[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 blushing was always worth it. Daniel grinned broadly, languidly waiting for Bell-boy to come to grips with what he felt. So he did remember, huh? Oh. Lenny-stuff first? It'd be a while before Bell-boy would admit that some of those memories it'd been Lenny instead of him or Lilah. A poke to his chest.
Daniel raised his eyebrows.
Oh, the tube? He smiled, a pained smile.
"Yeah, I remember that," Daniel admitted. He remembered the pain of the liquid biting at his skin. He recalled the torture they subjected them both to, but he also recalled escaping. And then there'd been the time when they'd tried to separate him from the goatling. There were fewer memories there.
"It's happened several times, actually."
For a second they were both quiet, their breath mingling into the cold air in long clouds of vapour. "I don't remember the last time very well. I think they forced me into a chemically induced coma for that one," Daniel offered up uselessly. He remembered Lenny had tried to kill himself afterwards and how unstable they were. How unstable they still were without the goatling's 'cure'.
In the end Bell-goat had received what it'd intended: a spawn. Safe and sound, brought into the world in a curious construction that would keep it interested for quite a long time.
"Lenny wasn't there for that one. For either one of those. If it's shitty memories that need recalling, it'll not be Lenny doing it," Daniel snorted.
Go back to sleep, as if. After the Bunny-goat died, their only other mission would consist mainly of getting the fuck out of dodge.
"It won't risk itself like that," he remarked. "Eating another goat is different than just killing it. A wolf's fangs won't be that effective," Daniel pointed out. Animals in general weren't that effective. Perhaps a bear. It'd be too slow though. Lacking in strength. Maybe not with the goat's help.
"It'll help when it has to, trust that much," Daniel shrugged. He hooked his hands behind his head and stretched out. His body agreed with Bell-boy; sleep had been good, apparently. Lenny had been there for that, hadn't he? And poor old Bell-boy hadn't noticed a shitty thing.
"It was Lenny last night, after dinner. You didn't notice?" he said, brought his arms down and gave Bell a look.
Divide them, conquer the bunny-goat, as in, beat her head in. Bell nodded. He understood. They wandered a bit, loitering closer to the boyfriend. Bell watched him vanish into a bar and sighed. It was probably toasty warm in there. The golden light spilling through the door beckoned him for a moment, and then it was cut off, nothing but cold blue snow again.
A shiver tore through him. A door. Closing. Cold. He stared at the door, brows furrowing. It felt familiar, but the way a bad memory felt familiar. Like poking at a bruise. He didn't want to, but something drove him closer anyways.
He stopped dead when Daniel spoke. "Yeah, point," he ceded. Whatever memory had been struggling to the forefront gave up and sagged back down in his mind, and he fell back as well.
"After...?" he asked. The door was still distracting him. Something about it. Something...
He blushed belatedly and glanced at Daniel. "Jeez," he muttered. What kind of memory was that supposed to spark? But it had, hadn't it? He sighed and shook his head, then nodded. "Yeah. I remembered... like, the way you'd hold me when we slept. Shit like... you know, in bed. Stuff where I thought it was a memory of Lilah, but now I remember it being you. And uh." His brows furrowed deeper. It kept slipping out of his head. No, there it was. But it didn't make much sense. He frowned at Daniel, poked his chest. "You. In a tube of amber fluid. Again. I keep remembering that, but you keep telling me you don't. Or was that Landon? Do [i you] remember that?" He shook his head. "Did I just make that up? I don't know."
Bell looked up at the sky and huffed out a long breath. Fog clouded the air, curling towards the stars high above. "Would've been nice if we could've just lazed around all night," he said. "It's too damn cold out here. Wish we could wrap this up quick and go back to sleep, you know?" He snorted. "Sic the goatling on her or something. That'd be a headline; 'Wolf mauls skier: no body found.'" Too convenient, though. Besides, a series of wolf maulings would get much more attention than a couple of casual murders.
Had to? Really? A Bell-boy that didn't remember anything surrendered to his absolute fate this easily? Daniel snorted and shrugged. No, he didn't think Bell-boy had ever thought about it before.
