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He nodded at Landon's description of the girl. That was her to a T. So she'd come back, after all? He wasn't surprised. "Can always chase her out if she gets uppity," he mumbled, followed by a long yawn. He really wasn't too concerned about her. Though maybe a little concerned for her sanity. Even after what she'd seen Daniel do, she'd still come back? That was odd. Or maybe not. Humans could be stupid territorial.
"Heh," Bell said. He'd half expected the dog to turn traitor at the sight of a new human, but come to think of it, she hadn't pet him earlier, which probably put her in Spot's bad book.
Landon's words sounded like music to his ears. "Thank you," he sighed, pushing up to give Landon a kiss. Then he sagged back down, pushing off Landon's lap to sleep beside him instead. One hand he kept on Landon's leg, just to keep an anchor on Landon, so he wouldn't run off again. He closed his eyes and shifted a bit, getting comfy on the wood. "Love you."
It took him a while to get back to sleep. Now that he'd slept the edge off his exhaustion, the wood felt hard and cold, and he could almost swear he felt splinters poking into him. His dreams from before lingered, fear pulling at the corner of his mind even though he knew it was baseless. Or not baseless; he could very well have nightmares again. But she wouldn't be there to hurt him. Make him hurt her. He shifted a bit more, always keeping contact with Landon somehow, a little worried the man would run off again. Slowly, sleep overtook him, and he sank into dark oblivion.
This time, there were no dreams. Only darkness, the deep kind that came only when sleep was absolute and heavy. He curled up tight against Landon and laid there, thinking of nothing at all, until at last he woke up, right around dawn. He yawned and squinted at the sunlight that spilled past the horizon, then turned to Landon. Had the man slept at all? Come to think of it, he really should have gotten Landon to sleep, too. The two of them, honestly. It was a full time job making sure they didn't kill themselves.
Bell fought. Harder than he'd expected, but then Landon realized he was probably exacerbating the problem. Arms pulled, fingers scratched. Bell almost managed to buck him away, kneeing his stomach. Letting go now would be more trouble still, so Landon held on until finally Bell snapped to, trying not to take any of Bellwether's uncoordinated blows to the face. He managed well enough.
A sudden jerk started Landon. He let go. Bell was awake anyway. Landon was about to say something reassuring when Bell mumbled out he'd had a bad dream.
Really? He sure hadn't clued that one away. Landon breathed out a sigh of relief as Bellwether wrapped his arms around him. Unsure of where to leave his hands, Landon stroked Bell's hair back from his face. It was slightly damp from the nightmare and their little tussle.
"You okay now?" Landon pitched softly.
His turn -to do what? Oh. Keep watch.
"...ah-about that," Landon started, taking a deep breath. "The girl you mentioned...about, say, this tall? Ratty brown hair? Kind of speaks your language?" he described the young woman they'd allowed passage onto their floor. For now anyway. Spot wasn't really convinced either.
"I caught her sneaking in, but then..." Well, he couldn't have left Bell to suffer through his nightmare.
"I let her go to 'her' room," he said matter-of-factly. So there was no reason to remain vigilant for any intruders from outside. More so from inside this time. The girl could try to steal something from them, but honestly, she'd just be giving Spot an excuse.
"I don't think she likes Spot," Landon nodded at the animal with a wry smirk. "And I think the feeling's mutual." He toyed with Bell's hair, watching the entrance -and Spot.
"I don't know what you guys agreed was whose turn," Landon replied honestly. Not like it mattered who kept watch. To be honest, he liked just experience reality while it lasted. This was probably what Daniel felt like whenever he was out.
"If you're tired, sleep more," he offered. Landon knew just how credible he sounded if he told Bell he'd keep watch, so he didn't bother.
What was out there? She almost laughed. That wasn't it. This was her home. Did she need a reason to come back here? She shook her head and walked away. He wouldn't understand. Stupid men. They never understood.
