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Bell just stared. What? Man, talk about an internal tangent. The hell. No wonder it'd mystified him why Landon had always whined so much about taking the lead--here Daniel was explaining it to him, and he still didn't understand. "I mean... yeah, I guess?" Bell said, not really sure what he was being accused of. "I wasn't trying to sneak it up on you, just... you know, I've seen what I wanted to see, so we can do whatever, but I don't have anything in mind, so if you want to do something or go somewhere, feel free. Of course we're coming back eventually, though, what's the point of marking a place we aren't coming back to?"
He wasn't trying to creep anyone out, just give Daniel a chance to do what he wanted in their free time to wander and hunt. Was that so bad? Damn, and he thought he was being nice! "I don't want to lead all the time," he threw out there. "Sometimes, following is okay."
"What? Look, if it bothers you so much, I can just dictate everything we do, does that make you happier?" Bell asked, annoyed now. What the hell? He really didn't get Daniel. The guy didn't want to lead, just complain when Bell led him somewhere he didn't want to go, huh? And complain when Bell tried to be considerate, too!
Honestly, that was the name of the game, wasn't it? Every time he honestly tried to do something kind for Daniel, it got twisted up in the man's head to be some convoluted evil plot against Daniel. Shouldn't it be pretty obvious by now that Bell didn't really do evil plots? He was a pretty straightforward guy, if he said so himself. The most planning he ever did was finding a quiet spot to beat someone's head in! But no, somehow letting Daniel take the lead was part of some sneaky plan to lure him back to the kill spot. Which made no sense, anyways, as a complaint. Of course they'd go back! Why else would he mark the damn place?
Bell kicked a bit of trash on the path ahead of them, barely noticing the lovely scenery passing them by. Daniel could be a real weirdo sometimes. Reminded Bell how little he really knew about the guy.
The place Bell-boy wanted to check out turned out to be the bridge he'd noticed Bell-boy fawn over. Once there, it turned out to have gained a lot more traffic in general. Daniel leaned on the arch of the bridge and peered down. Relatively clear water streamed underneath it, leading all the way up around a bend.
He could see the nefarious plot take root in Bell-boy's brain almost physically. Daniel hoped that people who didn't know Bell, would be oblivious to the man's twisted ideas about murdering people -goats. Sure. Goats.
At long last, something seemed to click in Bell-boy's brain, because he pushed off, apparently satisfied and then suddenly he was put in charge. Daniel chuckled. This was the part where Lenny usually grew paranoid. Why the sudden change of lead, huh? Somehow, Bell-boy had found what he wanted, finished his little dance and like a snake in a lair was ready to lie in wait.
"Not really. You're weird sometimes, you know that?" Daniel pointed out.
"No wonder Lenny always got the heebie-jeebies about taking lead after you do some trick like that," he snorted.
"It's as good as saying 'I found what I was looking for -you walk ahead now, we'll come 'round to this later, when I'm ready and you're not paying attention'," Daniel explained the uncanny sensation that used to crawl up Lenny's spine.
"Why do you do that? I don't care any more than you do about where we're going, I don't know anything about this city," Daniel said with a shake of his head. Regardless, he just picked a random direction and started walking, something Bell-boy could've done just as easily. The only difference was that now he didn't have the luxury of staring at Bell-boy's ass.
"Besides," he added after a moment's silence, "you imposing this freedom on me isn't really what you want either." Because it'd come with the profound assumption that he'd want to go off and get shit-faced again, which he didn't. He had the decency to safe that sort of behaviour for after the sun had gone down at least.
He stretched and wandered at random, walking like a tourist taking in the sights: slowly and without a care in the world. He was slowly getting used to the strain of walking all day again.
Before long, it'd quieted down. He'd been kind of enjoying fighting his way against the current; there was a skill to it, a kind of glare and determination and open eyes to spot the next weak link, the next gap in the crowd--but oh well. Having more room on the sidewalk was just as well.
