[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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Sore. Well, he wasn't hallucinating, and overall he looked okay, so it was probably fine. Bell nodded and sighed out. Just... tired.
"Mhm," he agreed lazily. If Daniel let him sit here a little while longer, he might finally get some sleep. Seemed like sitting up felt the best, though he couldn't for the life of him imagine why. Maybe it was the heat at his back making everything feel better. With the fever, Daniel was like a furnace.
Healing that? Bel peeled his eyes open and glanced down, as though just looking at his stomach could tell him. "Yeah, I been... doing my best," he said, nodding.
He looked at Daniel and sighed. Daniel was right in that they needed stuff, but he was injured too. His foot in particular was worrying Bell. "You should rest," he said. "Your foot needs... it needs to get fixed up. Maybe we can send Sam on a supply run." Though then again, while largely uninjured, Sam had just been kidnapped by hunters and wasn't used to evading them. It might be better to just send Daniel. He sighed again, more heavily. "I dunno. Maybe I'll be better and we can go together."
Not likely. He frowned. It was always like this. Always one of them hurt. He hated it. Why couldn't they just be okay for a little while?
Bath, huh? He looked at his stomach. Was it okay to get it wet? He'd healed it some, but he had no idea how much, and he wasn't exactly eager to take off the bandages. Then he looked at Daniel and grinned a little, involuntarily. Yeah, okay. Maybe he needed a bath for other reasons, too. "Mkay, bath," he agreed.
Of course, a bath meant he had to actually get up off the bed. He rolled slowly upright, mindful of when his stomach pulled against the wound, then put his feet down and pushed upright. Once he was upright, it wasn't so bad; it was the transitions that were the worst. Just walking, though, was fine.
He shot Daniel a cheeky grin and led the way to the bathroom. One hand started to yank his shirt off before he discovered that he needed stomach muscles to do that and stopped abruptly. "Daniel, help," he said, holding his shirt out for Daniel to take it off.
"You're welcome," Daniel muttered, fumbling with his own can to open it. His fingers had some feeling back in it at least, but they still tingled, as if the goatling was repairing something. Like having a numb, ice-cold hand stuck underneath running cold water. Daniel had some fruit, to offset the peas he'd had last night. Canned food was growing old quickly. He tried imagining the fruit being part of a nice cocktail, the sweet juice liquor and with some imagination, the fever could be the sun beating down on his body while they lounged on the soft sand of a beach.
Bell-boy's question shook his imagination.
How did he feel?
Daniel stared into the can of fruit and sighed.
"I feel like sleeping more," he replied, aware that wasn't what Bell-boy wanted to know. Not as if rattling up some trivial symptoms they couldn't do anything about was going to do them any good. "Sore, I guess," Daniel shrugged.
Bell-boy's head rested on his shoulder and Daniel pressed a kiss to the top of his head. It went quiet then, with Bell-boy's breathing slowing down again. Daniel finished his can of food and put it to the side, together with Bell-boy's.
"Yeah, another base down," Daniel agreed. "Went pretty well, all things considering."
Now they just had to deal with the aftermath; getting away, getting rested up, figuring out what Sam's presence meant and what her goat's intentions were. Daniel toyed with Bell's hair a little.
"You been healing that?" he indicated the gut-injury.
If it was healed further some end, maybe they had enough wrappings to refresh Bell-boy's bandages.
"Might wash up, change those bandages. I can go out and get some things if I'm washed up a little," Daniel offered. Not wearing blood-smeared clothes for one would help a great deal in pretending to be 'just another citizen'. He could get them some proper dinner or lunch before they had to leave.
"Get more bandages," he snorted.
That said, he felt okay now, but Daniel wasn't stupid enough to ignore he needed rest too. Couldn't sleep all day though. At least the food served to solve some of the hunger and lethargy clinging to his bones.
"Bath? I'll help wash you?" Daniel tried with a devious smile. Probably shouldn't get the injury wet, but they had some experience with working around wounds like that, didn't they? Kind of sad, in a way.
The doorknob rattled, and then Daniel was back, carrying a bag of cans and bottles, and the first aid kit they'd pilfered from the last group of hunters. Bell sighed at the sight of it, suddenly disappointed in himself. Should've looted the last base better. Oh well, too late for regrets now.
