the black goat of a thousand young

/ By kaitoXi [+Watch]

Replies: 6082 / 2 years 217 days 20 hours 48 minutes 50 seconds

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Daniel emerged from the back of the lobby, and Bell stood. Time he got out of here. Ben didn't want them around, and honestly, he understood. "Yeah," he agreed quietly, heading towards the door to make his escape.

Ben gave an awkward nod to Daniel's comment, eyes lingering on the fingerprints around his neck; they didn't stay long, though, because one of the kids said something that drew his attention, and he turned away.

Outside was icy cold. It wasn't windy today, but somehow, it just accentuated how extremely cold it was outside. Bell's nose started to tingle first, then his face, and then the cold seeped through his layers to his skin, and he felt goosebumps spawn as a shiver rode through him. "Right, right over there," he said, jabbing a finger at the shop across the street. In hopes that moving would help warm him up somehow, he took quick, short steps as he hurried across the icy street. It helped him move on the slippery footing as well, the short steps cutting his momentum so he had less chance of slipping on the compacted-snow-turned-ice that reigned in the street.

Across the street, the shop was a bastion of heat and shelter. He stepped inside and just shivered for a moment before he approached the desk. "Dropped some coats off last night..." he muttered, putting the ticket last night's old lady had given him on the counter. The younger man who was running the shop this morning squinted at it, then nodded and disappeared into the shop, only to return a moment later with their clothes hanging on separate hangers, tiny paper notes pinned to their tags. The man handed them over silently; Bell took them and passed Daniel's to him, already picking the tags out of his in preparation to shrug them on. The safety pins he slipped into his pockets. They'd probably come useful sometime in the future. "Give me your pins," he muttered at Daniel, holding out this hand. He'd keep them all.

All bundled up, he nodded at the man behind the counter, waited for Daniel to finish, then headed back out into the cold. With a dry jacket, the cold didn't feel nearly as bad as it had earlier.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 20d 2h 29m 12s
Finding sunglasses wasn't hard. There were at least a dozen in the little tray the woman brought out.
She smiled and showed him the box, "are any of these yours?"
Daniel blinked, then moved some of the sunglasses in the tray and found some pilot-sunglasses. Not the most stylish of articles, but dark and more importantly: big. They'd prevent the sun from trying to peep in underneath his sunglasses.
"I think these might be mine," Daniel ventured and tried them on. Perfect fit. He grinned at the woman and splayed out his hands.

"Stunning," the lady said with a shake of her head and put the tray back.

Daniel was already turned away from her when she put a hand to his shoulder. "Those's none of my business, but those marks really look like finger-prints," she said. Her eyes were cast down as she said it.
Daniel gave her a look, then smirked. The silence allowed her to focus on Daniel's face again to catch it.
"You might want to..." she gestured at her neck. "Cover it up."

He nodded at her, then opened the door and leisurely ambled back to the lobby. Bell-boy was there -he caught sight of the man waiting around. And talking? Two kids ran him by towards a familiar man: Benjamin. Hadn't expected to see the man a second time, if he was being honest.
It didn't take long to put two and two together.
Daniel kept his distance for a second as a woman chased down the children at a more even pace. So good old Ben had some taste, now did he? He followed the woman, hands in his pockets, to join Bell-boy.

So much for a dreary divorce. Children though. Daniel wasn't surprise the woman looked sour. Benjamin's house was a state and the man even more so maybe.
Wait, so was she the girl?
Somehow, Daniel doubted it. Couldn't be.

Kids looked like they could be his and Bell-boy's.
He touched Bell's hand. "We should go," Daniel muttered. No sense in staying to watch this scene play out. Benjamin's life was his and he'd already made it clear he wanted little to no interference of their part in it.

Daniel winked at Ben from behind his sunglasses.
"Lovely kids," he offered, then looked at Bell-boy. He'd said just across the street, but honestly, he could walk into a dozen stores and not find his coat.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 20d 3h 4m 40s
Daniel got little enough to let Bell know how bad his hangover really was, though at least Daniel was still eating. It was always a bad sign when Daniel stopped.

