Man Overboard

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He came to when water started going down his lungs. His consciousness whirled as his sense of direction flipped end over end. Water threw him like solid arms. He heard Tyson coughing nearby and suddenly his friend was there, pounding on his back in galaxy size bursts of pain.

But it worked. The water left his lungs. Once his lungs were certain they were getting air, darkness took him once more.

The next time he woke up wasn't much better. He was freezing, and Kai didn't consider himself 'freezing' lightly. Being raised by the uncaring Abbey in the snows of Russia would do that.

He curled in on himself, trembling as he hadn't since he was a child. Someone must have packed snow about him and left him in subzero temperatures, but there was sunlight through his closed eyelids. Steeling himself, he pushed them open.

To see, not snow, but the open ocean, clear skies, and the bandaged, bloody forms of Ray, Max, Tala, and Tyson. Ray held a slender black figure against his chest, and from the mass of bushed up white hair, it could only be Ayah. If it weren't for that, he would have just closed his eyes, gritted his teeth, and figured out a way to get himself moving so he could find a godforsaken blanket on whatever boat they had dragged him onto. Alas, a displeasure somehow colder than his feverish body moved him to speak.

"Ray..." his voice cracked. In the time it took to clear his throat, Tyson jumped to him and yanked Kai up into an unwelcome hug.

"No touching," he growled through chattering teeth as he pushed at Tyson's head. He found it difficult, seeing the boy had several cuts that had yet to stop oozing running up into his hair as well. Max, who leaned against a railing, gave a tired smile, though Tala didn't move. He had slumped against the railing, eyes closed. The blood spot on his bandages didn't look too large, and he at least had escaped looking like he had been thrown through a cloud of barb wire like the others.

"You're alive!" Tyson cried.

"You think?" His quavering arms did nothing against Tyson's crowing happiness, though, and he had to make due with waiting till Tyson was done. "Oy, Ray, is she conscious?"

"No. Why?"

"Because girls who were raped tend to not care for guys touching them."

Tyson's happy chortles cut short. Smiles all around vanished. Ray's face fell, then abruptly turned a sort of purple and his lips curled.

"He—how do you—"

"Just let her go."

"No! She's like ice! Besides, it isn't like this stupid ferry has beds or anything."

Kai groaned. No beds meant no blankets.

Tyson finally let go of him and Kai had to struggle against the tremors to stay upright. "Dude, you going to be alright? I mean, you're burning up like an egg in the summer!"

Max moaned. "Tyson, metaphors. Work on them."

"I'm surprised you're even coherent," said Ray. "With a fever like that..."

Kai just shuddered. "Whatever. Doesn't anyone have a coat?" Cold. So cold.

"Maybe, if Tyson hadn't run off as he usually does," said Ray with a good-natured smile.

"Hey, it's a good thing we did, or Kai and Ayah would be toast." Tyson puffed up his chest, grinning. "My instincts are never wrong. We're freaking heroes! I bet you're wondering how we found you, huh?"

"Not really," said Kai as he lowered himself to his side, hoping against hope that the floor would somehow work to conserve body heat. If he didn't figure out something soon—no, he was not about to cuddle with anyone, period.

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