"Yeah, same to you," she snapped, when the man promised they'd hurt her if she did anything. Like they were any better. Ha! She backed into her home, eyes on the mutt the whole way in case he spun and attacked. But nothing happened. She reached the room without incident and disappeared inside it.
Something grabbed him and held him down, stronger than he was. He fought harder in return, desperate to shake her off, until finally he scraped his arm on the rough surface of the wooden board and startled awake, blinking at the ceiling as though surprised to find it. He jerked free of the attacker's hold, but before he could run or attack, recognized Landon. Landon? Why would Landon hurt him like this? His expression turned betrayed, before the final details filtered through: the concrete, the boards, even Spot, lingering in the distance.
He blinked and ran a hand over his face, surprised to find that it was shaking. "Hmm, bad dream," he mumbled, reaching out for Landon. He wrapped his arms around Landon's waist and snuggled into his stomach, putting his head on Landon's lap like Daniel had done for him. It wasn't really that nice; kind of bony, and an uneven pillow. But it smelled like Landon, which was good. It grounded him. Woke him up some. "Is it my turn?" he moaned, still pressed up against Landon. He wanted to sleep more, but the girl, what if she came back? They had to keep watch.
Spot padded outside, taking a parole of his own to go check on the girl and make sure she was properly tucked away. Bell looked up at Landon. He didn't want to take watch, but if it was his turn, it was his turn. Daniel had been skipping sleep too, lately, sleeping during the day. It couldn't be good for him. If Landon wanted to sleep, he'd get up and let him sleep. But he wouldn't be happy about it.
Call your mutt off, was it? She sounded like Bell would; harsh and demanding, used to getting her way through violence. Landon's eyes landed on Spot for a split-second, but the hound wasn't about to let go of its prey. He hadn't gotten a chance to actually meet the girl before, so she was an intruder. And she was.
What could be out there, that made this place safer? That made a place with a mad dog and two grown, adult men, safer?
"What's out there?" Landon asked. "What's out there that you'd risk coming back here?" he ventured, somewhere between distant and curious. One of Spot's ears swivelled back, towards Bell. Landon gave the girl another look, but knew she wasn't a threat. They wouldn't sleep long enough for her to try anything. She'd be more likely to die than anything else.
"If you try anything, we won't think twice," Landon snarled and turned. Spot was still focussed on the girl, then caught on Landon was leaving a moment later and followed, slowly, occasionally looking back.
Bell was tossing and turning, fighting unseen ghosts. Landon sighed. Neither one of them was going to have a proper rest, were they?
"Bell?" Landon shook the man's shoulder, a hand to his back. Bell reacted instantaneously, lashing out and fighting. Landon wasn't deterred. Ever since he'd noticed they were on par in terms of strength, Landon figured he might use it. One hand caught Bellwether's and trapped it, the other tried to deflect the blows and bites. Bites? Honestly.
What the hell? Never mind Bell was trying to kick him in the nuts.
"Bell!" Landon hissed. "Wake up already," he urged.
Before the fighting tipped him over the edge. Before he lost it again. Spot watched from afar, only mildly interested. Most of the dog's focus was outside of their 'room', aimed at the girl who'd scurried off to whatever room she slept in. Landon didn't care. If she so much as breathed a wrong sigh, he'd make sure it'd be her last.
The thought almost physically startled Landon.
Since when had he become so destructive?
His eyes travelled down. That was why. Because he'd chosen to be with Bellwether and adopted the man's life-style.
Bell shifted and twitched. He felt colder suddenly, as though someone had yanked away the covers and left him exposed on the bed. Unable to tell what was wrong, still half-caught in sleep, he shifted and reached out, trying to pull the covers back up.
The girl regarded Landon from afar, body tensed, ready to bolt or attack. She didn't know what he was thinking; his body language seemed to say she wasn't welcome, but he wasn't chasing her off, either. It felt wrong. Off, somehow. Her eyes darted back to the dog, whose fur was ruffled and whose teeth were bared. If it lunged, she was going to jump right back onto the scaffolding. It wasn't worth being bit over. Rabies was fatal, after all.