"I don't know, Bell-boy," he said with a shrug. Daniel was pretty sure it'd bothered Bell-boy, but against the goat, who threatened to make a useless shell obsolete, there hadn't been much they could do. Actually, it was his presence back then that made them being together precarious. When Bell-boy was alone, it was easier for the goat to force reality out of Bell-boy's reach.
There was so much missing about this version of Bell-boy, that Daniel couldn't even say whether or not this was Bellwether to begin with. It was a derivative of that; but maybe one closer to a young Benjamin than anything else. A Benjamin who hadn't ever pursued his nature before.
It felt more than a little cruel to actually force all what Bell-boy was on this person.
A nudge brought him back to the here and now. Bunny-boyfriend was there. "Divide and conquer. As in, divide them," Daniel nodded. Bunny-goat had been eager to be taken away and distracted from the boyfriend, so Daniel really didn't see much pain there. Unless they forced him to drink again. This time he'd have to approach things a fair amount smarter. No meeting them inside a tent, for one. They'd have to be out in the open. In a crowd.
It was too early for all of that still. It'd be nice if Bunny was a little drunk. Surely it'd make killing her a lot less heavy on the guilt.
"For now, let's follow the boyfriend and see where he's going off to," Daniel offered up. He didn't go very far. Into a bar, near the tall buildings. Presumably, that's where their friends would be. Maybe even the Bunny herself, but getting in there wouldn't benefit them in any way. They needed her out there.
"We never really plan this shit ahead," Daniel said with a chuckle. "But going in there doesn't seem like a good idea." He'd rather follow them from the shadows a little more until an opportune time popped up.
"So... you remember anything new after... you know," Daniel hinted. Maybe their little sexual encounter spawned more than just lust.
Honestly, what [i was] he on about? Bell squinted at Daniel, but dropped it in the end. If Daniel was being cagey, then whatever, let him be cagey. He was already getting used to the idea that Daniel could be a little obnoxious when he needed to.
It didn't take long before they ran into people all headed the same way. Looked like their little reconnaissance in the hotel had been for nothing. Then again, if he'd been being honest, he hadn't really been there for reconnaissance. More like... well, exactly what they'd ended up doing.
Tents were set up, heaters already warming up the space within. Bodies jostled around, alcohol already plentiful. He glanced at Daniel, but the man didn't even suggest it. Looked like he was going to be good, after all. Thank goodness. He sighed a bit. It would've been impossible to take care of Daniel and kill the bunny at the same time.
"I dunno. Maybe not yet," Bell offered, looking around. He yawned and rubbed the tears that sprung up in his eyes away. If it wasn't for the goat, he would still be in bed right now. Possibly sleeping. Probably not. Too much to explore.
He shot Daniel a look. What was that supposed to mean? "I don't like it, I just have to," he said. That was how it worked, right? He had to. Hadn't Daniel said so?
And this wasn't the most thrill he'd felt so far, stalking this woman, staking her out, hunting her down? He frowned. It wasn't what he liked best. Was it?
"I... never thought about it," he said. He frowned at Daniel. "Did it use to bother me?" If it was even a thing. It was just what he did, right? Like a job, kind of.
He shook his head at Daniel. He didn't want to think about that.
A flash of familiar color caught his eye. Bell turned, then nudged Daniel. Boyfriend was here. Bunny couldn't be far behind. It did bring up another question, though. "How are we going to get Bunny away from her boyfriend?" he asked. "Suppose we can just wait..." As far as he remembered, she'd been with her boyfriend all last party. On the other hand, she was into him, wasn't she? Maybe he could lure her away.
"Sure, Bell-boy, sure," Daniel chuckled. Sure he hated Lenny. "Didn't notice a bloody thing, did you?" He shook his head and pulled his beanie low over his ears. All ready to face the snow outside. Daniel checked over their hotel-room one last time before he followed Bell-boy out.
"Yup," he confirmed. Hit the party and stay sober. He was already looking forward to that shitty situation where everyone else was drunk and he wasn't. Daniel stretched out and patted his coat for some gloves once they stepped outside. Without the sun warming up the slopes, the cold was quick to set in. Daniel shivered.
