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It pained her to see the look in Alphie’s eyes. She recognized it from a number of her patients, all of whom were distrusting and ensnared in paranoia. Sarah could only hope Alphie wouldn’t remember when she woke up, or that Alphie could at least understand that what they’d done was for her benefit. Alphie wouldn’t be able to heal and rest up if she was acting on some wild delusion.
“Thank you,” she told the nurse.
The other woman merely smiled and nodded. “It’s difficult when they get like this, but I’m sure things will be different soon,” she promised. Sarah nodded. She wanted the hope and wanted to believe that sort of change might actually happen, but the bleak reality was that Alphie might never be who she was before the incident this time.
They’d both been through so much.
Her coffee had gone cold. Sarah picked up the cup and gave it a look of disgust. She poured it down the drain in the bathroom adjacent the room and then surrendered to fetching herself a new cup. Now, the waiting had truly begun.
A hand. Landon felt there was a presence there, close to him. He sighed out, fidgeted, then adjusted. Pain remained a constant, grating factor, one that promised nightmares of being stuck inside a tube. Caught in the umber liquid, time travelled at a snail’s pace. He couldn’t make out how long he’d been there or what day it was. Time moved, he was certain of that, but it wasn’t at a constant, forward pace.
Instead, he felt time was everywhere at the same instant. All of it, in one second.
He snapped to when hands toyed with his restraints. A cool cloth rubbed against his skin. A nurse went through the mechanical motions of washing him. Landon watched her, detached and feeling submerged.
Daniel always got the highs. He always got the lows. She checked his wires, smiled when she caught his gaze, but the expression faded upon realizing he wasn’t responding. With a sigh, she adjusted the blankets to cover most of him and made sure the pillow behind his back supported his broken shoulder-blade. He didn’t know whether he’d eaten. Didn’t know whether he’d taken any of the medicine he’d been on before meeting Bellwether. He didn’t know when or where he was.
Or where Bellwether was, for that matter.
Landon shifted and realized the nurse from before had forgotten to put the restraint back around his arm. He didn’t even know what he’d do. Escape? It seemed pointless.
Alphie shook her head. They wouldn't understand her research like Sarah did. Outsiders, they'd be outsiders. But if Sarah wanted to, then, then who was she to stop her?
Her head snapped around to Sarah at that. "It escaped?" she asked, alarmed. "No, no, what are we doing here? We have to go!"
Strange hands. A pinch on her arm. Alphie turned to find a needle leaving her skin. What? What was going on? She looked at Sarah, trying to find meaning. The words they spoke were meaningless. Nothing made any sense. She felt like she was listening to a foreign language, the two of them babbling away. The sense of betrayal was the only thing that stuck. Sarah had betrayed her. Handed her over.
The organization always came first for her. It always had. Why would this be any different?
Her head slumped towards her chest, strength leaving her. There was no point. No way she could fight free anyways. She'd just sleep. Just sleep, and maybe things would make sense in the morning.
Bell slipped in through an unlocked door and wandered the hallways, heading back to Landon's room. A nurse exited the room as he drew close; he ducked behind the corner at the last minute and watched her head in the opposite direction. Was Landon awake, then? He glanced down the hallway, then jogged quietly over to the room and stepped inside.
Landon didn't look really awake. Restless, maybe, shifty, but not with it. He'd known it was too early to escape with him, and this just proved it. Bell stepped closer and brushed Landon's hair back, gently shushing him. "Sleep, rest up and get better, okay?" he whispered. "I'll get you out of here as soon as you're better, so listen to the nurses and be good, okay?"
There was probably no chance any of it was getting through, but it was worth the try anyways. Bell tilted his head and watched Landon for a little while. He bent down and pressed a kiss to his forehead. "I'll be by tomorrow," he promised, then vanished back down the hallway. Nothing he could do tonight. Not yet. A little more time.
Not the only thing in the world. Sarah smiled, relieved that was the way Alphie felt about things. But who would help her, huh?
"There are other people just as qualified to help you," she said softly.
"Hey," Sarah started, concerned. Alphie was obviously over-extending herself. Just as she thought she could easily guide Alphie back to bed, the woman stubbornly pushed off again.
"No, Alphie, it's- you're in a hospital," she tried. There were two nurses now and they were positioning themselves in strategic positions so they could prevent Alphie from dashing away and hurting herself.
"You got hurt when it escaped," Sarah explained softly. "You need rest."
She gave a nod to one of the nurses and they stepped in at that moment. Sarah took Alphie's hand and gave her an apologetic smile. With practised swiftness, the nurse plunged the contents of a syringe into Alphie's blood-stream.
"Don't worry, ma'am," the nurse said comfortingly. "We're just going to make sure you rest nice and comfortably," she eased. The other nurse came around with a wheelchair and together they 'compelled' Alphie to take a seat.
"It's just something to calm her down; we don't want to sedate her until we know the extent of her head-injury," the nurse said to Sarah. She nodded.
Whatever was necessary for a quick recovery, she'd make sure it was done.
"No, I don't-" Landon protested.
"I just need to use the facilities," he tried. Daniel always had more luck with stuff like this. He sighed out. A bed-pan. Sure, because why not. At least it wasn't a catheter. It was still difficult, trying to perform with a nurse watching his every move.
She looked weird.
