[center Sirens sound in the distance. Horns blare. Stoplights flicker, dim in the coming dark. People rush by on the sidewalks while cars cruise by, rumbling over dry pavement. The world is at peace.]
[center And yet it is not. A dark power crushes close, insinuating itself among humankind secretly. Velveteen claws are curled into places of security and power, sheathed only until they can strike once and decisively. Every institution has been infiltrated. The intruders are everywhere, hidden in plain sight. Until the claws are unsheathed and the trap snapped shut, even the infiltrators do not know what they are. Human in appearance, human in nature, in every way, from memory to appearance, a perfect replica of those whom they have replaced. ]
[center There is no secret organization to oppose them. There is no resistance to be had against that which does not exist. Those who discover the truth cast their eyes aside and claim they did not see, for to admit to have seen such horror is to admit insanity. ]
[center Their patience is boundless. They have waited for generations, for millennia, watched humanity claw its way towards the unknowable beyond, but now their waiting is almost done. The coil bends, the pressure plate dips, the spring is compressed. And when the trap is sprung, nothing will be left of this Earth but ash.]
The black goat's thousand young are among us, perfectly disguised, preparing their final assault upon the Earth. When the thousandth child arrives, then will their disguises be cast aside and Earth's dominion shall be transferred to those beyond human understanding.
We play a pair of humans who have been upset from their homes by imposters who are, impossibly, identical to themselves in every way, down to the very memories. My character has been displaced for some time, while yours has only just been replaced. In this time of confusion, your character finds themselves drawn to mine, and mine offers yours guidance, hope, and a way to fight. So long as all thousand are not on earth, the trap remains unshut. And we two are the only two who know, the only two who can oppose them.
I want this roleplay to be dark and mature-themed. The black goat's young cannot be told from ordinary mortal humans until after a vital blow has been struck. There will be paranoia, fear, uncertainty, and surest of all, death. This is a long, hard battle with no certain outcome, where anyone and anything might turn against us at any moment. This roleplay is strongly influenced by Lovecraft, as you might have guessed from the title. The black goat's young are beings that defy human understanding, but they can be killed, or at least sent back to the dark realm from which they come. Romance is not necessary, but I would prefer a heterosexual or mxm relationship, if you desire it. I am very much open to any suggestions you might have as to where the plot might go.
Feel free to ask questions. Please pm me the skeleton below once you are ready to apply. This is not first come, first serve.
[center [b Name: // Age: // Gender: // Personality: // Bio: // Physical description: // Picture: (illustrated) // Sample post:]]
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Bell-boy's face fell and Daniel cringed. As fun as it was to live together in a real house, it was for a purpose. Other than have shelter and participate in human society. Daniel sighed out and waved the list, "Alphie scribbled some details next to the things," he mumbled. He'd only know what they meant until they got to the-...okay.
So how much hardware items could one store have exactly?
"Uhm...just, let me see," Daniel muttered and looked over some of the cards in front of the materials. Pipes. Yeah, they'd need some of those -at least to extend what'd been broken during the teleport. And tubes. He compared sizes and cross-referenced the annotations on the signs with what Alphie had scribbled on their shopping-list.
At least they could forego on most of the things. Wouldn't need the glass, or any of the finicky wires, probably. Which only left the things meant for hooking up the installation.
"I'm starting to think it'd be easier to just get Alphie involved and bring her along," he sighed out. Depending on their location, they'd need more or less of a certain item as well.
"I guess...these..." he considered the pipes. They seemed pretty standard and looked to fit some of the things he'd seem coming out of the installation. This was harder than he thought. Tubes were no simpler a matter.
"Yeah...we're taking Alphie shopping after we show her what we found already. And after we get the chemicals," Daniel decided.
"Let's just get stuff for in the house." His brain wasn't functioning at full throttle to begin with and trying to wrap around all this foreign stuff was making his head spin. He moved the cart into some more familiar territory: linen. Towels, sheets, pillows and comforters. Stuff they'd obviously bought before and lost somewhere along the way.
