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Daniel gave Bell-boy an amused look and snorted. A flash-back, huh? Had it really been that long since he'd gone clean-shaven? Actually. Probably, yes. When he did tend to his beard, it was with his or Bell-boy's knife and it was never a clean cut.
"Yeah, decided why not? Might make me feel better," he sighed out. He didn't feel better, but at least he looked the part.
When the tub filled up enough, Daniel stepped inside and rested back, watching Bell-boy tend to the sprigs he'd been nourishing on that chin of his. The water was nice. Hot, but nice. Some of the muscles that'd gone sore and achy relaxed and melted into the water's heat. Daniel raised a hand to wipe at the sweat on his face, then sat up a little to give his face a proper wash and rake back his hair. Yesterday was still engraved on his mind: the jump, Bell-boy's power, sneaking in. But they got what they wanted.
They got it all.
"Sure, water's nice," Daniel invited, looking up at the man. He felt dazed.
"A job, right, forgot you wanted to get a job," he murmured, looking at Bell-boy's hair. "Hmm, you want it short? We should invest in scissors."
Maybe he should cut Bell-boy's hair into a mohawk, ruin his chances of getting a decent job. Daniel chuckled at himself, but didn't suggest the idea. It wouldn't be fair. This was in part Bell-boy's opportunity to experience what an ordinary life would be like. Everything else had been taken from him; childhood, being a teen, going to college.
Same as with Becky.
"Maybe I should cut mine too," Daniel breathed. He rested back in the water once Bell-boy settled in the tub. The combination of hot water and breakfast was making him drowsy. More sleep was in order, probably. It wasn't likely Alphie would be by before noon regardless, given she taught at the university.
He watched Bell, mapping the man's face.
"Happy with the table?" he pitched. Bell-boy hadn't been there when he'd picked it out: a light wooden one, chunky and round, with chairs to match. Not the kind of furniture that'd be easily destroyed if they were a little rough with it for whatever reason.
Daniel was gone by the time he walked back to the kitchen, leaving him to make his announcement to the empty air. With a sigh, Bell leaned against the wall and watched the men carry the furniture in. He supposed Daniel was feverish and not feeling up to interacting with people, or something, but still, he could've said something.
The men set down the last piece of furniture. "That good?" the first one asked. "You want 'em right there, for sure? We can move 'em if you like. Put 'em in the dining room, or whatever."
"No, it's fine," Bell said. "We can move them if we need to."
The men nodded and retreated, and Bell shut the door behind them, then turned to take in their new furniture. Tables and chairs. It felt almost like a real home now, with furniture, cups and plates, food, a bed... it'd gone from empty to theirs in no time flat.
"Daniel," he called, heading back into their room. "You wanna see the furniture?"
No Daniel, but there was a lot of humid air coming from the bath. Bell peeked inside to find Daniel lounging there--clean shaven? Whoa. "There's a flashback," Bell laughed. He almost looked like an office worker again when he was like this. It was weirdly attractive. "You shaved up? Looks good!"
He should shave up too, shouldn't he? He peered at himself in the mirror, ignoring the press of humidity on his body. Beards weren't exactly in the cards for him, but he had some nasty-looking pubic scruff hanging around on his chin if he peered close enough. With a sigh, he grabbed a razor and started to shave. He hadn't done it in so long that he'd lost the feel of it, but he managed to only nick his skin once; pretty good, all things considered! And... he turned his face this way and that. Looked a lot better without that scruff, for certain.
"There room for one more?" he asked about the tub, starting to strip down himself. "Hey, Daniel, what do you think? Wanna cut my hair so I look presentable for getting a job?" He tossed it a little for effect. It'd gotten long, and unlike Daniel's golden mane, it had all the color and bounce of dirty dishwater. "After the bath, of course," he clarified. No one wanted to bathe in hairy water.
A knock to the door disturbed their early-morning peace. Daniel didn't feel like dealing with other people, so when Bell-boy went to answer the door, he was more than happy the man did so. Instead, Daniel focussed on washing up the dishes, leaving them out to dry by themselves.
Tables and chairs. That had better be true.
