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In the end Bell-boy took the boot off, a sight which would provide some raised eyebrows, but also less concern in the shape of Bell-boy passing out from the pain it obviously caused him to have a boot on the regrowing stump. Daniel felt better knowing Bell-boy would be able to at least be there mentally, so they could pay mind and react swiftly to any given situation.
Spot got forcibly dragged from his hide-out. Daniel felt little sympathy when the animal finally did bolt towards the nearest safe haven. Cat followed Spot, dashing through the rain and away from the ominous clouds spraying their anger upon the world. Daniel was already drenched by that time.
He moved slow, keeping pace with Bell-boy, just in case the broom-stick didn't quite cut it. Not that Daniel suspected he'd be much of a help.
Cat waited for them at the door. Spot was already lost within the building, probably cowering underneath some low table or bench. Daniel was positive someone would provide the animal with the attention Spot wanted.
They really ought to find Spot before someone thought the mutt didn't belong to anyone. Didn't have a collar on the animal no more either. There were two people dressed in rain-coats, looking just as drowned as they did in the building, securing windows and the door they'd just come in through.
This library would have a shelter, wouldn't it?
Hopefully these people would be too preoccupied to notice they were in a state. Daniel certainly hoped so. The sooner he could sit down and stretch his leg, the better.
"Go down that way, follow the signs," the woman urged them.
The signs read 'basement', which Daniel suspected would house the shelter then. His limp was more than a little pronounced, though Daniel tried to bite through the pain to hide the injury. The two seemed too preoccupied with securing the building than to care for the state of the stragglers that sought refuge from the storm.
Convenient for them.
"That stick good here?" Daniel pitched. The floor tiles were shiny and slick, not exactly good for a broom stick's grip.
He brushed his hair back. Cat was already on her way, following the signs, but she also kept looking for where Spot went. If the dog remained in the upper building, that really wasn't that much better, though hopefully the library was sturdy enough to remain standing. It looked like it would anyway.
"I don't have socks," he said, pushing his hair back and subtly wiping the sweat from his forehead with the same gesture. Yep. This was good enough, he'd be fine. Besides, this way no one could even see that he had a bad leg. It was perfect, wasn't it? The perfect disguise.
"I can move just fine!" he replied. He wasn't going to put weight on the boot, was he? As long as he just... moved like he'd been moving, it'd all be fine. Maybe. Except that every little thing hurt. Maybe Daniel was right. But then what? Was he supposed to just go around without anything on it, like his original plan? That wasn't too bad, right? Or maybe it was, but then what? He didn't have anything better.
Cat guided them into a parking lot. It was now or never. He sighed, then yanked the laces open and carefully pulled the shoe off. He'd just pull his pants down a little, so the jeans obscured the end of it. Maybe carry his boot in with him so when they sat it wouldn't be so weird.
He was just reaching for his broomstick when Daniel opened the door and held his hand out. Bell took it, simultaneously drawing the broomstick from the car as he used Daniel's help to hop down the truck's stairs. The second he was outside, the rain soaked him through, even through the leather coat; it was practically like jumping into a swimming pool. "Spot, c'mon," he said, reaching into the car to drag the mutt out by the scruff. Spot whined and dug his paws in, but in the end Bell heaved and pulled him out of the car. At seeing that the car was no longer sanctuary, Spot bolted for the library, paws splashing through the puddles that had already accumulated.
"Dog's got the right idea," Bell muttered, using his broomstick to hobble on in. Daniel had enough of an issue supporting his own weight. He'd be fine on his own, as long as he had his trusty broomstick.
Lightning crashed as they drew close to the library, deafeningly close. Bell glanced back and sped up, hobbling as fast as he could go. Damn! The storm was right on top of them, wasn't it?
What was Bell-boy doing? "Are you masochistic- ?" Daniel didn't manage to finish the sentence and had to focus on driving instead.
"I told you to put a sock around it, not to stick it in an uncomfortable shoe, idiot," he chewed. Daniel's patience was already thin from his own foot, never mind that seeing Bell-boy in pain did not deliver him the same weird satisfaction Bell had whenever he watched someone writhe in agony.