He'd been cozy, all snuggled up with Bell-boy. Should've just ventured an attempt at staying in bed. Maybe, with the way Bell-boy had been opening up, he'd finally get lucky. Lenny should've just taken the fucking opportunity. Bell-boy wouldn't have known.
Daniel wasn't sure whether or not he wanted Bell-boy to love or hate Lenny, honestly.
In the end it wasn't hard to find the party. People were all bustling towards one spot. Just following the crowd gave them a pretty good clue on where they needed to be. Much like the other night, there were tents and the big fire was lit. No loud music though. Not yet. Daniel longingly looked at the bars that'd been set up and sighed out. No alcohol for him tonight. Right. They had a goat to kill.
He looked at Bell-boy.
That wouldn't stop Bell-boy though. He smirked. Right. And in what world was getting drunk before a fight a clever idea? Not that he hadn't done that before.
"Think she'd be out?" Daniel offered. Maybe Bunny-goat wouldn't be out yet. Why would she? It was getting cold.
Daniel lazily followed behind Bell-boy, taking it all in. He wasn't usually this patient. Bell-boy brought it out of him. Or his lack of emotion made him care less that he was wasting his precious time out on shit all. Hunting goats, honestly? They could be doing so much more. The two of them? The world was sprawled wide open. Whatever they wanted would be up for grabs.
"Doesn't it worry you, Bell-boy? That this is what you like doing best?" Daniel started, a sly grin playing about his lips.
"Why are you awake?"
Bell grunted incoherently. It was too early for that kind of question. Not that he thought he'd ever have a particularly good answer. What was it even supposed to mean, anyways?
Daniel clutched at his shirt. He glanced over as a long yawn spilled from his mouth. All Daniel wanted to do was snuggle, and he was more than happy to comply. They could snuggle and go right back to sleep, sleep all night and wake up bright and early in the morning.
Daniel was the first to admit it. Bell let out a heavy sigh in response, though didn't fight it. This was reality, after all. They had places to be and things to see. Well. Things to kill.
He nodded lazily. He was fine. "Could... use some more sleep, maybe," he yawned. Daniel got up. Bell resisted a moment, then followed. He'd left most his clothes on, so it was mostly a matter of pulling on his jacket and stepping into his boots.
"No he's not, he's an asshole," Bell muttered. Daniel was nice and Landon was mean. He noticed the difference. What was Daniel on about?
Bell shook his head and stood, heaving himself up from the bed where he'd sat to tie his shoes. "Time to hit the party, huh?" he suggested, nudging Daniel. He checked for his pipe--good to go. His stomach crinkled with nerves. They were really doing it. [i He] was really doing it. Today was a day for bold firsts, wasn't it? First experimenting with Daniel, then off to hunt his first goat. It wasn't really, for either of them, but it might as well have been, right?
Up and out. He looked around the hotel as they exited, just in case he'd guessed wrong about where bunny-goat was having her party. There was no sign of her, not that he'd expected much, so out into the cold night it was.
The sun was setting. Ski slopes reflected it's colors as it sank, sparkling in multicolor. The cold had become a fiercer thing already. It bit sharply at his face, sharp enough it almost felt like he had to sneeze. Bell shook his head, jammed his hat on, and strode out into the evening. Time to go find that party.
He was floating somewhere in between. Thrashing brought his consciousness to the surface, but not quite. Landon felt how his eyes opened. Daniel was aware of how his fingers curled in the sheets. No one was in control and yet they were both there, at the forefront. A sigh came from Bell and lost eyes tried to find Bell's, failed and owlishly blinked at the darkness. What the hell?
He wanted to wake up completely. Landon felt like going back to sleep. They were at an impasse.
"Why are you awake?"
Not his voice. Not Daniel's. Not Landon's.
A hand clenched into Bell's shirt, tightly and held on to it. And then something shifted. Daniel sluggishly nestled closer to Bellwether, breathing in the man's scent and eager to bask in the man's sleepy warmth. They couldn't though. Bunny-girl had invited them to this shitty party and if they didn't go it might be the last opportunity they got to kill her some place remote. He groaned and shifted, moving his abused muscles to get rid of some of the acid.
