the black goat of a thousand young

/ By kaitoXi [+Watch]

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Bell bolted into the hospital, breathing heavy, arms pumping. "Slow down!" a nurse shouted. He barely slowed his pace, going from a run to a quick walk. First, Landon. He had to get Landon to safety. That was number one. He wasn't going to let the man be captured again. Once Landon was safe, he could move on to step two; capturing whoever Sarah was in the hospital for. Alphie, right? It had to be Alphie. She had a crush, and all.

Still, he peeked into the windows as he passed the rooms by, reading the nameplates for the first time ever. If he passed her room on the way to Landon, then what the hell? Might as well use whatever information he could get.

Alphie. Bell broke into a grin, peering into the window from afar so as not to alarm her. There she was. He memorized the room number and pushed off again. He could use that.

He pushed off again, rushing down the hallways. Landon's room loomed up. Bell whipped around the corner and found his worst fear: Sarah was already there, nearly on top of Landon, ready to whisk him away.

Bell moved up behind Sarah quietly, so she wouldn't see or hear him coming, and put this knife to her throat. "Get the hell away from him," he commanded. Empty threat. He wasn't going to piss the goatling off. Sarah didn't know that. She didn't know anything. "Don't scream, or you're dead--and Alphie is, too."

He looked at Landon, checking his body for any injuries, needle pricks, anything. Nothing. Nothing he could easily see, but who knew what that meant? The hunters could be nefarious. Their researchers, even more so.

"Landon, we need to go," he said urgently. He scooted Sarah around with one hand, then reached down with the other to undo Daniel's restraints. Once the one around his good arm was undone, he should be able to undo the rest. "The hunters are coming. Can you walk?"

There was no time. They'd gone from all the time in the world to no time at all. "C'mon. I'll carry you if I have to, but we've got to get out of here." If the hunters came now, it'd be game over for sure.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 5d 19h 45m 28s
Shit. It was him. Her eyes went wide open, fear coursed like a bolt through her body and still, still she Sarah's foot was still heavy on the brake as she watched the man drive off, fast. Was he following them? No, but why? Why run? No, he'd been here for a reason. Someone was in this hospital he cared about. Alphie? Hate was caring too, in a way. Alphie had been right about wanting to escape. Leave together. Hah.

A car behind her tooted their horn and Sarah forced herself out of the stiff situation she'd been in. In a hurry suddenly, she parked her car and brought out her phone.
The base. Were they well-equipped to deal with Bellwether? Even if they weren't, however, they would be able to get Alphie out and into another hospital at the very least. And what if he wasn't there for Alphie, but for Daniel?

It didn't matter. First things first, Alphie needed to be transferred.
She started to place the call, even as she got out of the car and rushed into the hospital's building. Bellwether had driven off, but he might sneak back in.
"Hello? I spotted the originator's shell on the road near the hospital. I'd like to request backup; we need to move several of our researchers," Sarah started. She quickened her pace and stormed into the hospital.

What car had it been?
Sarah paused. "A station," she muttered finally. She'd been startled and hadn't paid attention to the finer details. "A grey one," Sarah added.
So nondescript, it could've been anyone's mom's vehicle. Maybe that'd been the general idea.
"Thanks," she finished the call and stalked into Alphie's room. Nothing amiss. So far. For a second she dawdled, then she tore out again and started to go room by room. If there was someone he was staying here for, she'd find out.

Someone entered the room. Landon looked up, drowsy and out of it. A woman this time. Not a nurse. She seemed scared, eyes wide open, but then relaxed. A sheen covered her eyes. Landon smiled. So this was the goatling Bell was on about. It'd somehow gotten a nice shell for itself back at the facility.
The woman stepped closer, until she was at the side of the bed. Black covered her eyes. Landon reached out with his free hand. It felt nostalgic. It felt right to be there with it. As if he was whole again.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 6d 5h 22m 42s
It took a few hours to admit to himself that not only did he not know the address, but Daniel had gone there alone so that he wouldn't be able to tell where it was. A few more hours were spent aimlessly wandering the streets, hoping he'd find the exact sketchy pharmacy where Daniel had gotten beat up. Another hour was spent contemplating that the pharmacy was known by Sarah, and probably not a great place to go with the hunters' nest well and truly kicked. Somewhat reluctantly, he popped into a random pharmacy in the ghetto in hopes it'd be the one. No luck, but plenty of drugs. He used Daniel's card to pay, and no one looked too hard at his script.

