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Daniel sat there for a while, watching the closed door. Sometimes he was okay with Bell-boy going out by himself and sometimes he wasn't. Sometimes he felt like himself and sometimes Lenny's feelings would shimmer through. He slowly got up and browsed his choices: strawberry or vanilla. Seemed Bell had gone for the safer options. Bland, familiar tastes.
Daniel took up the strawberry and slowly shuffled his way back to the bed. It was more than a little frustrating that he wasn't even well enough to accompany Bell-boy for breakfast and stuff like that. It'd only been a few days since surgery. Maybe Bell-boy was right and he shouldn't push himself as much. It was easy to forget he'd had major surgery.
If the situation were any type of normal, they'd have most certainly kept him in the hospital for a good week, then home for recovery. Probably would be told to 'take it easy' for at least another two weeks.
And here he was trying to cram all that in two days.
Daniel sipped the shake and propped up some pillows before lying down on the bed. Better. Washing up had sapped his energy like no tomorrow. No surprise, given he was meant to survive on shakes alone.
Once his 'breakfast' was gone, Daniel closed his eyes. At first he deluded himself into thinking he was just resting, but soon his breathing slowed and deepened. He was mildly aware of his surroundings still, of the shuffling of feet outside his door, the voices of a couple down the hallway and an employee knocking on the door next to his room to bring around towels.
A knock came to their door as well.
Daniel figured they'd go away on their own accord eventually. He couldn't be bothered waking any further from his semi-wakeful state. And then the door opened. Daniel's eyes shot open, arms already trying to push himself up, but he wasn't fast enough. No weapons. No -didn't he have a knife?
A hand was pushed roughly against his mouth, the cool end of a barrel pressed against his temple.
"Nice and quiet, hmm?" a man threatened. "We're going to sit here and wait for your buddy to come back, nice and easy," he hissed.
Daniel wanted to fight back, but the man's grip was firm, he couldn't quite breathe enough and the fast-paced hitched breaths he did take flared up the pain in his gut. Fuck. Fuck, it hurt. So the hunter had had buddies after all.
He wasn't surprised when Daniel turned down his offer. Might not be a great idea to split up, but hell, if the hunters were waiting at the continental breakfast, they were already fucked. Better to spare Daniel the pain than worry about getting ambushed. And even if he did get ambushed, wouldn't it be better to be without the injured one at the moment? Then he'd be able to fight without protecting Daniel.
Bell shook his head at himself. He was being stupid. Who said he was going to run into any danger? It was just breakfast. He ran his hair back, nodded farewell, and stepped outside. He was overstressed, is what it really was. Thinking of all the worst possible situations without stopping to address how likely they were.
The door shut behind him, and he headed downstairs to the hotel lobby. The various other guests he passed on the way mostly ignored him. It was Daniel they'd been looking at lately, thanks to the bruises Bell had left on his neck. He winced guiltily. Yeah... but what could he do? He'd even gone to face her, but had it done anything? He didn't feel like he'd had a breakthrough. Just like everything was the same as ever, except he'd hurt Daniel for no reason--oh, and now sometimes Becky came out to say hi. As if they'd needed another split-personality.
Not that she was really a split personality. More like a leftover bit of trash that the goat hadn't remembered to throw away. Not that Becky was trash. She was his friend. But... yeah. He'd rather not share his body with her.
The breakfast was acceptable, for a hotel breakfast. Decent, even. The usual soggy eggs, burned bacon, and oatmeal that was surprisingly tasty. Everything tasted better than it should, thanks to him having not eaten yesterday. He filled up his plate two or three times before he finally felt satisfied, stomach full after yesterday's fast. The lady who refilled the bar gave him a funny look at the third plate, but he didn't care. Food was food, and he wasn't about to let some dumb hotel worker get in between him and the food.
Still, he ate quickly, and hurried back up to the room as soon as he was done. Didn't want Daniel to hurt himself without him there.
Sitting down on the floor was difficult. Daniel hated to admit he needed Bell-boy's aid in guiding him down. Once he was seated though, it wasn't as bad. Bell-boy was being gently, carefully washing and rinsing his hair. The tub was cold at his back, so was the floor. By the time Bell was done, Daniel felt more than ready to get back up. Just that, the actual 'getting up', was easier said than done.