Cat turned the map about and started searching for the streets Bell called out.
"It's not on here, I think," she muttered.
Daniel just glared at Bell.
"You won't be able to even move like that. Take it off," he sighed, almost resigned. If Bell-boy couldn't move because of the crippling pain, it'd be even more useless than standing out would be. At least they could deal with the aftermath of standing out and any interest that might've drawn from any present hunters.
"No, wait, found it," Cat called out, completely oblivious to the conversation between Bell and Daniel.
"Turn a right here," she said after a moment's thought.
They'd be heading for the local library, it seemed. It was closest and honestly, between Bellwether's being obstinate, Spot's fear and Daniel's foul mood, she didn't want to be in the truck any longer than need be.
She did start into her food though. The shelter might have some too, but there was no telling what and there was no way she'd let some bad weather spoil her good food.
Daniel did as Cat instructed, following the roads leading to the library. There was a decent-sized parking lot, with more than a dozen vehicles already parked. None of the ones Daniel could see at first glance looked like white vans, but visibility was poor and there was no telling without a closer inspection.
By the time Daniel pulled the keys from the truck, he was sweating from the pain and exertion. He wiped his brow and reached for his coat and bat.
"Bring anything of importance," Daniel muttered tersely. If something happened to the truck, he didn't want to be left defenceless. They could get a new truck, but they couldn't fight without their gear.
Daniel got out, bit through the pain and opened the door on Bell-boy's side. Spot cowered in the bottom of the truck, but Daniel figured he could get the animal later. First things first. He reached a hand out to Bell.
"Come on, let's get inside."
Bell gave Daniel a despairing look. What did he think they were going to do, find somewhere no one else had found to be safe? They were risking hunters, sure, but it was that or die in a tornado.
Wear a sock? He was already--oh. He looked down at the nub. Right. He kicked off his remaining boot and reached for a new pair. One was a size smaller; since Daniel was a little bigger than him in general, he grabbed that one. The fit was close enough, on the good foot at least. The bad foot... he looked at it, then at the boot, then just shoved the stump down the neck of the boot.
Pain shot up his leg. It felt like his whole foot was on fire, and he didn't even have a foot. The slightest brush felt like sandpaper rubbing him raw, the slightest scratch like a razor cut. Bell froze in place bent over his boot, grimacing at the floor where Daniel couldn't see. It was fine, he was fine, it didn't hurt, it didn't hurt, it didn't hurt.
It took a while for the pain to subside, and even then, it welled up all over again every time he shifted. It'd be okay. He'd get used to it. He grabbed the laces and tied the boot tight to his calf, trying to hang the weight on the good part of his leg and away from his stump as much as possible.
By the time he was able to focus his attention outward again, Cat was poring over a map while shelter names were listed on the radio. He stared outside, peering through the rain to try and be helpful. A green sign loomed up on the crossbar of a stoplight, white text blurred to a fuzz through the rain. He squinted, cupping his hands against the window to try and see further. A little closer, and he'd be able to read it. Just a little closer... "We're on--we're on DeGrasse Road," he announced. The crossroads sign was harder to read; he leaned hard against the window, as though it'd help him see across the angle. "Uh, corner of DeGrasse and Maple." With any luck, it'd help Cat find them on the map. The street they were on was pretty big. It'd probably be on the map.
As he feared: the little house wouldn't do. It'd offer little to no shelter and Daniel had a feeling it was only abandoned because it wouldn't survive the coming storm in one piece. He grit his teeth and pushed into the unrelenting sturdy material of the boot. Daniel pulled a face, but then sighed out. The pain died down to a dull throb. He could deal with this much.
"Okay, switch seats," he told Cat. She nodded and hopped out, rounding the truck so that Daniel could just scoot over. It seemed cruel to make Daniel walk outside on that foot. It'd be tricky enough to drive without too much pain.
She felt useless.
Daniel didn't sit around and wait for the weather to go even worse on them and fired up the truck again the second Cat slammed the door on her side.
"Right," he muttered. First place, was it?
He could barely even make out what was in front of him.
