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"Well, it'll give him some nutrients," he said. It wouldn't be enough for long, but it'd keep him alive for a little longer than not feeding him. And diapers, huh? She had a point. They'd figure it out when they came to it, he figured. No point in worrying about things before they came to it.
Nothing funny, no. Just a dark train yard, the trains fading to nothing but empty shadows in the twilight. He shook his head. "No." But he couldn't shake the feeling of being followed. Even though there'd been no proof. Nothing but an unmarked white van, that could have been anything. Could have been nothing. He didn't know.
"I know," he said, slightly irritated by Cat's unnecessary explanation. Did she think he'd never had a dog before? Not to mention that Spot wasn't exactly a normal dog, leaving him even more likely to return home if left to his own devices. Unless Spot had been captured by the hunters. But that made no sense. He'd always been the fastest of them, always able to escape. If anyone would be able to safely escape the hunters, safely scout them out, it would be Spot.
"No, it's not..." he shook his head. What was he supposed to say? No point in scaring Cat when he wasn't even sure he'd seen the hunters. Could have just been any old white van, right? Right. But hell, when were things ever that easy in their life? He sighed and shook his head, not convinced that he should say it--but he knew he should. "I...I might have seen the hunters," he sighed, putting his head in his hands. "I'm not sure, but...we did bring the goat out, and we were carrying around the cure, and now Spot is gone." And Daniel wasn't here to help. He didn't know what to do. If the hunters attacked while it was just him and Cat, and they had to defend Daniel, too... it didn't seem like a winnable situation.
But then again, they had wiped out the base. Chances were these hunters were the remnants, if they were hunters at all. He nodded to himself and clenched his fist. A few idiot men, he could take on. If Spot wasn't just out exploring, after all.
Peanut butter? How was that going to help their situation? Cat tried to wheedle something from between her teeth and gave Bellwether a funny look.
"What good is peanut butter going to do?" Were they somehow going to keep Daniel alive with just that? It hadn't occurred to her that Daniel might be comatose for so long that he'd need a different kind of caring. Like how was the guy going to the toilet?
"And diapers," she said demurely.
Couldn't exactly ask a comatose person to keep his water and everything. Gross. Okay, she'd lost whatever appetite she had already. Cat still continued eating. Might be the last for a while, after all. Everything in her system was still going by what she'd learned from being out on the streets without anything to her name.
"I doubt we'd be able to keep him alive with just peanut butter, you know? Maybe for a day or two but after that...Bell?"
Cat watched as Bellwether peeked out of the car.
She put the can away and stood behind him, trying to see outside.
"You see anything funny?" Cat asked softly.
Spot wasn't anywhere in sight, but the dog seemed to be smart enough to hang around them for food most of the time, so Cat wasn't really concerned much.
"He'll be back, you know?" Cat soothed Bellwether. "Dogs have a way of, well, finding their way." She'd heard a dozen stories of dogs being abandoned and finding their way home again. Those animals knew by heart or whatever. Maybe it was a scent.
It'd be kind of cool to be an animal.
"Besides, I haven't fed him yet," she shrugged. A good old shake of the box and Spot would come running for sure.
"Why are you so nervous? I'm pretty sure they don't have a silent alarm -I mean, what nut-case is going to steal a train?" Cat started, pulling away from the door to venture back inside. Daniel was still there, in exactly the same position Bellwether left him.
Cat let herself fall back onto a seat and folded her arms behind her head. She was about ready to get some sleep. The quicker the day ended, the quicker they could go back to normal. Hopefully.
Bell nodded silently. "Weird" didn't cover half of how he felt about Daniel. Scared. Nervous. Lost. Helpless. He wanted Daniel back and he wanted Daniel to be okay, but he didn't know how to achieve either of those, other than to sit and wait. And sitting and waiting was the worst. Being so close, and yet so unable to do anything... it was killing him. "Yeah. The sooner the better," he confirmed. Even if Daniel woke up more nuts than before, or straight, or forgot Bell, or decided he hated them all, at least it would be decided. Bell would know where they stood, how Daniel felt, and it would all be okay. It was the anticipation that was killing him.