"Can I stay?" she asked, putting on her most pitiable voice. They'd let her stay, they'd said? She still wasn't sure she trusted that. It'd be safer to bolt, since they'd come back, but... where to? This was already her last haven. She didn't have anywhere else to go.
She edged away from the standing man and towards her room. The dog let out a growl, low and soft, and she stopped moving. "Call your mutt off," she demanded, then remembered herself and added "please?"
Maybe it was alright to stay. Maybe it'd turn out okay. She moved a little closer towards her room, never turning her back on the dog.
Bell was cold and alone. Empty. In the emptiness, she came, curling up tight around him, chilling him further with her clammy body. "I'm here, I'm always here," she said, somewhere between reassurance and a snarl. "I'm always here. I can't leave, can I? You locked me away and I can't ever leave!"
He pushed her away, struggling free of icy limbs. No. No. He wasn't going to be hers. Not anymore. He was stronger than that. He wouldn't give in. He wasn't that person anymore.
"You can't deny yourself," she said, laughing. "You can't deny what you did. You can't deny me."
"Get away!" he snapped, flailing at her. His hand hit her chin, and her head snapped back.
"I knew it," she sighed. "I knew it." She gripped him tighter, burrowing claws into his back. He fought in earnest, kicking and fighting and biting, and she's only grabbed on harder, squealing in pleasure. "That's it! That's it!" she cried, delighted.
He knew it. Daniel had worn Bell down. Maybe that's why Bellwether had seemed so desperate for him to be okay. Landon stroked the man's hair while he slept and then just waited. The wooden flooring was a pain. His side was going numb from both the cold and hardness of the surface. He was almost glad Spot got up and moved -a distraction. Landon watched the mutt leave. Was something -someone there?
Bell had mentioned a girl.
He looked down at Bell and sat up. It'd be better if Bell got some more sleep, while he still clung to a measure of sanity. Landon took out his bat and followed Spot. The mutt held still at the edge of the platform, staring down. Yeah, someone was obviously here.
Who'd be this stupid though? The girl had been chased away once before.
Was she really trying again?
Landon stepped to the side, back into the shadows, leaving Spot as the sole distraction. Actually, the scaffolding stopped moving when their intruder caught the dog staring down at them.
Spot merely wagged his tail.
Oh, yeah, sure...
Landon held still, grip on the bat tight. The girl came up on an unexpected part of the scaffolding, leaving Spot to whine and pace along the edge. Just out of reach.
Getting a girl bit by a dog wasn't a good thing either.
"Decided to take up on the offer then, have you?" Landon said with a low, almost threatening voice. She started, eyes wide, searching the shadows until her eyes landed on his frame. In the cover of darkness, Landon had plenty of opportunity to see what he was dealing with. She was scrawny from lack of food, small and skittish.
That didn't effect her mouth however.
"This place is mine, I was here first," she hissed.
"You're either stupid or crazy to come back," Landon muttered. "That's alright, we can both be crazy," he ventured. One foot touched the platform.
"There's nowhere else I can go..." she said, softer this time. Less contrite.
"We'll be gone come tomorrow morning."
Spot started to growl. The fur along the line of his back was raised threateningly. Landon folded his arms. It was almost entertaining to watch this.
Nothing. Landon felt nothing at her pleas. She wasn't being sincere. It was just her best tactic for now.
Landon moved closer at his urging. When the man didn't fall apart at his touch, but reached out and held Bell with the strength he'd envied not so long ago, the strength he was still catching up with, to some extent, he relaxed some and held Landon back. They could do this. They could be here, together. It'd all work out. It could still work out.
"Are you sure?" he asked, unable to stifle a yawn. He should stay up and watch Landon. He should. He knew it. Out of the many times Landon had been out lately, how many of those had he been okay? But he couldn't fight it. The pull of sleep was too strong, in the end. He subsided against the wood, falling asleep in Landon's arms for the first time in a while, just like he knew he shouldn't.
