Kevin wandered through the deserted store, unable to remember which aisles they'd passed through on his way to the garden area, where he assumed Wendy had gone. He'd seen what had triggered the shelf collapse, the forklift on the aisle behind them covered in items that had fallen off shelves and allowed it to start up alone. Kevin questioned why they hadn't heard it's destruction as he tried to find signs for the garden section.
He was correct in his assumption that was where Wendy would be, as he found her sat against the green fence caging them in from the rest of the world, staring at her lap. He knew she'd been crying some more. Wendy sat up once she saw him, wiping her eyes before making her way over to him.
"They said they'll be here in ten minutes," she explained, putting the cell phone that was still in her hand, back into her messenger bag. Kevin handed her the keys he'd taken from Ian, which she shoved in the pocket of her pink zip up. She looked at him confused.
"How come you're not still in there?" she asked, sniffling as she spoke before folding her arms over her chest.
"I was given my marching orders," Kevin replied, trying to frame the sentence in a light hearted joking kind of way, but it just ended up coming out wrong. Wendy winced.
"Well, should we go back in there?" she asked, her voice cracking. Kevin could tell Wendy wasn't happy with the idea of leaving Ian alone in the store with Erin's body, but the last thing this night needed was to get any worse.
"I wouldn't," he told her, giving her a gentle warning. Wendy turned her face away from him and wailed.
"I just want it all to stop," she sobbed into her sleeve, causing Kevin to move closer and wrap his arm around her shoulder.
"I know," murmured Kevin, squeezing her arm. "Me too."
"I tried," she said, trying not to choke on her sobs. "I tried my best."
Wendy continued to cry, wondering how the hell she still had any tears left. It was too much, too many people we're dying all around her. She'd watch the life get wiped out of too many classmates, scrubbed too much of their blood of their faces. All the same questions that had swam around in her head after Lewis's death returned, leading her to question what she'd done to deserve this.
"And hey, you managed to save one person," began Kevin, trying to find a positive from what happened tonight. But she didn't want to think about positives, she just wanted to go to sleep and try to forget it had happened, to trick herself into thinking she could.
"But we're still nowhere near close to finding out who was sat behind them," argued Wendy, fear and desperation filling her words. "And one more person is dead. I don't want to watch any more people die."
"Me neither Wend," sighed Kevin, pulling her tighter against him until the sound of sirens and flashing blue lights caught their attention.
They broke apart, heading towards the same gate Erin had let them in through not even an hour earlier. The thought made Wendy shudder as she pulled the keys from her pocket, fumbling with them as she tried to figure out which one unlocked the gate. She managed to locate the correct key eventually, stepping back feebly as the police officers and coroner came inside.
"I'm Wendy Christensen, I made the call," she announced as they filed in, feeling her breath hitch as the stretcher with the body bag was wheeled through the gate. The image of the nails shooting through Erin's face flashed vividly through her mind again.
"So where's the body?" asked the coroner. Wendy closed her eyes.
"In the store," she said meekly, swallowing hard.
"By the cutting station in the timber section," Kevin added for her. The coroner thanked them before wheeling the stretcher inside. A police officer then led Wendy and Kevin out to an ambulance where they were checked over. Neither of them suffered any concussions or sprains from the falling debris.
What was probably only ten minutes felt like an hour as Wendy stared at the open gate, waiting for the coroner to emerge with the body. She wasn't sure why she couldn't pull her eyes away, why she was waiting so intently. After Lewis she'd wanted to get out of there immediately, changing out of her bloody clothes and heading straight back to her car, but this felt different. This felt more like Frankie's death, where the viciousness of it sat in her chest and settled in her bones.
As the coroner emerged, surrounded by the group of cops that went in to inspect the scene, Kevin began to lead Wendy away. He didn't want her to watch the body being loaded into the van. He was ready for the night to be over. They ended up leaning against the back door of one of the cop cars, looking around as they talked amongst themselves. Eventually one man came and approached the two of them.