"We need to get up," he said with a thick voice. Daniel rolled over to give Bell-boy a little more space and smiled at the man. "We have a date," Daniel pointed out. A date with a goat to be precise. If it wasn't already too late. Daniel stretched and narrowed his eyes at Bell-boy.
"You okay, Bell-boy?" he pitched. The man looked a bit crumpled. It was nice waking up to Bell-boy again. It'd been far too fucking long already. Even if they didn't go all the way, it was good. And it wasn't as if Bell-boy hadn't offered.
Soon enough the man would get either curious or guilty about leaving him hanging.
Daniel reached out and ruffled Bell-boy's hair before getting up. Once he got his blood pumping, the soreness wasn't that bad. He splashed some water on his face and picked up his clothes. Poor old Lenny. So self-conscious. Not enough to share a bed with Bell-boy though. That part had been easy enough, huh? Daniel shook his head. And Bell-boy hadn't noticed a thing.
"You know? I think you don't care whether it's Lenny or not in the end, Bell-boy," he pitched lazily as he tied up his shoes.
"Just like me, isn't he?"
He was surprised at how right it felt. His body melted into Daniel's, knew exactly where to put each limb and joint for maximum comfort. The scent of Daniel, thick and familiar. Bell relaxed, feeling more comfortable than he had for a long time. This was where he belonged. This was where he was supposed to be.
It was easy to drift off today. Easier than it had been for a long time. In no time, he was gone, completely dead to the world.
Vibrations, slightly uncomfortable, jostling his face. Bell blinked awake. He was in the back of a car, blood staining the fabric he was wrapped in. He tensed, fear sparking through his heart. He was hurt. What had happened?
Motion from the front seat. He found Landon there, glancing back at him, the same fear in his eyes. He gave a little smile, to show him everything was okay. It wasn't, but Landon didn't need to know that. He'd be alright.
A dark space, clothes draped here and there around the room. A warehouse. He shifted and winced as something pulled at his gut, sharp as a knife. "Daniel! Landon," he tried, too tired to manage any more. All alone. He was all alone.
Warm hands. He turned into them, moving closer on instinct. "Bell," the man breathed. Gratitude welled up from inside him, the desire to never be parted again strong as a magnet in his stomach. "Landon," he said, quietly, breathing his name back.
A tube. An unconscious form, floating in amber liquid. His heart ached, thudding with dread. Landon, Daniel, they were, they were in danger! Bell ran to him. As soon as he took the first step, the earth tumbled out from under him. He plunged, sinking into the dark. "Landon!" he screamed. The man in the amber fluid slept on, immobile.
He thrashed himself awake, tearing free of the blankets. His heart raced, adrenaline pumped through his veins--but there was nothing. Nothing to fight. Just Daniel, sleeping quietly beside him.
Bell sighed and laid back down, snuggling into Daniel's arms for just one more moment. It was precious, this moment. Having Daniel here. He didn't quite remember the dream--it slid out of his head like sand--but he couldn't forget the feeling that he was lucky to be here, lucky to have this man with him.
Bell was eager to get to their room, no surprise. Landon had to admit he'd rather have the heat of the hotel's bowels than the icy cold of the slopes. Once they got inside, the tiredness that clung to him seemed to cloy his thoughts more. Numbly, Landon followed Bellwether back to their room, finding it easier to follow than to lead. It felt more natural this way.
Landon kicked off his boots and slowly stripped out of his coat. His eyes fell on Bell and he consciously wiped the confusion from his face after a split-second. An invitation? What the hell had Daniel done to earn that right? Was this what it felt like? Part of him felt hurt and wanted to accuse Bellwether and Daniel. He wanted to point out that it wasn't fair for Bell to just love half of him, that he wanted that too.
But now he could just have it and it'd feel like theft. He could be sour about it or just give in and pretend in exchange of some gratification.
Landon stepped out of his pants and smirked.
"I'm alright," he said. He wasn't. Not really, but that would definitely be overstepping his boundaries and in this case, Daniel would be like this too. The ass would definitely take advantage of whatever situation presented itself to him, no questions asked or hesitations.