"Just white towels?" Daniel offered Bell. They were big ones, still fluffy from never having been used. Maybe they ought to get detergent and soap, make sure they could keep clean. Stuff to cook with.
Would Bell-boy cook?
Probably. The man would get hungry at some point, undoubtedly. And if they had Alphie and the nurse frequenting the house, it'd be handy.
Bell shrugged. What did he want to get? Anything and everything. "A bed, to start," he said. "Sheets, I guess. Uh, I don't know. Some pots and pans? House stuff."
He followed Daniel in, looking around the building with wide eyes. So many things they had to get. So many things. It wasn't like he'd never been in this kind of store before, but they'd never had to buy so much. Never had to supply a house.
Hardware first? He blinked and his face fell, sobered by the reminder of Daniel's impending doom. Right. This wasn't their house. It'd just be his. All alone. "Yeah, let's do that," he said, trying to keep his voice upbeat. He wasn't angry or disappointed with Daniel for suggesting it, and he didn't want to come off that way, but... he didn't want to remember that his time with Daniel was going to be cut short, or at least paused for a long moment.
"Any idea on the dimensions we're looking for?" Bell asked, starting for the hardware section of the store. Pipes and tubes and such, that was what they were looking for, right? He could vaguely remember the size of the tubes coming in and out of the thing, but when he arrived at the hardware section, realized that was hardly sufficient. Pipes of every size, shape, and description littered bins down the aisle, straight lines and curves and elbows and stuff. And not just white ones, either. There were three white plastic ones, but also steel ones, copper ones, black ones, blue ones, more pipes than he'd ever thought existed. Bell stared, then looked at Daniel. "Uh, [i any] idea on what we're looking for, specifically?" he asked.
Maybe the tubing section would be easier. Bell popped his head over to the next section and took a look, but it was no easier over there. Big tubes, little ones, narrow and thick, long and short, different colors and purposes. He just stared, then looked back at Daniel. "Uh, and the tubing?" he asked. He felt like they'd gone from one thing that was out of his depth to another. Maybe he should just go over to the towels or something and pick out something he knew about.
Almost there? Daniel felt sleep-addled still and he tried to take a few deep breaths to make sure he woke up a little. Only when Bell-boy's hand was put on his shoulder did he actually sit up and scrub some of the sleep from his face. Oh. That was a huge-ass store. Bell-boy had sounded excited for it, so the man was probably taking to the idea of having a home to call his own. Daniel smiled at the thought of a ruthless murderer taking pleasure in such simple trifles.
"Uhm... didn't we leave it in the truck?" Then again, they'd bought several leashes over the course of a couple of weeks. He wouldn't be surprised if there was still one loitering about. Seemed there was one in the end.
Daniel got out of the car and stretched, getting his blood pumping.
He numbly watched Bell-boy tie Goldy under a tree in the shade.
"You're excited," Daniel remarked with a chuckle, "what do you want to get?" He slowly started the trek towards the huge-ass store and pondered his life's choices. If he'd chosen sleep, he could've been sprawled out in a nice, luxury cotton bed.
Instead he was shopping with an enthusiastic Bellwether for items in their soon-to-be home. How the world changed.
Daniel found a cart to push around and took it all in.
"Hardware items first?" he offered. It wouldn't seem too suspicious to get them in tandem with several house-hold items, would it? It'd just seem as if they were redoing their home. He slowly walked down the isles, elbows rested on the cart's bar, and opened the list. Some of the things only had the barest of descriptions and even though he'd caught a look of the installation, it'd still be guess-work to get the proper tubing and wiring. Especially the amount they needed. Daniel scratched the back of his head.
It was his own stupid fault. If he hadn't teleported before they'd secured the house, they could've done a little more research. Could've teleported Bell-boy along with him, to protect him. Maybe.
Too late now.
Daniel sighed. At least the home stuff would be pretty straight-forward.