What he really appreciated was the way the day warmed up, the heat of the sun on his shoulders, the bright sunlight beating away the shadows of night. Bell stretched, spreading his arms out to really appreciate the sun. So warm, so comfy. It was a good day to be outside.
It was a thought he apparently shared with every stay-at-home mom and dog-walker and jogger on the streets. A woman blasted by in rollerskates, forcing him to dodge, and he glared after her. Too bad she wasn't a goat.
"Could be," he said, then shrugged. "It is the first day, though." It wasn't like everywhere they went, a Will popped up on day one. Might take a day or two of hanging around before they saw anything significant. He'd rather not wait, but that was just the way things were; as many goats as he'd faced, there always seemed to be fewer than he'd expect ahead of him. Not that he particularly wanted one of these moms or any of their broods to be a goat, aside from rollerskate-woman. He'd had enough kid-goats for now.
He shrugged, then glanced at Daniel. "There was a place I wanted to check out, back a ways," he said, tilting his head back towards the pedestrian bridge. Be good to hop down and walk around under it, get a feel for the lay of the land. He lead Daniel back towards it, moving briskly only to stop when he arrived.
It was a popular place with plenty of foot traffic, moms and joggers alike, but he imagined it'd die down at night, or if the weather was bad. The bridge arced over a little stream that wandered off into a nature park, around the corner of the tall buildings nearby and out of sight; probably on its way to a river of some sort. The storm drain it came from was cavernous, easily big enough for him to stand upright in, if he was gauging the size right from up here on the bridge. If they could lure someone onto the bridge, all it'd take was a push, and then their prey would be stunned and easy to drag into the drain and out of sight. Perfect.
"Alright," he announced, pushing away from the ledge. Now that he'd gotten a good look at the drain, he was good to go. He tilted his head at Daniel. "Anywhere you wanna go?" He didn't really care. As long as they were wandering the city looking for goats, he'd go wherever.
"Nothing," Daniel waved away Bell-boy's query. There was no good way to explain why he found Bell-boy's bloodlust funny anyway. His grin turned into a smile, "nothing." Daniel stuffed the last of his pastries down a pocket and totted the coffee in one hand when Bell-boy decided they should get going. As ever, following Bell-boy was easy, even if he was carrying a tolling bell of death around.
Move against the crowd? Rather Bell-boy than him. Either way the people they met on their little game of pedestrian chicken all unanimously decided avoiding Bell-boy was the best choice to make.
It annoyed Daniel to some extent that, once a person had effectively passed Bell-boy, they filed in their ranks, just to be met up with his little persona. A second glance was then spared and minimal effort made to avoid bumping into him. Daniel decided that the first person to actually brush by him, would be met with a tactical elbow or nudge.
None of the morning crowd seemed to respond thus far. Daniel kept his eyes open, even as he drank his coffee. The bridge was a good kill-spot. Daniel could tell by how Bell-boy seemed to commit the spot to memory more than anything else. He'd rather not be caught standing in another person's dredge, but beggars couldn't be choosers.
It quieted down after a while, the morning rush already mostly over. In exchange, a different kind of crowd propped up: people with a day off, joggers and mothers with small children in tow.
Daniel found a bin and tossed his empty coffee-cup, then stretched out. The day was slowly becoming warmer and it was nice to have the cold whisked away by a firm ray of sunshine. It almost felt like summer.
Maybe they should really keep moving on South. Stopping in a city like this was more whim than planning. Daniel spotted a park, bikers crossing down the lanes and people walking their dogs. Nice and relaxed, peaceful, in the sun.
He wondered whether animals could react to Bell's call.
"Do you think we'll have any luck today?" Daniel pitched, just to break through the barrier of silence. "Well... 'luck'," he chuckled. Finding a goat wasn't lucky, by definition. Especially not after the sordid lot they'd encountered. Luck would be finding a hybrid.
He settled on the bench beside Daniel and munched on his pastries while watching people pass by, swapping out sweet, crunchy pastry for a sip of coffee every few bites. No one had done the double-take yet. He sighed out, somewhat impatient. Last night aside, the whole affair with Will had left him feeling blue-ballsed. Stopping just short of the satisfaction of a kill just made him want the next one even more. This time, he didn't care, he decided. Unless this goat was going to single-handedly heal everything wrong with Daniel in one fell swoop, he was gonna kill the damn thing.