He slowly shifted, working to fold his legs underneath him, so they could take the brunt of the weight. Between that and the tub's edge, the sink and his determination, Daniel finally managed to get up. He'd brought the towel up with him and half-heartedly dried off the parts that hadn't already air-dried. Daniel shuffled back into their hotel-room, sifting through the things Bell had brought in last night. Getting dressed was another challenge.
He wasn't even finished by the time Bell-boy stepped out of the shower. Still lacked a shirt and his hair wasn't even properly dry.
"What? No, of course not. I'd mind it more if you didn't get breakfast, you've been skipping too many meals as is," Daniel muttered. The hospital had catered to his needs, so he'd been feeling fine. The liquid meal-things seemed to work as well.
Daniel furrowed his brow, not sure whether he wanted that. It meant sitting at a table, facing food he wasn't allowed or even wanted to have at the moment, watching Bell-boy eat while he could be resting back up here.
"Nah, I'll just uhm...have breakfast here and get ready -it's...I'm not going to break any speed-records today, Bell-boy," Daniel excused himself.
He plucked at a shirt and sized it up; seemed his size. Not that Bell-boy differed that much in the top-department. Most of the length he had on Bell-boy was in his legs. Daniel pulled the fabric over his head and down. That way, he almost looked perfectly healthy -if it wasn't for the fading bruises around his neck.
They were starting to fall apart underneath his skin, going from the angry looking red they'd been a day after the fact to a lighter, more yellow colour.
Daniel breathed out after pulling a sweater over the shirt and tentatively sat down on the bed. He needed a break after all that. And maybe something to take the edge off the pain. Daniel gave the shakes Bell-boy bought a dead look. He ought to eat, keep his strength up and recover fast so Bell wouldn't have to face whatever came next alone.
Daniel pushed against him, reluctant to move, but slowly climbed his way up. Bell watched carefully, ready to jump up at any moment, but Daniel seemed to have it under control. He stood once Daniel was up and stretched, then grabbed a towel and put it on the floor just outside the bathtub. Hands on Daniel's shoulders, he gently guided Daniel to sit against the side of the bathtub, on the towel on the floor with his back against the tub and his head just above the edge of it. Once Daniel was positioned satisfactorily, he grabbed the shower head and knelt I'm the tub. The lukewarm water didn't feel so nice anymore, so he drained the tub before continuing.
The motions were simple, but that was why he went through them carefully; it was something he could do, a clear step to make things a little bit better. He wetted Daniel's hair and worked the water down to the roots with his hands, then went back over it with the hotel's shampoo. Then the showerhead again, to wash the shampoo out, and he was done. "Alright, there you go," he announced, patting Daniel's shoulder to let him know he was done.
He hadn't washed up earlier, so once Daniel was out, he turned the shower back on and soaped up quickly himself, giving everything a good scrub before he stepped out. Drying off and dressing he completed quickly, if mechanically, taking back the shirt he'd loaned Daniel yesterday as he finished up. Bell looked over at Daniel and nodded. "You mind if I go grab breakfast?" he asked, nodding downstairs. A place like this one ought to have a complimentary Continental breakfast, at the very least. "You can come with." He wasn't sure that Daniel would want to; it'd be tempting to eat something solid there, and he was pretty sure Daniel should still be on solids. It'd be lonely without him, though, and it might be a good idea to bring Daniel with him anyways, just in case the hunters tried an ambush. He glanced at Daniel, then started for the door, slightly unwilling to leave Daniel alone, but also extremely hungry.
What, had Bell-boy seriously considered staying at the hotel for another day? Daniel stared at the moist tiles, watching the droplets of water create tracks on the smooth porcelain. They couldn't afford to stay long anywhere, no matter how much he wanted or needed it. Being forced to stay at the hospital had already been a huge risk -it'd already been two days in a row. As if that wasn't long enough with hunters aware of their location and authorities breathing down their necks on who knew what offences had been logged under his name, under those finger-prints.
"Hmm, should," Daniel breathed. If Bell-boy kept quiet for a while longer, he might actually doze off. Something about the bathroom tiles seemed to suck up all ambient sound, so that it all turned quiet, even in his head.
Patting started him.
Wash that hair? Oh. His, right.