They ate in silence for a bit, then Daniel rose. Bell turned to watch him go, then nodded. He still had some food to eat. He hadn't drank last night, so he was hungry, unlike Daniel. Still, it didn't take much longer until he was done. He kept his head bowed as he exited the room, worried that people might recognize him. He hadn't recognized anyone at the hotel--no big surprise, that--but they might've changed, grown older. He wasn't going to take that risk.

Daniel wasn't in the lobby. Bell looked around, then noticed the lack of an attendant as well and sat on one of the benches to wait. Probably off to the lost and found together. But as a result, the lobby was deserted, aside from him. He snorted to himself. Be an excellent time to sneak a dog in, if the mutt had still been around. As it was, he shuffled his feet and yawned, glad no one was opening the automatic doors to let the icy outside air in.

A family rushed by, kids casting him inquisitive looks while their parents hurried them past. He shook his head at himself, mildly amused. Looked homeless again, did he? Well, without the jacket, he was wearing a few eclectic layers, but overall, he should be clean and fresh, right? He considered, then shrugged. Maybe he was just intimidating even without the homeless vibe. He could live with that.

The door outside opened. Bell braced for the cold, scrunching up his nose. Feet kicked on the door mat, and then there was an audible intake of breath. Bell opened his eyes to find Ben there, staring back at him.

"You," Ben snapped. "What are you doing here?"

"Sleeping, damn," Bell replied, crossing his arms. "You don't own the hotel. Fuck off. Had to sleep somewhere."

Ben barely seemed to register his words. "You can't be here. Go away!"

Bell frowned at him and sat up, and was about to tell him where he could stick it when a small child burst out of the hallway, maybe eight, nine years old. "Daddy!" he shouted, and threw himself at Ben.

Ben caught the boy and smiled, scruffing his hair. Blonde, like straw, Bell noted. "Johnny!"

"Hey, dad," a teen girl said, trying to be cool. She had bright blue eyes and blonde hair that was halfway to fading to brown.

"Amy!" he greeted her, bouncing Johnny in his arms.

Behind her was a woman about Ben's age, but well out of his league, long bottle-blonde hair curling over an ample breast. "Ben," she said, voice icy. Without even waiting for him to acknowledge her, she walked right on outside. "Then, I'll be back on Sunday."

Bell watched her go. That was who Ben had married? At least he'd done well for himself at one point in time. Ben seemed to have forgotten about him, all his attention trained on his... well, his kids. The one thing Bell had never thought he'd want.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 20d 5h 11m 4s
He raised an eyebrow at Bell-boy's suggestion. A dog? Honestly? Now he was missing Spot? Daniel shook his head. Bell-boy's spoken wish was birthed from a desire to have Spot around, not a dog. Ordinary dogs wouldn't live long in the game they were playing.
The restaurant wasn't anything special and there wasn't anything in particular he craved right then. Daniel settled for orange-juice and some toast. It'd be a shame to let an opportunity to eat something go to waste.
And some sugar would hopefully settle his headache a little. After another moment's thought, Daniel added water to his enormous pile of choices. He found a table to sit at and slowly nipped from the drinks. His hands strayed to the toast and started to tear them into little bits, even though only every other piece actually made it to his mouth.
Nothing like toast to settle a stomach though.

He felt a little better for it and at the same time, worse. Now he couldn't really feel what his stomach was doing. Daniel rested on his elbows and slowly drank down the water, just watching the other guests flounder over the food. There weren't that many. Daniel guessed it was still fairly early.

"Well, breakfast was great," he joked, late to realize people were giving him looks because of the now impressive bruises around his neck. Hopefully it's trigger some sympathy with the staff, in the hopes they'd 'find' him some sunglasses and hand them over.
"I'll be right back," Daniel gave Bell-boy a heads-up and ambled casually off to the lobby. He felt better almost immediately, without the need to actually have to breathe in the heavy scents of salted and sweet foods.

There was something of shock on the girl's face. Her hand hovered over a phone, but stalled.
"Are you alright, sir?"
Daniel gave her a wan smile. Didn't help he probably looked the way he felt. Daniel leaned on the counter. "I may have lost my sunglasses -with the snow, you know?" he ventured, subtly hinting at the fact that there were no sunglasses lost at all, but there might have been. She took a long second to look over the bruises on his neck, caught herself staring and allowed her training to kick in.
"Off course, sir, let me have a look for you," she offered and left.
Daniel followed her steps, eager to see just exactly where she went. She had better not get any funny ideas.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 20d 15h 53m 4s
He dressed quickly, trying to trap the warmth against his skin before the shower's heat could dissipate. To some extent, it worked, and with some careful layering, he was more or less confident he'd stay warm. If not on the way to get the coats, at least afterwards. It wasn't a very long walk to the coat store, which was a small bonus to having to run out into the cold without their coats.