Men and women scurried by in suits, hurrying off to their jobs. Reminded him of Daniel, way back when he'd first met the guy. Back when he'd still had a fiancee and a house and stuff like that. His eyes slid over to Daniel, munching away on his pastries. Had he ever thought his life would end up this? It was possible he'd considered something like it, Bell supposed, if he'd had some sort of psychotic break. And what said this wasn't some kind of massive psychotic episode? He considered, then shook his head. No, the goat had fixed that, at least for now. Besides, he didn't like that idea--didn't want to consider that the only reason he had happiness was because another man had gone insane. It wasn't like that.
Daniel chuckled suddenly, unexpectedly. "What?" Bell asked, cocking an eyebrow. What was so funny?
He could find out later, in any case. He finished the last bites of his pastry and stood, balling up his trash. For now, he wanted to move. "Let's go," he declared. "We'll see more suits if we move against the crowd." Get more eye contact that way, too. With a flick of his wrist, he tossed his trash into the nearest bin, then gave his bell a good kick to make sure it was sounding and led the way.
The majority of the suits gave them, and him in particular, a wide berth, which was fine by him. His eyes roamed the crowds, watching for any telltale signs. Nothing yet. They crossed over a pedestrian bridge by a sewer drain, both of which Bell quietly took notice of; might be worth coming back later to see if they were viable places to quietly bash a head in. Not that he'd seen any heads that needed bashing yet--but it was just a matter of time.
Apparently Bell-boy was picky about where he wanted his pastries from, because the first few mouth-watering establishments were passed up without even a second glance. Curious, Daniel followed Bell-boy into a less flashy, but equally as tasty store. So what had the point in that been?
Oh, they had doughnuts.
Daniel glanced over the things while he got his card out.
A croissant was a good idea. It wasn't always the case they were in a city large enough to cater to their pastry-whim. He added a cappuccino to the order as well as a selection of the fancy things and paid for them.
Soon enough they were walking back outside and Daniel found himself contently nipping the hot brew in the slightly damn and cold morning. Desolate, was more like it, though the city wouldn't allow that sentiment to cling around for too long. It'd come to life and wasn't showing any signs of calming back down again any time soon.
Daniel found a bench and sank down on it, eagerly opening the paper bag to extract the first of his loot. They could stare at some people as they had breakfast, right? So far the only thing they'd done with the bell was annoy people. No surprise there. It was a loud and uneven tone, a clunking more than anything. Ominous to those who knew what it meant.
Made him wonder how Bell-boy even got the idea to use a bell in the first place.
And for some reason, despite the awakening day, Daniel got the feeling they wouldn't succeed in finding much of anything. Hunters were hidden well. It could be any random building, any basement or underground facility -hell, even a hospital. It'd been remarkably peaceful as well. Daniel glanced at Bell, looking at the man.
Bringing out Bell-goat was one way. It'd know where the hunters were, if it wasn't actively avoiding them. Maybe his goatling would know too.
But hunters would be chasing after goats as well. Their best bet was finding one of those and killing it. Or stalk it. Daniel tore his eyes away from Bell and chuckled. As if. Bell-boy would want a kill by now. An honest, effective, kill. They ought to have kept in contact with their little rebel-faction of goats. They'd know where the hunters would be.
The chill of the world soaked into his wet hair and reminded him it was getting long. It'd need a cut soon, especially with summer's heat coming on hot and fast. He shoved it back and gazed out at the world.
As expected, the square was filthy after last night. The stage was still up, but empty, the banners sagging, trash strewn around the place. He stepped over a puddle of sticky, mysterious goo. Last night would've been a shitty time to sleep outside, but he could've made a killing wandering through the crowd. Careless idiots with too much money getting increasingly intoxicated... perfect conditions for some sticky fingers to make a killing. Too bad he'd been a little preoccupied last night. Or well. Not too bad.