His dreams were dark, twisting. In them, the girl climbed up the scaffolding, face hidden by dark hair, only when she threw it back it was her looking back at him, not the girl at all. Bell could only stare, paralyzed. She'd come for him. Just like he'd always known she would, she'd come for him. And there was nothing he could do about it. He shied away, pushing Landon behind him as she approached.
She giggled, the sound catching in her throat where he'd strangled her. "Don't pretend you're afraid," she purred on a voice cut tight and gravelly. "Aren't you happy? I've come back. I'm the only one for you after all, you know. Look, even he doesn't want you." She pointed behind him; Bell watched as Landon scurried away from him, almost toppling off the tower in his haste to be away from Bell. He reached out, but Landon flinched and pulled away from him, more of his weight leaning on the girders until they groaned with his weight.
She laughed and touched him, fingers cold and slimy. "I told you," she hissed into his ear.
Spot looked up, catching a scent, then looked at Landon and trotted over to the scaffolding. He stared down into the darkness, until the darkness stared back at him; and then the scaffolding began to shake as someone climbed it.
Dealing with it. Right. Okay, yeah, that made sense. Daniel had obviously done something -probably forced to do something given their situation. Did that mean they had money in places he didn't know about? Landon shivered at the thought. His own mind was a greater enemy than a goat.
They had money. Good. That was good.
Or was Bell just telling him whatever so he wouldn't freak out? Hah. That'd been different at times. Landon recalled their painful first few days, where Bellwether had taken keen interest in sewing his skin back together in the most painful ways available. That, and there'd been the urge to show him that being on the prowl constantly was no pleasure cruise.
Landon knew that, but they hadn't suffered poverty ever since he'd joined. And now they were, apparently.
When Bell sat down, Landon remained standing, slightly confused. Were they going back to sleep? He thoughtfully sipped water, watching Bell in the semi-dark. The other man looked tired and Landon knew Daniel was to blame -no; they both were. At Bell's invitation, Landon lowered himself as well.
Bell reached out to him, so hesitant, Landon almost wasn't sure whether Bell wanted to touch him at all. He looked down at the water and sighed. Everything was falling apart, wasn't it?
"I don't know," Landon replied honestly. He didn't know what would make thing better, easier. Obviously their going cold-turkey on drinking was no help, but his head had been a mess way before that. Drinking was more like another symptom than a cause.
Landon put the water away and laid down next to Bell, nuzzling the man's warm skin. He wrapped his arms around Bellwether and cradled him close.
"You look tired, I'm fine for now -get some sleep," Landon offered.
He'd just started because of the new environment. Everything had settled quite rapidly, so Landon felt safe enough to be alone. Well, alone. Bell would still be right there, in his arms. And Spot was there as well. Sleep wasn't likely to happen, so Landon tried to get comfortable as best he could with what they had. Fortunately the night wasn't as cold.
Landon pressed a stray kiss again Bell's neck and let out a sigh, holding Bell a little tighter. He hadn't ever been quite this unstable before. It was a frightening thought that he might lose it altogether.
Surprisingly, Landon was mostly lucid, if stuck to Bell like white on rice. The bottle cap rolled away, flying merrily off the edge of the building; Bell turned to watch it, then shrugged, writing it off as a loss. It'd be fine, anyways. They had more. Weren't that poor yet.
"I don't know, Daniel and you are the ones that deal with money," he said. He didn't know how much they'd had to begin with, much less how much they had left. "Daniel didn't seem worried," he offered with a shrug. "Said he was dealing with it, or something." Probably no reason for them to freak out over it yet. Though, that being said, since he honestly had no idea what they'd had to begin with, he supposed that didn't mean much.
"It's fine, it's fine. We had money. Have money. We stayed at a hotel just..." was it really? but it was--"...just yesterday, and we bought the waters today just fine, there's no need to panic." He patted Landon's back helpfully, with a small smile. And it'd almost been the end of his shift. Landon was going to drive him insane if he kept up this no-sleeping thing. Bell couldn't keep dealing with it.