He ate his tuna quickly, then took a few swigs from a water bottle. He stood and walked over to Daniel, lifting the man's upper half to sit in the seat he was laying on and prop him half upright. From there, he fed Daniel some water from the bottle, gently, little swallows at a time until he was sure Daniel wouldn't get dehydrated. "We should get some peanut butter," he said. If this lasted too long, Daniel would start starving to death, no matter how much water Bell fed him. If he could mix some peanut butter in with the water, make it real thin, then he could get Daniel some protein as well. Or maybe lemon juice would be better. He remembered something about Ghandi drinking lemon juice and water, when he was on his hunger strikes--old memories from some old documentary he'd watched back in high school. There was something important about drinking lemon juice.
Or maybe Cat's hopes were correct, and he would wake up tomorrow, and everything would be fine, and the only thing different would be that he wasn't schizophrenic any more. Bell snorted. Sure. It was a nice wish, but the goats didn't work that way. There'd be some catch. Some gotcha to get them when they least expected it.
When he'd fed Daniel enough, he set the man back down and stood, stretching. Alright. Time for bed. Nothing else to do while they were waiting. Though speaking of bed... where had Spot run off to? He poked his head out the back of the train car to look.
"Don't they have these magnet-things?"
Cat watched Bellwether exert his strength on the door and after a few ominous creaks, they had a nice and cosy car to sleep in. She waited for Bell to carry Daniel inside, feeling it was wrong to just leave Daniel behind lying on the ground like that. Even if he wasn't going to notice.
The air in the car was stifling, which was to be expected after having sat in the sun all day, but there was fresh air coming inside through the opened door now.
She watched Bellwether settle Daniel for a second and turned away to explore when she felt it became awkward to watch. If she thought it'd been awkward to watch those two be intimate, this was worse.
There were several stalls that would be nice and secluded for sleeping. Spot trotted inside, gave the car an inspection, but then bounced back outside. Probably not done running quite yet.
Cat brought up the bag she was still holding and stared inside, plucking out several cans.
"Water, tuna, some kind of beans and uhm...yeah, that's it basically."
She was kind of glad Bellwether took the tuna, but uncertain about what she was left behind with. Cat took a seat opposite the aisle from where Bellwether had settled Daniel and started on her can.
"I hope he wakes up tomorrow -it's just weird, feels like he's there, but not, you know?" Cat said, sniffing at the contents of the can. She took a bite. Nothing too bad. A bit bland, but maybe that was a blessing, because in the darkness she couldn't quite distinguish what she was eating and the texture was a little funny.
Daniel wasn't exactly missing out on things. Maybe on water.
Even if he wasn't himself, it'd be better than a comatose or dead person sitting next to her in the truck.
Daniel lost all concept of time.
Sometimes the goatling was there, holding him, cradling him or hurting him. Either of those. Lenny was there at times as well, but his presence was always a soothing one rather than the ambiguity he got from the goatling.
Goats didn't do sympathy.
And sometimes, very rarely, Alice was there.
It felt like someone was organizing the chaos that were his thoughts, except the order that followed was doused in silence.
THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen
/ 5d 7h 31m 42s
Cat was in a talkative mood tonight. He snorted as she tripped over a bit of metal, but took note and paid a little more attention to his feet. If he tripped with Daniel on his back, he wasn't sure he'd be able to recover. "It's probably pretty heavy," he commented, glad for the distraction of conversation. Without her to talk to, his brain would just end up cycling back to wondering if Daniel was going to be okay over and over again. "You know. Takes a while to move around."
For all her complaints--or maybe because of them--Cat found them a nice little car soon enough. A passenger-car, huh? Be nicer if they had one of the overnight cars just lying around, then he'd have a bed to lie down on. But then again, this was his choice, so he couldn't complain too much. They could've gone to a hotel.