Nice and warm.
Landon sighed out and flicked off the lights before he joined Bell on the bed. It felt like coming home. Just being in the man's arms, breathing in Bellwether's scent, to feel those familiar angles and curves pressed up against him. Landon closed his eyes, slightly overwhelmed, but soon settled. Whatever they'd been up to that day, it'd taken its toll. His eyes closed heavily and remained securely shut.
A sigh of relief breathed from his lungs.
He'd wanted this for so long. So incredibly long.
So what if Bell thought it was Daniel? Wasn't it him Bell had fallen in love with all that time ago? He felt sorrow. A deep sorrow in his heart, which clenched at the strength of the emotion. Bell didn't love him and he probably never had. And yet he couldn't bring himself to let go. Just for tonight. That's what Landon promised himself.
Bell shook his head. It was not their hotel. "Ugh, I'm regretting it now, though. Should've just stayed in, then my nap would be that much closer." Weird for Daniel to comment on it out of the blue like that, though. Had he had a sudden strike of conscience about using the facilities of a hotel they hadn't paid for? They'd paid for the meal, though. And it wasn't like them being in the sauna had cost the hotel anything.
He followed Daniel out of the restaurant and into the snow. Icy cold wind was a shock to his warm, sleepy system. Bell frowned and fought it, bundling his coat up tight. He'd rather be warm, cozy, and sleepy than awake right now. "C'mon, c'mon, it's cold out here," he said, bustling past Daniel to jog towards their hotel. He was not in the mood for snow fun right now, unless they counted cozy warm naps as snow fun.
At the lobby, he turned and waited for Daniel to catch up. The man seemed more subdued after eating. Was he that tired? Bell was. It took all his effort not to yawn as he waved Daniel over. "Let's go," he urged him.
Back through the lobby, up through the halls, to their room. He all but fell into the bed, kicking off his boots and wriggling out of his coat as an afterthought.
He rolled over, then, looking at Daniel from the corner of his eye. He held his arms open silently, an unspoken invitation to join him. Was it okay? Were they at that stage yet? Weren't they past it?
"Are you sure you don't want me to take care of you?" he asked quietly, half-sleep already. It was bothering him, to some extent. That kind of thing was supposed to be reciprocated. If he hadn't been so stupidly weak to it, he could've, he could've helped Daniel out, and then he'd feel less guilty about it. He shifted, wanting to be closer, wanting to hold Daniel in his arms and just cuddle. They could do that, right? That much was okay?
He'd never wanted to with Lilah. But he was learning that a lot of the things he'd thought he didn't like, he just hadn't been interested in with her. "C'mere. It's nice and warm," he mumbled.
Skiing? Snowmobiles? Landon blinked at Bellwether as if to help detect a lie on the man's face, but found none. And then a sauna. Hot enough to make Bell blush. Oh. That explained. A lot actually. And they had a nap in the foreseeable future. Landon decided he wouldn't bother telling Bell it was him. Sleeping meant a change half the time, so what was the point? He could eat, pay and sleep just as well as Daniel could. Unless Bell wanted to reciprocate whatever Daniel had done in that sauna. Fat chance.
"Right, we would be tired," he mumbled and hesitated a second, hand still clung around the glass before he picked back up his fork and continued eating. He was hungry too. It felt like they'd spent the better of their days hanging out outside. On a snowmobile of all things. It made sense.
Bellwether was far more tired than he was though. Maybe something else had happened while they were out. Had they killed the goat? Couldn't exactly ask that now, could he? But it looked like they might have, the way Bell looked. Had he gotten hurt?
"Right," Landon started and shook his head.
He raised his hand for some attention from the waitress and smiled at the woman before asking for the bill. Soon enough they were good to go.
"This isn't our hotel," he concluded, paused and then bit his lip. Okay, nice going. So they'd decided to eat out instead of staying at their own hotel, that made perfect sense if they'd been out hunting. Or whatever they'd been doing.
Landon blinked and waved away any suspicion on Bellwether's side.