His boots were next. They were still a little damp, the soles particularly. Putting them on wasn't pleasant, but it wasn't extremely unpleasant either. It was just kind of a thing. Once his feet were settled in, he barely felt anything at all, just a vague discomfort. Tomorrow they'd be fully dry, he knew it, but for now, he'd have to put up with it.

While he waited for Daniel to finish, he sat down on the bed and yawned. One hand reached for Spot, only for him to remember that the dog was gone. He sighed aloud. He really did miss the dog. It gave him something to do while he waited for Daniel, gave him a dumb, unthinking, unjudging source of comfort. The man could go fuck himself, but the dog...

"We should get a new dog," he said aloud, then stood. There was no point to it. Taking care of a real dog, one that didn't kind of know what was going on, that would startle at gunshots and bark at inopportune times, would be more effort than they could really afford to put out.

Steal some sunglasses? Bell nodded, vaugely up for whatever Daniel was thinking. Nothing like some petty theft to cheer him up. He wasn't really sure where they'd find sunglasses at this time of year. Drugstore, maybe? Gas station? Maybe there'd be a pair or two in the lost and found they could just go pick up, real casually. If the hotel had such a convenient thing.

He heaved himself off the bed and headed out the door, down the hallway to the restaurant hotel. They had a buffet laid out, the usual mediocre fare all lined up. He went straight for the hot food; he was feeling eggs and bacon today. Lots of protein to keep warm in the cold.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 20d 23h 27m 8s
It was quiet for a while after Bell-boy's confirmation, the silence only interrupted by the continuous torrent of water pitter-pattering on its way down the drain. And then a hand to his forehead, nice and warm. Felt good. Felt nice to be touched, even if they weren't being intimate. The hand left as soon as it'd gotten there and for a while only the change in the noise-pattern gave clues as to where Bell-boy was. Just as he opened his eyes, the man handed him the soap and gave him a distracted kiss. Maybe he ought to brush his teeth -no one liked kissing someone with dead animal-taste in their mouths.

"Hmm," he sighed out, then half-heartedly applied soap to the most vital areas. At least he smelled clean, even though he still felt foul. Not long after Bell-boy left, Daniel stepped out of the shower. Without the water, the room felt empty and far too large.
He snatched up a towel and buried his face in the soft fluff.
His hair was seen to with a firm scrub and Daniel wasted little time in getting dry enough to get dressed.

His new-found fear of cold was fuelled by the fact that they had to go out in the snow to get anywhere. Wasn't it ironic? They'd gotten the coats to prevent this sort of shit.
Daniel approached his shoes with slight trepidation -wet or dry? He lifted one boot and examined the leather. Cranking up the heat had definitely done something to get them dry, but the speed with which they dried had left the leather looking lifeless and stale. Daniel decided that was fine, as long as they were dry on the inside as well.

If they'd had sneakers, it'd have been worse.
As it was, his boots were about as dry as they were going to get. Wordlessly, Daniel sat down on the floor and wrestled his way into his then, lacing the boots up tightly. Just a few more days of cold and they'd be well back on their way South. Hopefully. If Bell-boy didn't tie him up and torture him in some sick replay of what he'd done to the girl. Daniel realized the situation with the goatling being absent really didn't help his case.
He stood back up, took a deep breath and gathered his things from the sill. His wallet was still moist, but most of the bills had dried up. Good enough.

"Ready?" he ventured, "time to steal some sunglasses."
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 21d 1h 10m 25s
"Yep," Bell confirmed. It'd been on the table before, but they'd never actually done it. He couldn't get away from here fast enough, though, so he was up for it this time for sure.