Daniel pressed his forehead against Bell-boy's jaw for a second, but then sighed and started to work his way into a sit so Bell-boy could get out from behind. Once he had, Daniel used his arms to lift himself and get his legs underneath his ass. That way, he wouldn't have to use his stomach muscles as much. Sadly, his gut protested pretty much any motion, so there was no escaping that.
Daniel stood slowly, one hand to the bandages, tall enough so he could put his ass on the edge of the tub. After a short spin, his feet hit the tiles and he was sat on the right side of the tub again. He felt a little weird.
Not bad. But tired of being tired already.
Standing was more difficult. Daniel grabbed Bell-boy's shoulder for balance and carefully stretched out. Once he stood, Daniel gave his body a second to catch up to it all. His heart thundered in his chest, but recovered reasonably quickly.
He gave Bell-boy a curt nod.
"Okay, let's finish this up -who knew taking a bath was this taxing?" Daniel complained softly. He wouldn't have expected to be able to do this much two days ago though, so he was definitely more himself today.
Despite Bell-boy's warning he not push himself, Daniel fully intended to. They couldn't afford weakness with the enemies they were facing.
Bell nodded, not that Daniel could see him. It was a nice thought, that their enemies were literally falling apart from within, barely able to get a cohesive thought out, much less form a serious attack force. But the hunters had surprised them before, and if there was still a goat out there, on the hunters' side, then there would probably still be hybrids that were fully functional. Unless it was vat goat who'd been the only one keeping the hybrids together. But even if the human hunters were the only ones left, they still posed a threat. He ran a hand over the back of his head. Learned that lesson the hard way, hadn't they? He didn't want to go back in the egg again.
"Yeah," Bell said, a little unwilling to acknowledge their weakness, but equally unable to deny it. All taking on a facility would do right now was get them both killed, and leave the hunters none the worse for wear.
He hummed at Daniel's reply. Sure, later. He could do later. He was comfy right now, anyways.
Take them off? He looked down at the firmly-wrapped bandages, uncertain. They'd have to be changed eventually, true, but he couldn't possibly do them up as well as the doctors had. It was too bad they hadn't been able to let Daniel stay in the hospital any longer. He really needed it, more than anything. "I don't know," he admitted. "Should probably leave them on for now, though."
He sighed deeply and ran his hair back, inadvertently wetting it a little. "I should, shouldn't I," he said. He hated driving, but... if they stuck around so close to the hospital... yeah, it wasn't really an option, was it? They had to hit the road, no questions asked.
Daniel's suggestion of beaches had him snort. That'd be nice. Sunshine, sand, the water stretching to the horizon... "Me too, me too," he agreed, then shook his head. "Don't push yourself. I can drive for now." He hated driving, but he wasn't about to make the unwell person drive just because he didn't like it.
For a while, he just sat there in silence, enjoying the intimacy and the quiet. Slowly, the water ran from hot to warm, and Bell sighed. They had to get up and get on with their day, didn't they? "Alright, let's get out and wash that hair," he suggested, patting Daniel to sit up. He'd pick the guy up if he couldn't get out of the tub on his own, but as it was, he was worried the gesture might injure Daniel more than help.
"Yeah...had a van and everything -think he might've just gotten desperate, knowing he was dying," he muttered in reply. It just being a single hunter would be good for them, so he wanted to believe that was the case. Daniel also knew it was naive. His thoughts were derailed by Bell-boy slipping in behind him. Arms pulled him back and Daniel sighed out, relaxing against Bell's firm body. This was nice.
He'd missed just being held, or the affection in general.
"Maybe that's why the hybrid gave a clue, got...got a thought through," Daniel mumbled, eyes closed. Despite the site of the injury staying dry, the heat did radiate upwards and into the sore points. It made him feel a lot better.
Temporary though. Daniel knew that once he got back out and walked into the cold, it'd all still hurt like a mother-fucker.
"Not as if we can take on another facility any time soon," Daniel whispered under his breath. He needed to heal up, at the very least, but he rather have the goatling back. His hair? What? Oh.
"I can just lean over the edge of the tub," he waved. "Later," Daniel pushed. He was comfortable and he planned to enjoy it a bit longer still. If he held himself up using the tub, head above it, Bell-boy could use the shower head to rinse and wet his hair. It wouldn't be particularly comfortable, but that way was probably easiest overall.
