorway as Ivan made sure to check every corner of every room, included closets, the backroom, the kitchen, and so on until the entire bottom floor was secure. Instructing Tabi to close the door, he peered up the stairwell. Nothing visible, at the very least, but they'd have to learn from their mistakes. When he went up, Tabi would follow close behind and cover their backs again. They weren't having another Clio. Not like this. Not this close to the end.

The upstairs, as well as the house in general, proved secure. With a sigh that held a mixture of relief and contentness, Ivan turned to face Tabi and sat on the bed, the pancor resting up against the wall near the headboard. He patted the mattress and failed to suppress a faint blush, looking to his girlfriend.

"This okay for now, then?"

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MK Kilmarnock
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The thunderous crack of a gunshot threw Ivan up from the mattress, waking him immediately. Exhaustion had overcome him for just a moment. It was just a short moment, but a precious one. Panicked, he looked to his side in fear of Tabi having been shot by some assailant he had yet to detect, and found her just waking up from the gunshot, his own sudden movements, or both. Thankful that she was still okay, Ivan grabbed at the glasses that had managed to find their way off of his face and shove them on.

"Did you hear that?" he asked, a bit too preoccupied with the disturbance the gunshot caused to care just how shallow a question that was. Of course Tabi had heard it; the only other option would be to be absolutely deaf. Well, she could've slept through it... Ivan supposed that was possible, but dismissed it in favor of worrying about the more important thing. His eyes found the window of the second floor bedroom the two of them had holed up in, and he swallowed at the dryness in his throat. "St.... stay here..." Ivan commanded. No, he had really suggested it more than anything, lacking the courage or disposition at the moment to be commanding about anything.

Both of his feet dropped to the floor, and nervously inched around the edge of the bed. Whoever was out there could still be there and, worst of all, they could have their weapon trained on the window. Ivan had no idea how somebody might know about their location, but it was always wise to prepare for the worst. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst... it was like tennis practice against his mother all over again.

Except... you know, with bullets.

Ivan positioned most of himself to the side of the window, and peered down at the street below. He saw the dying or dead form of a girl in the street, covered in blood. The chill of death found its audience and ran up his back, but viewing yet another dead classmate didn't have so much of a profound effect on Ivan anymore, much to his concern. He knew that this girl went to the same school as him and probably shared many of his classes, but he just couldn't bring himself to feel the same agony over and over again. Was he losing his humanity? The question troubled him a great deal, but it was to some good effect that he got the answer right away by seeing another person on the street below... somebody that he had spoken to once or twice.

Oh... oh god. Not you. Anybody but you.

Of all the people to have slain that girl, it was that guy. Ivan could never forget the boy from the chess game so many months ago - the 'utter tool', as Ivan had called him. "Tabi, grab your gun!" Ivan said, stepping away from the window and turning, reaching for the shotgun that was resting against the wall. If Aaron decided to enter the building, they'd have to be ready for him. If they both played it safe, everything would be just fine... it always was. They'd protect each other.
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"Shit, shit!"

Ivan scrambled backwards up the stairs as a bullet lodged itself into the wall. Maybe it was his point of view's perspective messing with him, but the bullethole was right around the same level as his knees. The fucker wasn't firing warning shots, he was trying to take them out right now. The pancor pointed down towards the landing of the stairs, and the trigger was pulled. The shotgun's wielder was not ready for the kind of kick the weapon would have, nor just how loud the explosion would be. The bottom of the stairs was sprayed by the shotgun, but Ivan's ears were ringing just a bit too loudly to know if Aaron had screamed or not. With the force of the recoil knocking him off balance, he allowed himself to fall back onto one of the higher steps. From there, he let go of the shotun with one hand and crawled upwards/backwards as fast as he could.

"U-Upstairs..." Ivan breathed out through his exertion, hoping to get to the top before Aaron could approach the bottom again. They'd just need to make a stand in the bedroom, take him by surprise and kill him.

They would have to kill Aaron. No disarming, no letting anybody live. He was a human like anybody else, even just a kid. This late in the game, however, anybody was a danger. Ivan had devoted all of his energy towards keeping Tabi alive as long as possible. If that meant throwing away his inhibitions and becoming a willing killer, well... the philosophy debate could wait until later.

"Long time, asshole!" Ivan shouted, finally reaching the top of the stairs. He seemed to have finally found his bearings once more. They could do this, they could stop the threat Aaron was posing right now. He was on one side of the stairwell's entrance, and Tabi was across from him. His eyes locked on Tabi's face for a moment, and he gave a short nod that hopefully conveyed his message.