Otherwise the hunters were on point again with their undercover-act. Daniel plodded off to the bedroom, got out some clothes and tossed them on the bed. After a moment's thought, he sank down next to them, a little out of breath.
He heard the two men stumble inside with the heavy weight of a table. The chairs were apparently easier.
Daniel fiddled with the clothes, eyes trained on the bat. If anything happened, he'd bash their heads in. When the door closed again, Daniel stood and plodded off to the bathroom. A bath would settle his body temperature more than hanging around the bed all day.
He needed a shave. Maybe brush his teeth as well.
Daniel decided he'd shave first. He'd forgotten what it felt like to have a clean-shaven face. His hair could do with a cut as well, but Bell-boy tended to like it longer. Just a little more and he could tie it back, probably. No wonder Alphie felt intimidated by their presence.
They didn't even look like normal human beings.
Years of practise made shaving a mechanical, thoughtless chore. Tug the skin that way, drag the blade, rinse off, repeat. Slowly but surely, the face he'd come to recognize as his was unveiled. A toothbrush caught his attention next. How long had it been since they'd actually cared enough? Daniel was pretty sure the goats would mend whatever was damaged in the long-run. Otherwise Bell-boy would've been without teeth a long time ago for sure.
He looked almost human, if it wasn't for the fever leaving blotches on his face. Dismissing the mirror's honestly, Daniel ran the hot water and waited for the water to fill the tub. It was weird how used they'd gotten to just getting up and going in the morning, without any of these things people did to take care of themselves.
He sat there on the edge of the countertop, slightly dazed, kicking his feet back and forth. When Daniel cursed, he turned, curious, but it was just the eggs going a little brown and crispy. Bell laughed. "It's fine," he said, taking the plate. They still looked tasty enough. And bacon had never suffered from a little overcooking. He liked his nice and crispy. "Uhh..." he looked at the plate. "Tea." If he was having an English breakfast with beans and all, might as well go the full nine yards, right?
"I'll get it myself," he said, at the sight of Daniel absolutely devouring his eggs. If Daniel was that hungry, he wasn't going to bother the man with such a menial request. He hopped off the countertop and got the kettle going on the stove--such a weird feeling, having a kettle--then wandered back over to sit again, still gnawing on the breadcrusts from the toast.
Bell shrugged, looking at Goldy. "I mean... she'll still act the same. And it's not like, you know... a human. She'll still be a dog. It's fine." He wasn't too attached to value her over Daniel, anyways. It was just that he liked dogs, that was all, and even if he tried not to get attached, it wouldn't stop him from liking her. "Don't worry. It won't bother me."
Was Daniel in a mood? It felt like it. Then again, he was waking up with a goat-hangover, so Bell couldn't entirely blame him. Not least because that hangover was partially his fault.
A knock sounded on the door, loud enough to make Bell jump. What-- no. The furniture, right? Daniel had ordered more furniture. He pushed off the counter and went to the door. A pair of burly men stood there, dressed moving-company uniforms. "Yeah, uh, you order a table and chairs?" the first asked.
"Yeah," Bell said. He gestured just inside. "You can just put 'em in here, we'll figure them out."
"Right." The man nodded to the other, and they retreated to their van, returning with the furniture.
Bell hovered, then figured they'd be best left to their own devices and retreated back to Daniel. "Furniture's here," he reported.
"Sure," Daniel agreed. He'd make breakfast for Bell-boy instead. The man had cooked them breakfast the other day, after all. It made sense. Daniel lowered the stove's fire and put some bacon in the pan, then found a knife and chopped up some tomatoes and bell-peppers to go with it. Last, he added some eggs. Daniel contemplated heating beans to go with it, then decided he would. Bell-boy's yawn was catching.
Daniel stared into the pan, waiting for things to heat up and listlessly prodded some things into a new arrangement with a spatula. He was in a mood and he knew it. A nice, quiet bath might set his mood into a more positive disposition.
And he hadn't failed to notice the air of mint around Bell-boy either. Might actually shave and try to look representable for once. Like normal.
"Shit," he cursed.
Some of the eggs were starting to go dark. Daniel flicked off the heat and started to dish them up before they could go any further. His head wasn't entirely with it, though moving Bell-boy, however odd it'd been, had proven to have less adverse effects than teleporting a hunk of metal and glass halfway across America.