He glanced at Daniel. Downtown? Sure, why not? There'd be plenty of people flowing through the area first thing in the morning. Plenty of chances to spot a goat. With a nod and a wide yawn, he led the way towards the city center.
The buildings grew taller. Busses bustled by, joining taxis and cars in the road, the scent of exhaust mingling with coffee. The few early passerby gave him a confused look at the sound of the bell, one woman even covering her ears, but no one did the distinctive double look. No goats yet.
Breakfast? "Sure," Bell said, looking around. There were a bunch of little bakeries around that smelled delicious, fresh bread and pastries just being put out for the day. The first few he passed; their names and storefronts were too cutesy and pretentious. They'd be too expensive, and more worried about presentation than taste anyways. The one he stopped at was smaller and slightly dingier, but smelled just as good. "How about here?" he offered, leading the way to the door.
It smelled twice as good inside as it had outside, and best of all, there wasn't a line yet. Fresh bread, fresh sweets... he was already salivating. He moved closer to the glass case and started browsing their goods, taking in all the fresh, tasty baked goods. "I'll have a croissant, and one of those, and one of those," he pointed out a few of the pastries, "and some coffee." He glanced at Daniel, waiting for the man to order.
Not bad, was it? Bell-boy's protests were cute and so was his reward. For people who mercilessly killed, they could be oddly caring to one another. Daniel decided that was a pit too deep to fall into, so he didn't. Rather, he watched Bell-boy step out of the shower and sighed. Yeah, time to go, huh?
Daniel cut off the water and unconsciously repeated Bell-boy's earlier actions. A towel was put to his hair and a firm scrub got most of the water soaked up. His body was next. Daniel slowed down to watch the reverse strip-tease Bell-boy performed.
By the time Bell moved to the window however, Daniel realize he better get a move on as well. He gathered his clothes from whatever corners he'd tossed them in some hours ago and quickly dressed. Daniel caught up to Bell at the door.
The bell would toll again. Hopefully with a bit more success than before, even if they didn't need the bell to get a response.
"Let's go," he nodded at Bell.
Outside was a fair deal colder than inside, despite them having had the window open for the better portion of the night. Daniel ran his still damp hair back and blinked back at the world. It was a mess. Plastic cups, puddles of unidentified fluids and stray articles of clothes were littering the streets. In the far-off distance, he could hear the lugging engine and whir of a sweeper coming up to their street.
It smelled stale.
Daniel pulled up his nose and sighed.
"Where to, oh fearless leader?" he joked. "How about down-town?" Daniel added, waving a hand down to where a sign pointed out several facilities he decided belonged in a city centre. Might as well explore a little. Daniel waited for Bell-boy to take the lead and ambled after the man, taking in the sights.
Slowly, people were waking up. Newspapers were being delivered, the scent of coffee became more frequent on the air and the tranquillity of a sleeping city was disrupted with increased intensity. It reminded Daniel of all those early mornings getting ready for work. He sure as hell didn't miss those mornings, but it was nicely ironic he should find himself wanting to be up at this hour.
"You feeling like grabbing some breakfast?" Daniel pointed out some of the early-opening bakeries.
Bell shrugged. He was just being bratty. He'd start moving and doing shit in a moment, he just... needed to whine a bit first.
Then hands wrapped around him, pulling him under the spray. Surprised, Bell glanced back, but it looked like Daniel was really going to help him. Well, sweet. Score. Bell sighed out happily and let Daniel scrub away, strong fingers scrubbing the worst of the filth off his skin. What a rare treat. And all he'd had to do was ask. Was this what it felt like to be loved? He closed his eyes and immersed himself in it.
Fingers found their way around his front, Daniel's chest pressed up against his back. Bell cracked an eyelid and glanced back. If the man was going for round three, he'd better be ready for Bell's turn at bat. He was good, though. If Daniel pressed the issue, he'd give, but he was quite happy and satisfied himself. It didn't feel like Daniel was too into it, either, so he closed his eyes again and let the man clean him.