"Let's just get back to our room," Landon decided. Except for the part where he barely knew where they were. Either way they'd have to get outside first. That part was easy enough. Landon just followed the signs saying 'exit' and as if by magic, the lobby unfolded itself in front of them. He stepped out into the snow and stretched, then looked around. Their hotel was only a few buildings removed from where they were.
He could do this. Did he really want to though? It felt like he was deceiving Bell. The right moment to tell the man had come and gone though. Landon sighed. Why was he such a mess inside? Love was supposed to be simple.
Did he want Landon to remember? "No," he said. It came out even sterner than he'd meant it to. That'd be a mess and a half. He had no idea how the whole Landon-Daniel thing worked, but he got the feeling that Landon wouldn't be happy with this whole thing. Landon definitely felt like the jealous one.
The sugar in his soda was enough to startle him awake for a few moments. Bell blinked lazily and yawned. Damn, but he was tired. As soon as he was done eating, he was going to go pass out.
"That's kind of grim," he commented, if some knew what was coming. What did that make them then, the goat assisted suicide men? Or the challenge of a fight. He raised an eyebrow at that one. Weird. He wouldn't have thought the hidden creatures lurking behind humanity would be looking for a fight. Then again, maybe they got bored.
He nodded. It was good they had the goatling to help them. He hadn't done much lately. Mostly just... lazed around. He snorted. Maybe it'd be better to not have the goatling. It'd kick his butt in gear, for one.
Daniel slowed in his eating. Bell glanced up. Was something wrong? Looked fine to him. He turned back to his food.
A clatter caught his attention yet. Bell lunged, but Daniel caught the glass first, before it slid off the table. "Careful," he warned playfully. "Don't get drunk on water now."
Daniel half smiled, then frowned at him. Bell raised an eyebrow. He hadn't thought the bad joke was worth that much contemplation. "Same reason I am," he replied. "Skiing, snowmobiles--well, you came out of that better than me--and then the sauna." He couldn't help a bit of a blush at that one, but pressed on as if it was nothing. It was nothing to Daniel. He should be casual about it, too. "Takes it out of you." He shook his head and took another bite. "Honestly, I'd be more surprised if you weren't tired. Can't wait for that nap. I'm gonna need something if we're gonna hunt bunny-goat tonight."
He finished off his food and sat back, slowly sipping at the soda. His eyes drifted shut, snapped open, drifted shut again. Damn, he was going to pass out in the hotel restaurant at this rate. "Let's get that bill and go nap," he declared, rubbing his eyes.
"Lenny? Nah, he won't remember, unless I want him to," Daniel said with a mischievous grin. "Want him to remember?" By the look on Bell-boy's face, he'd rather not face the awkward tension that'd cling between Lenny and him. Maybe that'd make shit even more interesting. He drank the water and emptied the glass in one go. Saunas made him thirsty.
"Fifty-fifty, really," Daniel replied Bell on the goat.
Food arrived and Daniel tucked in. Might as well make sure he was all ready to go. Besides, it'd make Bell-boy feel less bad about himself if he ate something.
"Some of them know what's coming, you know?" he reasoned as he dug into his fries. "Some just like the challenge of a good fight."
A challenge he'd seen Bell-goat almost lose once or twice. That was before they'd known about the static-electricity weakness goats had. Shit had only gotten more complicated afterwards.
"But yeah, outside. Goatling will know a good spot or two if we're want for something," Daniel soothed. They weren't on their own for once, which felt weird. He chewed his food and zoned out for a second, mechanically setting about eating. It felt as if his body was going through the motions unconsciously, without his intervention. It sliced the meat, pinned a piece down with a fork and stuck the food in his mouth. His jaw chewed.
And then it stopped entirely for a long second or two.
Breathing was the first thing to return. His eyes got dry, so he blinked a couple of times to bring the world back into focus. Landon furrowed his brow and swallowed the lump down his throat: food. Meat. They were eating. In a restaurant. He looked down at his plate and put down his fork to reach for the water and knocked the glass over. It was empty anyway.
"Shit," he mumbled and stopped the glass from rolling off the edge.
Bell was still there. Landon smiled, carefully almost and then sobered. Right. This Bellwether hated his guts for some reason. He lowered his gaze and for a second wondered whether he ought to even tell Bell. Couldn't he just pretend to be Daniel for a little while?