He chuckled as Daniel climbed back into bed, suppressing a grimace as his injury was jostled. "As much as we eat breakfast in bed, we must be winning this romantic thing, huh?" he joked back, grabbing a can to peer at its label. Tuna, huh? Nothing like tuna for breakfast. With a little effort, he got a pillow behind his back as well and sat up beside Daniel. "Ah yes, tuna, the breakfast of champions." Then, aware he might've been a little too sarcastic there, he grinned at Daniel and gave him a kiss on the cheek. "Thanks."
The tuna was a bit jarring first thing in the morning, but he managed it, washing it down with water. Wasn't anything he hadn't done before, either. Bell leaned against Daniel a little and looked up at him. "How're you feeling?" he asked quietly. Daniel hadn't been hurt yesterday, not visibly, but there'd been something about his arm being numb, and of course the fever. He tilted his head onto Daniel's shoulder and sighed, worried. Always something with Daniel.
Cat and Sam were still asleep. A part of him wanted to bug Daniel into showing him affection, but another part knew he wasn't up for it. Not even making out. It'd probably hurt just to sit up tall enough to properly kiss Daniel. Besides, Cat might know, but Sam didn't, and he'd rather let that cat out of the bag more gently than waking her up with the sound of two men kissing.
His eyes closed, and Bell drifted off some, tired. He hadn't slept much last night. Probably wouldn't be able to sleep today, either. His stomach hurt too much for sleep. He forced himself awake and grinned at Daniel. "Another base down," he said, pleased with their progress. And with every victory, they learned a little more about how the hunters operated. He still didn't feel good about taking on the main base, but now it felt like they were moving towards that goal.
He could, was it? Daniel raised an eyebrow, but Bell-boy gave up the game soon enough. Best he tried to keep his guts where they belonged for now, even if Bell-goat healed them some. In that case, Bell was going to need food twice as bad. Daniel snatched the keys from the bedside table on Cat's side and left the room.
Outside was colder than Daniel expected.
He hugged his coat close to himself, stifling a shiver. Feverish. Probably from the goatling. Or whatever the hybrid had left behind in his chest. Daniel fingered the skin, but whatever injuries had been there were already gone, courtesy of the goatling.
Finding the van wasn't difficult.
Daniel cracked open the door and sat down in the back, then pulled some of the bags closer. Some cans. Meat, Bell-boy would appreciate meat. Some clothes, shirts and pants. Lastly, Daniel surveyed their medical supplies. He'd used up most of the bandages. No way did they have enough to redress Bell-boy's gut-injury. It'd be fine for another day, probably. Bell-boy hadn't looked sickly, so an infection was unlikely. As long as the bandages kept out the filth, it'd be fine.
Water. Daniel cracked a bottle and nearly drained it. He glanced at the few sips that remained and finished the water with a shrug. There was more where that came from and he needed it just as badly.
They could really do with some fresh food.
Or breakfast. Like proper breakfast. Going out was a no-no. Someone might recognize them, or the van. Ask questions. Sam for sure was from around here. People might address her and ask difficult questions she wouldn't be able to answer satisfactory.
He tried being quiet about returning to the room.
"Breakfast is served," Daniel said with a grin. He put the bags on their shared bed and handed Bell-boy some water.
"Never say I'm not romantic, bringing you breakfast in bed," he joked with more energy than he felt. Daniel sat down, stretched out his leg and took out some of the cans.
"Got you meat," Daniel offered. He propped a pillow up behind his back and leaned against it. Better. Maybe they could risk staying at the motel for another day. Just to rest up and recover. He sure as hell could use a rest.
At least he seemed a little less warm than yesterday. Was it just goat-fever, then? That'd be good, since it meant be wasn't sick, just... well, goat-sick. It was like being hungover moreso than really being sick, even if being hungover sometimes felt like really being sick. He sighed and relaxed a hair, letting out a long breath. Good. It was good Daniel wasn't too sick.
Still, following Daniel's instructions and going back to sleep was just about impossible. When Daniel spoke again, he cracked an eyelid and nodded. "Yeah, I...got the goat to heal me some, so I should be okay," he said.