"It was," Bell agreed. "Real good. This morning isn't bad either, though." He didn't mind being pampered every now and again.
Hot water from the spray played over his body, then stopped, and he opened his eyes to find a gob of soap on his nose. "Hey," he protested lightly, leaning under the spray to rinse the soap off. No need to thank him, huh? Bell gave him a kiss instead.
"Yeah, let's hit up the city," Bell said. "Get our plan moving--find a goat, lure out some hunters, get this shit going." He wasn't going to lose Daniel. It just wasn't going to happen.
All washed up, he stepped out of the shower and started drying off, then wandered out into their room to find his clothes. A few moments later, he was dressed and ready to go. He headed to the window and leaned against the sill, looking out again. Early. Just after dawn, if he was guessing right. Bright and early. Perfect time for them to go find a goat.
He leaned down and unclipped his bell, then pushed off the ledge and back towards the door, waiting for Daniel to be ready so they could go fix everything.
The guttural protest Bell-boy made didn't impress him much. Instead, Daniel left Bell-boy to wake up by himself and decided to use the hot water while it was still nice and hot to rinse off all the stickiness left behind yesterday. Or had it been earlier this morning? Semantics.
"Hold you?" Daniel snorted, tilting his head back to wet his hair. "You need a little help there, Bell-boy?" he teased. Unlike Bell-boy's grunts, Daniel was already wide awake. They'd slept plenty over the course of twenty-four hours to warrant wakefulness, though Daniel would admit he hadn't been on the receiving end of their lust.
He pulled Bell a little further under the stream and lathered up soap. After the worst had washed off of Bell-boy's skin, Daniel used the suds to clean whatever remained from Bell's skin. A courtesy, for making a mess earlier. At least they wouldn't stink up the car. Fingers rubbed Bell's back, turned to the man's hair and finally reached the front-end of the man. Daniel's chest was almost flush against Bell's back.
He was sated though. Unless Bell wanted to make work of it, he wouldn't have to perform any reruns of last night if he didn't want to.
"Last night was good," Daniel offered up gently. "Real good."
He took the spray from where it was secured and washed Bell-boy down, taking care to spend some extra attention to the more sensitive areas, making sure Bell-boy was all clean and ready to sit in a car all day. Or walk, if they decided to stick around. City this big, it'd be likely to have some goats roaming around, if not a solution for their problem.
Daniel grinned up at Bell and dabbed some suds on his nose as a finishing touch. "All clean, no need to thank me," he teased, then started to wash himself up with considerably less care. He didn't feel like lingering. His gut was fluttery with a drive he hadn't felt in a long while. To hunt or maybe find something interest. The city was calling to him.
At some point he'd convince Bell-boy to participate in the city's night life. As long as they stayed here long enough. "We roaming the city today? Get breakfast somewhere?" he offered up.
A few more kisses were traded back and forth, the both of them growing more drowsy; then Daniel stopped responding. Bell watched him from under half-closed eyes, his peaceful expression, the slow rise and fall of his chest; then he let them close and surrendered to sleep as well.
Darkness awaited him. Then a dirty backstreet. He looked around, taking in the overflowing dumpster, the pile of blankets he'd found to sleep on, and scratched his hair, flicking a few bugs from under his fingers. Probably gone and caught lice again. He'd gotten them so many times he barely felt the little buggers anymore.
Daniel was gone. They'd failed. He was dead. He felt his heart wrench at the memory, but forced it away. It was okay. He could survive. He could go on. Daniel would want that.
"Bell-boy?" a familiar voice called.
He stiffened. No. He didn't want to see it. He couldn't. Bell tensed, one hand on his pipe. "Come any closer and I'll kill you!" he snapped.
"C'mon," the voice cajoled him gently. Daniel stepped into the light, too close, so close. "Let's shower."
Let's... what? Bell blinked, nonetheless tempted, and when he opened his eyes, he was lying on a nice white bed in the gentle dawn light. He scratched his head just to be sure, but there were no lice. Thank goodness, the asshole little bugs. Didn't need them around.