Further into town along the exit seemed more viable than continuing down the highway, so Daniel steered them down that road. He couldn't make much speed, preferring to drive slowly so he could have better control over the truck.
"What? Community- wait is that...where all the people gather?" Daniel started. How was that clever? Chances were the hunters too couldn't weather a storm in their trucks. What were the odds they'd run into more hunters there? Too high, that's what. Still.
Would the hunters risk it when there were that many people seeking shelter from the storm? They'd attacked them in public places before, so there was really no telling whether a communal shelter would pan out for them.
And then there was Bell-boy's foot to consider.
"At least wear a sock," Daniel muttered. "It'll be weird enough."
It hurt. Each time he had to shift to make another turn, it hurt.
"Wait, listen," Cat started. They were announcing local shelters; several street-names were pointed out in a calm and monotonous voice.
Daniel had no idea where any of those were. Or where they even were.
"Get out the map," he told Cat. Aside from them marking the route to the hunters' base they'd cleared earlier, it'd likely also have the shelters on there. They hadn't made enough distance to be off the map yet, he hoped.
Daniel took him seriously, which was gratifying in of itself. He watched nervously from the back as Daniel and Cat both struggled for control over the wheel, as between the two of them, they navigated it into the shadow of a small house. But that was all it was: a small house. He'd been hoping for a more solid structure. A brick rest area, maybe. A school, or a real business front, or a bank, not a little house like this.
He pushed his hair back. He didn't know either. "Yeah, we... we should probably find somewhere a little better," he suggested. The little house looked like it was going to fly away in the first stiff breeze, and now that there was a stiff breeze blowing, the house seemed to shift--or was that just his imagination?
Wait, but Daniel was going to drive from here? He shouldn't--it'd just hurt his foot! He opened his mouth to protest, but honestly? Cat clearly couldn't handle the storm, and even if he had another foot, he wasn't a much better driver. It might be best to leave this to Daniel, even despite his injury. "Just--look for the first place that looks like it might hold up," he said, tense.
Lightning struck close, the thunder rolling almost simultaneously. Spot yelped and burrowed under the back seat, trying to hide from the storm. Bell glanced up at the storm, not at all comfortable with what he was seeing. The sky was a nasty bruised-purple, the clouds dark and thick. It was the middle of the day, but there was no sun to be seen; it was almost as dark as night. Oppressive, it was oppressive. Like the sky itself was bearing down upon them, enraged and driven to madness.
"Let's get moving," he said, tense. He didn't want to urge Daniel on too much, but this was not the safest place to be. They needed to find some proper shelter. Something that might actually hold up to this storm. "Um, look for... schools, community centers, stuff like that, sometimes they'll have storm shelters open," he said, as Daniel got the car moving again. They'd stand out like a sore thumb, but it was better than dying in the storm.
Never mind poor control; Daniel felt the car shift at the forces of the sudden wind pulling and pushing at the vehicle and reached out for the steering wheel, helping Cat keep the truck on the road. The urgency he saw in Bell-boy helped him wake up a little. Daniel reached for the radio, but Bell beat him to it.
A tornado watch?
They didn't do tornadoes in Europe; not tornadoes like the ones he'd seen on the news that devastated large parts of America every other season.
He listened to Bell-boy explain and realized they were ill equipped to deal with torrential forces that impressive.
Cat was quiet, focussed on steering the truck right, which proved difficult, even with Daniel's assistance. She nodded at Bellwether's instructions, but it was hard to see anything through the sudden down-pour.
It'd been still all day, especially the wind. Humid and clammy. They should've seen it coming.
"Easy on the brake, let go of the gas and shift back," Daniel instructed. They'd be less likely to slip in the water if they braked on the engine, rather than stall the tires. It was less gradual, but the truck slowed considerably on the exit. Daniel held a cautious hand on the wheel, just in case. Once Bell-boy spotted the structure, Cat steered towards it.
"Just park close to the side of it," Daniel offered. Their little refuge turned out to be a small house, which didn't look sturdy at all, frankly.
"I don't know, Bell," he voiced his concern. There wasn't a tornado yet, but there might be and from what he knew about tornadoes, it was best to have a concrete shelter below the ground or some kind of tub to protect from flying debris. This building looked like it'd just up and fly off without too much effort. Part of him felt inclined to venture further down the exit and see whether there'd be a big city or something at the end of it.
