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“I said I don’t care, make up your mind,” Daniel pointed out. What was Bell-boy trying to do? He’d finally agreed that it was ‘fine’ to be outside, and the man wanted to turn back already, but not really. Now it was okay to be outside again. Daniel shook his head, shrugging. He threw the stick for Spot, for real this time, and watched at the mutt chased it down, overshot and turned back. All with the infinite grace of one happy puppy.
Hungry was an exaggeration too, apparently.
Where’d Bell-boy even put that can to begin with?
“No thanks,” he said with a faint disgusted look at the can. He wasn’t hungry before, but Daniel lost all appetite looking at the wrapped up salted meat, all crumpled up inside the can. Didn’t look like Bell-boy was enjoying the cuisine either.
Daniel followed Spot, throwing the stick a couple more times until the mutt found some grass and hunkered down in it, chewing the stick and waiting for them to catch up. Running was over for now, was it?
“What?” Bell-boy’s question surprised Daniel. Happy?
With the way ‘things’ turned out? Daniel liked to know what said things were, but pulled a face and shrugged.
“I’m happy; I’m happy being with you -sure, you could’ve admitted a little sooner that you loved me too, you know? Kind of bitter about that one, but yeah. I’ll get over it,” Daniel said matter-of-factly. “And you’re awake and you remember everything now. What more could I want?”
Except maybe for some beer.
Daniel gave Bell-boy a look as if wanting to ask ‘are you okay?’, but he thought better of it. He stuck his hands down his pockets and casually walked down the streets, looking at the houses. Some had kids’ toys in them, forgotten bikes, some sprinklers had popped on, the scent of freshly cooked meals were drifting out-doors. Some kids could be heard playing in someone’s back-yard. Normal. Calm. Safe.
“Is it because it’s me and not Lenny right now?” Daniel posed. “Don’t worry…he’ll- He’ll be around soon enough,” he eased Bell-boy’s mind.
"Oh," Bell said. Business partners and Eskimo brothers. It was a situation straight out of a bad television drama, except he was pretty sure even the worst television drama wouldn't have dreamed up that one of the competing partners would chase off after a man instead of the lady. The other bene--oh, his partner in crime. Wait... he squinted. He felt like maybe he'd met this guy. Yeah. Some dude in a suit, passing by... but whatever. It wasn't important.
Is that how they were playing it? Bell wanted to walk, Daniel wanted to stay in. Bell wanted to go back, Daniel wanted to stay out. If he said up, Daniel would say down, is that how it was going to go? "You know, we can stay out," he said, agreeing with Daniel. "It's not like I'm not used to being hungry." He'd rather go back and eat, but hey, if the other option was Daniel being a little hellion, he'd stay out. And if his guess was right, saying 'stay out' was the fastest way to get Daniel to say 'go back.'
In either case, Spot seemed to be enjoying himself, and the walk. They really hadn't gotten the poor mutt enough exercise lately. He snorted as Daniel faked the dog out. Falling for the oldest trick in the book... what a stupid mutt. And actually... he didn't have to be hungry. He patted down his jacket and found a can right where he'd left it, opening it as he walked. "Want some?" he offered Daniel. He wasn't sure if it was tuna or chicken; all the same to him, at this point. Rather than becoming a connoisseur of canned meat, it was more like all the flavors were starting to blend together into one bland wash of sodium.
He let Daniel take the lead and followed behind, throwing the stick whenever Spot brought it to him instead of Daniel. "Are you happy?" he asked Daniel suddenly. "Out here, I mean. Are you happy with the way things turned out?" He was happy, but it wasn't like he'd left a good life behind; more like his life had improved. If Daniel wanted, he could leave this all behind tomorrow, so he had to be happy... but he still wanted confirmation. There was a difference between knowing it, and [i knowing] it.
“Richard was my business partner and when it was Lenny, Richard was a lot more interesting to Lily,” Daniel explained. Lenny wasn’t really a lady’s man. All Lenny was interested in were the numbers, until Bell rolled around and several things fell into place for poor old Lenny. Things they’d already both experimented with, but to which Lenny hadn’t really taken before.