He spent the night in a random parking lot. Figured he shouldn't spend too long at the hospital and risk giving away Landon's location. When he came back in the morning, he was ready to steal Landon away. Time to get the hell out of dodge.

As he headed in to the parking lot, he passed a familiar face heading out. Sarah. They locked eyes. Hers went wide, as wide as his felt. She hit the break. Bell hit the gas, speeding into the lot. It was a big lot. He could park, grab Landon, and be gone before she did anything.

She knew what his car looked like.

Shit! Fuck. Should've figured. It was a goddamn hospital, where else were they going to take the injured hunters? Bell breezed out the other side of the lot and down the road. An obscured lot behind an old strip mall beckoned. He slid the car in and hopped out.

Sarah had seen him. Time was of the essence. Bell ran for the hospital, ducking away from the main roads. He was already plotting the route in his head. In the front door, swing by Landon's room, out the back. Could Landon run? Could he carry Landon that far? Shit. Had to. He didn't have another option. Sarah had seen him. He wasn't going to give them Landon again.

Wait. No. Sarah was in the hospital for a reason. Someone she loved was probably in there, right? He grinned, fear slowly unwinding. He could take ahold of her weakness, too.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 6d 12h 59m 55s
Of course things never panned out the way he wanted them to. Landon struggled and thrashed, but other than stabs of pain, he wasn't doing anything much. The restraints were on too tight.
"Just let me go!" Landon shouted.
"I didn't want to see it! I just want to get out, please let me out," he pleaded with whomever was willing to listen and then things turned white. Cold fluids were pumped into his arm's vein and things calmed after that. Until they were almost serene.
Hours passed.

Morning came and went. Breakfast happened somewhere in between, so did lunch. He ate, but he wasn't extremely aware. The cocktail of drugs they had him made him deaf to most input. People were talking to him. Landon redirected his eyes, but nothing of what they said made sense or clung to memory. Questions were asked. The words faded into nothingness, into white.

It wasn't until noon that the effects wore off to some extent and he started to register things. Landon bent his wrist and tried to undo the restraints with his fingers. So what if he'd had a bad night? He was fine now. Sort of fine.
He wanted out. He wanted to be treated as a person and just walk out on the streets. Landon couldn't get it. Not even his free arm would cooperate. He tried reaching over, but flinched. He couldn't make that angle with that arm. Landon sagged back into the pillows, clammy and stressed because of the pain. The painkillers were nice and everything, but they didn't exactly do anything for the clarity of his mind no more.

A doctor this time. The restraint came off. He was too numb to act on it. The man inspected the arm, made him test the range of motion and palpated his ribs. It hurt. He was given more pills. Time drowned in a sink-hole after that. Landon didn't catch what was being said. It went straight over his head. Even when he had several expectant eyes on him to help make decisions for his own benefit, he couldn't find the energy to participate.

He was just a sock-puppet anyway. A stand-in for Daniel. Something to toss up when things got bad and normal had to be dealt with. Usually Daniel took the pain however. Landon wondered what had changed. It wasn't as if he hadn't dealt with pain before. Maybe he just hadn't been pushed beyond that threshold yet.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 6d 14h 35m 2s
Eventually, the pain passed. Bell caught his breath and wiped down his face, then stopped and made a face, disgusted at the amount of sweat he'd wiped off. Someone was grunting in the stall next to him, going through the labor pains of delivering a particularly awful shit. The scent filtered through the pain at last. Bell almost puked as the first wave of it hit him. Shit plus enough pain to make him nauseous was a horrible combo. He yanked his shirt up and bolted out the door before it could gas him out.

Alright. So then. He looked at the crumpled bit of paper in his hand. He'd have to copy this to a more realistic looking pad of paper, something official, then forge a signature. And hell, he was in a hospital now. Couldn't have a better place to find some official-looking doctory paper.

He wandered the halls, looking for unattended paper. An alarm down one hallway beckoned him, and he casually dropped by to find the nurse's station abandoned. With a quick glance left and right, he slid in behind the desk. Prescription paper. What did scripts look like, usually? A kind of form, right? He ducked below the top of the desk to go through the drawers. The nurse's station should have some, right? Somewhere?

Score! A pad of neat little forms, half used. He took the whole thing, plus a pen. There were a few miscellaneous papers spread around the desk. A little poking and prodding, and he found what he was looking for: a name with "Dr." attached to the front. Man. Bell's grin spread. Today was his lucky day.