Cat tried the button, which was pretty stupid. Did she think it was just going to open up? Bell snorted and shook his head, then set Daniel down again. "Might as well," he said. They'd be out here all night otherwise. He put both hands on the door handle and yanked. It creaked, metal squealing in protest as he stressed it, and he drew on more of the goat's strength, more, until it finally snapped and gave. He stumbled back from the built-up force before he caught himself, then froze, listening for an alarm. Nothing. Good. Not like they'd alarm the cars, anyways. No real point to it; no one was going to steal a train car.
"Right," he announced, to let Cat know that the door was open. In a few steps he'd retrieved Daniel, and he carried the man inside and laid him down on the chairs. He took a few moments to get Daniel settled, pushing his hair back and brushing off the dirt, making sure he was comfortable and could breathe, then turned to Cat.
"So what's for dinner?" he asked. Canned food, was the answer, but he still felt like asking. He moved over and took one of the cans she was holding at random, then squinted at the label. Tuna. Bell smirked a bit, sadly; Daniel always gave him so much shit about eating canned tuna. Well--it'd be fine. In a little bit, Daniel would wake up like nothing had happened, and everything would be okay. He sighed out, long and heavy. Yeah, he wished he could believe that.
Cat gave the fence a final kick before she did as Bellwether told her and stepped back. Where she'd had trouble even widening the gap, Bellwether simply Hulk on her and broke the wires that held the fences together.
If he wanted to, she would've been dead ten times over. Cat let that fact sink in and nodded. A nice looking car. It was easier to focus on what was right in front of her: shelter, food... the simpler things in life.
There wasn't much light to go by at this point. The stars and a waning moon was all they had apart from the distant street-lights. Cat stubbed her foot on some metal and cursed under her breath.
"This stuff's everywhere -why couldn't they just put it aside, like neat little persons?" she muttered out loud. Spot didn't care; as a dog, his eye-sight worked differently and he didn't have as much trouble navigating the area.
Cat believed he went off by scent only, if his sniffing-habits were anything to go by.
"How about this one?"
The car before her was painted an ugly green, some white letters printed on the side. Inside were benches and chairs, little cubicles of six and eight. Those would be comfortable to sleep in. And nice and secluded too.
Cat moved around the car to find the door, then tried the button.
Of course, it didn't do anything. The train wasn't running. However that worked. How were trains powered anyway? Electricity? Gas?
Maybe it was like an oversized car.
"How are we going to open the doors? You going to do that thing again where you...you know?" Cat flexed her muscles, pretending to be Bellwether when he was being stupidly strong and breaking fences with his bare hands.
Maybe there was an emergency lever somewhere that would open the door.
Cat relaxed her pose and felt along the sides of the door. Nothing, aside from the button. That didn't deter Cat however, and she explored along the side of the car. Might be one of the doors was already opened. How else would people get inside?
Maybe there was a trick. A special door, only people privy to some minor detail could open with ease.
When had things ever been that easy though?
THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen
/ 5d 21h 20m 25s
Good with fences, huh? Bell grunted. He was when he wasn't carrying another man on his back. "Should've bought some bolt cutters," he grumbled, mostly to himself. Bolt cutters were handy little tools. He'd had one, once, but somewhere along the line it'd vanished, as must of his belongings did.
Spot had found a way in, Cat was right. He watched the mutt explore, dashing in and out of sight around piles of materials and train repair bits. "Thank goodness," he replied. If the fence had been powered, he would've had to drive more, and he was not up for that. He shook his head to himself and kept going, keeping an eye out for a break or a hole in the fence big enough for him and Daniel, instead of just Spot.
How long until Daniel woke up? He shrugged. "It was three days, to take the goatling in," he said. "But other than that, I know as much as you do." Or maybe even less. The goat didn't talk to him, after all.