"Argh," he muttered, sitting up. He felt sore all over. And dirty. Yeah, because last night's shower hadn't exactly ended with soaking up, had it? He realized he was starting dazedly at nothing and slowly hefted himself up and off the bed. "I'm coming, I'm coming."
He waddled over to the shower and found, much to his dismay, that it hadn't sprouted a tub since last night. "Daniel, hold me, I don't wanna stand," he groaned, leaning against the shower wall. He wanted to go back to sleep and sleep all day. Everything was too much effort. "Argh," he added, for good measure. Fucking morning. Why couldn't he just sleep forever? At least the water was hot.
Bell-boy clung tighter and returned his kiss. Their skin felt like an extension of one another, the space between them so little and even though they were sticky from their earlier playing, Daniel failed to care. Little kisses were pressed against his neck. Daniel drowsily responded, the sensation mitigated by sleepiness. Maybe he was tired enough to sleep after all. It'd been a while, after all. Just for a short little while. Daniel shifted, got a little more comfortable and surrendered when sleep announced itself. For a second it'd seem that surrender might not be good enough, before his consciousness was whisked away by a putrid darkness.
It felt like he was removed from consciousness more than anything. He felt the goatling, its presence large and intimidating, though Daniel knew it wasn't exactly there yet. It was still growing, smaller than Bell-goat and he wasn't afraid of it either, no matter how much it threatened to take his body. He just didn't care. Or maybe that's the sentiment that offered the goatling hope. One flawed moment of inattention would be his swift demise or the immortalizing of his 'self' as a shell.
To some people, it was the ultimate promise.
When he woke next, it was already threatening to become light. Outside, the droning loud music had simmered down into several stray voices, shouting and singing. People who were trying to find a way home, but didn't want to give up on the night.
Daniel stretched and groaned. He was stiff after last night's play. He slowly sat up. The night had cooled down and so had he. The open window let in a cold draft. Daniel got up stiffly and closed the window. This time the darkness wouldn't obscure him from sight, but that was fine. No one would be interested in looking up anyway. He needed a hot shower.
Still drowsy with sleep, Daniel waded over to the little bathroom they had and turned on the water.
"Bell-boy?" he tried and approached the bed. A casual hand tapped Bell-boy's leg. "C'mon, let's shower," Daniel tried to make the ordeal sound tempting.
"Time to get going." They'd lazed around enough already and hadn't come any closer to finding a clue yesterday.
Bell shook his head. He'd known it, the damn insomniac. At least it didn't seem like he'd been up to much.
"Hmm, same," Bell mumbled. He shifted a bit, then slid his arm up to touch Daniel's hair, just stroke the golden strands gently. Outside, the music was thumping away, crowd screaming along, but inside it was quiet and slow, just him and Daniel all alone together. The blankets were meaningless; Daniel's body heat was all the warmth he needed. It felt like he was safe, like everything would be okay, as long as he stayed in Daniel's arms. He'd rather stay like this all night than get up again.
He let out a quiet snort at Daniel's statement. Careful, sane; no one would ever refer to them that way. But it was fine. It'd worked out in the end, as rocky as it might have been at the start. Somehow, they'd managed to fall in love. Somehow, everything had worked out fine.
And now another ugly problem was rearing its head, a temporary solution whose effectiveness had come to the conclusion they'd all known it would. He snuggled closer to Daniel, afraid. He didn't want to think about that anymore. There were no answers. No certainties. Only questions. For a little while, for just one night, he wanted to pretend it was all okay.
Thinking about things. Bell understood. Neither of them wanted to talk about it. It was fine. Some things just couldn't be talked through. Daniel kissed him again, and he felt his chest swell up, love gathering in his heart until he could barely breathe. He kissed Daniel back, hands sliding around the man's waist to hold him tight. All he wanted was to be with Daniel forever, to relish the man's existence until the end of time. If they could just stretch this day, this moment out, if dawn never came, it would be perfect.