"What do you think?"
Either way Cat couldn't continue driving. If they went on, Daniel would have to take over. At least he was wide awake now.
Daniel reached for the boxes of shoes. Whatever they chose to do, he'd have to wear at least something on the other foot. He pulled a face, regret pulsing through his bad foot at the thought of being encased in a shoe. They had little choice.
He chuckled at Cat's duck too, amused at her antics. Though in this weather, it might be the right idea. His eyes shut, lulled to sleep by the rain; then the rain went from bad to worse real quick, getting thicker and heavier by the second. The wind, too, started to whip the car, pushing it to the side when it gusted. He sat up, suddenly wide awake. This--this definitely wasn't good. This storm was serious. "Turn on the radio," he said, then leaned forward and did it himself, what with Daniel half-asleep and Cat driving. Reaching forward from the back seat, he fiddled with the dials some until he found the National Weather Service channel.
The drone of the automated voice itself made him tense; after listening to it in storms and under threat of hurricane or tornado a few too many times, he associated it with bad situations only. "...County. There is a tornado watch out for..."
Ah, shit. He frowned, trying to remember. Was watch or warning worse? No, it was always the one that sounded worse that wasn't so bad, so watch had to be the better one. "Uh," he said, figuring Daniel might not know, things being different in Europe, "tornado watch means there's conditions that might spawn a tornado. Warning is what they'll issue when there's one on the ground."
Not as though either was good, though. They did [i not] want to be here when that watch turned into a warning. "Cat, keep an eye out for a rest area, gas station, something," he said. "We don't want to stay out in this weather."
He leaned forward, the tension giving him the adrenaline to stay up and alert. The scenery passed by, nothing but trees and empty fields. Nothing. Nothing at all. Then an exit came up, green signs warning him of it, and he looked around. There should be something off the exit. "There, over there, pull over," he said, pointing at a dark shadow right off the exit ramp through the rain. He couldn't tell what it was from here, but it was certainly better than 'in a car, on the road.' Actually, from the good old elementary school tornadoes class, that was basically the worst place they could be. Getting out of the car was better than staying in it.
Water came down sooner than expected. Daniel flipped the wipers on casually, earning himself a grateful and despairing look from Cat. She'd never driven in rain before, hadn't ever had to during lessons. And she hadn't had many lessons to begin with. Finding a nice place to hang out was proving to become more important with each thick drop hitting the windows, but both men insisted they move on to make distance.
Daniel drained the orange juice and settled down to make slow work of the coffee. Bell-boy's offer to change seats was tempting, but he wasn't having it. Bell-boy was missing a considerably greater chunk of foot than he was. It'd be cramped sharing the seat too and he kind of didn't want to leave Cat to her driving all alone; not in this kind of weather. Rain came fast and hard. Thick drops turned into entire curtains of rain, almost obscuring the road despite the wipers' best attempt at keeping the windows clear.
Lightning cracked overhead. Cat yelped when the flash lit up the darkened road and flushed a scarlet red when the roar of thunder resounded.
"Someone's scared of lightning?" Daniel teased.
"I'm not! I was just...surprised, is all," Cat muttered.
"Sure you are, kid," Daniel chuckled, then winced and repositioned yet again. It was impossible to find a comfortable position, even without a boot on. Daniel noted with some resignation that the bandages wrapped around the foot were tainted a faded pink. More fluids than blood, he suspected. That wasn't good.
Last thing they needed was an infection.
Maybe Bell-boy's offer wasn't so outlandish after all. Lifting his foot up would probably already feel so much better and allow for the bad stuff to be drained off, rather than get forced from his body and create an infection somewhere.
"So...where to?" Cat muttered, ducking down at yet another flash. Looked like they'd be going straight through the storm.
"Just keep going," Daniel sighed.
"...are we sleeping in a hotel tonight?"
Daniel burrowed down, arms folded in front of his chest. He raised one eyebrow, pulling away his sunglasses -they were useless in this weather. "Don't push your luck."