Going to the van? Bell shifted. "I can--" he half-offered, then fell silent. Daniel was already upright, and moving didn't sound pleasant when his stomach aches just from rolling over. "Okay, come back quick," he said at last. Even after all this time, he didn't like sending Daniel on his own. Not this close to a known hunter nest, anyways. Maybe it was stupid, but he couldn't help it.
He snorted, smirking back. "Do my best," he promised. It'd be a little easier with both girls asleep and him awake. He'd just been startled earlier, that was all.
The door thumped shut. He turned to look at Cat and Sam, sleeping soundly in the other bed. Cat was all curled up in an almost defensive ball, while Sam sprawled widely over the other three-quarters of the bed. She'd calmed down pretty easily earlier, especially for having been strangled--a little bit of guilt tingled in his gut at that one. Probably, though, she'd still been half doped up on the sedative, with it enough to need to know where she was, but not with it enough to get really worked up. Worked out in their favor, that one.
Bell yawned and closed his eyes, dozing off while he waited for Daniel to return. What'd he even gone to fetch from the car? Water? Water would be nice. Maybe some food, so they could have a proper breakfast. Well, "proper." He made a mental note to check on Daniel's foot. He wasn't any kind of doctor, but he'd be able to eyeball if it was healing or not, at the very least.
A cool hand brushed his hair back. Daniel wasn't aware of much more. Memories fluttered by, warped by dreams, examined by the goatling for the artefacts they were. Humans were as complex as they were simple. Simple more so than complex to any given goat. Observers, researchers his ass.
Daniel stirred when Bell-boy pressed a hand to his forehead. Hadn't the man gone to sleep yet? He opened a set of bleary eyes to regard the other man and promptly closed his eyes again.
"Go 'sleep," Daniel slurred, burrowing a bit further down the blankets. It felt like ages since they'd last slept in a bed properly. Felt ages ago since they last had sex in a bed. If Bell-boy was waking him for the latter, he might be game. His fever had gone down some, the goat-sickness that seemed to haunt bringing out the goatling tapering off to something manageable. Chest still felt tight though. It was morning already.
Now that he was awake, his body had different ideas. Food and water foremost. He was hungry. And for some reason he'd thought it perfectly fine to sleep, fully clothed, shoe still on his foot, without regard for them maybe being followed by hunters. Careless.
He felt shaky.
"Feeling better?" he muttered, meaning Bell-boy's injuries.
It was important they recovered fast, though Daniel was sure that given a few hot meals, Bell-boy would easily one-up him in that department.
He inched a little closer and rested his head near Bell-boy's shoulder. Nice and cozy. Quiet.
Nice and quiet.
How had they even gotten to be here?
Cat. Right. She'd given them a ride and then Sam- the same woman Bell-boy tried to throttle earlier that night. Her closeness to the goat inside of her ought to give Sam some decent healing-potential, but as far as second meetings went it wasn't exactly a great way to bond.
Daniel heaved a sigh and opened his eyes. Food. And water.
He ought to get up and fetch some before they went ahead and cleaned up. Couldn't stick around the crime-scene this long.
Mindful of Bell-boy's injuries, Daniel slowly sat up. Awake was an exaggeration for his current state of mind.
"Just going to fetch some things from the van," Daniel offered. Like a first-aid kit, food and water. Fresh clothes.
"Try not to kill each other?" he said with a smirk. Standing wasn't any easier or difficult than it had been, using the brace. Neither was walking. His head felt like he was floating though, but that was nothing new.
Nothing he couldn't work through.
What was he doing? Protecting them from the hunters! Protecting them from--from Sam? Oh. Oh. He let go, and she sat up, coughing. "Sorry," he said.
She jumped out of the bed suddenly and pulled away from them, afraid. "Where am I?" she demanded. "They tried to, tried to--where am I? What happened?"
"Hunters got you," Bell sighed, tired. He gathered his legs under him, and his stomach hurt a little less. Shit, why'd they have to do this in the middle of the night? Daniel was right, he needed his sleep. "We rescued you. You're safe now."
Daniel had put Bell's hand on his head, and his head was worryingly hot. Distracted, Bell gave him a concerned look. Had his foot gotten infected again? Or was this from whatever had happened with the hybrid?
"Safe," Sam muttered to herself, then sighed. "Look, I'll--you better explain everything in the morning, okay?"