"Sir? Can I help you?" a woman asked from down the hallway. Bell glanced up to find a nurse hurrying in his direction.

"Uh, just looking for a pen," he said with a smile, holding one up. "Thanks."

"Sir, you can't be behind the desk," she continued, annoyed at him.

"Right, right, I'm sorry," Bell said. He slid out from behind the desk and headed out towards the stairs. And now, for a clean getaway!

It wasn't much of a getaway. Out the front door and into the cool early-autumn. Bell checked the words on the scrap of paper as he hurried to the car. On to the pharmacy. He knew a place that wouldn't question a sketchy script like this. Daniel had gotten beaten up last time, but he wasn't Bell. He grinned, a dark glint in his eye. He'd get his payback after all.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 6d 16h 8m 47s
There was something off about the way Bellwether left. If the man hadn't said he'd drop buy the next day, Landon might've gone through the effort of following him. As it was, Landon admitted defeat and called out the nurse. She didn't take very long. Upon seeing one of his restraints was loose, she raised an eyebrow. Nothing was said.
"Is everything alright, mister Learner?"
He wanted to correct her. To tell her to at least call him by his first name, but Bell had made him out to be Daniel and he wasn't ready for that either.
"Not really, I-" How did you even go about asking for painkillers?
Landon shifted and let his facial expression do the work for him. She flipped over his chart and checked something off, then offered him some pills. He smiled at her, grateful for the ease with which she understood.
"Thank you," he breathed and tried to relax.
Soon the pills started to kick in. The pills and the delusions.

The restraint came back on, he was aware of that much. He was aware and even appreciative of its presence. Something to hold him down, to keep him steady. He needed that restraint more than ever.
At times he was back out on the street, killing goats.
He recalled breaking a fence with just the power of his thoughts -no, the goatling. Landon couldn't tell whether these were memories or nightmares. There was the gruesome memory of putting Bellwether's internal organs back into place, mending them.
Landon lost himself in the intricate memories of reality and how it was made up in a way he couldn't ever hope to comprehend. Everything was connected, the tiniest animal, plant, human, atom. Everything had a pattern.

He woke in the middle of the night, more aware than he'd been up until then. Landon tried the restraints but they were firmly in place.
Where was he? Where had Bell gone? Why was he here?
Landon pressed the call-button, tried every single one of them. At long last, a nurse came in.
"You have to undo these, quick," Landon tried, urgency in his voice. "I need to make sure he's okay."

The nurse smiled. "Who is that, Daniel?"

That name.
"I'm not Daniel!" Landon growled. "My name is Landon. Let me out already," he pushed.

"I'm afraid I can't do that, Landon," she said. At least she listened. "You're not well enough to visit anyone, but maybe they can come visit you?"

"No, no, he's not okay," Landon said, firmly and surely.

The nurse hesitated.
"Just hold on for a second, let me talk to my supervisor," she said with a maternal pat to his arm. She needed to know if he could have another dose of sedatives.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 6d 16h 39m 21s
Bell nodded. "Yeah, she's..." He gestured vaguely. It'd be way too complicated to explain to Daniel, so he just let it be.

Landon pulled a weird face at the news he'd contacted his parents. "I was surprised too," Bell agreed, guessing that the face meant. "We had a house for a little while, so he called your mom and got her to send the prescription over." Honestly, the most surprising part of it, to him, had been that Daniel's mom had sent it anyways, despite being out of contact with him for forever. His mother wouldn't have--[i not that I have a mother,] he interjected to his own thoughts, then sighed.

If he got that concerned with Bell breaking into places, he'd probably go nuts if he knew what Bell had been up to the last few days with the hunters. Bell bit his tongue and nodded. "Yeah, yeah," he agreed. It was a last resort anyways. Jeez, was it really that surprising Daniel had called their parents?

He ventured around to the chart, pulled out a piece of scrap and started talking notes. It actually wasn't too complicated, what Daniel was on. Some painkillers, then that one drug Sarah had mentioned. "What's true?" Bell asked, half-listening. Damn chilly in here. He wiped his forehead with the back of his hand.

"Well, you know, it's like a baby, yeah? And when mommy's carried the baby for nine months, it's all grown and needs to come out," he recited in a sing song voice. Then, more seriously, he continued. "Except this baby was going to eat you if we didn't get it out in time." There really hadn't been a choice.