A wet towel, huh? But at least he felt well enough to reply, which was something. And he looked a lot better, even if he was still feeling under the weather. It looked like he'd recovered well overnight. Bell let out a quiet sigh of relief. He'd been worried about Daniel because the man was sick, but also because him being so weak going into an egg-type setup didn't bode well.
"Yeah, point," Bell conceded. They didn't need to get Alphie involved until they had everything else in line, and there were still some things they didn't have. Some of the hardware--tubing and such--and the chemicals. Daniel was starting to look a lot better; maybe they'd be able to raid the base soon. More than worrying about hurting the hunters, Bell was more worried about if Daniel got hurt. He was going to be extra careful to make sure nothing happened to him this time. And no more teleporting, unless it was the only choice!
"Alright, to the stores it is," Bell said cheerfully. A big box store would be just the place, somewhere that would have everything cheap, and everything, too. He headed towards the city, but didn't get all the way there before he found one. Bell pulled off the highway, giving Daniel a glance as he did so. It'd only been a half hour or so, but the man had managed to pass out completely in that time. Goldy was annoying him; Bell lifted his hand to put a stop to that, but stopped when he saw Daniel was already awake and scratching her. "Almost there," he alerted Daniel, to give him a minute to wake up.
In no time, he was easing the car into a parking spot. He glanced over at Daniel and put a hand on his shoulder to make sure he woke up. "C'mon, I can't leave you in this heat," he said. Goldy, either. The dog, however, was all too eager to hop out and sniff around.
"We have a leash for the dog?" he asked. They'd had one for Spot at one point. Whether or not it was still with them was another matter entirely. He searched the dark corners of the car and found it, them clipped it to Goldy's leash. He led her over to a shady patch of grass, and she followed happily, then sat as he tied her to one of the trees. "Alright, stay here. C'mon, Daniel, let's go shop!" Shopping for their house! It was so exciting!
"See ya," Daniel gave the man a wave and a meek smile. Bell-boy was excited, he could tell. Snapped out of his daze, Daniel followed Bell-boy back to the car and sank down, grateful their most important chore of the day was finished and he could finally get some much-earned rest.
"Like a wet towel," Daniel breathed and looked at Bell, head resting back on the passenger's seat. He extended an arm to the door and dragged the door shut. It was hot inside the car already, but at least he wasn't cold. Or temperature-confused in general.
Shopping, sleeping or visiting Alphie.
Daniel's first instinct went to sleeping, but he could do that on the way. Bell-boy already pulled away from the house before he'd made a decision and Daniel yawned.
"A little too early to involve Alphie yet. Need to get tubing and the keys to the house," he muttered. No point in telling Alphie she could work on the tube already if they didn't have everything for it yet. Cables and tubes, mostly. They could get the chemicals later, though Bell-boy's suggestion of asking whether she knew a nurse resonated his from before.
So they'd decided they'd ask, somewhere along the line then?
"Shopping then," Daniel decided. "Some of the stuff from the list and a bed sounds good. Maybe some stuff like towels and such," he put out there. And sheets. So they'd at the very least be comfortable.
Might need some pots. Or food to fill the fridge. Later.
Daniel yawned again for good measure and sank down the chair a little as the road whizzed by uneventful. He was still on the lookout for hunters, but when they didn't show up for a good ten minutes, Daniel figured he was entitled to a quick nap.
Closing his eyes was all it took for his body to give in to the desire. His head came to rest against the cool window-pane. Daniel himself was deep asleep within no time at all, breathing heavy and rhythmic. Now that he'd made it through the important bits, his body just gave out and focussed on transmuting food into energy.
There weren't even any dreams.
When he snapped to, it was because Goldy decided licking his hand was a good way to get his attention. Daniel drowsily pet the mutt's head and didn't even bother lifting his head.