"Yep," Bell agreed. He pushed Daniel's hair back and tried with his other hand just to be sure, but Daniel's forehead was burning up. Shit. Shiiiiit. Things just kept getting worse and worse. Maybe Daniel could just sleep this one off.
Sam walked back to the bed with Cat and climbed in beside her, and Bell laid back down beside Daniel. For a while, he watched Daniel sleep, waiting for the pain from moving his stomach to die down again. Slowly, it did, and he eased off back to sleep.
It wasn't long before dawn broke--or at least, it didn't feel long to Bell. He rolled over and tried to go back to sleep, only to get admonished by his stomach for daring to move. Suddenly very awake, he groaned and rolled back onto his back, which was now sore from him not having moved all night. He shut his eyes, grimacing against the light. Just a few more minutes, please. Just a few more minutes, and it'd all be alright. His stomach would heal, and Daniel wouldn't have a fever, and--
Oh right, Daniel had a fever! He reached out and put his hand on Daniel's forehead, feeling for his temperature. How was that fever doing? Let up any?
Movement. He wasn't wearing the brace. Pain filtered through the numbness of sleep. Darkness was invaded by nightmares instead. Daniel's breathing was fast, face sweaty. Hunters. They were here. Had to- he had to...fight? Waking up wasn't much of an improvement. Bell-boy was straddling someone and in the half-darkness, Daniel couldn't tell who was who or what. He was hot and cold at the same time however, he knew that much. His foot hurt, sharply. Was Bell-boy fighting?
Daniel hardly had the strength to reach out an arm. His hand managed to curl around the one going for the pipe however. Not fiercely. If Bell wanted to, freeing his arm back up would be remarkably easy.
"Bell-boy, what're you doing?" Daniel slurred, more asleep than awake.
It was still dark, so that was fair. He'd been tired. Exhausted even.
Their little tussle woke Cat. She didn't take as long to become alert. Her eyes shone in the dark, and she soon realized what was going on. "It's Sam," she started softly, "Bell? It's Sam, the crazy lady you met, the one we saved from the facility, remember?"
Daniel slowly realized what was going on too. Cat was saying it slowly enough. Daniel tightened his grip on Bell-boy's arm.
"Bell-boy, 's alright," he muttered. Couldn't he stop? Daniel wanted to go back to sleep. Numerous aches and pains now made themselves known. His chest was still on fire. Actually, the healed marks the hybrid made seemed to be the source of the burning sensation he felt. The numbness in his arm was slowly dissipating at least.
He became distracted by Bell-boy's cool hand. Rather than try and restrain the guy, Daniel pressed Bell's hand against his forehead. Better. Nice and cool.
Daniel decided his arm was growing heavy and slowly let go. He needed a longer nap than what he'd been given.
"Go back to sleep," Daniel admonished them both.
He shifted a little, trying to find a comfortable way to put his foot, realized there wouldn't be any because it was trapped in the brace and sighed out. Sleep would happen anyway. It was looming behind him like an inescapable deadline.
Actually, he was already halfway back there. Rather than intimidating, the darkness Daniel knew he'd return to felt familiar and almost comfortable.
He grimaced a bit when Daniel joined him in the bed, lying ever-so-still on his back so it wouldn't hurt. Every time Daniel moved hurt, but he did his best to go stonefaced until Daniel stopped moving. And he had to admit that it felt a whole lot better when he was covered in blankets than without blankets. Daniel warmed up the bed fast, and Bell slowly relaxed.
Strangely, Daniel was the first one asleep this time. It was an unusual sensation. Usually he passed out while Daniel laid awake for a little while. He turned his head and watched Daniel sleep, waiting for boredom to draw him off to sleep.
Or could he be a little more productive?
Bell closed his eyes and focused, drawing on the deepest part of him, where the goat liked to hide. This time, it responded, if reluctantly. He felt the ever-so-familiar drain as the goat healed him up, his stomach aching worse than before--but he could deal. He could deal, just a little bit more--
Bell breathed out and closed his eyes. Okay. Okay, breathe out. The pain slowly left him as he calmed down and the goat retreated, and he drifted quickly off to sleep.