Actually, that made perfect sense.
"Sorry, some of it...went a little fast," Daniel excused and put out a plate for Bell-boy. As an after-thought, he added a knife and form.
'Tea or coffee?" he asked. Might as well do it all then. Daniel dished his own servings and grabbed some mugs from the cabinet. It felt so weird to have their own things. This was their stove. Their room. Their kitchen. Their food.
Nothing stolen or borrowed, for once.
He made tea for himself and raised an eyebrow at Bell-boy.
"Sorry, did you say coffee or tea?" Fever was messing with him. "...or more orange juice..." Daniel mumbled in a softer voice. He didn't bother taking his meal any further than the counter-top, for lack of a table and chairs. The first bite triggered him to wolf down what was on the plate in record time anyway, so there was no use in being fancy.
Once he as done, Daniel checked the frying pan. That it?
He toyed with his fork, contemplating making more, but thought better of it. He felt full, despite the hunger he still felt.
"Shouldn't get too attached to the dog," Daniel warned Bell. It'd not survive the transplant. "I'll go clean up."
Daniel wasn't doing great this morning, but all things considered, he looked great. Way better than he had after the last time he'd teleported. Bell hummed when Daniel said he was up and wandered on past into the kitchen. Food, food, food. What did they have for food?
Before he could get started, Daniel manned the stove, leaving him empty-handed. Not for long, though. Goldy barged in through the back door and shoved her shoulder up against his knees, big doggy eyes demanding food. "It's a handy doggy door, huh?" he asked her, bending to scratch her scruff. Goldy panted at him, happy to have attention.
Traitor. Bell rolled his eyes and went to fetch Goldy's food. Yeah, yeah, and if Daniel actually fed the dog, she'd pay him more attention, too, wouldn't she? That was just the way dogs worked.
"Wanna make me some?" he asked, nodding at whatever Daniel was heating up the pan for. He grabbed the bag of dog food and bent to fill up her food bowl, then checked the water. Eh, dirty enough to refresh. He poured it out in the sink and refilled it with fresh. Goldy barely noticed the return of her water dish, too busy gulping down her food. Bell patted her back. "Dumb dog."
Ooh, orange juice. He fetched himself a cup and poured some for himself. Nice and sweet. It did make his teeth kind of tingle from the toothpaste, but it wasn't too bad. He looked at the pan. "Eggs and bacon?" he asked. What were they having for breakfast? He couldn't really think of anything else they'd fry up. Pancakes, maybe. Had they even bought bacon, actually? He didn't recall, but it wasn't like he'd watched everything through the cart and in the checkout line.
He sat down on the countertop and yawned. A nice, lazy morning in their own house, nothing to do but make breakfast and feed the dog. He wondered if Alphie would be by today, or if she'd be too busy with work. She had to come by soon, though, right? It wasn't easy to set up the tube, he couldn't imagine. At least they had the chemicals now. His eyes set on the bag, and he grinned. They had everything now. All they needed to do now was put it all together.
"'m hungry," Daniel complained. No dice. Even though he'd given a semi-intelligent reply, Bell-boy claimed he was asleep still. Not for very long either. Bell moved and shifted, trying to evade the sunshine creeping into their room, but all to no avail. Daniel watched Bell-boy push back the comforter, listlessly tracking the man walking towards the bathroom. Daniel stretched a little and sighed. Bell-boy wasn't going to get him food, was he? He felt like someone had sucked all the life out of him, despite his midnight snack.
And his fever hadn't gone either. Daniel sighed. It was going to be a slow day on his end. He pushed up to sit and just stayed there for a while, relishing the sensation of the sun scorching heat onto his back. It actually felt nice, if he wasn't so thirsty and hungry.
A yawn escaped him and he closed his eyes again, just sitting there in the quiet of a Bellwether that was puttering around in the bathroom.
Daniel opened his eyes and blinked at Bell.
"I'm up," he countered, wiping his face. Only one thing he could do: actually make food. Or coffee. They could now make tea and or coffee at least. With that promise in mind, Daniel started to work himself up to a stand and trudged his way towards the kitchen.