“He’s the…other benefactor, to the money we…’borrowed’,” Daniel ventured. Hadn’t Bell-boy seen the man back then? Maybe just a glance. It wasn’t important. All of that was an ocean away and then some.
Spot jumped up at him and Daniel looked down at the mutt, unimpressed.
“What’re you jumping at me for, Bell-boy’s the one who threw it -you too stupid to get the mechanics of fetch?” Daniel muttered at Spot. Despite what he said, Daniel pried the stick from between Spot’s jaws and tossed the stick ahead. Spot raced after it, faster than Daniel imagined. He sure hoped Spot’s dog-brain didn’t have access to the goat-part, because then it’d make for an extremely fast dog. But he’d dodged bullets before, hadn’t he? The memory was fogged up; something about a cage in a truck and having been injected with a sedative.
Now that they were walking, Daniel didn’t mind it much. He’d caught his second wind, or whatever. And sleeping wouldn’t likely happen regardless, so there was really no use going back and staring at the ceiling of yet another hotel-room.
“Done walking already then?” he commented. “I’m not really hungry, but I don’t care,” Daniel shrugged. It wasn’t as if Bell-boy was going to leave him unsupervised for the coming days. In a sense that was a comforting thought and yet Daniel felt as if he was a prisoner. That image wasn’t helped by the fact that their dinner was likely to consist of canned food again.
Spot came back, chewing the stick and slobbering all over it. Daniel wasn’t fazed and wrestled the stick free from Spot’s grasp before pretending to toss it away again. Spot ran. Then stopped, looking around himself. Finally, he looked back, bounding up just as happily and eager as before, not bothered by being tricked.
Dogs had it easy.
Sometimes. She was his wife, after all. Fiancee? She'd been something. Had been. It'd be sadder if he didn't think about her.
Didn't have a choice? Bell frowned for a moment, confused, then figured it out. Because of the delusions. Did he see Lily, sometimes? Bell knew he saw Alice, and Landon saw Daniel, but aside from that, he didn't usually announce when he saw someone or something.
"Richard?" Bell asked, confused. Who was Richard? Not that it mattered. Someone from Daniel's old life, an ocean away, who Bell had never met.
He knew so little about Daniel's past. It didn't really bother him, because there were things he didn't want to talk about, either, but at this point... Daniel knew almost everything about him. On the other hand, the details about Daniel's past were completely closed off to him. The big picture, the broad strokes--an unhappy childhood, a time spent funding education with bartending, a successful career--he knew that. It was the details that were missing.
And wasn't it the same with him? It'd just get boring, if they knew too much. It was fine.
"Good," he said. It was good he didn't miss her.
Spot came back with a stick, and Bell took it and gave it a throw. The dog went bounding off after it, a brown-and-white blur racing to the horizon. They'd ended up in a neighborhood, somehow, all the houses cookie-cutter perfect replications of one another plopped down one after another, only minor changes in windows and colors to tell one from the next. Reminded him a little of home.
Spot returned with the stick and jumped at Daniel, asking him to throw it this time. Bell snorted a bit, amused by Spot's antics. It was good to have a dog. He'd missed dogs, on the street. Ugh. Daniel had brought up home, and now all the good things were coming back, all the things he missed.
His stomach grumbled, and he looked at Daniel. "You wanna head back and eat?" he offered. He was hungry, and the sun was starting to set. If they stayed out too much later, it'd get dark before they turned back, and it'd be a dangerous thing to walk along the side of the highway in the dark.
‘The good part’, was it? Part of Daniel was selfishly bemoaning whether that made Bell-boy’s meeting of Landon no good bit of the man’s life, but another part was glad Bell-boy had at least had a decent childhood. Even if back then the tendency to enjoy hurting other people had been present. Or had it been?
Daniel tried to recall whether he’d seen pleasure running across Bell-boy’s face last night, but the memories were hazy at best. He followed Bell-boy’s lead as they went left, sticking his hands down his pockets. Without the sun beating on their backs he felt a bit chilled.