He watched Daniel make his deal, excitement coming back at last. They were getting a house! He and Goldy poked around the kitchen, looking into all the corners and nooks, peering in the cabinets. There was some dirt and dust, a few cobwebs and bug corpses, but nothing too worrisome. The bugs were mostly beetles or mosquitoes that had wandered their way in, not things that would settle in and live in a house.
Bell looked up at the sound of Daniel's voice. Finishing it up? Oh, good, they stopped by the office tomorrow and that was it, huh? He gave Daniel an excited grin. He had a house! That was crazy. It didn't feel real. But here they were, finishing everything up. Tim gestured, waiting for them to take the lead out of the house. He locked the door behind him and headed for his car. "See you bright and early tomorrow," Tim said as he ducked into his car.
Bell nodded his farewell and stepped into his own car, letting Goldy hop up over him into the car. Once Daniel had settled in, he glanced at him. "Well, that could've gone worse," he said with a grin. "How are you feeling? Should we go get you somewhere to take a nap, or do you feel up to furniture shopping?" They'd need a bed, at least. They had nowhere to put it now, but they could find it now to have it delivered tomorrow. Or even get one of those put-it-together beds, they'd be able to store that for a day if they left it in its box with all the pieces disassembled.
Either way, he started up the car and waited for Tim to clear the way before following him off the property and away down the road. One way or another, it was best if Tim saw them leave the property; it'd be weird if they hung around. The road out from the little house was as bumpy as ever, but now it felt like coming home. Very soon, this would be theirs. Then his.
"Or would we stop by Alphie, and see if she can maybe refer us to a nurse?" Bell suggested, just to put everything on the table. They'd left her alone for long enough to pop in, hadn't they?
Check the basement? Before he could reply, Bell-boy interjected and Daniel cringed internally. Smooth. Real smooth. Tim hesitantly accepted Bell-boy's hasty explanation and Daniel didn't want to add anything to prevent Bell's reluctance appearing even more suspicious.
Instead, they were lead back outside to look at the yard. It was a well-sized plot of land, but they already knew that. Daniel squinted to see whether he could spot any of their neighbour's houses, but it all seemed like patches of overgrown soil to him.
"Yeah, a leash -we have a leash," Daniel commented. "It looks perfect."
A glance from Bell-boy snapped Daniel out of his haze. Right. Just a little while longer.
"Can we talk money?" he asked Tim. For a second he feared he might've been too straightforward, but the American responded well to the word.
"Let's go back inside," he proposed. Out of the scorching sun and back into the dark insides of the house. Daniel followed suit. Papers made it to the kitchen's counter-top, the only surface they had currently. Daniel realized they'd need some measure of furniture. At the very least a bed. Maybe some chairs.
They could buy some second-hand stuff. No need to go all-out.
Some contracts were shoved his way and Daniel picked them up while Time talked him through things.
"Utilities are your own responsibility. There are some clauses about payment and -you want to pay in advance, correct?"
"Yeah, I just thought it'd be easier that way. Maybe a discount?" Daniel ventured.
Tim thought about it for a second and nodded. The house had been empty for a long time, after all, and people living in it for a certain year would only make his life that much easier. They both knew it too.
The realtor brought out a phone and did some quick maths. A number popped up.
"How about we round that down?" Daniel ventured. "Like you said, everything works, but they're old appliances. The bathroom is the same."
"When would you like to start renting?"
"Immediately. I don't see why we should wait. Currently we're staying in a hotel," Daniel disclosed. "Hotels are nice, but they're not home."
"I understand. How about this?" Tim offered.
Daniel nodded. He was perfectly fine paying that much. The rent was laughable compared to what he'd paid back in England. He offered his hand and they shook on it.
"I'll make the paperwork in order. Drop by the office tomorrow and we can close the deal," the realtor said with a smile.
Bell glanced up instinctively at the mention of the roof. It looked fine to him, though, and Tim assured them of the same. He followed Tim and Daniel through the house, feeling a bit like a plus-one on this trip. But that was what he'd wanted Daniel along for: to take care of all the annoying talking things. The stuff he wasn't good at.