He nodded. Daniel would fight back. That was good. He could at least rely on that. After all this time, Daniel was easily his equal in strength--if not better. He remembered the night, and an unconscious shudder tore over his skin as he relived the sensation of being forced down. Daniel was stronger than him now. He had to be careful--no. No, it wasn't like that. He could trust Daniel. Daniel wouldn't hurt him. Right? Yeah. Earlier, he'd turned Daniel down, and it was fine. It was okay to not be the strongest.

What if there wasn't anything there? Bell considered it for a moment. It was possible. It'd been years... decades, probably. Could very well be that there was nothing left of that tiny shed way out in the woods. "It would be,” he agreed, sighing out. In some ways, it'd be a relief, but in others... then how would he ever know that anything had happened for real? That he'd really-- it had to be there. It couldn't have disappeared. It was too important for that. The world wouldn't erase the proof of his sins so easily.

The rush of the water was a powerful force, keeping him calm, making everything feel okay for once. Like maybe it'd all turn out okay. He reached out and pushed Daniel's hair back from his eyes, just to get a better view of his face when everything was calm and everyone was okay. He looked serene, leaning back against the wall like that with his eyes closed. Even though Bell knew the man had to be nursing a hangover, from the outside, he looked peaceful. He didn't want to disturb that peace.

But they had to. He sighed out and grabbed the soap, washing himself quickly before he passed it to Daniel with a kiss. "Let's go get breakfast," he said, then climbed out of the shower and grabbed a towel. Might as well get this over with and put some good space between them and this little suburb before night.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 21d 3h 2m 59s
Daniel snorted.
He hadn't expected Bell-boy to agree so readily to him talking shit last night. Maybe a polite 'neh, you didn't say much', would've been more expected. At least Daniel could appreciate Bell-boy's honesty.
"Switching drivers? That...that where we take turns?" Daniel muttered, dropping the last article of clothing in the pile already littering the floor. Sunglasses were a given. No way was he walking outside without a set.
Should've got some when purchasing the car. Car-salesmen liked offering little premium shit to up the prizes of their lousy vehicles.

He followed Bell-boy into the shower, just quietly enjoying the dull drone of the spray when Bell-boy suddenly pulled him closer. Daniel lazily watched Bell-boy's expressions shift from worry to uncertainty.
"I'll fight back when you try," Daniel dismissed any concerns Bell-boy had. It was one thing being choked at random, but another to be beat in broad day-light. He was strong enough to rival Bell, especially when the man was fierce but uncoordinated. Only when Bell-boy fought dirty or applied some advanced tactics, did he lose the battle.

Daniel hummed when Bell warned him to be ready. He didn't know whether he would be, but a warned man counted as good as two. Coats? Oh, right.
"Yeah, remember you told me," he sighed out, watching Bell-boy was up. That meant they'd be going without until they fetched them. At least they didn't need to go particularly far. Daniel just hoped their shoes were dry enough to wear comfortably. Shoes went a long way in keeping the core temperature up.

Daniel rested against the wall and closed his eyes, just enjoying the spray and how the monotone noise cancelled out the small worries that kept cropping up.
"I wonder if there's anything still there," he pitched softly. Daniel opened his eyes to glare at Bell-boy, but surrendered. He'd be able to tell how Bell felt from the way he breathed and talked anyway.
"Be kind of lame if it turns out it's all gone," Daniel put out there. Then how would they figure out anything had happened at all? Staying in town was a no-go and he doubted there'd be public records of the event. Maybe a newspaper. Daniel doubted Bell would know the exact date, but they knew the place and had a rough estimate now.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 21d 4h 8m 59s
As he'd predicted, Daniel was not at all pleased with the bright light of the bathroom. It took a moment's hesitation, but the other man eventually joined him. He undressed slowly, weighed down with his restless night's lack of sleep, then turned and watched Daniel. A gunshot wound on his arm--? No, that we from the hunters, while he wasn't there, right. He'd almost forgotten. The other bruises looked no less hideous in the sterile, bright florescents of the bathroom, and he looked away, ashamed.

"Huh? Yeah," Bell said, allowing himself to be distracted. "Yeah, for sure. Had a good idea about switching drivers, though... Oh, and sunglasses, we should get sunglasses." He didn't know whether it was okay to bring up Daniel's father or not... and he'd initiated that conversation anyways, so... He didn't know. And the weird goatling things... Well, most of those were better off forgotten. He'd been acting pretty weird himself, as well. He sighed. They needed to get out of here already.