‘His siblings’. Daniel hadn’t failed to notice Bell had renounced the idea of that life being stolen from him, ever since it’d become apparent Bell-boy was a goat as well.
He was so lost in thought, Bell’s question started Daniel into reality.
“Sometimes,” he shrugged. Whenever there was Alice, really. And he couldn’t escape her even if he wanted to. “I mean, it’s not like I have a choice sometimes,” Daniel muttered. Lily had been with him for years, knew about his delusions and personalities. Like Bell, she’d seen it all.
When Bell had been inside the egg, he’d seen the man as well. People that touched his life didn’t just fade out of it that easily.
“I’m sure she's just fine, raising hybrid-Alice and everything,” he said with an unamused snort. “…with Richard, the asshole.” She was probably better off. After all, Lily had thought to be married to a rich man, a successful and aspiring businessman who had it all. Her suffering through his mental issues had been well rewarded on a materialistic spectrum. Whatever needs hadn’t been met, she’d find satisfied by his business-partner.
“I don’t really miss her,” Daniel said finally.
Spot came back at them carrying a stick he’d found and Daniel almost saluted the dog for its find. Had to give it to the mutt. More houses greeted them down the street; all set in uninspired rows, with large, well-cared for gardens and everything. It irked him somehow; that perfection. Made Daniel want to just destroy something pretty.
Daniel was really not feeling the walk. Bell glanced back at him and bit back a sigh. He was being kind of spoiled, wasn't he? Bell had been driving him around all day, and now that Bell wanted to get out and stretch his legs, that was just too much to do. He shook his head and turned back forward. Nothing doing. Daniel had always been a man-child, at least, so it didn't exactly come as a surprise.
He blinked at Daniel at the sudden question, not at all in line with whatever the man's thought process had been to get there. "Family?" he asked. "Well, I think about them, sometimes. That was the good part of my life." It wasn't his life, of course, strictly speaking. But the good part of a life. A life that mostly felt like it belonged to him. He thought about it every now and again. About the things he missed, the river and the toys and the car he'd been promised in another six months, and his parents cooking for him and having his own bed. What they'd done without him. What his imposter had done in his place. Well--that part he'd actively avoided thinking about, so he didn't sit and fester over it. And now there wasn't even any point in getting angry about it, because that was the real him. "Other me is probably graduating college, and my--his siblings are in college, at least. But you know. Not really too much to wonder about." He shrugged. Five, six years wasn't a long time to wonder over; it'd already been planned out before he'd vanished. "Unless I--other me, unless... well, anything could happen," he said with a shrug. It didn't matter. It wasn't him.
"Left," he chose at random, taking the lead for a bit. This road curved around; it looked like it might loop back to the hotel, which would be fine by him. He'd gotten to stretch his legs some, he was fine now. He glanced back at Daniel, taking him in for a second. "Do you ever wonder about Lily?" he asked. It hadn't been as long as him, of course, but there'd still been time. Time to wonder what she'd done. If she'd moved on. What she'd done with Alice.
How could Bell-boy be so excited for a grocery store? Maybe because the man finally held all the cash? Bell’s enthusiasm might’ve been catching, but Daniel’s mind wasn’t attuned to it. Spot’s was; the mutt was bounding ahead of them, excited to go back out. Daniel trudged behind, feeling like he’d already been molested for the day, thank you. He’d have favoured getting a hot shower, some of Bell-boy’s attention and some more time spent in the fine company of a soft bed. Before all hell broke loose and the cravings for alcohol became mind-numbing again.
No such luck.
Instead, they were heading towards a little shopping-centre, picking their way along the garbage-riddled edge of the highway.
“Yeah, looks real exciting here,” Daniel muttered sarcastically. Clothes though, decent ones that were way too expensive for their use. Reminded Daniel of a time before Bell-boy, when shopping for clothes meant getting a tailor-made suit and where ‘going out for dinner’ meant an actual restaurant that served several courses in one sitting.