Daniel closed his eyes and rested for a second, until the next flash and crack of thunder rolled by. It was really turning bad. Maybe they ought to pull over and wait it out; make sure they were somewhere high enough to avoid getting caught in a flood.
Bell-boy would know though. He was more familiar with these parts.
Waterproof? He glanced at the sky. Daniel had a point. "Should stop and make sure we have the mattress pad in the back all wrapped up," he said. He wasn't sure they'd put it back in the plastic, or fully wrapped it in the tarp. If it was going to rain, though, they'd do best to get that thing somewhere safe, rather than lose their investment.
"Hmm? Yeah, I'm fine," Bell said. The dull ache that accompanied regrowing a limb dragged at him, but it wasn't sharp pain like Daniel seemed to be dealing with. And it wasn't as though he were walking on a wound either. The pain was dealable. Honestly, Daniel seemed to be doing way worse. "How about you?" he asked, in sync with Cat's "Are you okay?"
It didn't escape Bell that Daniel had dodged answering the question about himself. Not great then, huh? "Maybe we should swap. You can sit back in the backseat and prop your foot up, you know?" he offered. They couldn't afford to stop, no--Daniel was right about that--but they could afford a short pause. And it'd probably do his foot wonders to get that thing elevated. Maybe some ice.
Cat shot him a look. Bell frowned before it hit him; was that the same look she'd shot Spot yesterday? Not that he thought it'd help much to dope Daniel up and make him pass out. No, if anything, he [i needed] to be conscious. Needed to eat and drink and replenish what he'd lost.
Like how Bell was eating this warm, delicious burger. He undid the wrappings and took a big bite, savoring the taste of the meat. Delicious. Mmm, and pickles too, perfect. Spot nosed at him, interested in the sandwich, but Bell shoved him down. "You've had enough human food for today," he told the dog.
Rain started to fall, little misty drops sparkling on the windshield quickly followed by big, fat, heavy ones. Water splashed his face; Bell looked around and found that one of the rear windows was cracked. He rolled it up quickly before any more water could get in. In the not-so-distant distance, lightning flashed, followed a while later by a thunderclap. Bell pressed his lips together. So much for checking on the mattress pad.
Leave it to Bell-boy to care. Both of them, honestly. Daniel didn't have the energy to protest and orange juice was a good call in this humidity.
"We just ate. I'm pretty sure," Daniel muttered. He waited for Cat to finish ordering and drive them to the next stop to pick up their food. Cat handed the food to him and Daniel gathered the meals, handing Bell-boy his milkshake. The coffee smelled good. It'd be exactly the kind of thing he needed to wake up a little.
Daniel nipped from the bitter brew, trying to wipe the tiredness from his face.
"We should scout around for some place water-proof," he offered. Unlike before, a house with a leaky roof wouldn't exactly provide them with a nice place to sleep this time around. "You still good?" Daniel asked Bell-boy. The man had seemed pretty active when they'd returned from shoe-shopping, but Daniel could tell that recreating an entire limb was taking its toll on Bell-boy. Not quite unexpected.
At least the man had a healthy appetite.
Daniel sighed out. He knew he ought to try and eat more too, but he just wasn't hungry. Sleepy though. The road danced in front of him. Cat pressed the orange juice in his hand and Daniel exchanged his coffee for the sugary broth.
"Are you okay?" Cat asked Daniel, because Bellwether seemed to be doing okay, give his injuries. Daniel on the other hand looked a little pale. She shot the man a look as if to say 'are you sure you're the one who should be asking that?'
"Maybe we should just find a place to chill out, huh?" she started and sped the truck back up. Cat longingly stared at the food that was by any rights hers and pushed the desire away. It could wait until later.
"It's fine," Daniel protested, sitting up a bit straighter. Between the orange juice and coffee, he was feeling a little bit better. Less drained. The sugar and caffeine would make him crash soon though. Maybe Bell-boy was right about the food.
"I'd rather we put some distance between the mess we left behind and us," he commented. Cat winced at the memory of the chaos.