There were two whole bedrooms? Holy shit! And the house had been giving off such a one-bedroom vibe! Bell yawned and tried to keep paying attention. It was a house. It had a roof, a kitchen, a bedroom--two of those--and a basement. That was already more than enough for him. Tim opened the door to yet another room, and Bell found himself looking into a dusty, dark box. A study of some sort? Huh. What were they even going to do with all these rooms?
It felt so unreal. Yeah, they had lived in houses before. Daniel had even rented a house. But this time, it was his. His, more than Daniel's. Something he was going to live in, and take care of, and buy stuff for, and just... have. It was insane. He'd be able to cook. Sleep in his own bed. [i His] bed. Come home to his house, and his dog, and Daniel. It was nuts.
"Well, that's most of the house," Tim said. "There's a basement, if you want to take a look, or we can go take a loop around the outside, walk the grounds?"
"Let's check out the yard," Bell said, maybe a little too quickly. Tim looked at him, a strange expression on his face, and Bell tried to back away. "I want to see how big it is, if we need to fence Goldy in," he tried.
Tim shrugged. "You shouldn't have to worry about the dog," he said, but led them outside nonetheless. "There's plenty of room for her to run." He opened the door, and Goldy was off like a shot, proving just the point he'd been trying to make as she sped around the yard. "Even the road is pretty quiet. I'd recommend a leash, but even without, she should be fine."
"That's good," he said vaguely. He glanced at Daniel. How much longer until they could just buy the house? Rent it, whatever. This stuff was boring.
"Yeah, great open space outside too," Daniel agreed, making small-talk. "I'm sure Goldy will be content digging holes in that backyard," he chuckled. It was amazing how much empty field came with the property. Almost enough to farm on, or keep animals. More than just a simple dog too. He guessed some of the property belonged to their 'neighbours', wherever their houses were.
He followed Tim into the house and looked around. Old, but decent. Clean, at least. Not as dilapidated.
"How's the condition of the roof?" he asked casually.
It did have a nice open floor-plan. Unlike where he lived, cramped and in the smack-centre of a big city, the house was spacious and felt airy. As if someone had already invited the outside in. It wasn't overly heated though, courtesy of some of the slanted roofs he'd seen from outside.
"It's been redone only three years ago and some repairs have been made several months ago after that bad storm, so there should be no worry. Of course, if you'll be renting the place, some of the maintenance is included and you will be appointed a care-taker you may notify of these issues."
He nodded, then followed the man into the bedrooms. Multiple, apparently. Through the door was a small hallway, narrow and windowless, though there was one window at the very end of it, looking out over the fields.
Tim opened the first door, "the master bedroom," he said.
"It has an on-suite."
Daniel looked through the spaces. Didn't smell like mould or anything. Clean and dry. Made him wonder if there was even any running water currently. Maybe they'd have to register to get that fixed up.
"There's a second bedroom just down here," Tim guided them through the house. It was smaller and had some obvious markings of having been a kid's, but other than that there was nothing remarkable. Might be they furnished it so the nurse or a Alphie could stay the night if need be.
"What about the neighbourhood?" Daniel said, indicating he'd probably already seen enough to make a decision based on the house. Tim caught on to the clue and smiled, even as he opened the door to what was obviously used as a study -or had been at some point.
"Your nearest neighbour is a farmer several miles over -cows," he clarified.
The man looked like... well, like a realtor. Attractive, but that suit was tacky as hell. He looked businessmen as hell, though not quite as businessman as Daniel had looked, once upon a time. Still, he could see Daniel relax as the man walked closer, and felt himself relax as well. Daniel could handle the realtor, and he could just stand here and look threatening when and if they needed to pull that out.
Bell glanced at Daniel. Unwind and find him? More like get torn apart by a goatling and put back together. Actually, wasn't this really suspicious? Two men, renting a house out in the middle of nowhere... it was pretty obvious what they were, right?