The small bag of chemicals made his lethargy worth it. They now had all the ingredients. Goldy wrestled her way through the backdoor and into the kitchen as well, watching him, and then the more promising human to get food from. It padded up to Bell and wagged her tail at him.
"Traitor," Daniel mumbled and set out to boil water.
A quick investigation in the fridge made him pick out some random ingredients to mash into breakfast. He stopped to rest against the kichen-counter. Even though he'd said he was awake, he really wasn't anywhere near. They really had to stop the whole teleporting thing. It wasn't healthy.
Daniel sighed and pushed himself to grab a pan. He craved a warm meal. Meat. Orange juice. He poured himself a glass waiting for the frying pan to heat up and drained the glass. A second followed.
Still human. There was a heartbeat against his palm, steady and reassuring. Daniel was still here. He wasn't going anywhere. They'd get him in the pod, and they'd get the goatling out. Everything would be okay. Bell sighed out and let his hand fall. Yeah. It'd all be okay.
Ate something? Bell snorted. That must've been what'd woken him, Daniel's midnight snack. Despite saying he couldn't sleep, Daniel snuggled in to him anyways. Bell wrapped his arms around the other man and held on tight. As long as Daniel was here, everything was fine. It'd all be okay. He didn't even care that it was too hot with them like this in the heat of the summer night. He just wanted Daniel to be here, touching him, where he could be sure nothing bad was happening. "Yeah," he agreed sleepily. No being a goat. He couldn't handle that possibility.
He fell asleep to Daniel reassuring him that everything would be just fine. This time, There were no bad dreams; barely any dreams at all. Just darkness and quiet, until something moved and jostled him awake. "Yeah, wha'," he slurred back, blinking at Daniel. Didn't look like the man was getting up, so he closed his eyes again. Whatever Daniel needed, the guy could get it himself. "'m sleepin'."
The sunlight pouring in their window was so bright, though. It soaked into the black comforter, and before he knew it, he was overheating, sweat beading up along his back and under the band of his shorts. Bell groaned and shifted, but it fixed nothing. At least, he sat up. Argh. Daniel won this round. Or the daylight did, really. Whatever.
He pushed the comforter back and rolled out of bed, climbing reluctantly to his feet. Their bathroom was right there. And it was their bathroom. He grinned to himself as he took care of business and washed his hands, then hesitated. They had toothbrushes. Should he...?
What the hell. He picked up the toothbrush and went at it, brushing his teeth for the first time in what felt like forever. It kind of hurt his gums, but at the same time, it felt so nice and clean when he was done.
"Daniel, you up?" he asked, walking back into the room. Was he still being lazy?
Hands gripped at him, but unlike other times, they didn't immediately go to his throat. Not Becky then. Actually, Bell-boy's female counterpart had been remarkably well-behaved lately. Daniel would've thought she might've caused some trouble, knowing a way out was so extremely close for her. If she could deal with Alphie.
"It's okay, hey..." Daniel eased Bell, hoping the sound of his voice would bring Bell-boy back to reality. Slowly but surely, Bell's wild eyes calmed when realization dawned.
"More like a nightmare, Bell-boy," he teased light-heartedly. Bell-boy let go, but his touch didn't stray for long. A hand was pressed against his chest and Daniel looked a bit lost at that. Lenny used to do that to Bell-boy, to check whether he was a goat or not. Had something happened he hadn't realized.
"Still human?" Daniel pitched gently.
He looked better?
"I ate something, but I can't sleep," he confessed. When Bell-boy invited him back into the bed however, Daniel laid down with a heavy sigh. He was tired, if nothing else. Tired and chilled again, though without the rain, it seemed the earth oozed warmth again. Daniel rested close to Bell and pulled the man in.
"'m not going anywhere, Bell-boy, won't be a goat, promise."
Bell was nice and warm. Daniel hadn't realized he'd been cold until Bell's warm skin touched his. Or maybe his fever was on the rise. Whichever it was, Daniel was pretty comfortable in their little nest.