"Huh? Yeah, right," Bell said. Chills crawled down his spine; he felt himself paling. It was as good as excuse as any. He hurried to the door,. At the door frame, he paused and looked back. "Hey, I'll get these filled and--be back tomorrow to check on ya, 'kay?"

With a last wave, he vanished. Down the hallway. Pain was already blossoming behind his sternum, squeezing his whole body tight with the first twinges. Needed somewhere--he needed--

Bathroom! Bell ducked inside and staggered to a stall just in time. He collapsed onto the toilet seat and just breathed, eyes closed, waiting for the pain to shudder through him.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 6d 19h 20m 43s
Prescriptions? Did they ever keep them anywhere while in the hospital? Sure, they got filled at the pharmacy, but that completely went over a patients' head, didn't it?
"Think my chart's got what they give me on it," Landon ventured, motioning at the clip-board at the end of the bed with his good hand. He wasn't with it enough to figure out how American hospitals worked. Surely if Bell could get his hands on a doctors' pad, he could write down what he was taking right now, forge some type of signature matching his doctor's name and get away with it.
He had to be on the medicine, he knew that. Still, that didn't mean he'd have to like it. Landon nodded. No facility then. If he was fine enough to be transferred, he'd be good enough to go back on the road with Bell. Landon shifted, winced and decided they might as well steal some painkillers then too, unless Bell thought that made him an addict again.
He was really in pain though.
Broken and bruised bones were no joke.

"Sarah?" Mom? Landon furrowed his brow and gave Bellwether a weird look. "Daniel called mom?" It must've been a real concern then.
"No, breaking in doesn't-" Landon wiped his face down. "Don't break in anywhere, I'd rather get my mother on the line to get us it, if need be. Daniel called mom?" he asked again, disbelief blossoming across his face.
No, not Daniel. Someone who was both Daniel and him at the same time. That fact only served to frustrate the lack of memories more. Was he less than Daniel in this new divide?
"I guess it's true then," Landon breathed. He really had been a 'good' version of himself with the goatling there inside of him.

"Why did it need to go?" he asked. It'd have been better if he could've lived his life as a stable individual, wouldn't it? He was running out of steam.
Landon rested back and closed his eyes. Months of his life were gone, he was mentally unstable, the hunters were after them again and he didn't even know how to start reconnecting to Bellwether, who had thought him dead. The pain was getting to him.
"I'm going to call a nurse, you want to make yourself invisible before I do," Landon admitted. He just wanted to sleep it all off, wanted to feel normal again. Or as normal as he could be, with his condition.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 7d 3h 36m 40s
Bell shook his head. "It's not your fault. It's fine." If anything, it was his fault. He should be the one apologizing. For letting the goatling be an option. For letting Daniel hurt himself badly enough there was no other option, for breaking him out before the goatling and putting everything at risk. He'd messed up so much recently. It felt like everything he did went wrong.

Landon had just woken up. It should be a joyous occasion. But here they were, Bell already worn down and desperate, Landon locked up in a hospital bed. Typical. Somehow, it was typical. Every time they should've been celebrating, they ended up hurt instead. Daniel had dreamed about a beach, hadn't he? He wished he could've made it a reality. But how?

Somehow, Landon's apology stung. For a second, he was back at the road, watching Landon get thrown through the air. He remembered the blood turning blond hair pink, the gore spilling from his wounds, the intense weight of the guilt that had sunk deep into his heart--that this was somehow his fault, that dying was better than being with him. That everyone left him in the end, that there was a common denominator in his failings. He swallowed and looked down. "Yeah, let's... let's not do that again," Bell said. He squeezed Landon's hand and let out a thin laugh, then met his eyes again.

"You think so? Hey, you know where they keep the prescriptions or whatever? The listing of what they're giving you? If I can nick that, we can forge a real one." A goal. Something to divert his energy to. He felt balled up inside. Tense. He wanted to do something to take a concrete step to help Landon. "I don't wanna break you out of a facility again, so we should get you out of here before then."