It'd be more comfortable than the sink or whatever.
"When do you think the bandages can come off?" he posed, feeling the firm straps. He could feel the stitches tug at whatever was underneath. Daniel suspected not having the bandages might actually be more comfortable, but they'd help his body maintain the pressure it needed to heal everything, didn't it?
Not as if they could apply bandages quite like this without the proper things.
Daniel didn't even know where to start.
"We driving today?" It'd be Bell-boy behind the wheel for all of it. There was no way he could comfortably sit and focus on the road, despite his mind being clear.
"Can't wait 'till it's beaches and ocean and sunshine," Daniel mused softly. "Just give me a few days, I'll be able to drive," he offered.
Nightmares. Both of them, really. At least he hadn't strangled Daniel tonight. He winced at the thought. That might straight-up murder Daniel right now, if he managed to jostle the man badly enough to pull his stitches out. He had to be careful. More careful than usual, even. Maybe he should get Daniel to tie him up again. But then, if Daniel had some medical emergency in the middle of the night, he wanted to have his hands available. No, it wasn't a good idea right now. He'd just have to do his best.
Acting on his own? Bell shrugged, then stood and started to undress. He'd taken care of most of washing Daniel, aside from his hair. Might as well join him. "I mean, probably, right?" he said. "Usually they act in groups of four, and he was just on his own, so it seems reasonable enough."
He stepped in and slid down carefully to sit behind Daniel, drawing him back to rest in his arms. This was nice. Being able to hold Daniel. Having a nice, warm body in his arms. The hybrid was falling apart? Good. He was glad. "Probably," he sighed. Stupid vat-goat. "Makes sense, right? Most of the goats didn't seem willing to donate their essence to make hybrids... like Sam's goat. So maybe it was... dominating the essence of those goats, and now that it's not, so the essence is just..." he gestured vaguely. Falling apart. "That'd be nice. If all the hybrids just died on their own."
But if a goat was telling him what to do... that meant there was at least one other facility. With any luck, it'd be a goat that was locked up unwillingly, and it'd help them tear the place down on their way out. "Hope it's not a cooperative goat," he muttered to himself. If it was on the hunter's side, that'd be a pain in the ass.
He reached to hold Daniel closer, then let his hands fall to the side. Couldn't hug Daniel right now; didn't want to jostle his wounds. "How're we going to wash your hair?" he asked, touching it gently. Couldn't exactly soak his whole body. Maybe they'd have to use the sink after all.
Just injured, right. Daniel kept his hands to the side, a dull expression on his face as he watched Bell-boy suds up his hands. There was something mesmerizing to simply watching Bell-boy move. When Bell's hands touched his legs, Daniel realized it'd been a while. The pain prevented an embarrassing situation where he didn't want one though. Not now. Not yet. For some reason, Daniel felt Bell's state of mind was more fragile than his physical health at the moment. The only reason Bell-boy kept it together might very well be because he needed to be able to rely on Bell to be stronger than him right then.
"Yeah, hmm...nightmares," Daniel excused his mid-night escapade. "Stupid drugs gave me nightmares," he muttered. The aspirin or Tylenol they'd have in the first aid kit weren't the same though. Not by far.
He couldn't help but lean in to Bell-boy's warm hands. The water felt nice, relaxing. This was definitely one of the perks of checking out early: personalized care. And baths.
Sponge baths from nurses weren't the same as being washed up by Bell.
"Don't think they made much sense. It's just the pain mixing in with whatever they had me on. It's...it's cleared now, I think," Daniel sighed out and plucking at the bandage wrapped around his arm. He'd untied some of it to get a scrap to help stem the bleeding of the IV-site, so it came loose easily.
The skin underneath was stained with disinfectant. It all looked fine. Maybe they'd taken out some scraps of bullet that were left behind. The thought that they'd taken pictures while he was out was rather daunting. So many things had just slipped him by unnoticed.
"You know...that hybrid? Think...do you think he acted alone?" Daniel posed, a bit drowsy because of the bath. He could sleep a little more. The tub was comfortable. Be better if Bell-boy was in there with him though.
"...because, I figure, I don't think he travelled very far -must've been close. This other goat's got to have a way to reach these hybrid-hunters to tell them where we're at," he theorized sluggishly.