We got this.

The footsteps were a little hard to hear, but Ivan thought he heard Aaron begin his approach up the stairs. His own hands were trembling, and the shotgun became far heavier than he remembered it. He was going to kill somebody again. Keith, Imraan, now Aaron? Ivan couldn't think of it as killing another person. Saving Tabi and himself, that's what they were doing. If he could just stay focused on that, they'd be okay. They'd be okay. They'd be okay...
Edited by MK Kilmarnock, Oct 30 2011, 03:14 PM.
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Too many gunshots were coming up those stairs for Ivan to do anything. This shit couldn't stand at all... if things kept going like this, then Aaron was going to get up those stairs and the both of them would be in grave danger. But why? Why would Aaron resort to such a suicidal tactic when the both of them had guns? They'd easily be able to kill him no matter who he tried to shoot first and, at best, he'd only be able to get one of them. Why would he throw away his own life in just an incredibly stupid move just to kill one of them and make the other miserable?

Because he's a crazy fuck, Ivan. That's why.

Ivan tried to poke out and take a shot, only to immediately be suppressed once more by another bullet. It made him wonder just how many of the fucking things that pistol had. Before much of his frustration could vent, the footsteps got louder and louder. Aaron was coming up, and it was time to do something... something, anything! Ivan's vision began to tunnel out towards the point of entry where Aaron would appear. A charge seemed to be the only option, followed by a point blank shot that would send Aaron hurtling down the stairs with only the tatters remains of his once-intact chest. The images began to flash already, and Aaron did not like what he saw.

It had to be done. It has to be done. They have to live.

Ivan turned the corner...

He had misjudged just how fast Aaron had been coming up those stairs. The shotgun had been knocked up towards the ceiling by the animalistic movements of the aggresor, the muzzle pointed at the ceiling when Ivan pulled the trigger in a panic. The second shot rang out, and his leg shot out at instinct to strike at the boy. Ivan screamed something as he did so, but couldn't be sure just what he said. It probably wasn't even a word, given how rushed the breath was. Aaron had made it to the top floor; a single shotgun shell would put him away, but the shotgun had been lodged up between the two, frantic struggling and kicking regardless.

"FUCK! FUUUUUUUCK!"
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((All the godmodding in this post has been approved.

Oh, uh... shit, this was in the making before Toben posted. Most of the details work, execpt one. ... Actually, they all work. Fuck yeah.))

Tabi yelled his name. It pierced through the ringing in his ears somehow, letting him take a hold of it to pull him through. He and Aaron were now struggling near the top of the stairs in the narrow hallway, a wall pressed to each of their backs. The shotgun had been rendered useless as far as a firearm went; now it was nothing more than a metal stick that he was using to keep Aaron at bay, as well as lodged against the wall. A pistol was pointed, but... not at him. Of course not, why would it be? The shotgun had been locked in a way that was not pointed at Aaron. That meant the most imminent threat was...

"Tabi!"

Ivan let go of the pancor with his left and and reached for Aaron's wrist, but somewhere between the two placements of his hand, several shots rang out. The concussive force of each shot punched through him almost as though he had been shot again, but it didn't stop his hand from latching onto Aaron's and slamming it back against the wall. The boy's grip on the pistol did not relinquish, but Ivan didn't care. He just needed it to not be pointed at anybody. For a moment, he took his eyes off of Aaron to look at Tabi...

She was on the floor, and blood coated her leg. Tabi had been shot, and Aaron was the one who shot her.

Taking his eyes off of the boy proved to be a mistake as Aaron's forehead cracked against Ivan's. The only saving grace that prevented him from stumbling back was the wall that was already pressed to his back, the claustrophic hallway offering support in more ways than Ivan could have guessed. Aaron tried to direct the gun at him. The gun that had shot Tabi was now trying to be pointed at Ivan.

Asshole...

ASSHOLE!


"ASSHOLE!" Ivan screamed, swinging his left fist down on the hand that was trying to raise itself. There was a yell, maybe even from the both of them, but the sounds blurred together. Everything now smelled of blood, and a distinct, weighty and viscious mosture gathered above Ivan's upper lip. The pistol fell to the floor with a clattering sound, and the fist had found a new target. Again and again and again, Ivan beat against Aaron's face. There was no art to the matter, no glory or form, just the two wailing on each other in a brutal race to be the first one to incapacitate the other. Aaron clawed to the side, trying to get some distance between himself and Ivan. He was reaching for something, but this was his mistake. Another shot rang out, causing Ivan to wince. For an instant, he thought Aaron might've been able to reach for another gun and pull it out before Ivan could react. He resisted the urge to check himself for spots of blood coming from a wound that he couldn't feel. After a drawn out moment of silence that seemed like it did not belong, Aaron dropped something. Another weapon of some sort... a gun? Ivan could not look at it for too long... his eyes were instead pulled to the patch of blood forming on Aaron's arm. Tabi had not taken her own wound lying down. Rather, she showed her strength one more time.