"It's really just a matter of getting the pills. Argh, we had a prescription, but that Sarah bitch stole it," Bell complained. "You think you could call your mom and get her to send another one? Or I could track her down and break into her house." Bell sighed. Nothing was ever easy.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 7d 16h 25m 7s
How could Daniel have been more confused than he was? Or was that the person they'd become? That 'whole' person that they were seemingly meant to be, that didn't include his involvement. Landon wondered whether he even wanted to know what'd gone on.
Mourned him?
Landon looked away at that. So he'd really just been gone. Dissolved under the guise of improvement, of being better and stable. He understood that he wasn't any use while suicidal, but hadn't there been another way that didn't include him going missing for months? Potentially forever?
And now he wasn't even sure they'd gotten the goatling out of him completely either. From what he gathered, it was still there, still present. Whenever he dreamed, he saw things he shouldn't know. Just how successful had they been at extracting that thing? Not very, it seemed, if Daniel had ended up confused, caught in a schizophrenic episode like that.

Tired? Yeah, he'd believe that.
Bellwether's had was on his then and Landon looked at it.
"I'm sorry," Landon said. He was sorry. It was true he'd rather not be here, but it spoke volumes of the desperation Bellwether had faced if he thought this was the better option. Hell, he'd healed broken bones before outside of a hospital or without any aid at all. But Bellwether-goat had been there then, always.
So what exactly was going on there?

He took Bell's hand, reassuring himself that this was real and nodded. Yeah, he needed to get his act straightened out. Make sure he took his pills and put a stop to the delusions that seemed to overwhelm him still.
"I'm sorry I left you," Landon added after some thought. Because he had, in a way, though he hadn't intended to. Something in him had to have thought that death was the only answer, while it should've been Bellwether. He imagined that would've been frustrating and even painful to suffer through. So much so, Bell had gratefully resorted to the solution his goat had offered.

"I imagine it won't take long until I'm well enough to be transferred," he started. They'd have to get him out before then. Or let the transfer happen and break him out of whatever psychiatric facility he'd be put in. Landon rather not. Hospitals were efficient, they didn't over-extend their valuable resources, whereas the institutions he'd been in tended to mute him so much, he'd stop recognizing himself.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 7d 16h 56m 24s
She nodded. Made sense. This place looked a lot like the labs.

"How'd he get in?" she asked, brows furrowed. The labs were supposed to be safe. There were cameras, and guards. But he could still get in. Nowhere was safe, that was the reality. There was no escaping them. Fear chilled her bones, sent the monitor beside her beeping faster. She'd tried to leave. She'd gone back. There was no escaping them, though. Nothing she could do to get away.

"Sarah, let's run away," she offered. She looked the other woman in the eyes. "Honest. Let's go somewhere far from here, where no one can find us." They could go together. That way, she wouldn't be afraid of Sarah getting left behind and attacked in her stead.

Something sparked in her brain, a memory reconnecting. Golden fur and a sloppy tongue. "Where's Goldy?" she asked. She should have been in the lab, right? So why wasn't she here today? The lab looked kind of funny, too. She picked at the tubes in her arm lazily.

Bell sighed. "Yeah, I don't know," he said. He'd been expecting Landon to remember some of it too, not to pop out and have forgotten everything. Daniel was the original, so it made sense, but surely Landon could've remembered some of it? Then again, who knew how their brain worked? He sure didn't.

"I don't know if Daniel remembers it all. He seemed to, I guess, sometimes... sometimes he didn't even know who I was, though, so I wouldn't call it improvement." Bell shrugged. It'd been weird. Worse than ever before.

"Don't you start," Bell grumbled. "I mourned you, Landon. I had to put up with Daniel fucking mocking me about it and going on about how I'd never love him as much, so don't you start."

He was distant, though. They only surprise was that it was this obvious. "I'm just tired," he excused his behaviour. "I don't want you in here any more than you want to be in here, so imagine what kind of shit I had to go through that this seems like the better option, alright?"

He reached out and took Landon's good hand. "Let's just focus on getting you healed up and out of here, okay?" he said, trying a smile. "Get those pills, so we don't have to worry so much." He knew they hated the pills, but at this point, there wasn't another option.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 7d 20h 13m 8s
"No," Sarah consoled Alphie, "you were just confused. You thought you were still at the labs," she said. That seemed ordinary enough, right? She'd seen much worse before. Sarah knew it; she'd told Alphie before, but it looked like she had trouble retaining the memory. She smiled at Alphie reassuringly and started over again.
There was also something comforting about having a second attempt at things so easily.

"Bellwether happened," she said. "He sneaked into the building and found the originator, but not before he saw you. Probably somewhere down the corridor to section C?" Sarah tried. "He beat you unconscious and dumped you somewhere." She paused there for a second. Anger flared up at the thought of someone hurting Alphie like that, but she didn't know how to act upon it. Sarah dismissed the feeling.