He laid back and sighed. Things really had been getting worse lately. He didn't know what to do about it, either. If he could do anything about it, at that. Getting Landon medicine was all well and good in his head, but it wasn't as though they'd just pick it up at the local supermarket. They'd have to see a doctor, which would cost money they might not have anymore, if Landon's fears were founded; not to mention that Landon was an illegal immigrant, and would probably be deported as soon as seen by the doctor. It just wasn't possible. Unless they went back to Europe, getting Landon meds wasn't really an option. And what else was there? He didn't have many options. Any options, really.
"Landon, c'mere," he said, patting the wood beside him. "What am I gonna do with you, huh?" He reached out and touched him gently, like he was afraid Landon was going to break. And in a sense, he was already broken.
Sleeping in shifts? Why? Because there was a girl they'd accidentally chased off? Landon tried to take it all in, but found himself floundering to absorb the information Bellwether was throwing at him. One thing at a time.
Wait -the goatling? Why would Daniel do that, unless they'd been in danger? How?
Landon looked down at his hand and found himself ponderously contemplating how Daniel controlled the goatling, since he couldn't. Or had trouble to anyway.
Water materialized in front of him.
Bell offered him up a bottle and Landon took it. Landon's next predicament took his attention: how to uncap the bottle without letting go of Bell? In the end, he didn't need to. Bell put an arm around his shoulders, leaving his arms free without losing contact with the other man. Landon felt as if he'd loose his balance or become unhinged if Bell let go. Ridiculous, said fear was ridiculous, but it was there.
Landon barely even noticed Bell was guiding them away from the ledge until they were coming close to some wooden boards. Was this their bed?
They could do better. Had they somehow run out of money?
But they had water. Landon finally managed to open the cap, which he lost a second after. The plastic item fell to the floor from Landon's clumsy hands and rolled away. It didn't matter. It was fine where it was.
Landon put the water to his lips and drank several careful mouthfuls of water.
He nodded. A couple of days made sense. Them travelling as well. Business as usual then? "Why are we sleeping in a place like this?" Landon piped up, slightly concerned. Sure, he'd left everything up to Daniel for the longest time, but even he couldn't have spent all the money they owned -unless...unless something had happened.
Landon felt dread pool in his stomach. Had they botched their game? Had someone finally found out? It wouldn't be hard to find, if police or authorities looked into his background. The money was hidden reasonably well, but only from the people that could get suspicious. Not half the world and then some.
"He messed up, didn't he?" Daniel had to have pulled some strings to safeguard the money or, worst case, let it all go.
"Do we have any money left?" As if Daniel would tell Bell.
Landon heaved a sigh. There was no way he could check now.
Daniel took his hand, after a moment, and Bell hefted him up, using the momentum of the motion to stagger a few steps away from the ledge. What girl? "You know, the..."
Unless he didn't know. A second later, Landon confirmed it. "Oh," Bell said, then nodded. "The girl. There's a girl who was living here, but we chased her away. Or, well, we tried to let her stay, but you know how it is, and anyways, we were sleeping in shifts because we were worried she'd be back."
Felt like shit, huh? "I'm not surprised. Daniel hasn't been drinking, and then he used the goatling a little..." he shrugged. He'd be more surprised if Landon was suddenly feeling well.
Landon was clutching onto his arm with all his strength. Bell was starting to learn Landon's cues, and this one meant he was scared, maybe still seeing delusions or soon to be struck by them. "Yep, oodles of water," he confirmed. He pulled a bottle out of his coat and passed it to Landon. Any kind of food or drink was good right now, as long as Landon was interested in drinking or eating.
He put one arm gently around Landon's shoulders and guided him back towards the room, away from the ledge. Maybe he should've slept first after all, because it looked like he wasn't going to get any more sleep tonight. Or maybe it was better that he was awake. Who knew what sort of shit Landon would've gotten up to if Bell hadn't been there to help him off the ledge and back to safety?