They hadn't done anything to clean up; Cat hadn't cared for anything but leaving there quickly. Daniel and Bell had been injured. She shot a look at Bell. Daniel was performing a rerun of what Bell had done yesterday by acting all tough. What would she know though? Maybe Daniel was genuinely fine.
He almost corrected Daniel in that they were steel-toed, not steel nosed, but a glance at how worn he was warned Bell away from opening his fat mouth. Now was the time to sit quietly and be a good boy, as much as he might hate it.
Cat got the van moving, and Bell rested back, closing his eyes. It was ridiculous how tiring it was to hop around on one foot. Not that he was exactly surprised by it, but still; he was drained as shit. "Huh? Yeah," he agreed with Daniel. Could've. The base probably had food, and clothes, and boots, but it wasn't really realistic, was it? "I think it was the whole bleeding-out thing that distracted us, you know?"
Cat pulled up to a fast food place, almost overshooting the mic on her first try. Bell considered while she fixed her error. He was still mostly full from earlier, but he could use a top up. "Hamburger and a milkshake," Bell said. "Chocolate."
Daniel waved food away, which Bell never liked--particularly not when the guy had an open wound. "And some OJ for Daniel, at the very least," he added. "Are you sure you don't want a hamburger? I don't want you going anemic on me." The sugar water of the orange juice would help perk Daniel up, help him replace lost water and sugar, but he was losing iron, too. It wouldn't hurt to grab a burger. Even for later or something.
Daniel would probably get mad at him, but whatever. He was fine with Daniel being mad at him, if it was all he had to put up with to keep Daniel healthy.
He sat back and petted Spot until the food came out, staring listlessly out the window. He felt so left out in the back seat. Like he was extra rubbish or something. This should be Cat's place, but no, she was getting special driving lessons from Daniel.
Argh. Was he jealous? He wiped his face down tiredly. Cat was like, twelve. It wasn't realistic. Daniel might be into women, but he wasn't into kids. There was nothing to be jealous about, at all. But he couldn't help but feel left out, when Daniel and Cat went everywhere together, ace he was left behind in the car like moldy old trash.
“Yeah, got us both a pair of steel-nosed leather boots,” Daniel summed up the results of their little expedition. He let Bell-boy take the boxes and hobbled around to get into the passenger’s seat. Sitting down hadn’t been comfortable, but compared to standing up, it was divine. Daniel plucked at Bell-boy’s boot until it was off and he dropped the shoe with the other for Bell-boy to wear later.
No need to get the new boots all bloody and messed up, now was there?
“Yeah, Cat knows a place,” Daniel waved, then leaned back. His foot was throbbing, crying out after its abuse. Maybe he should’ve gotten in the back, but Bell-boy wouldn’t be very comfortable in the front either though, with the broomstick in tow, the man seemed fairly mobile.
Enough to move, but was it enough to actually fight?
Daniel wiped his face underneath his sunglasses and pulled the door shut. Without the breeze easing into the stationary truck, the air quickly became sticky and clammy. Rain. There’d be rain soon.
Cat took her time getting the truck moving again, still all rigid and nervous. Daniel failed to care this time, shifting every now and then in search of a position that didn’t emphasise how mangled his foot still was. Funnily enough, the regrowing toes felt pretty much fine.
A little swollen maybe, because they couldn’t pump blood back as efficiently as fully-grown ones, but fine.
“Should’ve raided the base a little more,” Daniel remarked, reaching for a bottle of water. Rather than just steal the first-aid kit, they could’ve brought a couple more weapons and a fair supply of fresh clothes.
And they’d left the place; in this weather, the bodies would rot within hours. He doubted the stink would be noticed, but if someone ventured close enough to the building they might. A huge plume of smoke would’ve potentially been worse. Daniel sighed out.
The only efficient way of dealing with the hunters on the long term was taking down the big goat.
Cat pulled to a stop haphazardly, almost overshooting the microphone before she started spouting her order. She glanced back at Daniel, who waved listlessly. Anything was fine. He wasn’t really hungry after the big breakfast they’d had.
Cat did the kind thing by ordering him coffee.