They were close enough he could feel their hearts beating in sync, felt himself breathe at Daniel's pace. They were almost one person. One human being, the one thing he'd never been. He nuzzled Daniel's neck again, this time pressing little kisses as he did. If he could be closer, he would be. He just wanted to hold Daniel forever.
A snowglobe, but it wasn't? Daniel raised a confused eyebrow, but didn't interrupt Bell-boy's story. That, and Bell nuzzled in closer, effectively distracting his inquiry from digging deeper in the demented reality of Bellwether's dreams.
"Yeah," Daniel replied lazily. He'd been awake. Too much sleep already during the day prevented him from getting any good sleep tonight. The noise didn't help.
Legs interlaced with his. Finally the space between them diminished to a small enough gap he could appreciate the proximity to its fullest.
"Just thinking how lucky I am to be here with you," he said softly. Close enough to the truth anyway. Bell-boy's existence was one far more fragile than even a human's. It only took the goat's whimsy to undo all that Bell was. Or were the goats burdened by their shells? Daniel toyed with Bell-boy's hair, admiring the softness of the tufts at the base of Bell's neck.
"Could've ended up differentlty. Not as if we're the most careful or sane either," Daniel continued with a chuckle. If they'd been human, everything would've been finished a long time ago. But they weren't. They were something else and he was about to betray that. Betrayal though it might be, at least he'd be alive. For whatever precious few moments they'd have together if he did.
Because they would be few, wouldn't they? There'd come a time where Bell-goat got sick of healing him or bringing him back from the brink of death. After he'd released the goatling onto the world, his purpose to the goat was complete. It'd have no reason to entertain his existence, especially because it was so fragile and temporary.
"Just...thinking about things," he said. Daniel didn't feel like repeating the same mistake. Neither of them had answers, only worries. There was no point to rehashing what couldn't be helped.
He leaned down and pressed a kiss to whatever part of Bell was closest. Now sated, it wasn't lust driving his actions, but more love. They hardly settled down to just enjoy each other's presence. After Becky, Daniel thought Bell might be more frigid to any intimacy, but in the end the man couldn't resist, huh?
For a moment, they cuddled, holding onto each other and trading kisses. Bell couldn't quite read Daniel's intentions, if he wanted to go further or not. He was willing, but sleepy. And maybe that was it; both willing but tired, and no one quite able to find the desire to kick things off.
Okay? He looked at Daniel. He was fine, he didn't have a goat in his body, trying to bust out. But Daniel hadn't meant that, had he? "Mmm, I had a weird dream," he admitted. "Felt like it wasn't my dream. I dunno." Just... it'd felt weird. It hadn't been an outright nightmare, hadn't involved her or... that, or Daniel dying, or anything like that, it'd been weird--and honestly, a tame weird at that. "It was a snow globe, but it wasn't," he tried to explain, then shrugged. Yeah, weird. What else could he say?
"You been awake the whole time?" Bell asked, nuzzling closer. Sometimes Daniel just didn't sleep. At least his breath didn't smell like alcohol this time, so whatever he'd done while awake, he hadn't been drinking. Bell slid his legs under the sheets, too, interlacing them with Daniel's; and he'd done it naked. So he probably hadn't left the room.
Daniel pulled him closer, almost protectively. Bell nuzzled him again and kissed him some more, tilting his head to try to read his face in the dim light, figure out what he was thinking. "Penny for your thoughts?" he asked. When they were like this, close and naked and exposed to each other, he felt like they could be more honest, just talk a bit. He slid his leg up over Daniel's hip, getting really close and comfortable. Gave him an invitation, too, if he wanted to take it.
Now that he was awake, he couldn't quite manage to go back to sleep. He yawned and settled down, but he was awake. Still awake, in this dark room in the middle of the night, lying naked with his lover in a small bed. He'd never thought he'd end up here, not when he'd been out on the streets, slaving away. Being this happy... it had seemed impossible. Like the world would snatch his happiness away every time he reached out to grab it. But he had it now, his happiness. And he wasn't going to let him go.
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