Cat found a gap in the fence before he did, and did her best to open it for him. He smirked a little to himself; it was kind of cute, watching her try so hard. But it was probably for the best if they disappeared before the hunter came back around. "Step back," he warned her, then knelt and laid Daniel out to free up his hands for the moment. It was hard to take, seeing Daniel lay there so lifelessly, so he turned away. One hand went to either side of the fence, and he braced himself, then drew on the goat's strength and pulled. The fence separated, what wires had held it together giving away with pings. He pulled until it was wide enough to step through, then let go and picked up Daniel to carry him through.
"Alright, we're inside," he announced, glancing down as Spot came running up to greet him with a sniff, same as he'd greeted Cat, then ran off again, dashing through the field of trains. Bell smirked; at least one of them was having a good time. Honestly, they should "camp out" more often, for Spot's sake. He didn't get to run around like this in the hotels.
"Well, let me know if you find a cozy car," he told Cat, looking around for one himself. Passenger would be best, but, well, he knew what they said about beggars better than most.
It was weird, in a way. Somehow Cat still believed Daniel would just wake up from falling, but he didn't. Not even a twitch or a sound. Spot was eager to get out. The dog danced around her for a circle and then sniffed the ground in search of a nice bush or tree to water. Cat nodded, a little shy around just Bellwether, but dug through their things to grab something to eat and drink for all of them.
"I hope you're good with fences," Cat said demurely.
The station looked like it was fenced off properly, but there were several stationary wagons that looked fairly comfortable. They'd retain the heat from the day, so they wouldn't get too cold tonight.
Looked like they weren't the only ones trying to get in though. Spot had already found a hole to crawl through. It'd be large enough to fit her, but Bellwether was larger than her -never mind that Daniel was unconscious and dragging around a dead-weight wasn't fun.
"Looks like Spot already found a way in," Cat said, just to make things a little less awkward between them.
"Doesn't look like the fences are powered then," she suggested evenly.
Could just try to make their way through. Cat ran her fingers by the fence as they walked, watching the brown and white stain of a dog explore the other side.
"How long do you think till Daniel wakes up?" Cat looked at Bellwether, just to see how he would react. She had no idea whether this was normal. Had Daniel been through something like this when he was infected by a goat?
Maybe this wasn't the first time the goat had given them a bauble like that.
Sure didn't seem to surprise Daniel or Bellwether any, really. They'd readily believed her about what it'd do too.
Her fingers hitched. Cat paused.
"This fence seems loose," she called out and pushed it. Yeah, it wasn't attached as well on one side. If they pushed it further, they could slip between where the fences failed to meet. Cat gave it a good shove, then wheedled her way through, her clothes protecting her from getting plucked at by the metal wires.
Spot gave her feet a sniff and then went on his exploration.
Cat pulled at the fence from her side, creating a little more space, though she was obviously lacking the strength to make a big enough gap for Bellwether and Daniel together.
"Ugh, stupid. Fence."
Cat hadn't noticed. Well--of course not. Her parents had been killed by hunters, but who said she'd seen their vans? Or had made the connection between the van and the hunters? Or had noticed this van at all? And it might just be him being nuts. He knew that was a possibility. He was on high alert with Daniel knocked out like that, and it was already starting to get to him--obviously. Since he was so freaked out from the van.
They drove on. Driving was seriously wearing on him as well. He'd never liked it, and now he had to drive for hours alone with no one to keep him company. He blinked and rubbed his eyes, then had to quickly correct the car back into the proper lane. Shit. He really needed to park. Like, now.
A station? He looked around and at last located it. Station sounded good enough for him. Spot whined, mirroring how he felt about driving. "Alright, let's go," he decided. A little more driving and he found a public lot and parked the car. Finally. He climbed out and stretched, getting all the kinks out of his body. Damn, but he hated driving.
And now he had to carry Daniel. He looked in the backseat and sighed. This was why they always bunkered down, wasn't it? It was going to be fun. Except not at all. At least he could carry Daniel. He cracked his neck and opened the rear door. Spot leaped out, and then there was only Daniel, sitting limply in the backseat.