Sleep was absolute, utter black. He felt as though he was speaking to something, but not speaking to someone. No, it wasn't him. It was the goat. The goat was speaking to someone. He found himself aware, suddenly, standing on the sidelines. Two goats. One was huge, utterly black, but with gold sparkling distantly in its eyes. The other was small, wrinkled like a withered-up, dried fruit. He couldn't make out what they were saying... or maybe he couldn't comprehend it, but... he knew they were speaking.
Shaking. The world was shaking under him, like an earthquake. The two goats didn't seem to notice, but he--his guts hurt! They hurt, they hurt, they--
He opened his eyes and found a woman staring down at him, her face featureless except for two eyes, reflecting light. Bell yelped and grabbed at her, barely feeling the pain in his gut as he yanked himself up by her neck and twisted, pushing her down on the bed. He reached back to grab his pipe and finish her off, eyes wild. Hunters! They'd found them!
"Possibly," Cat dead-panned. giving the question some thought. At least Bellwether was in a good mood, pain despite.
"...'aight'," she dragged out with a moody huff. Why was she doing all the heavy lifting? Daniel just seemed tired. She was pretty sure he was just fine to carry Sam around. At least the woman didn't weight that much .Still. Cat wasn't exactly a heavy-weight either.
Maybe she should just take the van while everyone slept and get the hell out of dodge. Wouldn't be long now before they gave her something more deadly than a dart-gun to defend herself with.
Cat straightened her hair and propped Sam up, hoisting the unconscious woman onto her shoulders before kicking the van's door shut. She was ever that much more grateful for having parked relatively close to the entrance of the motel.
"What?" Daniel muttered. Staying? "Yeah," he breathed. Conversation with the desk-person had been just as awkward. He just wasn't entirely with it today. Bell-boy nudged him into the general directions of rooms and Daniel happily obliged. Their bland room had several beds this time around; two doubles. Daniel figured Sam and Cat could share, or Cat could go about the effort of splitting their bed. Whatever worked for them. He'd be sharing his with Bell-boy anyway.
"Lay her out nicely, huh?" Daniel commented when he saw Cat all but dump Sam onto the double bed. He got a glare, but Cat sighed and gave in, her sympathy for the unknown 'crazy' woman winning out.
If it was her being asleep, she'd wanted to be treated with a little kindness as well, even if she was unconscious for it all.
Daniel gave Bell-boy a loopy smile before giving in to the man's invitation.
He all but collapsed next to Bell, mindful of the man's injuries and figured undressing could wait. Sleep. Gorgeous, blissful, warm sleep awaited. Except it was pretty cold in the room. To remedy this issue, Daniel fidgeted with the blankets a little and made sure they covered at least parts of them and inched closer to Bell.
Within seconds his body-heat had warmed up the comforters enough for two. Daniel was no longer aware. His breathing was already evening out as his body relaxed into the mattress.
The van lurched, making his innards slide sickeningly against the injured muscles. Bell grimaced and reached for his aspirin, knocking out a few of the pills to swallow them down. The effect didn't kick in for another few minutes, where he laid still and stared at the ceiling, clenching his hands every time the van lurched too hard. Slowly, the pain faded; it never disappeared, but it became something that didn't feel like dying every time the van hit a pothole.
It lurched harder than before, the ground leaping and shaking in every which direction, and then the van finally, with one last, great lurch, laid still under him. He sighed out, relieved. Thank goodness.
He heard the others moving around up front, Cat urging Daniel to go get them a room, and then Cat climbed out and around to the back. Bell laid there, unwilling to move, until she opened the door. A raised middle finger was his only response to her question. He pushed himself to sit up a moment later, slowly; his first attempt was aborted as his stomach clenched and screamed in pain, but for his second attempt he rolled over and pushed himself up, leading with his back instead. He succeeded that way and climbed slowly all the way upright.
"Would you go 'yuck' if I started kissing Sam?" he asked her, mussing up her hair. He didn't really care. Well, he kind of cared, but more than anything he just wanted her to maybe realize that she was being obnoxious about it for no reason. "Not that I would. You get the girl, aight?"
He staggered towards the hotel, on the lookout for Daniel. He found the man staggering slowly away from the lobby and walked over to meet him halfway. "We're staying here?" he asked, taking one of the cards from Daniel. With a gentle nudge, he pointed the man back towards the rooms instead of towards the van, and followed him to whatever room he'd gotten.