His head really wasn’t with things yet.
At least he wasn’t as ravenous or as sleepy.
It just seemed pointless to be wandering around like this, was all. Daniel tried to imagine what Bell-boy would look like in a suit and who’d have to die before that would happen. He imagined the man to look pretty smart, actually. Nice muscle-tone, so why not? At least Bell-boy had gotten over that one. The whole ‘I need muscles because you look stronger’-thing had been getting old fast.
Nothing here of interest. Not even a bar or anything of the sorts. He'd have settled for a restaurant serving beer, frankly. He wasn’t picky.
“Did you ever wonder about your family?” Daniel pitched. Bell-boy’s parents had continued without him, hadn’t they? And because of the goat, it wasn’t even a sure things whether Bell-boy’s parents were still in an age-range where them being alive was a viable possibility.
There might actually be grand-children running around. Benjamin’s then, that was. It was a weird thought. Daniel shook his head. He really wasn’t quite with things yet, despite feeling okay.
“Left or right?” Daniel offered at a turn and in hopes of changing the subject.
Daniel was suddenly acting really pissy, and Bell had no idea what he'd even said to set it off. Seemed like it was always like this around Daniel; one second everything was fine, the next, Daniel was chewing his head off for no reason at all. The strangest things got him upset. Honestly, it was moments like these where he remembered which personality he'd fallen in love with. "This soap is fine, I was just teasing," he sighed. Couldn't even tell when Bell was joking, could he?
"Of course you... well, no," Bell admitted, remembering halfway through that Daniel was likely to go haring off to buy alcohol the first second he was left unattended. "C'mon, we can go check out the lay of the land, see if there's a grocery store around, stuff like that!" He waved Daniel on with a grin, actually excited to explore this little nowhere place, if only because it meant he could move around. Spot bounced around his heels as well, excited to go back outside.
There was the other benefit of being able to map out all the places that sold alcohol around here, as well, so he could at least have an idea of where to find Daniel this time. And this time, he had the keys to the truck. He touched them, tucked away in his pocket. Daniel couldn't drive away unless he pulled them off of Bell, and he figured he'd wake up from that.
It was nice outside; more than a little warm, but not so hot that his jacket became stifling. He stretched again, just glad to be out of the car and out where the horizon stretched to every direction, then set off for the little shopping center. It was a little ways away, with no sidewalk between the two; he had to walk along the edge of the highway, picking his way over the tidbits of trash people had dropped along the side of the road and around snarls of brambles. Five hundred or so meters of that later, he came out into a parking lot and looked around. Mostly high-end stores around here; a mattress store, a linens shop, a couple of upscale clothing stores. Nothing that interested him, and nowhere that sold alcohol. So far, so good.
The surprise on Bell-boy’s was almost insulting. Daniel shrugged, “yeah, really -what? Why would I lie about something like that?” It’d get them into trouble if the lady had specifically told him dogs weren’t allowed and they brought Spot inside. He didn’t quite get why Bell-boy wanted to risk it through the side-door, where the young woman was not. If someone saw them enter, she wouldn’t be able to tell them it was fine.
“What you got at the store,” Daniel muttered. The store Bell-boy hadn’t dared him to enter for fear Daniel might secretly get a bottle of alcohol. He put the cans down on the nearest flat surfaced furniture and gave Bell an exasperated look.
“Why…? This place looks fancy enough to have soap. I want to save it for when we’re not in hotels or cruddy ones. What, you don’t like this soap?” Daniel offered, picking up one of the complementary bars, giving Bell-boy a ‘what’s up with you today’-look. Maybe it just felt that way because he still wasn’t a hundred percent with things.
Bell-boy seemed to drop the conversation for the next topic already, so Daniel set the soap down and looked at himself in the mirror, examining his forehead. There was still brownish reissued -old blood- but no more cut or bruise. Might be a faded yellowish, the last stage of a nasty bruise, but that was it.
And he had no trouble reading the finer script now.