"He freed the originator and it in turn undid the building's structural integrity after Bellwether destroyed out static emitters," she explained. "And then it just," she snapped her fingers softly, "disappeared." The last she'd heard from colleagues. It hadn't taken any of the hallways where they'd been prepared to corner it. There had been no holes on either ceiling or floor in that lab. So it had to have found another way to escape.
They were still working on recovering the camera-images, if any had survived.

"Rescue workers found you on basement two and got you out," Sarah continued after a moment's thought. "You were confused then too. They took you to the hospital to assess the damage and get you the treatment you need."

Months ago. Landon gave Bell a hard look, but it didn't seem like the man was lying or anything of that nature.
"Months?" he shivered involuntarily.
Stable? But he didn't even remember? How stable was that, exactly? Wait, so this 'goatling' that had been inside of him -the child of Bellwether-goat, as far as he comprehended things correctly- mended his mental illness and that resulted in Daniel?

"No, no, that can't be right," Landon protested. "I would remember too, then, wouldn't I? It must've done something else," he said. Something to just stop them from switching personalities, rather than truly 'curing' them.
Or did that mean Daniel was the dominant, the original personality?
But how could that be true?

"Wait, so when it left? I-" Landon blinked, his expression one of confusion. Had he already taken the pills then? Several times? He didn't remember.
"How can it be Daniel remembers it all? Is he-? Am I just-?" Landon scrubbed at his face. "Did you even miss me?" He hadn't failed to notice Bell was distant. Sure, he was hurt and physical contact was a bit impractical, but Bell just seemed distant altogether.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 8d 5h 11m 29s
"Oh," Alphie said blankly. What did she say to that? Couldn't remember any of it. Just waking up here. Dread filled her veins. They'd escaped, then. They'd all escaped. Everything had gone wrong that could. They were in danger. Sarah didn't seem frightened, though. How long had it been?

She looked at her hands when Sarah touched one. Sarah's hands felt warm. She reached to catch the other's hand, but it was already retreating. Her hand fell flat. The sheets were so white. Even her pale skin looked dark. What was she doing here? Why was she in a hospital?

"No," she said plainly. "Did I do anything weird?" She watched the way the curtains shifted in the gentle breeze of the air conditioner, patterning the sunlight on the floor.

How did she feel? Alphie scoffed. Her head was a mess, and it hurt so bad. "Shitty. Where am I? What happened?" Had she passed out and fallen, hit her head on something? She didn't remember getting [i that] sleep deprived, but sometimes it happened without her realizing.

"I mean... if we have to?" Bell said. It'd be better if they skipped out on the bill, but they needed that prescription. "We've gotta get you something to keep you stable."

He winced at the way Daniel shifted uncomfortably, feeling his pain secondhand. Didn't look good. He sighed and ran a hand down his face, mentally adapting his plans. "No, I mean... I don't know. It's not great out there right now, but I don't think they're on our tail yet. And I'd rather have you here, at least until your arm's a little more healed."

Bell smirked back as he handed it over. "What, today or in general?" he shot back. Hadn't had much else today, but he was trying to lay low and not drive all over town to attract the hunters' attention.

Landon's hand was heavy on his shoulder. He looked up at the man, then down at the floor. That was a long time ago. So it'd really been just Daniel all this time? "Yeah, uh," he started, "that was...a while ago. Months, at least. You uh. You killed yourself, just about. Walked out onto the road and..." Bell gestured, unable to complete the sentence. "It was bad, Landon. Really bad. The goat healed you, but it came with a caveat this time. The goatling. And uh, you were stable, for a while. Called yourself Daniel but you were... It was both of you, you know? Not just Daniel. Like you were whole."

He shrugged. "Anyways, shit happened, and... yeah. Goatling had to come out sometime. Trusted some people I shouldn't have. Had to steal you back from them. But it was bad. Really bad. Like... I don't know. I'd never seen you like that before. Felt like if I looked away, you'd find some way to off yourself. And I looked away, long story short, and now you're here."

Bell sighed and sat up. "So... yeah. Hey, take your pills, alright? I've seen enough of your innards for one lifetime." He gave Landon what was meant to be a playful smirk, but probably looked like anything but.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 8d 16h 12m 50s
“Hey,” Sarah smiled. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes. She’d been dozing, but Alphie’s voice easily woke her from her awkwardly uncomfortable bed. “You’re at the hospital,” she supplied readily enough. Asking questions was good.
What’s going on? A valid question.
Sarah took a deep breath.