"Hey there," he said quietly. It was stupid to greet Daniel, but he couldn't help it. He pushed Daniel's hair out of his eyes and smiled sadly, then unbuckled the seatbelt. Daniel all but slid out of the carseat on account of gravity, and Bell only just caught him. Princess style was fun, but it didn't work for distances; he set Daniel back in the chair and backed up into him, getting the man into an easier piggyback hold.
"Cat, grab us some food and water--and the dog food," he added, kicking the door shut. It was a little walk to the station from here, but not too far. Hopefully he wouldn't have to climb anything; with Daniel unconscious, he wasn't sure that'd work too well.
It was getting late. And dark. Just how long was Bellwether going to drive them around for? In the light of day, sitting next to a comatose person wasn't that bad, but in the dusky hues of encroaching night, it got kind of creepy.
Cat yawned widely just as Bellwether said something for the first time in what felt like forever.
"Why not hotels? I mean, he probably won't notice, but we will," she argued. Beds and hotels were so much better than hard floors and concrete walls and not-working plumbing.
A shrug had Cat looking out the window for something good, but the buildings they passed were most all occupied, or dark, ominous buildings that looked locked down tight. Not that that'd ever been a problem for these guys, huh?
Something about the locks and fences yielded to whatever power they had. It was kind of scary, but also pretty convenient. It meant there were more places viable for their habitation.
Company offices and factories would be guarded. Houses were a risk, because neighbours were always watching. Stored opened early and there were fewer facilities. Most of them had security alarms as well.
"Oh, over there, that way," Cat pointed out.
"That looks like a station, I mean, there'll probably be fences but no one's really going to steal a train so it's usually not guarded well. And we can sleep in a wagon," she tried. There was almost something romantic about it, but most people-trains had toilets at least. Or places to sit on to go about business. Maybe they could get into one of the large hangars and hang out there for a night.
"You'd probably have to carry Daniel though -he hasn't moved an inch," Cat said sourly. She'd hoped, against hopes, that Daniel's guess of only being out for a couple of hours would be correct. Of course it wasn't.
Cat edged a hand towards Daniel's arm. Still warm. Not a corpse. Still breathing too. Just. Mentally on vacation.
Spot whined. The dog was done with driving. He was hungry and thirsty. The sight of buildings and people made the mutt eager to get out.
"Soon, boy," Cat promised Spot.
He drove. What else could he do? Daniel was slumped over in the back seat, unresponsive, and there was nothing on earth Bell could do to help or make him feel better. So he drove. On and on, until the sunlight started to dim and he had to switch the headlights on; until the road that flickered by started to become stripes of black and white, his head decomposing the shapes until they were meaningless. He blinked and shook his head, then looked around. They'd have to find somewhere to stay the night. At the next exit, he pulled off.
A white van pulled off behind him.
Bell's heart leaped. He stared in the rearview mirror, trying to pierce the windshield of the van and search out the driver's face. Nothing. It was too dark. Probably just a plumber. A work van. Nothing to worry about. It was just a coincidence.
Sure, a coincidence a day after he brought out the goat, while Daniel was actively under the influence of the cure. Sure.
He turned at the light. The van went straight. Bell watched it in his mirrors as it vanished, until he couldn't see it anymore. The sides were white, too. No advertisements. Could still be a work van. Or a personal van. Could be. It wasn't following him, but... but maybe that was just because they didn't know what his car looked like. Because they hadn't planted a tracker on them this time, and were just using...whatever the goat-thing was that allowed them to find goats. His hands tightened on the wheel, and he swallowed, trying to force the fears away. And maybe it was just an ordinary van. Had nothing at all to do with him.
No hotels for tonight, though. He'd been ambushed too many times. "Cat, keep an eye out for places," he called, trying to sound calm. He met her eyes in the rearview and had to look away, not sure he could keep the fear from his expression. "Not hotels, though. You know. Places."