He stepped into the water and ducked his head under the spray, then resurfaced and gestured for Daniel to join. For a moment, he just focused on washing up in silence, but then he reached out and grabbed Daniel around the waist, moving close enough to touch. "I'm worried. About today. The shed, it's... it's the center of everything. I don't know what will happen. If I'll be okay or... try to hurt you."

Bell shook his head, bit door where to go with this. He had no idea what would happen. Maybe he was worrying for nothing. Maybe it really would be a problem. He just didn't know. "So, uh... yeah. Just--be ready, okay?"

He stepped back, awkwardly releasing Daniel, then went back to washing up. It'd be all over soon. The sooner they could escape, the better. He shouldn't have done back to this stuffy little town. It wasn't good for him. At all.

"Oh, uh--and I dropped our coats off across the street to be dried, so... We should grab those after breakfast." It was either that or freeze, honestly. He cast a look at his boots; he sure wasn't looking forward to trying those on, either.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 21d 5h 47m 0s
Help? Washing down? They always showered together though, why would this time be different? Because it was different? Because Bell-boy wasn't really available in many other ways at the moment? Whatever. Daniel decided he didn't care enough. The bathroom was bright. He closed his eyes for a second, waiting for the piercing spike in his headache to simmer down. Once his eyes adjusted and he able to at least squint, Daniel hesitantly stepped into the bathroom. The tiles were cold to his feet.
Behind him, Bell-boy turned on the hot water.

With these clear skies, it'd cool down quickly. Never mind the snow's reflecting of the light. Daniel realized he was still just stood there and he sighed out. Hopefully the shower would make things better, not worse. He undressed slowly, wary of fabric scratching by his fresh bruises. It just felt swollen and sore, nothing too bad.
Nothing like getting shot.
That injury was still there as well, steadily healing. He'd gotten lucky with Spot. If it weren't for the man's quick acting, Daniel was assured it'd have infected already.

"...I talk shit last night?" Daniel pitched, stretching his injured arm carefully. The scabs were pulling at his flesh. "I remember talking shit," he said softly, though couldn't prevent some words to be swallowed in the tightness of his throat.

He reached into the shower-stall and felt the spray before stepping in. Clean, hot water cascaded down his back, causing a shiver to go up and down his back. Shouldn't have drank. At least Bell-boy didn't seem any worse for having been in a coma, so the man would be able to drive. Just had to arrange for some sunglasses before they left.
Guess they'd find out whether the hotel had a lost and found.

Daniel caught some water and scrubbed at his face, trying to wake up from his daze. It'd been pretty long since he'd had a bout of insomnia. Then again, they had slept that afternoon, so was it really a surprise? Worrying. It was worrying more than anything.
Insomnia was usually how it started. After an increased time with no sleep, his defence against the hallucinations was minimal.
Daniel shook the thoughts. For now he'd assume the goatling was just buried down deep, recovering from whatever vat-goat had done to it and the treatment Bell-goat put it through to right the wrongs..
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 21d 15h 53m 2s
Ha, he'd be surprised if Daniel didn't come away from last night with a headache. It was all to be expected. Nothing too bad. His bruises looked really bad with a whole night to let them set, purple and reds in deep hues. Bell grimaced, but then forced himself to stop. At least he hadn't hurt Daniel again, and refreshed those bruises. Small blessings.

How was he, huh? "I feel fine," he said, shaking his head. No headaches for him. Physically, he was fine. But... he yawned widely. For all that he'd slept in to some extent, he didn't feel rested at all. If anything, he felt more tired after waking up than before he'd gone to sleep. "Dreams were shitty as hell." He'd be happy when they got away from here, and he could sleep restfully again.

"Breakfast," he agreed, nodding. Food would be good. Help wake him up and get him some fuel to move on from here. Daniel was right, too; last night had been surprisingly tasty for a little hotel like this.

He snorted and shook his head. "Yeah, I'll do my best," he promised. "Ugh." He didn't want to take another plunge today, no thank you. That'd been bad enough once.

Ready? Would he ever be? He sighed and rubbed his face down, then nodded. He couldn't put it off any longer, or he'd never do it at all. That was just the way it was. And if he didn't do it, then he'd always live under her shadow.