Lavender-scented soap. The joy. “Might get my soap after all,” he muttered at himself.
“Do I have a choice?” Daniel pitched a little louder when Bell suggested they go for a walk. He splashed some water on his face to freshen up. Not as if Bell-boy was going to leave him on his own to get into trouble all over again and the way Bell-boy acted, Daniel knew they were going to clash if they stayed cooped up inside.
He tried rinsing out the old blood, but it was being stubborn by now.
Daniel turned off the water and snatched a small towel to dry off with. “Fine, let’s go then.” He ditched the towel on the bed. Frankly, Daniel didn’t much feel like walking around aimlessly, but after sleeping the day away, it might make him feel a bit better.
Bell shrugged. Daniel was better at people, was all. And knew the going rate of a hotel room. Besides, most of all, Bell didn't want to. And that was what it really came down to.
Spot finally found a satisfactory place. Once he was done, Bell moved away from the patch of grass, circling a slightly larger area while he waited for Daniel to make a reappearance. Spot followed at his heels, sometimes running ahead--just glad to be free of the car. He understood; he felt the same way.
Daniel almost reappeared too soon, Bell's legs still not free of the stiffness from being car-bound all day. "Really?" he asked, surprised. Usually those rules bent for no one. Daniel really was better at people. Daniel ducked in the back of the car to grab their dinner, and Bell reached in the other side to retrieve Spot's food. The bag was still around half full; he almost sighed. Why couldn't humans just eat some kind of dogfood-like food? Just carry one big sack and eat it every day? It'd get boring, but it'd be so much more convenient, so much cheaper.
Bell opted to go in one of the side doors, figuring that, friendly front door lady or not, the fewer staff who saw Spot, the better. Someone outranked the front door lady, and if they saw Spot, it'd be the end for them. "What's for dinner?" he asked, without enthusiasm. He'd bought the cans, and there was nothing exciting amongst them. Even he was getting a little tired of tuna.
Their hotel room was the usual; small, clean, neat little bars of soap wrapped up by the sink. He snorted at the sight. "Did you bring your special soap along?" he teased Daniel. Soap was soap was soap, to him. It was all good, regardless of origin.
Still, he wasn't tired. If anything, he was restless after a day of sitting still. He dropped the stuff in the room, then looked at Daniel. "You wanna go for a walk?" he asked, stretching. It'd let him get a feel for the lay of the land, too, whether there were any goats nearby. Besides, Spot looked antsy, too. If they cooped him up too long, he'd become destructive, and then the nice hotel lady would get yelled at by her boss for having let a dog in and they'd have to find somewhere else to sleep.
Dog-pawns burrowed in his leg to gain traction. Spot darted out, leaving Daniel to glare at the mutt. At least Spot had the decency to go about business on the green and not against the truck. Bell-boy offered up money and Daniel gave Bell an unimpressed look. Really? He had the card, but Bell had the cash and was now handing it back to him. How was this supposed to work again? Real inconsistent.
“You going to count every bill of change?” Daniel snorted, swiping the wads from Bell-boy’s hands as he exited the truck.
“Why don’t you get the room and I watch Spot for once?” he bemoaned on his way to the hotel. People would start noticing their pattern. It was a miracle they hadn’t been caught yet, to be fair, but then, usually murderers didn’t cross states.
Daniel stretched out some more, coaxing some blood up his stiff legs. All sleep had now gone. It almost felt counter-productive to get a room he knew there’d be no sleeping in, but Bell-boy at least needed to get some decent rest after a day’s worth of driving.
The hotel looked decent. Nothing overly fancy or dilapidated. Just nice and friendly. Daniel put on his best smile and approached the young woman behind the counter. No bar. No free drinks. Room-service. Maybe.
A big maybe.
Daniel had half a thought to ask the woman for a favour but decided no. He was stronger than this. He’d prove it to Bell-boy by behaving for once.
“Just a two-person bedroom, one bed -oh and we have a dog, will that be a problem? He’s well-behaved,” he tried charming his way through.
“Well…usually we don’t- the other guests, you see?” she started.