Or maybe they should stay in the car. What, and drive all night? It wasn't an option. Cat--well, she had driven the one time. But he wasn't given to believing that she was an excellent driver. Wherever they went, he was going to hide them all away, them and the car, and keep an eye out for hunters. It was probably nothing. But the hunters had bit them in the ass too many times for him to dismiss it entirely.
He was in pain. Cat winced sympathetically, but as soon as she tried to suggest he spit the thing back out, Daniel just sagged and went limp. Bellwether didn't seem overly stressed by that, though his snapping at Spot betrayed even Bell wasn't comfortable with what they'd just witnessed. Cat was almost scared to sit next to Daniel, but taking the once-bloodied chair was just as bad, if not worse.
"Right," she said, nodding at Bellwether.
Didn't seem like anything was going to happen. At least Daniel wasn't in any pain any more.
Daniel woke up to find himself sprawled out across a beach. It was hot. The sun beat down relentlessly.
"You shouldn't stay in the sun for so long," Lily offered. She was sitting underneath a palm-tree, in the shade. Daniel furrowed his brow and sat up, looking at the woman. When she caught him staring, Lily smiled.
Right. Shouldn't sit in the sun.
Daniel got up and moved to sit with Lily but the world did an askew-thing where everything just tilted sideways and he fell. She didn't react.
Just watched him.
Like he was some kind of research-subject. All that lacked were her taking notes. Felt a little bit like the goatling.
"What're you looking at?" Daniel called it out.
"You, who else would I look at, Daniel?"
His perfect memories of his time with her were too sharp to pass up on, huh? As if caught by that thought, Lily's skin buckled and boiled, revealing black, leathery skin. Long, slender legs and arms lifted the body up, a head dangling from a half-formed neck. Some of Lily's hair was still dangling from the scalp, but it soon fell in messy chunks, right into the sand.
Its face changed to that of Bellwether.
Perhaps the self would enjoy that image more?
"Don't screw with me," Daniel chastised. There was only one Bellwether. They'd already decided and no matter what, nothing was going to change that.
Daniel scrambled to get back up, but his head was still behaving funny. He managed to get on his knees, hands out to the side, trying to keep balanced. The goatling solved the issue by grabbing his head between its hands.
It hurt. Black fingers entered his eyes, his mouth, his body. They messed with his organs and head. He was powerless to retaliate.
Daniel agreed. Bell almost wished he hadn't. He didn't want Daniel to go. Even though he'd suggested it. Even though it was for the best. Daniel approached him, and he held Daniel tight. "It'll be okay," he promised. A lie. He had no idea if Daniel would be fine. If he'd even survive it. But he had to hope. They both had to hope. The goat wouldn't hurt Daniel, would it? But then, what did the goat think of as hurting? It didn't seem to consider there to be anything wrong with giving Daniel the goatling, and that wasn't exactly harmless.
They met eyes. "I--me too," Bell confessed. "I love you too. Every second."
Daniel swallowed it. One of his hands still gripped Bell for the longest moment, and then he pulled away, to the car. Cat hovered, and Bell hovered just as close, nervous. "How does it feel? Do you feel different?"
He bent over, cradling his head. A low, pained sound escaped Daniel, and it tore Bell's heart in half, fear pooling like ice in his stomach. Daniel was hurting. The cure was bad, it was going to destroy him, it was--
Daniel went silent, still curled up in the backseat but limp now, boneless. He was fine. It was just a goat cure. They always worked like this. Deep breath. No need to panic. Bell reached out, almost afraid to touch him, then maneuvered Daniel to sit up and strapped him in place with the seatbelt. Nothing they could do now but wait. And who knew how long that would take.
"Let's get moving," he said, still looking at Daniel. At last, he tore his eyes away and turned towards the front. "Spot, in," he called sharply. Now he had to drive like nothing was happening, like Daniel wasn't maybe dying in the backseat. He climbed into the driver's seat and gripped the steering wheel, readjusting his grip a few times before he finally breathed out and shook his head. Okay. He could do this. Daniel was fine.