Tabi...

Both hands were now on the Pancor Jackhammer, and the butt of the shotgun swung up at Aaron's chin. There was a satisfying crack and it knocked the boy up against the wall that formed the side of the staircase, but it wasn't enough. It would never be enough until Aaron shed his own blood for having spilled Tabi's. "Give her back..." Ivan uttered mindlessly, swinging the gun again... laterally this time. It cracked against Aaron's head. "Give her back! GIVE HER BACK!"

The beating continued, yet it failed to satisfy Ivan. "You just make everybody's life miserable...", a swing to the gut followed in due time. "You hurt the only person I give a damn about!" Another shot to the head brought Aaron right in front of the stairs. The barrel of the shotgun pointed directly at his chest. Ivan no longer knew hesitation.

"You're still a goddamned tool..."

He pulled the trigger for the third time.
Edited by MK Kilmarnock, Oct 31 2011, 05:47 PM.
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Ivan stared down at the product of his labor. Aaron was now only a torn remnant of himself and in the lives of anybody he had ever affected. As much as he wanted to pour hatred onto the boy's memory, Ivan tried to remember that he was just another student who became a product of the game. They weren't just nameless and faceless bodies racked up in a pile as some arbitrary killcount, because if he thought of it that way, it would be just like when he killed Keith... he'd be the closest to becoming a monster since day one. Yet, it was hard not to think such hateful things when he had nearly killed them both without any provocation. What's worse, he had even...

Oh god...

"Tabi! Are you alright!?" Ivan yelled, running and dropping the shotgun at the entrance to the bedroom as he knelt over her. He repeated the question in a softer voice, looking at the damage. There was a lot of blood, but they could bandage it all up. They could make her better, just like they had done with his own arm. He could save her, she was going to be alright.

She had to be alright or...

Or...
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No, wait...

Please don't go!


The resting body of Tabi Gweneth only laid there in response, oblivious to the silent pleas for her to return. Tabi was dead, and that meant Ivan was now all alone. They had lived so much of their lives unaware that the other so much as existed, ignoring each other in the halls and in their classes. It took the island to bring them together and understand how much they meant to one another. They could have pulled through to the end somehow, just maybe... they could have escaped if they had gotten away from Imraan in time, or Ivan could've fought Aaron downstairs. So many ways, so many ways this could have been prevented. Tabi didn't have to die, but fate took her all the same.

His fist closed around the hairband and crushed it as tight as he could. His knuckles grew white with frustration, locked tight to try and hold everything back. Her face looked so peaceful the way it didn't hold any hints of pain anymore. It even almost looked like she was asleep, resting under his watchul eye. But this time, she was never going to wake up. She'd never open her eyes again, never laugh again, never cry again. He'd never get another chance to talk to her again, to tell her how sorry he was that he couldn't save her. He was still stuck down here in hell while, somewhere, a sparrow had finally been set free.

Whatever was holding Ivan up at that point let go. His face buried itself against her neck in a vain attempt to find some shelter from his grief. His arms wrapped around her, though she returned no embrace of her own. She was still so warm to him, and it only pained him more to know that wouldn't last forever. Worst of all, it was all his fault.

You fucked up, Ivan. You didn't save the day, and you don't get the girl.

Anybody else might try to say that this was the best possible way things could've turned out from this point. Tabi was now supposed to be in a better place.

But I want you here with me!

Ivan held her close until he ran out of tears to shed. The sky would darken before that happened, but when it did, he knew it was finally time to leave Tabi be. His hand reluctantly loosened up to reveal to him the hairband that she had given to him. Ivan slowly put it on, pushing it over the fingers of his left hand and drawing it upward until it clutched his wrist. In return, Ivan removed the green-lens glasses from his daypack and placed them on Tabi's chest. He moved her arm over herself to rest on the glasses, as though she were holding them there. He also removed the umbrella and placed it at her side, placed a small kiss on her forehead, then stepped out the bedroom door.

He took all the guns he could find and never looked back.

Never give up, Ivan...

((Ivan Kuznetsov, continued elsehwere))
Edited by MK Kilmarnock, Nov 1 2011, 03:17 PM.
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