"Think they're falling apart because Vat-goat's dead?" Daniel breathed. That sounded plausible. It wasn't as if these hybrids had an actual other entity living inside of them. More like they had bits of a single entity, that slowly got corrupted over time because it lacked a certain property the whole had. Sentience, maybe.
Whatever stabbed him had had plenty fucking will of mind though.
He snorted and shook his head. "No problem." Daniel didn't need to know what this was to him, how easy it was to imagine that Daniel was his captive, that he was so utterly in control that he had to do everything for Daniel. It was fine like this. By the time Daniel was better, he'd be over it, and he'd never have to know about it at all.
He glanced away to allow Daniel a measure of privacy while he undressed; didn't want to tempt himself too much right now. Still, he couldn't resist the urge to glance back once the shuffling had stopped and get a better look at the bandages. From here, they looked clean, sterile, not that it meant anything about what was underneath. His arm was bandaged, too; Bell frowned. He'd been shot there, too? How many shots had the hunter gotten off? Or wait... was that the really old injury, the arm wound Spot had taken care of? Hospitals were thorough.
Daniel settled into the water at last, displacing a little more of it than Bell had expected; luckily, the water didn't rise high enough to hit the bandage, even with that. He watched the steam rise off the shallow water and condense on the walls of the tub, little droplets that grew fatter and fatter until they finally gave in to gravity and rolled on down into the tub. Watching them, he wondered if that was what it was like, being a goat. The water left the tub, became steam, then droplets, but it was still water, all the way until it sunk back into the depths of the tub. The droplets "died," as droplets, but didn't stop existing as water, was that how the goats saw it? And if he replaced one droplet with an identical one... was there any difference?
"You're not out of shape, you're just injured," Bell replied, yawning as he sat up a little straighter. Now was not the time to doze off. He grabbed the soap and got to work on sudsing it up.
Mmm, sleep? "Kinda, I guess," he said with a shrug. "I mean, I slept. I dunno." Hadn't been good or bad. There'd been a weird dream or two, but he hadn't strangled Daniel, so that was a win in his books. He reached out and started to wash Daniel, starting with the bits that were below water, then grabbing a towel to dip in the tub and get his other half wet. "What about you? Got up in the middle of the night, yeah?" He'd asked what was up then, but he barely remembered the answer. He'd practicable been asleep himself.
"Either would be great," Daniel sighed out, eyes closed at Bell-boy's patting. A bath wouldn't be handy if the water was too high, but at least he wouldn't have to stand for the duration of the wash. Maybe he could get Bell-boy to do most of the washing. He caught Bell-boy's pale face, though temporary and saw the man pat his gut. Hunger?
There were shakes left, still. Daniel wondered why Bell-boy hadn't bought himself more food when he had the chance.
When Bell offered his hand, Daniel grabbed the arm and used it to carefully lever himself into a sitting position. Okay. Things were going to be slow today. Daniel took a few deep breaths and repeated his careful routine from last night: sitting, then getting up. Even his little shuffle was slow and tedious.
Standing felt good though. Like he was getting better, even though that might not be the case for a while. He leaned against the frame of the bathroom door and put a hand to where the pain culminated, as if trying to keep his intestines from falling out. Seemed like the doctors had done a good job stitching him back up though. As long as he took things slow and kept a low profile, Daniel was pretty sure everything would heal right back up.
'Thanks," he breathed at Bell.
The man was really taking good care of him.
"Don't know what I would've done without you," Daniel mumbled, watching Bell-boy watch him. Was he that interesting?
After a second's thought, Daniel slowly stripped out of his shirt, then kicked off his short and stood bare before Bell-boy. Bare except for the tight bandages around his stomach and arm. Actually, the latter was probably fine to take off. Maybe they'd just cleaned out the injury, nothing else.
There wasn't much water in the tub, but it was hot at least. Daniel put his feet in first, then carefully lowered himself down, hands tight on the tub's edges. He breathed out from the exertion once he was seated.
"Fuck...I'm out of shape," he chuckled. It was the pain, wearing him down. Daniel knew that. He also knew he couldn't afford to slow down too much, because it'd hamper his healing. That's what the painkillers were usually for. Maybe he'd take some when they were back in the car. Just to help him sleep a little better.