Puppy-eyes were more Spot’s forte, but Daniel had learned a thing or two.
“Does he bark?” the woman asked, ready to give in.
“Quiet as a mouse,” he smiled reassuringly.
Daniel returned to Bell and handed him back the change and the keys, then turned to Spot. “I promised you’d be quiet, but you can come in too,” he told the dog. Spot cocked his head, unable to interpret the fancy words Daniel was using.
Daniel ducked inside the car and fetched what would likely be their dinner. Tuna or mystery meat; choices, choices.
"Not really," he replied, about the hotel. It'd been a middle-of-the-range chain, nothing expensive, nothing cheap. He shot Daniel a look about the sly comment. If Daniel was going to be like this, maybe he'd just give the cash back to not have to suffer. "Don't know how much hotels cost, either."
Yeah, Daniel had a point. Didn't really look like the kind of place that'd have abandoned spots all tucked away. And then Daniel admitted his real motive, fingers playing with the hairs at the back of Bell's neck. Bell smirked. Hadn't done anything last night because someone had snuck out and gone drinking, but yeah... he had a point. And besides, if he was keeping Daniel busy, there'd be no time for drinks.
"Nope," Bell admitted, to having a better idea. He turned off the road towards the hotel and into the parking lot. Goats? "Could be, who knows," he said. There usually were goats around, especially when he took the lead. It was basically unavoidable. He just shook his head at Daniel's suggestion they go door to door. "What, knock on the door and try to sell them cookies, and by the way, we're going to murder your dad?" he said, laughing a bit.
At last, he parked, glad to finally be done. Spot all but spun in Daniel's lap, eager to be free; the second Bell opened his door, the dog jumped up and shot out, racing across both their laps in his eagerness to escape. The dog didn't get far. He only made it to the nearest patch of grass before he lifted a leg. Bell climbed out and stretched, looking around. The air was nice and fresh, compared to the city air. Reaching into his pocket, he passed Daniel half the remaining cash, figuring it'd be enough to pay for a night. "I'll keep an eye on Spot," he volunteered, as the animal nosed around the grass in search of the perfect pooping spot. Spot aside, he really needed to stretch his legs a bit after that car ride, and he paced around the edge of the grass to try and stretch out a bit.
After a moment's pause, he glanced at Daniel. "Don't be long," he said. Didn't want to have Daniel disappear now, only to discover this tiny chain actually did have a hotel bar, by some miracle.
Awake was a big word. Daniel looked over at Bell-boy and nodded faintly, “yeah.” His brains didn’t even slosh around in his cranium this time around -progress. At last. White picket fences. So these things really existed? Daniel took another couple deep breaths, but when nothing changed gave up. Not a dream. Could be a delusion though.
“Looks…weird,” Daniel muttered.
Spot nudged him for attention and Daniel let the mutt crawl onto his lap, running his fingers through the dog’s fur. They must’ve been driving a while, by the looks of things. Damn. Just how much was he going to sleep?
Spot was eager to get out, knowing they would stop soon because the truck’s speed wasn’t as great as it had been.
“Did it look expensive -the hotel? I’d prefer it, because hot showers and beds,” Daniel muttered. He sat up a little more, shaking his head. It didn’t clear his head any.
“Don’t know how much money you have?” he suggested slyly.
He felt pretty awake now. Daniel wouldn’t be surprised if he’d be up all night, but if they booked a proper room being awake in bed, with Bell, didn’t have to be a problem at all. They could do all the nasty things they could think of and more.
“It looks too nice to have rough spots,” Daniel remarked. He was sure there would be several, as any human settlement would, but he rather not go looking. It’d be looking for trouble, for one. Daniel stretched out and let his arm fall down near Bell-boy’s neck. His fingers toyed with the man’s hair.
“Besides, there are certain advantages to beds,” he suggested. At least while they rumbled between the sheets nothing bad could happen. No delusions, no alcohol, no choking. And it’d feel good.