He played with Spot for a while, then got bored; that, and his good leg started aching. No point in pushing things before he had any reason to. After all, what if hunters showed up? He'd need to fight then, and then if his leg was achy, then he'd just die. Or lose another foot, and he really couldn't handle that. One was bad enough.
"C'mon, Spot, let's rein it in," he said, gesturing the dog back towards the car. Using the broom handle, he wobbled back over to the truck and opened the back door. Spot jumped in, but Bell sat on the back stair and waited. It wasn't too hot out, but it was real muggy. Sitting inside the car, he just ended up feeling real sweaty.
Daniel and Cat emerged. Bell stood up, quickly grabbing his broomstick when he almost overbalnced, and waited for them to come over. At the sight of Daniel's drawn face, his irritation immediately evaporated, replaced by concern. Daniel was really in a lot of pain, wasn't he? Bell wasn't doing so bad, but mostly that was because he wasn't actively walking on his foot the way Daniel on. Should they get Daniel a crutch, too? But then he'd stand out. So... ugh. There was no easy fix, was there?
"Mission successful?" he asked, stepping towards Daniel and Cat. They were carrying bags that held big boxes, so he'd guess so, if anything. Not like he really needed boots right now--more like boot--but he'd at least appreciate getting his old boot back.
He took the boxes Daniel held and put them wordlessly in the backseat. Daniel was obviously not feeling alright at the moment; there was no point in asking. He didn't know what else to say, so he'd just--try and make things easier on him. "We doing food next?" he asked gently. He didn't want to push Daniel, but... but the both of them needed food. He'd be more than happy to walk around, but Daniel clearly wasn't okay with him doing that. Maybe if it was just for a short while. "Um--should we go grab drivethru?" Bell brightened at his own idea. Hey--not a bad idea, if he said so himself. No one had to walk if they grabbed drivethru!
Daniel rolled his eyes. “It’s not-… never mind,” he muttered. It wasn’t worth starting an argument over at least. Daniel stepped out of the car and winced. His foot still didn’t feel good. Masochist was right. Fuck Lenny. Daniel sat on the ground and pushed his foot through the tight opening of Bell-boy’s boot, barely making an effort to lace it up around the bandages. No use, it’d never properly fit.
Cat waited around, pacing to evaporate some of the sweat from her body, but the weather was moist and clammy, pressing down at her from all sides.
“Looks like it’ll rain,” she muttered sourly. Maybe this meant they’d get a proper hotel to sleep in but with the hunters chasing them, there was little chance of that. She winced sympathetically when she noticed Daniel’s approach, his motion limited to an uneven hobble.
Daniel barely paid Cat any attention and instead barrelled through, gnashing his teeth to prevent his face from contorting in pain. Teaching Cat how to drive had been a good choice. The only sane choice.
Soon enough the store loomed up. It was a plain store, selling clothes, shoes and articles for surviving in the wilderness. Daniel didn't have a smile to spare the man behind the counter and he was fairly certain he didn’t smell like something these people wanted loitering about their store for long.
He chose the first thing with steel noses and thick leather lining, tried it on his good foot and deemed his shopping-spree over almost instantly. Once Bell-boy could actually wear both, he’d never have to listen to him petulantly complaining about being left behind at least.
Cat was browsing through the woman’s collection of clothes, but her puppy-dog eyes didn’t have any effect on Daniel this time. She was kind of fearful of pushing her luck. Daniel was obviously in pain and his patience was thin.
“So food next?” she pondered out loud as Daniel paid for the shoes.
“We can stuff Bell in a cart? He can join us after all, that’ll make him happy?”
Daniel rolled his eyes and took the bags in hand.
“Think he’ll be happier being able to walk again more than anything else,” Daniel bit tersely.
He ran a hand down his face, “but yeah, food next.”
“Sweet -do you just want to drop by a sandwich shop?”
The easy, delicious way out.
Cat knew exactly what she was offering. So did Daniel. Walking through long aisles of produce to find some cans to go with their water held little appeal, never mind that canned food didn’t seem to work too many wonders on regrowing limbs.
“Fine, as long as you know I’m on to you,” Daniel groused.
Cat didn’t care; a victory was a victory. “I want an egg sandwich and everything on it they have,” she pre-planned her next meal.
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