Not that they did.
"You get a good night's sleep?" Daniel posed. He hadn't noticed Bell shifting around much. He hadn't noticed much of anything. Daniel cupped some water and washed his face, then ran his wet fingers through his greasy hair.
For a while, he languished in the comfortable space between awake and asleep, body not quite willing to give in to the light of day and the urge to be up that came with it. Dreams filtered through his head, most of them empty shapes and meaningless scene. She never appeared again, and slowly, he forgot the dream, shards of it slipping away as his unconscious mind wandered.
He blinked awake. Someone was calling his name. Bell turned and looked at Daniel, to find the man looking at him. "What?" he asked. "Feel okay? Need anything?"
He felt a yawn coming, and stretched into it; his stomach gurgled as it was pulled taut, all of the hunger he'd neglected yesterday coming back with a vengeance this morning. When he settled back down, he smacked his lips thoughtfully, then looked at Daniel. The guy was greasy and stinky; even his gorgeous hair was stringy and wet-looking. Bell reached out and patted Daniel's head. "Want to try a shower? Or... maybe a bath would be better," he amended, looking at Daniel's gut. At the very least, they could stick his head in the sink and wash that hair; it desperately needed washing.
He climbed to his feet and stretched again, stomach more compliant with his wishes this time, though the same surge of hunger so intense it was almost nausea rushed through him. He patted his stomach. Maybe he shouldn't stretch until he ate something.
Bell offered a hand to Daniel, though wasn't sure if he'd take it; wouldn't it hurt more to be pulled upright with a stomach wound? He led the way to the bathroom, then let Daniel rest there while he fiddled with the knobs to get some water flowing. Bath made more sense, he decided. No way would they be able to keep that bandage dry in a shower.
While the tub filled what little they could let it fill, Bell watched Daniel. He still looked pale and drawn, his whole body saying, with its posture, that he was in pain. Oddly for an addict like him, he'd been refusing pain meds, so maybe it wasn't that bad; either way, Bell applauded the choice to stand strong, even if it hurt him to see Daniel in pain. At least he was trying, now. It was more than he'd really expected from Daniel.
The water level rose as high as they could afford for it to go, and Bell shut the water off. "Go ahead," he said, gesturing for Daniel to step in first. He'd stay outside and wash him from out there, so he could be more careful about keeping the bandage dry.
Daniel tentatively laid back down, trying to rest on his good side to change things up. It didn't make the pain less or worse, frankly, but he couldn't sleep either. For what felt like long hours, but were probably just several long and slow minutes, Daniel watched Bell-boy fall back asleep. The man's rhythmic breathing was a soothing presence.
Something to let him know he wasn't alone. Daniel couldn't help but surrender in the end as well. At first his sleep was interrupted quite often; a wrong move, a jostle of the blankets, a nightmarish image to wake him. But as night progressed and neared dawn, Daniel grew increasingly exhausted with that way of sleeping and the pain, so much so, his body caved and gave in.
He didn't even recall when the transition happened exactly.
All he knew was oblivion, up until the point where he started waking up because he'd slept off enough of the exhaustion to be able to handle the pain again. An involuntary groan escaped his lips, stifled into a pitiful whine. He didn't want to wake up or face the pain again. He'd been pretty damned comfortable just sleeping.
Daniel decided he did sleep better without drugs, even though the first half of the night had been one big mess. Maybe he could convince Bell-boy to leave late. He didn't want to open his eyes or move. For now, he was teetering on a precarious edge that threatened to tip him over into the agony of having a hole in his gut.
Somehow, pain was worse at night. Less adrenaline to fight the hurt.
Daniel took a couple of deep breaths to help him wake up, but it wasn't really helping. He was drowsy and still a bit hazy when he flicked his eyes open at the white ceiling of yet another hotel.
He wanted a hot shower to work out the kinks in his back. Or a hot bath. Or just be clean in general. As long as cleaning himself involved liberal amounts of hot, clean water.
"Bell?" Daniel started, shifting on the bed to face the man. Taking a piss was one thing, but a shower or a bath -if he wanted to keep the bandages dry, he'd need help.