“Unless you have a better idea?” Daniel pulled away again, roughing Spot’s fur up. The dog playfully snapped at his hands, eager to get out and run, Daniel suspected. For the poor dog, as well as Bell-boy, the ride had to have been boredom incarnated.
“Think there’ll be goats here? All neatly lined up?” he suggested with a chuckle. “We could just go door-by-door.”
Daniel stiffened when he asked if it'd been delusions. Ha, talk about a tell. So it had been. He'd have to keep a closer eye on Daniel's driving from now on.
Fine already? Sure. Daniel's sleepiness gave lie to that. He simply shook his head and let Daniel fall back asleep. Probably best if he slept as much of this off as possible. The sooner he was healed, the better for all of them.
It was boring, driving. It didn't take long for him to remember why he hated it, staring straight ahead and following the boring, straight road on forever. Why did Daniel have to go and get hurt? He'd really rather be the one napping right now. But he couldn't be. Had to keep driving. Keep on moving along. He shook his head and gripped the wheel again, shifting in the seat to get more comfortable. Driving all day was shit. Who'd come up with this idea, anyways? He'd rather be walking than this, even if it was so much slower.
The world passed by slowly, sliding past their window. Eventually, the sun passed overhead, until it was starting to grow dark again. Bell found a turn off and eased the car down the off ramp into a small town--if it could even be called a town. It was suburbia incarnate, the houses all tucked away in neighborhoods with their neat little patch of green, big chain stores standing out against the horizon, the largest things around. There was one hotel by the off-ramp, and not another for as far as the eye could see; chances were, in a place like this, it was the only one.
Daniel stirred beside him, and he glanced over. "Hey, you awake?" he asked, moving the car through what traffic there was. "I've found us a place to sleep... well, kind of. We need to find the sleeping place itself, but this town seems nice. There's a hotel over there, or we could rough it again." He glanced at Daniel for his feedback as he moved the car along, also keeping an eye out for somewhere to eat dinner, as well. Not that it mattered. It'd probably be canned food for them, regardless of what this little town had.
A hand touched his hair and Daniel gave Bell a questioning look, then started awake at the car’s drifting. He was about to reach for the wheel when Bell-boy focussed and straightened out the truck.
“Driving and talking too much for you, Bell-boy?” Daniel muttered as he sank back with a yawn. Damn it. He didn’t want to fall asleep again. It was as if none of the food he ate actually went to replenishing his energy -just, straight to the goatling and siphoned into healing.
Bells next words had Daniel stiffen a little, but he forcibly eased himself up again. Lenny too, huh? Yeah, he remembered that one.
“Maybe,” Daniel neither confirmed nor denied they’d been delusions. Actually, it’d been seeing reality, where he thought it might be a delusion which had gotten him into trouble. But then, Alice wasn’t exactly meant to be there either, had she?
“Don’t give me that look,” Daniel muttered with a yawn.
“I’m fine already.” Fine as in, falling asleep an hour after waking up, fine. When Bell-boy had suffered from the memory-loss and headaches because of being shot through the head, the goat had had a difficult time healing Bell-boy up whilst the man was awake too. Maybe it was similar to that, only his sleep came a little more natural, rather than just straight-up passing out whenever.
No doubt it’d all be healed come tomorrow morning. A concussion wasn’t really comparable to getting a bullet chased through your head in terms of damage. Daniel tentatively felt his stomach, but the bruises there were all patched up now, it seemed. He tried his best to fight the threatening sleep, but driving was boring. There was no real distraction and so Daniel’s blinking became more and more sluggish, to the point where his eyes just didn’t open at all and he sagged against the door.
Daniel’s breathing even out, his sleep dark and riddled with meaningless dreams he wouldn’t later remember. When he finally did wake up, Daniel wasn’t even sure what had caused it. He sighed out, blinking at their surroundings and sitting up a little. The headache was gone now. Daniel scrubbed by his face, feeling out the injury, but there was nothing. Just a bit hazy still, as if he hadn’t really slept but had been unconscious or whatever. It’d solve itself soon, no doubt.
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