That's why they were doing all of this. So he wouldn't end up a goat. Despite its promises of perfection and certain immortality, Daniel was glad they'd decided otherwise. He'd been nervous before of the treatment, but some of that anxiety morphed into determination.
"I'll be fine, you'll see, Bell-boy," Daniel muttered softly. His eyes had closed at some point, heavy and gritty.
"...be just fine," he murmured. The sleep that had been evading him so diligently overtook him like the tide did the sands. This time it was a calm, regenerative rest.
Daniel woke up to the gnawing of hunger at the lining of his stomach. Day was pouring into their makeshift bedroom with surprising vigour. He couldn't make himself get up however. The bed was far too comfortable and he felt tired still.
"Hmm, Bell...?" he tried. Maybe the man would make him breakfast in bed. That'd be nice.
It was Daniel, but he only knew that the way one knows things in a dream. The shape was black, completely, utterly black. But not a complete goat, either. Something about the way it clung to a vaguely human form, the way it moved, the way it tried to speak. This was Daniel. No. It [i had] been Daniel. But now Daniel was dead. Now it was just the goatling.
"No," he breathed. It felt like his guts were falling out of him. Like his heart fell to his feet. Daniel--they'd failed. Daniel was dead. He was dead. Forever.
The pipe was in his hand, heavier and colder than it had ever felt before. He gripped it tight and lifted it. The black thing just looked at him, big liquid eyes almost brown, something like recognition in them. He grit his teeth and brought the pipe down.
Blonde hair. Brown eyes. Daniel stood before him, perfect in every way. The pipe stopped dead in midair, just above Daniel's head. He couldn't. He couldn't. Not Daniel.
Daniel laughed, and there was no humanity in the sound. He moved closer, stepping into Bell's reach. His hand pierced through his stomach and out the back--
Bell gasped and sat up, gripping at the first thing to hand--Daniel. Goldy jumped up, startled; he didn't notice. No. No. It couldn't be. Daniel? Daniel was, Daniel was, he... Bell blinked. The tube. Where was the tube?
"Shit," he breathed, running his hair back. He looked up at Daniel, eyes still a little wild, then let go. "Fucking... dreams." Shitty dreams. Really shitty.
He shook his head and wiped his hair off his forehead again, then looked up at Daniel. "Sorry. Did I wake you?"
Daniel looked better, at least. Better than in his dream, and better than earlier. Bell reached out and touched his chest, just to feel his heartbeat. "You look better," he said, lying back down and patting the bed for Daniel to lie down with him. Goldy trotted back around and sniffed, tail a little low; whatever she smelled reassured her, because she looked up, brows furrowed, and gave a little wag.
Sleep clung to him like a worn sock to a dirty foot. Daniel washed his hands, trying to see what was out the kitchen window, but it was putrid dark. A shiver made his skin crawl. It had cooled down considerably with the rain and everything. For a minute, Daniel just stood there, until the sound of running water caught his attention and he shut off the tap. Food. What would be the perfect mid-night snack? Some cereal? Couldn't keep the milk around for too long anyway, might as well make use of it.
Maybe some bacon.
In the end he settled for cereal. Filling enough for the ravenous hunger screaming in his gut and every single deprived cell in his tissue, fast enough he wouldn't have to torture himself with preparation times.
Daniel filled a bowl and puttered around the house, just taking it all in. It felt like the food he ate went immediately to firing up his body's metabolism, demuxing the matter into something more useful: energy.
Before he knew it, the spoon scraped against the bottom of the bowl and Daniel raised a couple of surprised eyebrows. Honestly? What the hell? He contemplated having another bowl, but the shivers crawl across his back and the sudden unset of sleepiness swung his decision towards going back to bed.
Ride out the goat-sickness and get better fast, so he could deal with Alphie and whatever else they still had going on. Tables and chairs. Those guys would be by sooner rather than later as well.
Daniel left the bowl on the kitchen counter and trudged back to the bed.
Goldy was up too, staring at Bell-boy. The man's actions were becoming more and more frantic. A nightmare then?
"Bell?" Daniel tried, then sat down on the bed next to the man. Goldy crawled a little higher up on the bed, abusing the space he'd vacated. He'd have to shoo the animal away later.