There wasn't much to take in of the hotel room, which was good, because Bell didn't waste a second in taking any of it in. He walked over to the bed and laid down immediately, patting the bed beside him for Daniel to join him. Sleepytime.
"What about that place?" Cat piped up. There was a cheap motel, neon lights and everything, just coming up on the side of the highway. She figured it was best to put some distance between them and the city, the mess they'd left behind. A forensic team was going to have a field-day in a building like that.
Cat was so focussed on driving, she didn't even realize only Spot was still watching her actions. Daniel had long since passed out cold.
"Hey? Daniel?" she tried. "Daniel?" Cat dared to let go of the wheel for a split-second, to shake Daniel's shoulder. That barely got a reaction. She rolled her eyes. This was the place then.
"Any objections?" Cat asked to no one in particular. Spot gave her a look, but didn't say anything else.
"Good, then it's decided," she sighed out.
Hopefully Bell was good in the back, because she wasn't exactly the best driver and manual gear-shifting wasn't her shtick. She pulled the unwieldy van off of the highway, surprised the van was actually easier to drive than the truck had been. Apparently Daniel hadn't exactly been picky about the kind of car he drove around or in what state it was.
Soon enough, Cat parked them near the entrance to the main building. She wiped her sweaty palms on her pants and leaned forward to look Daniel in the face. Even in the pale neon reflection his colour looked unhealthy.
"Hey," she tried again, this time shaking a little harder.
Daniel shifted, eyes fluttering open. They drifted to take in their surroundings and finally landed on Cat. His arms were wrapped around his stomach and Daniel shivered. It was cold. Why was he awake?
"I found a place we can stay at? Want to get us a room?" Cat ventured.
Daniel looked at Cat as if she'd sprouted a second head before the puzzle pieces fell into place. Right, the facility, Bell-boy's guts threatening to spill out and Sam's rescue. Daniel took a deep breath and wiped a hand down his face.
Cat offered him the brace.
Daniel took it. What was he- oh. Yeah, the foot. Still broken.
Cat gave Daniel a pat on the shoulder and stepped out of the van to see how the other two were doing in the back. She'd parked close on purpose; to make sure she wouldn't have to carry Sam any further than necessary.
She paused to watch Daniel stagger towards the building and shook her head. He'd be fine.
"Right, love-birds, we're there," she warned before opening the back of the van.
Why was Cat driving? He was fine. It didn't take his stomach to drive. He frowned, but let Daniel intercept him. It was better than making the man hobble around after him on a bare broken foot, as sickly as he looked. Why couldn't Daniel be in the back? He was better handling people, anyways.
Please? Bell looked at Daniel, then sighed, giving in. It wasn't like he wasn't injured. And Cat was definitely better than him, in terms of physical capabilities. He nodded, giving in. "Okay," he said, giving Daniel a playful scowl at having his hair ruffled. Okay. He'd go rest in the back with Sam.
Sam had been loaded limply in the back of the van, and was just lying there on the bare metal like a sack of potatoes. Bell unrolled the mattress roll partially, rolled Sam onto it, then finished rolling it out and climbed in beside her. She was out cold, and he just wanted to lay down and take a nap. He closed the door and closed his eyes, and waited for the van to start moving, arms supporting his stomach from either side to keep it still. When it jolted into life, he winced, the motion jostling his gut, but then the motion became more smooth, and it wasn't so bad.
For a while he dozed, but he couldn't get any deeper asleep. Every time he started to drift off, he'd shift and twist his stomach just a little too much, and it'd jolt him back awake. Ugh. Why couldn't Daniel have used something other than the shout? But that wasn't fair. It'd saved his life, and it was better to be in pain than to bring out the goat and fuck everything up.
He turned his head and watched Sam instead. She was passed out. Super out. Drooling and mouth-hanging-open out. It made him want to doodle something on her face, except that'd mean moving, and he didn't have it in him right now. The car shifted, and she plopped over onto her face. He poked at her and pushed her until her head was turned to the side, so she could breathe. Bell sighed out, then closed his eyes and tried to sleep again. Maybe it'd work this time. Where were his aspirins, anyways?