Bell pushed up a bit in bed, watching as Daniel got out ever-so-slowly. "Want me to get the meds?" he asked. He really hadn't needed the man to admit to it; Daniel's every movement looked pained. And no surprise, really. He'd just been stabbed in the gut by a hybrid, of course he'd be in pain.
Nightmares, huh? He understood that readily enough. Daniel didn't ask him to go get the pain medication, so Bell sank back down in bed, still drowsy from having only just woken up. Still dark. Plenty of night left to go before dawn released them into daylight at last. He'd almost had a nightmare himself, hadn't he? He'd sensed it starting--well, not that it took a genius to sense that he'd been dreaming about her, and that never ended well.
Daniel shuffled back after a while. Bell yawned and watched him, more than a little worried. Daniel didn't look good at all. If a hunter came now, they'd probably both be screwed. After all, it didn't matter if he could fight the hunters off if all Daniel could manage in terms of escape was a slow shamble.
He hummed his acknowledgement, turning his face towards Daniel's palm when he touched his hair. There'd been no affection lately. It was partially his fault, and partially no one's fault, what with the hunter injuring Daniel, but he missed touching and hugging and just being together. Sure, they were together now, but he couldn't exactly cuddle when Daniel had a hole in his gut and got hurt from every little movement he made.
No point complaining about something he knew couldn't change. Bell shut his eyes again and curled up tighter, waiting for sleep to return. It'd been a long day. A long, unpleasant day.
She was waiting, in the darkness on the other side of his eyelids. She spoke, but somehow it came from a long way away. He couldn't understand it. Bell put a hand to his ear, asking her to speak louder, and suddenly she was right there, inches from his nose. "You're mine, now," she hissed, face a grimace of hated.
He bowed his head and looked away, then nodded. It was the only thing he could do. Her grimace turned to a delighted grin. She vanished, and he fell down, down, down, onto a stage that looked like reality and unfolded in every direction. He tried to move, but couldn't. Strings held him up, then moved him, tugging him this way and that like a puppet. Helpless to move homeless, he followed the strings back, up, up, until he saw her, in the sky, holding the strings. Then black broke through; pure black that swallowed her up, a surprised expression momentarily on her face before she vanished. The black dripped down the strings like blood along a piano wire, slowly coating the strings until it reached him, his limbs. Then it swallowed him up, slowly, absorbing one limb at a time until everything was black, and he could see no more.
Darkness. Sheets. Daniel slowly calmed down and as he did, the pain congregated into one spot. He slowly breathed out. It was worse than a few hours ago, when he'd fallen asleep. Worse, but not unmanageable. Just, pretty bad, all in all. Bell-boy's sleepy voice drifted over and Daniel shifted to look at the man. He hadn't really attempted any other position than his back for sleeping and it'd gotten pretty uncomfortable. That, and he needed to pee.
"Hmm, hurts," Daniel confessed.
It did hurt.
He wiped down his face.
"Just nightmares 's all," he said, just as drowsy as Bell-boy sounded. His voice still hadn't recovered from the bruises around his neck much, though it was slowly getting better. At least there was some improvement. His arm didn't bother him much any more either, in the grand scheme of things.
Daniel took a deep breath and shifted, carefully, to sit up. Once he had, he sat there for a moment, taking in the hotel-room. He'd barely noticed any of it last night, but the fog that'd held his mind hostage and undone its bounds while he slept.
"Just...got to pee," Daniel muttered, then slowly shifted his legs to dangle over the edge of the bed. His socks met the plush carpet. Nice and soft.
His gut screamed, but it wasn't as impressive as before. Just a steady ache, constantly there. It drifted in intensity, oozing in and out.
After a moment's quiet, Daniel slowly stood up, using whatever furniture was close enough for support as he waddled to the bathroom. Walking hurt more than before, but he felt more certain. More like his body was his own again -with all the pain and aches that came with that fact. The light was unwelcoming, so were the cold tiles.
Daniel made short work of his business, and gave his reflection a dead look in return. He looked limp and frail still, even if he felt stronger now than he had in a couple days. To spurn the mirror, Daniel splashed some water on his face and wiped his hair back. It improved nothing.
He flicked the light off on the way back, slowly making his way back to the bed.
"Sorry for waking you -go back to sleep," Daniel instructed, running a hand through Bell-boy's hair.
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