Two--two years? Bell gave Daniel a startled look. How long did he think this was going to take? True enough, they had no idea how long it was going to take, but two years? He realized Daniel was looking at him and wiped the surprised look off his face to give Daniel a nod. Yeah, yeah, pay in advance--two years?! Honestly?
Ben. It took Bell a moment to realize Daniel had used his old name and looked up. Right, that was him. The realtor, Tim, held his hand out, and Bell took it and gave it a firm shake. Alright. Now for the tough part.
The realtor pulled out a ring of keys and unlocked the door with a clatter of other-keys-on-keys. Inside, silence awaited them. Tim gestured them in, and before anyone could step in, Goldy took the initiative and trotted inside, head high, tail wagging. "This house [i is] dog friendly," Tim said with a friendly smile. Bell did his best to smile back. That was good, though. It was good.
"We've got a real nice layout here, a real open floorplan," Tim said, showing them around the room. "You've got a couple rooms you can make what you want with, a parlor, a living room... Ah, the kitchen! Fully outfitted. The appliances are a bit old, but they should work just fine." He gave the oven a friendly pat. "Take a look around!"
Bell pooked around the kitchen, not really sure what he was looking at. It was a kitchen. Had everything he was looking for, a stove, an oven, even a fridge, though it wasn't plugged in yet. He nodded vaguely to Daniel, as though he really cared what the kitchen looked like.
"Shall we take a look at the bedrooms?" Tim offered, gesturing towards the room tucked away in the corner of the first floor that didn't open at all to the rest of the house. There was no second floor; Bell glanced up just to be sure, but no; just a first floor. Everything looked good so far, and no one had noticed anything he'd broken or noticed the stuff in the basement.
"Yeah, yeah," Daniel appeared Bell-boy. He'd try not to fall asleep. Besides, a short nap before they arrived at the house couldn't hurt, could it? Despite that alluring prospect, Daniel tried to keep awake enough to get a general gist of where they were going. Nothing for miles. It was really the perfect place.
When they arrived, no one was there. Daniel wondered just how early they were, but the car's clock was off and he had to confess he'd no idea at what time Bell-boy put the appointment. Either way the realtor was to be expected early. Daniel got out of the car when it pulled up and let Goldy out. Curious about the sudden expansive space she had to run around in, Goldy started to explore and sniff the ground.
She didn't go too far -looking back every now and then to see whether her adoptive masters were still in sight. Satisfied, she continued her quest for boundless treasure.
"Don't eat anything weird," Daniel muttered after her and rounded the car to rest against the hood. Bell-boy had other plans. The man was probably checking the back to see whether or not everything was still there. He would. Later. When the realtor left.
Hopefully the man would have the keys and could be swayed by the promise of cold hard money.
It didn't take long for the sound of gravel popping underneath rubber snapped him from his day-dream. Daniel pumped himself and took a few deep breaths. Alright. He just had to look alive for the whole of an hour, maybe two.
He could do this.
The man pulled up casually and stepped out. A fake smile was plastered on the man's face, but he wasn't unattractive. Brown hair, perfectly styled, atop a sky-blue suit. Daniel snorted. Looked like some of the colleagues he'd worked with. Once he realized that, Daniel relaxed. This would be easy. He knew what things triggered these people: business-talk.
"You're early, I hadn't expected you until...oh, an hour or so," the man greeted them.
Daniel shrugged and put on his best smile, "We toured the neighbourhood to see how it was and lo and behold... nothing for miles."
"That... is actually very true, but also one of the great qualities of this property -you were looking to rent, correct?"
"Yeah, as you can tell, I'm a foreigner. Stuff like this is just an escape for me. When we saw it, I decided it'd be good to stay a while, just... you know? Unwind and find me." Close enough to the truth. Obvious enough to make the realtor realize they were a couple. Awkward enough to put the man on edge.
"...maybe for a year, maybe two. We want to pay in advance, don't we?" he looked at Bell. "Daniel, by the way. Daniel Turner and this is Ben." The name on the fake ID. There'd be questions otherwise.