Daniel's hazel eyes focussed back on Bellwether and he sighed, then reached out to shake the man's shoulder.
"Just... please don't strangle me today," he started softly. "Wake up, c'mon Bell-boy, show me them baby blues, huh?" Daniel coaxed Bell back into the waking world.
Sleep came slowly to him. Every time he'd settled down, Daniel shifted again and woke him up just a little. By the time Daniel finally settled for good, Bell was just about ready to pass out regardless. It was late. He needed his sleep.
There were no dreams at first. Just darkness. Darkness that began to wobble and take shape, something emerging from its depths. "Get back," Bell commanded it, stepping back himself. The thing stopped. Bell stopped as well, watching it. A dark shape. Too far away, too dark to make out its form, whether it was human, animal, or goat, but he knew it was there. Knew something was out there, in the distance, watching him.
He backed away slowly, eyes on the form. The further he got, the fainter it became, until he couldn't tell where it was unless he turned his head, until it vanished into the shadows. Gone. But it wasn't gone. It was there, watching. Just out of sight. Watching and waiting for... something.
Bell turned and ran, sprinting away from it. He had to escape. Whatever it was, he had to escape. This wasn't good. Daniel. Where was Daniel? There was no one around him, just darkness and the trees of the forest flashing by. Daniel, he needed to find Daniel! If the thing got him, then it was all over.
A house. Their house! Bell sprinted inside and slammed the door behind him, even knowing it would be no good. "Daniel," he shouted, running into the kitchen. Nothing, no Daniel. "Daniel, where are you?" Bedroom, empty. Bathroom, empty. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. "Daniel!"
A door creaked in the distance. Bell stopped. He was in the kitchen, and the sound was behind him. That meant. It meant. He turned slowly.
The back door was hanging open just a little, creaking on its hinges.
"Daniel!" he shouted, racing down the stairs into the darkness of the basement. The tube was there, the light on inside of it. It was the only light in the darkness, a single spotlight in pure black. He raced to the front of the tube.
The darkness congealed, the thing behind him. The same shape, right over his shoulder. "Bell," it hissed, with a voice like the creature had never breathed before, like it was forcing individual strings to vibrate, a voice that sounded painful to his ear. Unable to stop himself, he turned, slowly, already knowing what he would find.
"Hmm what?" Daniel mumbled into his pillow. Bell-boy didn't stay around to actually finish whatever train of thought he'd deemed important enough to disturb his rest and Daniel failed to care. Despite feeling sick and exhausted, his mind was whirring with the thought of what might happen far too soon: getting stuck in a tube. He stared at the bare floors of their fancy house. Empty.
Their life had been fairly empty. Free as well. The same freedom that'd made him afraid and insecure -no. Not him. Lenny. And it'd be like that again, if the goatling didn't leave something of his sanity behind. Yet, would it be the same if some of the goatling remained? He wouldn't truly be human or himself then.
Bell-boy was scurrying about the house. Daniel listlessly blinked at the wall, until his vision was obscured by Bellwether. The man was naked, bar some shorts, same as he and sidled up close. Better. He felt instantly better for having some company.
"Love you too," he whispered softly.
Bell-boy was warm. Warmer than even the comforter. He'd been cold and shivering before, but now sweat threatened to seep into his hair-line. It was going to be a lovely night. Goldy, for lack of a better sleeping-place, joined them on the bed. She scurried about, flattening the surface of her chosen spot, until it was nice and even.
"Will you lie down already, stupid mutt," Daniel hissed moodily. Goldy gave a self-conscious look, made one turn-about and finally laid down with a huff.
It was quiet out there. Their house was in the middle of nowhere. To boot, it got dark, especially with the rain coming down on the roof. Daniel wiped his face with the towel that'd accidentally made it into the bed as well and shifted restlessly.
He didn't know just how long he'd been like that, but he must've fallen asleep at some point, because next he woke things were quieter. It'd stopped raining. Still dark though.
Goldy had somehow crawled up a fair amount, resting between their legs. She was dreaming to boot, paws twitching as she ran in her sleep. Daniel sighed out. Had to take a leak. And he was parched, as well as hungry. Fortunately for him, they finally had a place that didn't care about how off his schedule was. He pressed a kiss to Bell-boy's forehead and went in search of a decent meal.