"It's been a few days since you were out last," he started, then paused. When was Landon out last? No...he'd been out in the city, with the hippie and Miss Hannah. "Been moving around since then." He shrugged. Nothing really to fill Landon in on, and he doubted the guy wanted to hear about the threesome, which was really the only exciting thing to happen since then. Honestly, probably for the best if Landon didn't know about that. He might get jealous, or something, and he was already prone to ranting about how Daniel was evil and trying to steal Bell.
‘It’s me’, yeah, bullshit. Well, it didn’t have to be a lie. Even a fake Bellwether would think he was Bell. Landon’s eyes searched Bellwether’s face. Spot barely even got up. The dog yawned widely and looked from Bell between Landon and back, probably lazily wondering about whether or not this meant it was either dinner-or play-time. Away from the- the ledge. Yeah, okay. Falling down the ledge wouldn’t be good no matter how he twisted the story.
Bell’s outstretched hand was ordinary. Just a plain old hand.
Landon blinked, trying to make sense of the torrent of thoughts coursing through his head and swallowed away the bile that threatened to come up.
He took Bellwether’s hand, if only to stand and hopefully have a better shot at not puking on himself.
“What girl?” Landon pitched. So many questions. Wait, it was dark. Did that mean it was too early -or too late- to be asking questions? Landon searched Bellwether’s face. Daniel. He’d called him Daniel. So they’d decided to sleep here, maybe?
And they’d met a girl?
Or did he mean the woman -Miss Hannah?
From the way he felt, Landon knew Daniel hadn’t touched a drop of alcohol lately. He wasn’t sure whether he was glad or fearful, knowing that.
“I’m not Daniel,” Landon managed to mutter.
“What happened? I feel like shit.”
Maybe the fought a goat or whatever. His ass felt fine, so they’d probably not done that. Not lately. How long had it been?
Landon realised he was still holding Bell, as if the man was a life-line, the only thing tethering him to reality. Despite feeling sick, he was thirsty. Landon licked his lips.
“Is there water?” Maybe it’d help make him feel better.
The metal rods that had chafed his hand and saved his life stood out against the grey like decaying extremities. Landon stepped a little closer to Bellwether, but wouldn’t look at the man’s face. As long as he held on to Bell’s arm, it’d be okay. There wouldn’t be anything odd happening to him. Landon focussed on his breathing, slowing it down, taking a few measured, even breaths.
He felt nervous for some reason.
Daniel scooted closer, laying his head in Bell's lap. Bedtime stories? "Don't know any good ones," he said, pushing Daniel's hair back out of habit. Surprisingly, it didn't take long for Daniel to fall asleep; he was out like a light, leaving Bell behind to hold him and watch.
Nothing much interesting happened. The last of the daylight faded away, leaving them in the dark; the moon rose, heavy and bright, bringing some of the day's light back to bear on them once more. He petted Daniel's hair and watched the shadows move slowly across the wall, supremely bored. He'd almost prefer it if the girl came back. It'd give him something to do.
Spot got up and pissed off the edge of the building; it was the highlight of his night. Made him wonder; what did the girl do about that? Climb down every time nature called? Seemed like a waste of effort. Well, even men would have to climb down to shit, or get inventive about it. Maybe it wasn't so different.
Daniel twitched , caught in some nightmare. "Shh, it's okay," Bell whispered, gently hushing him back to sleep. It'd be better if he didn't have to wake Daniel. The man got little enough sleep as it was.
In the end, the decision was taken out of his hands. Daniel jolted awake and fled, backing away--right towards the edge of the building! Bell jumped up, alarmed, but it was too late. Daniel's hand fell off the edge...
And caught ahold of one of the steel bracers. Bell heaved a sigh of relief, then stepped closer, slowly. It was more important now than ever to be non-threatening. "Daniel, it's me," he said quietly. He held out his hand, slowly, offering him help up. "Let's get you away from that ledge, okay?" Whose great idea had it been to sleep on the second floor, anyways? No way that could go wrong! He almost laughed, but it really wasn't funny.