"Tim Jones, Tim," the man followed up and they shook hands. "Shall we take a look inside?"
He gave Daniel a look when he caught the man feeding Goldy. Really? At least it was just toast, but... "You'll teach her to beg," he complained. He wasn't too serious about the complaint. Just mildly annoyed and hungry.
And the food was just the way to solve both of those problems at once. It was delicious, perfectly savory; a little too rich, if he had a choice, but over all it was excellent food. Daniel seemed to have an even higher opinion of it than he did, the way the man was wolfing it down. Bell snorted at him. "Glad you're enjoying it," he commented, before turning back to his own food.
By the time he was finished, he didn't want to see another morsel of food. Bell sat back and glanced at Daniel, who looked just as stuffed as he felt. "No kidding," he muttered. Looked like they'd both had enough. More coffee? Where was he going to put it?
Before he could rebuke Daniel, the man stood to go settle the bill. "Yeah, let's go," Bell agreed, gesturing for Goldy to follow him to the car. It was high time they headed out to the house, to meet up with the realtor before he discovered their little mess. "And don't fall asleep, I need your charming good looks to win the realtor over!"
He held open Daniel's door, first for Goldy, then for Daniel, then closed it with a slam and climbed into the front seat. "Alright, let's get this show on the road," he muttered to himself, starting the car. It grumbled to life, and he navigated it back on the road and out towards the house and the realtor.
They got there before the man, which wasn't too surprising to Bell; he'd put in good effort to make sure that was the case. He parked on the gravel driveway and climbed out. "Gonna go make sure nothing's obvious," he told Daniel, then headed around to check on the house and the back door he'd busted in. The door was closed, at least, but it was obviously broken. Bell gave it a pull, and the handle almost fell out of the busted door. He pushed it back in nervously. Maybe the realtor would think it was just the age of the house?
Tires crackled on gravel. Bell glanced at Daniel and hurried back to the front of the house, managing his best grin as the realtor pulled up. Well, time to face the music!
There was plenty of food dished up. The waitress put it down with a smile and Daniel didn't wait for Bell-boy to get his before picking up his knife and fork. Some of the things were a bit foreign to him, but still good. Goldy seemed to catch on to what was on their plate, because she was begging them for more. The whole pizza-incident hadn't put a stop to her insatiable hunger apparently. Daniel waited for the mutt to look at him and fed the animal small bits of toast.
Hopefully toast would be neutral enough and help stop her bowel-movements from being too runny.
He could tell Goldy wanted nothing more than some of the greasier things on his plate, but Daniel stood strong in the face of her all-mighty cuteness.
Besides, he was too hungry himself. For once, he was quicker than Bell-boy. And he was stuffed at the end of it, almost to the point where he regretted it. Every time he thought he'd regret it, a hunger-pang flared back up, which was weird.
"I think I've had enough," Daniel muttered and sat back. Maybe a short walk to help the food digest, but other than that, he was good.
No longer as unstable or drained-feeling. Now he just wanted to sleep and recover though. Daniel had to actively fight the urge to doze off. He wasn't even tired.
"Maybe some more coffee," he confessed.
Hopefully the caffeine would keep him awake long enough to feign normalcy and talk to the realtor, before his body caved in and gave up -probably at the sight of a bed.
"We don't really have the time, do we?" Daniel pitched, trying to bring some life back into his bones. He shook himself and stood. "I'll pay so we can leave soon," he announced before going inside. The sudden difference in light made him blink for a long second, but soon enough the diner came into focus.
He dealt with the waitress and the bill they'd racked up on auto-pilot.
Before long, he rejoined Bell-boy outside, "let's go," he tried. "If I sit down for too long, I'll just fall asleep," Daniel confessed. He'd rather they just get underway, get the house and then he could rest to his heart's content. Felt like he could sleep for days and it'd still not be enough. Daniel savoured being awake though. He'd slept too long lately. The world and things were just drifting by this way. They still had a whole list of items to get and a base to infiltrate or at least observe.