Goldy jumped on him before he made it far, a big grin on her face and tail wagging madly. "Hey, how's it been?" he greeted her, petting her face and playing with her ears. She panted at him, happy, then jumped off and ran over to sniff at Daniel, as he managed to wander into the house at long last, wobbling on his feet. Bell jogged over and locked the door behind him, a silly gesture when the back door was still broken, then whistled for Goldy. With a confused look, she left Daniel alone and came back to him, ears cocked. She hadn't jumped on Daniel, at least; he was pretty sure the gesture would've knocked the other man over.
"How about dinner?" he offered, leading the dog into the kitchen. Her confused look became an eager one, and he had to push her down to keep her from knocking him over as he reached up for the dog food. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, but you won't get it faster if I can't get to it!" he said mock-grumpily.
He filled the food bowl, then nabbed the sink once Daniel was done with it to fill the water. Goldy preoccupied, he was finally able to strip off his soaked pants. His shorts were dry enough; after a glance, he shrugged and decided to leave them. Good enough.
"Hey, Daniel," he started, heading into the bedroom, then fell silent. Oh. Daniel was sleeping. And there were wet clothes strewn about just everywhere. With a quiet huff, he picked them up, gathering their earlier clothes as well--what were they, pigs, just leaving their clothes out like this? Shaking his head, he carried them out to the laundry room and stuffed them all into the laundry machine. It was a tiny load even then, but with a dash of soap, he started it anyways. Might as well see how well the machine worked with a little load first.
Thunder rolled. He sighed and looked out at the storm. There wasn't anything to do at the house, was the problem. No television or even books or board games. Nothing at all.
It was late. Might as well just sleep. So thinking, he headed back into the bedroom and slid under the sheets with Daniel. It was too warm for the comforter, though Daniel didn't look to agree with that. He kicked it off his half towards Daniel. There, Daniel could have double. He'd just use the sheets.
He reached out and snuggled up to Daniel, ignoring the man's body heat in favor of cuddling. "Love you," he whispered, then closed his eyes for the night.
Hands. The world swung back and forth like a pendulum before Daniel slowly came to. What the-? Oh. Rain. The noise finally registered as rain smacking against the car's window. A nice warm bed sounded like a good idea. Daniel slowly unfolded from his position against the window. He felt shitty. Both warm and cold at the same time. A nice bath would probably sort him out, but Daniel didn't think he'd have the energy. Bed was probably the next best thing. Bell-boy was already off, sprinting towards the door.
Daniel owlishly watched the dark car and surmised that yeah, he should get going too. His trek towards the house was considerably more deliberate and slower.
When he made it inside, Bell-boy was already undressing. The man probably had the right idea. It was cold now, with the way his water-logged clothes were sticking to his skin. Good thing it hadn't been a cold night in general. He still managed to shiver pathetically.
Daniel ambled towards the kitchen and ran some water, cupping the liquid to take a few sips and wash down the bitter-acid taste in the back of his throat. Shoes. At the very least he ought to get those off. After a moment's break, Daniel leaned down to undo the shoes and wormed them off. His feet were the only dry parts of his body.
Once that was sorted, Daniel figured it was time for some proper sleep, rather than a short nap in the car.
"I'm going to bed," he announced. If Bell-boy wanted to join him or do something else, he was free to do so. Daniel didn't care as long as he could rest. He pulled at his shirt along the way, shuffling towards the bedroom.
His pants followed not long after, only barely making the bedroom's corner. His shorts were spotted with water, but reasonably dry. Dry enough Daniel didn't consider finding other things to wear. He did find a warm towel and dried off half-heartedly before surrendering to the bed's pull. It was comfortable. Nice and fresh, new even.
Best thing about the house yet. And they wouldn't have to leave in the morning either. He could safely sleep in. This was where they belonged now, even if it was just for a short time.
Sleep proved evasive now that he was finally able to rest. Typical. His mind wouldn't wind down the way it'd done in the car. It was still better this way. Comfortable. Especially when his chills were eased by the comforter's heat bouncing back at him.
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