"Let me know if anything happens," he said, making eye contact with Cat in the rearview mirror. Then he started the car and navigated it out towards the road. Time to move on.
Watching Cat jump was kind of funny. Spot however seemed to enjoy the water -what dog in their right mind wouldn't with this weather? Daniel watched them interact and turned off the hose.
They were done. The truck was cleaner than he'd ever had it.
The insides still needed to dry out more thoroughly, but the nice summer's day would tend to that without any additional effort on their side. Ready to go? Yeah, he was.
Daniel took a deep breath and took out the small, black sphere. In the palm of his hand, it felt weightless, without temperature, or that perfect warmth it had always been. A goat's skin. Felt like what a goat's skin felt like.
"Yeah," Daniel agreed. Nothing exciting.
He approached Bell-boy and hugged the man. "Fuck me, I'm nervous," he muttered in the intimacy of their embrace. Wished they could really fuck. That'd take the nerves away. Daniel looked at Bell-boy for a long moment, drinking it all in. Just in case this was the last time he'd ever see Bell-boy's face.
"I've no regrets," Daniel admitted. "I love every second of being with you." So what if that was sappy. As long as it got said.
Daniel brought up the bauble and steeled himself.
Just the size of a large pill. One of his hands was still clinging to Bell-boy when he swallowed it whole. It felt weird going down. As if it dissolved in his throat and then there were fluids, running down his throat. Felt cold, and then ordinary.
He probably ought to lie down for this or whatever, right?
Daniel turned to face the car, one hand on the door and sat down on the back-seat. Cat was hovering in the distance.
"Did you take it? What's going to happen next?"
No words would come. Daniel furrowed his brow, slightly frustrated, but there were no words. For a second his face betrayed his confusion and then pain. Hot, searing, blinding pain shot through his head. Like a thousand angry ants eating at the inside of his skull. Daniel leaned forward, cradling his head, trying with all his might to keep in the pained sound he knew escaped anyway.
And then everything faded out. Reality warped, changed, reshaped and ebbed away. There was no pain there at least. There was just nothing.
Oh--yeah, Daniel had a point. Rather than go with his original idea of just hosing the whole thing down, Bell followed Daniel's example in wetting a rag, though he wiped the inside of the windows down instead of the upholstery. By the time he was done with that, Daniel was already busily cleaning the inside of the car. It looked like the man had that under control, so instead, Bell turned his hose on the outside of the car, rinsing the dirt that had accumulated off. Some of the dirt washed away a little pinker than he expected, from where Daniel had dripped against the outside while Bell was putting him inside, but for the most part, it was fine. When Daniel rinsed out the floor mats he'd thrown in the back, Bell flushed out the truckbed, rinsing any blood that might've transferred away. A good deal of dirt came off as well, and when he was done, the truck bed had transformed from what he had assumed was a natural dust brown to red, streaked through with silver and rust where unseen previous loads had scraped the paint to the metal.
Going funny? Bell's head snapped around, but Daniel looked fine, smiling and everything. Couldn't be too bad, right? And tired--hell, he believed that. Anyone would be tired after healing that much.
Cat and Spot were lounging in the sun, the lazy asses. What, had they just watched while he and Daniel did all the work? He pointed the hose at them aggressively, and Cat jumped, but the stream didn't cross half the distance it'd need to in order to hit her. Spot got up and jumped at the water, but Bell twitched it away before the dog could reach it. They didn't need wet dog to be the next stench in their newly cleaned car. "Made you jump," he smirked at Cat, setting the hose down.
"We ready to go?" he asked, looking from one to another. He stretched, then nodded at Daniel. "Could take the cure now. All we're going to do is drive and sleep until tomorrow. Nothing exciting." The sooner Daniel took it, the sooner he'd be better. He didn't want to lose Daniel, but if they kept hesitating, it'd just make it harder. Better to do it right away, without thinking.
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