“You… no. Bellwether. Bellwether returned for the originator and this time his attempt wasn’t as straight-forward,” she confessed. “He snuck in and found the tube. The originator- it… it destabilized our facility’s structural integrity.” Her blue eyes lifted to look at Alphie.
“He found you first, Alphie. It was exactly as you feared. He beat you. When the building came down you were still in there, I- I was so scared,” Sarah confessed. She reached for Alphie’s hand, felt how cold it was, grew self-conscious and retreated.

“You have a concussion,” she explained. “You woke up a few times before, do you remember any of that?”
Alphie still might not remember it all, but that was alright. She would be patient and explain again and again, as many times as needed.
“How are you feeling?” Sarah started, distracting from what had happened for a moment. They needed to focus forward, not backward. What was the point? They really needed to leave those two well alone.

Landon looked up. Bell. A faded smile played across his lips. He hadn’t expected to see the man.
“The nurses are shit,” Landon confessed and wiggled his free hand. He was with it enough to realize the mistake, but also aware enough he was getting help. Escaping wasn’t the answer, though if Bell suggested it here and now, he would.
Hazel eyes regarded Bellwether and tried to decide whether the man was doing alright. He looked alright.

A prescription?
“Are we paying these people?” Landon asked casually. He found the button to put the bed in a seating position and allowed it to hoist him up. His feet were steadily healing. His rib-cage still felt smashed and he couldn’t use his right arm at all.
“Maybe, do you think I should be on the road? Or is it getting too hot?” he countered. Landon sighed. It wouldn’t be responsible to leave, but if they had no other choice, he’d weather the pain and move on. Hospitals didn’t exactly make him happy either, so there was that.

“Sure,” he said to the chocolate.
“Please tell me you’re living off of more than just sweets,” Landon said with a smirk. The chocolate was sweet. He hadn’t had candy in ages.

“This is ridiculous,” Landon said at last. He reached out for Bell.
“What happened? Last thing I remember is a road and standing on it,” he admitted. And even that memory was chopped up and hazy, like it wasn’t his but just something Daniel had left behind for him to look at. Like a picture.
“How long ago was that?”
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 8d 17h 30m 27s
Alphie woke up. Sunlight played gently through the curtains of a room she didn't recognize. She glanced around. Where was she? What was going on? A machine beeped away by her side, tubes poking into her arm in an uncomfortable way. This wasn't her house or the lab. Where was it?

One of the exam rooms? The hybrid labs? She shifted and and looked around, taking in the room. It looked kind of familiar.

Sarah was there. "Where am I?" she asked. Where was she? What was going on? She glanced at the machine beside her again, taking it in. Some kind of hybridization device? But why her? Or one of the exam rooms? Maybe she'd collapsed again. It happened, sometimes.

It was a bland room. Sunlight played off the walls. Alphie glanced around the room and found Sarah. "What's going on?" she asked. Her hand felt cold. It was weird. Everything was weird. The tubes led out of her hand to a machine that beeped at regular intervals. A heart monitor. Why? She was fine.

Visiting hours had begun. Bell slipped in with a gaggle of family members, figuring he'd go unnoticed in the mess. Back down the now-familiar path to Landon's room. He stepped inside and away from the door, checking to make sure no one had seen him enter. No one made any notice of him. He grinned and walked over to Landon's side.

"Hey. How's it going?" he asked. At least Landon looked shiny, clean, and well-cared-for. He sat down on a nearby chair. Clean, but not exactly with it. What had he expected? It wasn't like the prescription was some miracle drug. Hell, it might not work at all. Sarah had said something like that--but he had to hope. He didn't want to believe that there was no getting better, that this was Landon for the rest of time; barely able to function, suicidal when he wasn't lost in another world, and hostile to him and everything else most of the time. "Think you could get them to issue you a prescription for on the road, or whatever?" Not that it'd help heal his arm.

"You hungry? I brought some chocolate," Bell offered, pulling the bar out of his pocket. There wasn't much else to talk about. The hunters had been taken care of, and we're in chaos right now. He'd like to carry Landon off into the sunset before they figured their way out of that chaos, but what happened, happened.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 8d 17h 59m 47s
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