Daniel gave him a big, appreciative smile, and Bell smiled back, not quite sure what he'd done to receive the smile but happy to get it nonetheless. "I was an egg, though," he argued. It wasn't the same. Just felt like they'd been camping out in a random house, not like they'd had it. He nodded. "Yeah, first time." To have his own house. To actually own a place that was his, not hang out in someone else's room or house or apartment. It was a weird feeling. He felt excited, but also scared. This was a responsibility.
And Daniel wouldn't be there to share it with him.
The waitress returned before he could chase that thought too far with Goldy's, then their drinks. Bell snorted. A little favoritism going on there, maybe? Oh well, it was fine. Goldy was pretty cute.
He sipped his milk and watched Daniel savor his coffee. He wasn't really sure why he'd wanted milk, just that he was craving it. Maybe because it reminded him of home. And here he was, getting a home with Daniel. Sure, it was only temporary, the Daniel sharing the house part more than anything, but...
"I'm kind of looking forward to it," Bell confessed. "It sounds exciting, doesn't it? My own house. That's so nuts."
A hand on his knee. Bell looked up, confused, but Daniel provided no explanation; food came before he could say a thing.
Not that he minded. Today's special was a good, solid southern breakfast, eggs, bacon, toast, and grits, plus a biscuit and gravy. Bell dug in, but wasn't certain he could finish the whole thing. It was a huge amount of food. The biscuit and gravy alone--a fluffy biscuit smothered in a creamy sausage gravy--looked to me an insurmountable mountain of food. But he'd persevere. Of that, he was sure.
A paw touched his leg, and he looked down to find Goldy giving him big puppy-dog eyes. "Didn't you learn your lesson?" he asked her. There innocent look on her face told him that she most certainly had not. He sighed and pushed her down. "No, you dumb animal," he sighed. Honestly.
Daniel returned Bell-boy's shrug. He wasn't sure either. Something between a lab and a shepherd, maybe. At least she earned them a 'pass', as in, the waitress didn't look at them as if they were filth. Then again, for once they looked reasonably the part. Daniel looked over at Bell and smiled, as if noticing for the first time today that the man had actually made an attempt at looking well-dressed and well, ordinary.
Like they were just two friends and their pet dog going out for lunch.
"Tell me about it," Daniel sighed out. He would've liked it to have been a different way around: house first, installation later. Unfortunately, the goatling didn't quite work that way.
"Why would that be weird? We've had a house before," he pointed out, resting back in the chair. Like this, in the sunshine, he actually felt quite comfortable and relaxed. At ease. As if he wasn't going to die at any time, a time determined by the goatling's whim.
"I guess it's new for you though, isn't it? Having a house, a place to call your own. First time?" Daniel guessed. Bell-boy had always been on the streets. Maybe the man had been living in with someone before, but this house blank. If they chose to decorate it or get some furniture, that was all up to the both of them.
The waitress returned with Goldy's water, then returned with their drinks.
Daniel eagerly took his coffee and savoured the bitter scent of scorched coffee-beans. They'd been having far too little of this lately. He missed coffee in general. It'd been the staple back at the office. Not a day went by without it being kick-started by coffee; at home with Lily, then at the office, listening to the latest gossip.
Daniel snorted. It was a Lenny thing to miss normalcy.
Goldy slobbered up the water eagerly. Daniel watched the mutt's inability to swallow down water in a normal way and snorted. Dogs.
He'd never really owned one, but Daniel decided they were okay.
"You'll get used to it," Daniel eased Bell's mind. "Living in a house, that is."
Keeping a low profile because of hunters? That would be the tricky part. And not killing Alphie -on purpose or by accident.
Daniel cringed. There'd come a time Alphie would show compassion and wake Bell up from a nightmare or find him confused, rattled and on edge. He reached over and put a hand on Bell-boy's knee for just a second when food arrived. Daniel pulled away, eager to dig in.
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