"We'll need you to come down to the station and make a statement," said the officer, putting a small notepad in his pocket. Wendy and Kevin both nodded, although a suspicion nagged at the back of Kevin's mind. They hadn't had to go down to the station after Frankie's death, and he was unsure what this meant. Was it that they didn't think the death looked enough like an accident? Had they been at too many accident scenes, and were now considered suspicious? Had McKinley said something to them? Either way, it made him defensive.
"Yeah, of course," he said politely, knowing not to let his suspicions show. He didn't want to cause trouble, or upset Wendy even further.
"Are either of you fit to drive?" he asked them, trained gentleness in his voice. "Or will you be needing a ride to the station?"
"I can drive," said Wendy, her voice steady but vacant. "My car is over there." She pointed to the only car in the row. Satisfied, the police officer walked away, joining the others that were still gathered in the garden area. Kevin glanced over at Wendy.
"Are you sure you wanna drive?" he asked tentatively, watching her bite her lip.
"No," she admitted, shaking her head. "I don't know why I said that."
"It's okay, I'll drive," Kevin reassured her, placing a hand on her shoulder as the sound of muffled conversation caught his attention. He let go of Wendy, inching along the side of the car to get a better listen. He was already suspicious of why they needed to go to the police station, momentarily distracted by comforting Wendy. He ended up leaning against the fence watching Ian and a police officer walk slowly between rows of potted plants, noticing a messenger bag in the police officer's hands. He recognised it as Erin's.
"Kevin, what are you doing?" Wendy whispered from beside him.
"Nothing," he assured her, stepping away from the fence back towards the trunk of the car. If they were coming through the gate, he didn't want to be standing right there like a great big flashing reminder. Wendy quickly followed him, asking him again what he was doing.
"Trying to find out why we have to go to the police station," he said, reminding Wendy that it hadn't been necessary with Frankie. She nodded in understanding, turning around just as Ian and the officer emerged from the gate, moving to stand at the opposite side.
"Are you certain that you don't want a ride down to the station sir?" Kevin heard the officer ask. Ian shook his head.
"No it's fine," Kevin just about heard him say, trying not to look like he was eavesdropping. "I'll take my van, it's over in the staff parking lot." He gestured weakly around a corner. Kevin didn't think he would look smaller without the work apron on, but somehow he did, his arms folded over his chest and his bag hanging off his shoulder making him look like he was trying to fold in on himself. He nudged Wendy, seeing if she was eavesdropping too.
"I'm not sure that's a good idea sir," advised the police officer, his voice deep with concern. Kevin watched Ian tip his head back, eyes closed. He figured this conversation was going to be about as successful as his attempt to convince him to come away from the body.
"Look," said Ian, louder this time. "With all due respect officer, I just want to take my van." He didn't sound angry like earlier, he just sounded done, backing away from the officer and waving one arm around while he spoke. "And I know you're going to say that I'm in no fit state or whatever, but I think that's my judgement call to make." The officer sighed.
"Would you object to an officer accompanying you?" he asked.
"Yes," argued Ian. Kevin blinked, knowing that was coming. "Why is it so difficult for you to understand that I might just want to be alone right now?"
"It's not sir," said the officer, a tired expression on his face. "Now if you would just stay there for a moment, I'm going to check your request with one of my fellow officers." The officer disappeared. Ian shook his head, rolling his eyes before he caught sight of Wendy and Kevin watching.
"Hey," he called, shooting them a dark look as his eyes narrowed. "What the fuck are you two looking at?" Kevin was almost certain then, that he'd said something to the police to cast suspicion on him and Wendy. He shot back a glare.
"C'mon Wendy," he said, guiding her away from the car by her shoulder. "Let's get down to the station." Wendy was visibly shaken when they got in her car. Kevin sighed, tiredness hitting him like a ton of bricks. He blinked it away, knowing that giving in to it was pointless. He put the key in the ignition and prepared to drive, knowing that they were in for a long night.