"Need help?" he offered, sitting up straighter in bed. He stretched and yawned, then slowly climbed out of bed. The carpet felt cold on his feet, even in their cozy little hotel room. Distracted, he stared out the window for a second, taking in the pure white snow, then turned and headed for the less pure white bathroom.

It was bright inside the bathroom; he glanced at Daniel. Probably rough on his hangover, with that much light. The snow was going to be murder. They should get those sunglasses sooner rather than later. He turned to the tub and got the hot water running before undressing. It wasn't warm enough anywhere to move around naked right now.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 21d 22h 8m 25s
Bell-boy's jolt woke Daniel from his daze and he looked at the scrambling man, ready to intervene if Bell bolted. He didn't though. Bell-boy clued on soon enough that everything was just fine, mainly because day was already breaking, Daniel suspected. Nothing like a morning sun to break through the veil of nightmarish dreams.
"Morning," Daniel greeted Bell-boy with a meek smile.
His voice sounded like gravel even more than it did yesterday, but the pain seemed less. In no small part that was due to his headache overruling the pained sensations of his throat and neck. Daniel yawned widely and stretched a little.
"Just a little headache 's all," he down-played how he felt. What use was it for Bell-boy to know the minor details? All it'd serve was to amplify the already present guilt in the man.

Today was the day as well. Time to visit the shed.
"How're you?" Daniel pitched. Seemed like the man had had several nightmares, nor did Bell-boy's rest at any point after waking up seem calm. "Should probably look for some breakfast soon, huh? Hotel will probably have something decent, if dinner was any clue," he muttered. Not that it'd been amazing, but last night's meal had been okay.

Daniel reached for the water he'd set on the bedside table and took a few tentative sips. He'd been nursing water for the better of the last few hours, trying to mitigate the effects of the hangover. Swallowing still felt funny, but not as bad as it had last night.

He sagged back into the pillows and pondered whether or not taking a shower would aggravate his misery or improve upon it. Maybe a bath would do the trick. After yesterday's encounter though, he'd rather stay dry for a while.
Dry and warm.
"Please don't tackle me into any more rivers today?" Daniel joked half-heartedly. It'd been a little disappointing meeting Benjamin. Lenny had always considered the man a backup. In case Bell-goat didn't keep its promise. Something to go back to.
It was obvious the man wouldn't be appreciative of someone like him in his life.

"You ready for today?" he asked quietly. He had one Bell-boy. That was enough. Only this one would do. Daniel sighed and shifted. If they wanted to get anywhere, he'd have to move. A shower then.
Daniel sat on the edge of the bed, slightly pensive, but finally pushed up and stretched out his back. "Just...going to wash up," he motioned at the bathroom.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 21d 23h 53m 30s
He settled back to sleep quickly enough, all but crashing as the adrenaline wore off. She flitted from here to there, little disconnected scenes floating through his head; her at her desk, carrying her through the woods, unconscious body limp on his shoulder; sharing snacks at lunch; the way blood soaked into her shirt when he made the first cuts; the way she laughed; the way she screamed.

Hands pressed down on his body, forced him back against the bed. Bell struggled, but there was no escaping them. All his strength was meaningless against his attacker. She was there, hovering, laughing. Gravel bit into his hands, then his arms as he jolted forward, knocked off balance. She moved forward, wrapped her hands around his neck, fingers biting like barbed wire. "You deserved this," she hissed, watching as his face contorted at the pain. "You did."

He jolted awake and scrambled at the bed, searching for purchase, for a place to retreat to. Had to get--had to get away! No. No, he was safe. He was in a bed, with Daniel, in the same hotel room he'd been in earlier. He sighed, looked around, then laid back down. Everything was okay. No need to panic.

Unlike his dreams, the room was peaceful. Pure white light poured in from the window, desaturating the room, paling the colors out. For a second, he thought he was still in a dream, the lighting so unrealistic it couldn't be real, but the texture of the sheets and the sound of the television told him otherwise. He glanced next to him in the bed for Daniel. The man had to be hungover by now... and he imagined their midnight wrestling hadn't helped. Based on the way the pillows were propped up alone, it looked like Daniel wasn't having the best time of it.