"Why am I so tired?" Landon pitched. He'd fallen into some snow and obviously Daniel had taken over after that. His pants were uncomfortably tight as well. Something had happened, but nothing at the same time? Great.
Daniel seemed like he was about to fall asleep, too, the way he was paying so little attention to everything. It was fine, except it wasn't fine. They had the party tonight. Had to be awake and aware door hunting bunny-goat. But it was so damn easy to just drift off and let go.
He was caught. Bell glanced down, but felt the heat of a building blush in his ears, his cheeks. Uncomfortable? He shook his head, then shrugged. It was a lot to come to terms with, was all. If he just didn't think about it, didn't make it a big deal, it'd all be fine. Maybe. It was a fuzzy warm feeling that turned the world pink and a sense of sorrow when he thought about Lilah, or maybe disappointment. She could have had someone who loved her. She was a beautiful woman, deserving of love. If only he hadn't been chosen for her, maybe she could have been happy.
Before he could wander too far down the rabbit hole, Daniel changed the subject. Landon. He licked his lips nervously. That was a minefield. All the pink, floaty feelings came screeching to a halt. He'd known he'd have to face the music eventually, but he hadn't figured it would be so soon. "Will he know? That we..." he gestured vaguely. Landon seemed like the sort who would strenuously object to fooling around in a sauna, never mind that it was Daniel and Bell. Landon only wanted the old Bell, so he'd probably be disgusted that the two of them had been up to something.
Rest up. He nodded. He could use a rest, for sure.
"You think?" he asked, glad for the change of conversation to something less emotionally charged than Landon: the upcoming murder of that goat. In a way, it would be his first, and in a way, it wouldn't. Food arrived; he stuffed his mouth with chicken and potatoes before he continued. "Probably outside, though, right? Should we do some more scouting tonight, like, maybe during the party?" He glanced up at Daniel. They did need to find out where they could take her outside. Unless she went willingly. That didn't seem likely to him, but Daniel seemed to know what he was talking about. And what did he know, after all?
Daniel stared at the snow, more than a bit detached from reality. He couldn’t force himself to be as present as he ought to be. Shit just didn’t work that way. Each time they were having a good time, feeling nice and comfortable, Lenny threatened to come out. And that’s the way it had been before they’d met Bell-boy. He lived off of adrenaline and happenstance, eternally waiting for a moment to shine and actually live.
Chicken and mashed potatoes.
“Uh-huh, Hmm,” Daniel acknowledged Bell-boy’s craving. And a burger too. Some injury after all. Soda.
Daniel reached for the menu and stared at the fare.
Steak sounded good to him. Probably not to Lenny. Some fries. He’d like those, even if he couldn’t enjoy them all.
“Just give me today’s special, uhm, with some water,” he waved away any concerns. The waitress seemed to get the hint and just jotted something down, then scurried off to her more difficult clientele.
Bell-boy shifted in his seat and Daniel snorted. If he wasn’t mistaken, that was a look of sensual satisfaction curled about Bell-boy’s face. He raised an eyebrow when the man stole yet another glance.
“Something on my face?” he asked gently. “Uncomfortable with what happened?” Coming out the closet usually was a far greater process. Benjamin for one had never really subjected to it all. Bell-boy had, but in a weird, abusive way. Now that there weren’t any of those negative memories attached, maybe Bell-boy could actually enjoy his orientation in a safe and pleasurable way.
“I think it might be Lenny in a few,” Daniel forewarned. “Head feels funny,” he mentioned and smiled up at the waitress when she brought them their drinks. Water. Plain, boring old water.
“We should just rest up until the party gets started anyway,” Daniel offered. A short nap would rejuvenate the both of them. Bell-boy seemed like he might fall asleep on the spot, if it weren’t for the promise of food in the nearby future.
“Should just lure the goat away from it all,” he suggested. “It’ll probably let itself.” Either it’d want to fight or want to die. Or neither, in which case shit could get nasty. Daniel didn’t think that would be the case, the way the bunny had approached them so openly.
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