Bell-boy pushed his hair back, but Daniel didn't fail to notice the pain shimmering across Bell-boy's face at the act. Seemed the injury was in a very inconvenient place, even if he'd wrapped it up tightly. At least Bell-boy wasn't refusing food. Daniel finally managed to get the can open and numbly plucked out the peas, apparently.
It was warm inside of the van, but with the open door, a shiver tore down his back. Daniel watched as Bell-boy opened the door and paused. He wasn't okay. Not even remotely okay. Not well enough to drive anyway.
"Cat's driving," Daniel refuted Bell-boy's offer. Cat's face fell at Daniel's decision.
"Why do I have to -he offered?" she motioned at Bell. "I didn't."
Spot was no help either. Daniel hobbled over to intercept Bell-boy's slow gait, mindful of the man's injuries. He wasn't feeling exactly great himself, but letting Bell-boy drive didn't sit well with him.
"Besides, I want someone in the back with Sam she'll recognize once she wakes up. It'll only be until the first motel or whatever we find," he tried to convince Cat.
Cat flicked her eyes from Bell to Daniel and back. She was starting to appreciate why Bellwether didn't want Daniel to know about injuries. He could be a pain in the butt. Cat had seen Bellwether's stomach though and she huffed. It wouldn't be any good if they all crashed.
"Daniel has a point, I'll be fine," Cat said, darting to take up the driver's seat before Bellwether could. She already had the key too.
"Just...please?" Daniel whispered softly, so only Bell could hear.
He wouldn't rest easy knowing it was up to Bell-boy to get them places. "Get some rest, wake you when we find something decent, okay?"
Daniel playfully ruffled Bell-boy's hair and then, using the van as support, nudged Spot out of the way enough to take up seat in the front of the van.
Cat relaxed a hair when Daniel joined her. He'd know what to do when things got difficult -with driving or otherwise. Not that she didn't trust Bellwether, but he seemed really pale at the moment. As opposed to clammy and sickly-looking. Yeah. Neither of the guys looked particularly well.
"Right, let's just find something close by, yeah?" she offered.
Daniel nodded, resting back. He ought to put the brace back on, but it was too much effort. And it was cold in their van. He turned up the heating before folding his arms and sagging in his chair. Daniel told himself he'd just be resting his eyes a little.
The drive back to their van was short, but Bell still nearly fell asleep on the ride. His adrenaline was crashing, and the weariness of fighting and the ache of his gut were all setting in at once. The only thing that kept him awake was the steady pounding of pain in his gut, pulsing in tempo with his heartrate. He sighed out and shifted, then regretted it as a wave of sharp pain rolled out of his stomach and pierced him through. None of that, then.
Daniel parked. After a moment, he became aware that Daniel was looking at him, and turned to look back at the man. He reached out and pushed Daniel's hair out of his eyes, then let his hand fall as his stomach twinged and protested the motion. Damn, seemed like he used his stomach muscles for every little thing.
No, Daniel was wrong. They couldn't just sit here. He started to make the effort to move, but it made his stomach hurt more, so he stopped and just sat there instead. Ugh. Moving was too much effort. Maybe they would just stay here.
Cat came back with food. Daniel took one and passed him the other. Bell looked at it, then took it. Yeah, he should probably eat. It'd probably hurt his gut, too, but whatever. It'd help him heal. With mechanical motions, he opened the can and tipped the contents into his mouth. Sweet, almost too-sweet fruit came out, and he swallowed it in one gulp. It hurt going down, but stopped hurting once it'd settled. Bell sighed out. That was better, he supposed. Better than not eating, anyways, and they'd already skipped dinner.
Yeah. Yeah, they had to switch. He opened his door and sat there, contemplating the distance between the vans, then slowly hauled himself upright, doing his best not to move his stomach, and walked over to the other van. "Who's driving?" he asked, before he climbed in. It'd probably be him, right? But he didn't want to move once he'd gotten in the van, so he'd make sure.
"Probably me," Cat muttered unhappily.
Spot bounded past, uninjured and in high spirits as usual, and settled into the passenger's seat. Bell snorted. Not him, huh? Stupid dog.
"I'll drive," he decided. It'd be less effort than fighting Cat. He started for the cab of the van, moving slowly, mindful of his stomach.
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