"How're you feeling?" he asked, meaning everything; his throat, the hangover, all of it. At least the bed was nice. He had the feeling that they wouldn't be sleeping in beds for a while after this, on their way South, so he intended to enjoy every last second of bed-dom. Ha--if they slept in shifts, then it wouldn't even matter if he had nightmares! Should've figured that one out sooner.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 22d 2h 52m 35s
She killed him, huh? Daniel wondered what kind of psychology lay behind that sort of nightmare, but figured the fear of losing him and the guilt of killing the girl, coupled with the common nomer 'goats', created a novel new way of torturing Bell-boy's mind through nightmares. He was distracted by Bell-boy's feather-light touch and raised his eyebrows. Bell-boy didn't want to kill him. That was good to know, but also problematic if they ever wanted to find out whether or not he was a goat.

Maybe fighting Bell on the whole choking things wasn't as bad. Daniel still thought he could do better, maybe, but at least the man could still crack a smile.
Bell-boy snuggled closer and Daniel wrapped an arm around the man. Danger hadn't passed -yet. As long as the night lasted, there'd be nightmares to enjoy. He sighed out. Definitely needed to get something to drink. Water, this time.

"Yeah....yeah, we'll go see the shed," Daniel breathed out.
At least to find out what parts of Bell-boy's memories were left behind. If any. How unsatisfying would it be to encounter only an empty lot? It'd been over twenty years. Benjamin might've visitted the place to reminisce about the girl. Did Ben even know about the place Bell-boy found?

Daniel toyed with Bell-boy's hair as the man slowly started to drift back off to sleep. He paused when Bell spoke. Hate?
"I'm too lazy to hate, Bell-boy," Daniel muttered softly. "Won't hate you," he promised. How could he? Daniel loved Bell. Without him, where would he end up? Dead, was what. Without Bell-goat, there was no last resort to dealing with the goatling's maturing.
" matter what," Daniel confirmed softly.

Daniel rested for a moment, waiting for Bell-boy to drift off again before moving. He snatched a cup of water from the bathroom and flicked the channels of the television. Nothing interesting was on this early in the morning. Outside was just as white as ever. The weather-forecast didn't look any more favourable. He hoped they didn't get snowed in. Now that'd be nice. Snowed in with a murderous Bell-boy.
Daniel took the remote back to the bed and propped himself up using his pillow. They'd leave tomorrow. Whether Bell-boy's past was dealt with or not, they'd be leaving. Back to worrying over more mundane things, like surviving out on the streets.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 22d 3h 45m 7s
Bell laid there for a long moment, staring at the ceiling to catch his breath and calm down. There was no need for his heart to be racing or the adrenaline to be pumping. No threats here.

He glanced at Daniel nervously at the question and paused, then decided to answer. "She made me do it," he muttered. "I didn't want to, but I couldn't stop." He reached out and touched Daniel's face gently, almost afraid he would hurt him just from touching. In his dream, Daniel had just... given up. Wanted death. But that wasn't the real Daniel, was it? "I didn't want to," he repeated to himself at a whisper. Never. He'd never do that on purpose.

"Yeah," he said, and a smile finally found its way to his lips. "Thanks. I'm glad you did." He would've been ruined if Daniel had let himself be choked again, like in his dream. That would've been worse than getting kicked in the balls.

Bell snuggled closer to Daniel and closed his eyes. "Yeah. Can't wait," Bell murmured. He was never going to come back here. Never ever. Only bad things happened here. Only bad memories were stored here. "Just have to go... look at the shed first."

He should've done it first thing. Should've gone to the shed before anything. But he couldn't help it. He normally didn't put this kind of thing off, but this time, it was too frightening to confront right away. Now, though... now he was ready. He wanted to visit it so he could get the hell away from this place and never come back, regardless of what'd happened to her.

A little sleepy, he flicked his eyes at Daniel, then let them drift shut. He should get back to sleep. It was too early. Too early to be awake at all, let alone awake and thinking about bad things. "You won't hate me?" he asked Daniel quietly. "No matter what?" He couldn't take it if it made Daniel hate him--if the shed was too much. He knew he'd done something horrible, even compared to what they normally did. But Daniel didn't mind, right? Daniel wouldn't leave him over something like that.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 22d 5h 41m 18s

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