"That girl hasn't come back," he offered, once Daniel was safe. "I'd feel stupid if we were being so vigilant for nothing." But it was better than being stabbed in their sleep, so he didn't complain.
“I’m okay,” Daniel muttered, more to convince himself than anyone else. Beans tasted fine to Bell, did they? Daniel dared a glance up and gave Bell an unimpressed look. The man would eat anything. Honestly, Daniel would too, if he had his usual appetite. Sleep first? Hah! As if he even could.
He wanted to though. Daniel gave a nod, “yeah, please.”
Maybe if he slept, the delusions would fade and he wouldn’t have to deal with that on top of everything else. Another yawn split his jaws. So much for not being tired.
Bell-boy looked normal now, away from the light. Normal and comfortable. Daniel laid down, depositing his head on Bell-boy’s lap. He languidly grinned up at the man.
“No bed-time stories?” he teased.
Bell-boy’s yawn was catching. Daniel got comfortable, facing Bell-boy’s stomach and closed his eyes. The floor wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t comfortable either. The wood was cool, and said cold soaked into his shoulder and side. It didn’t give either. Despite all of that, Daniel managed to doze off, sleeping lightly.
His hands trembled and twitched, nightmares lurked just around the corner. He was fighting. In his dreams he was back in the alley, being held up by one hand by some broad thug. He recognised this scene. These truckers had been their first kill -his first murder at least. The man who’d taken certain pleasure from breaking his fingers.
He’d deserved to die.
And then he’d killed Bell.
But it wasn’t the first murder, was it? Alice had been first.
Landon woke up, disoriented and feeling sick. He was lying on some hard surface and scurried back. This wasn’t home; where was his mom? Concrete. Everywhere he looked. Landon scrambled back further, half-crouched, half-standing and clumsier than expected. One of his hands found only air. He was only just able to hang on to one of the metal rods, preventing himself from falling off the concrete plateau. His breath was coming in quick pants, sweat pearled on his skin.
He felt sick to his stomach and frightened. Where was everyone? What was he doing here? Where was this? Wide eyes found a person, then a dog. There was no recognition in Landon’s eyes, until something finally clicked. Bell. Spot. Why were they here?
Bell glanced back, confused. Was he okay? "I'm fine," he said, then clued on and tilted his head at Daniel. "Are you okay?"
Daniel was shaky, but he wasn't actively freaking out, which Bell decided to take as okay. Though then again, he was better at hiding it than Landon. It didn't take Daniel long to decide that he'd had enough of whatever it was Bell had passed, and Bell took the can on. Oh, beans. That broke up the chain of mystery meat for Bell, which he kind of appreciated. What he didn't appreciate was how the can was almost full. He started to glare at Daniel, then reconsidered. At least Daniel was eating. And better he didn't eat enough and kept it down than ate enough and threw it up. "Taste fine to me," Bell replied.
Spot nosed at Bell for attention, and he bent over and petted the dog;when Spot still didn't let up, he looked around the room, then found the dog food and poured Spot a decent measure. As ever, the dog set into it as though he hadn't eaten in a week. Bell watched for a while, amused, then walked over and joined Daniel on the wood. "You wanna sleep first?" he offered. If Daniel was getting weird, he'd rather stay up to watch him--though it probably meant it'd be another sleepless night. He didn't know how many more of those he could take until he broke down. Maybe he could coax Spot out to take turns again. Wouldn't that be a dream. Spot never came out for responsibilities, though, only for fun. The ass.
Spot settled close with a huff, giving Bell a look as though to ask, "what next?" Bell petted him, silently shrugging. Couldn't hold a grudge against that cute face. He'd like it if tonight was quiet, if Daniel slept easily and the girl didn't appear, but he knew the chances of that happening were slim to none. Might as well make the most of this peace while they had it. "I'll wake you up in a little bit," he offered, yawning and sitting up straight so he couldn't fall asleep so easily. It was going to be a long night, he could already tell.
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