Her face contorted, shifted and faced him, though her head was still bowed in the same position. Fear constricted his throat and coiled in his gut. And then she was next to him. Hands on his chest. It hurt. His broken ribs complained. Landon fought the restraints. He needed to get away. He needed to get away from this hideous thing and get some place safe.
The nurse was relentless. Within seconds, the sedatives calmed her patient. It always got worse before it got better with anti-psychotics like these. She waited to see if her patient would go back to sleep, but he remained restless. Nothing the restraints couldn't handle. She patted the man's hand and left him.
Alphie stared at Sarah uncomprehendingly. It didn't matter what they thought. If she wasn't there, the originator would escape. She couldn't stop now.
"I'm not tired," she lied. "Sarah, what happened to the lab?" It was like she knew where she was, but she didn't. The hallways were familiar, but they all joined together at the wrong angles, and things she knew should go somewhere didn't. And then there were the lights. No one ever turned off the lights in the lab. Why had they turned off the lights.
Sarah held up the scrapes. She gave them a confused look. Where had they come from? "They're not serious," she said. "I can still work."
She looked at Sarah, startled. Sarah had always been more devoted than she had to the organization. She'd do her research anywhere except no one else would let her, but for Sarah, it'd been the organization. "Why?" she asked. "Who's gonna help me?"
She paused, then. Her head hurt. She wasn't thinking straight. This wasn't about her, it was about Sarah. "If it's what you want," she said. "It's not the only... only, only thing in the world."
Alphie leaned against Sarah as she wobbled, then pushed off to move on her own. Had to go. Had to keep moving. The originator was going to get free. "I'm gonna be late," she muttered again. She had to keep moving. Her eyes flicked to Sarah as though she'd seen her for the first time. "Sarah--what're you doing here? It's going to get free."
Bell shifted in his sleep, then woke up, slowly. He had to pee. He stumbled out into the hospital parking lot and towards the woods around the edge of the lot. He yawned, staring up at the stars. Should go check on Daniel. Make sure everything was okay. Landon, right, Landon. He wondered if they'd gotten the guy his drugs before he'd fallen asleep last night. As long as Landon was relatively stable, he could escape with him. They'd healed bones together outside of hospitals, but he couldn't take care of the broken bone, keep him from killing himself, and travel with Landon. That was too much to deal with all at once.
There she was! Sarah's face lit up with relief, until Alphie grabbed her by the shoulders and started asking her questions that were so out of context, Sarah knew Alphie wasn't with things one-hundred percent. Confusion rippled across her face for only a second before Sarah caught herself. Alphie thought she was in the lab?
"Don't worry," Sarah started, "I told them you'd be late, it's alright," she eased. Trying to set Alphie straight might not pan out the way she wanted. Last thing she wanted was to upset Alphie's apparently already fragile mind.
"They didn't mind," Sarah emphasized.
"Alphie?" she tried, following the woman as she pushed past. Sarah kept an eye out for a nurses' station, but none of them were currently manned. She knew the one down the hall would be, but it didn't seem Alphie was going there.
"Alphie, aren't you tired? It's late. I told them you'd have a nap, so they said it's fine if you did," Sarah eased. "I'm sure we can find you a nice bed to rest on for once," she offered. It wasn't hard to catch up to Alphie either. In the light of the hallway, her colleague's injuries looked even more serious.
Sarah carefully reached out to take Alphie's hand.
"You're hurt," she said softly. "I'd like it if you rested," Sarah said calmly. To make her point more obvious, she nodded at the plasters covering what looked to be minor scrapes. They must've happened as Alphie tried to claw her way out of whatever place Bell left her for dead in. She didn't even know how she'd go about explaining what'd happened. Alphie wouldn't take it well right now.
Sarah met her eyes, mouthed 'help' at her and flashed her gaze at Alphie. At least the nurse was clever enough. Rather than start Alphie, she just went to the station and called in something. Sarah wasn't sure what, but she hoped there'd be more people soon. She didn't know how to deal with an Alphie that didn't understand what was going on.
"Alphie...I'm-... I'm thinking of leaving the organisation," Sarah said at last. If Alphie still thought she was at the base, and wasn't likely to remember any of this, maybe she could get an unshielded opinion at least.
It was brighter out here. Alphie rested against the wall for just a moment, trying to catch her bearings. Where was she going? Where was she? What had happened? The hallway didn't hold any hints. Just white. Bland white and empty. What was she doing here?
The lab? Was this the lab? She looked around. Where was her room? Her experiments? "Sarah," she started, then stopped. Where was Sarah? Where was her lab?
She stumbled forward. Her head hurt. It was okay. There was a sofa in the lab. She could go there and lie down, take a little nap. Check on the originator. They'd gotten a new one. The big one. She had to go check on it, make sure it was still where it should be.
Alphie wandered along the hallway, taking only the lit turns. She didn't recognize the hallways, the turns, but if she just kept going, she'd find the originator. She knew it. Just a little further and she'd find it.
The hallways ahead were dark. Alphie stopped. That wasn't right. They shouldn't be dark like that. Where were the lights? This wasn't right. Her brow furrowed. She felt herself wobble, as the whole world wobbled around her. This was wrong. It wasn't... no. The lab. She had to find the originator.
Alphie turned around. Sarah. A familiar face. She walked over to her, almost ran into her, and only caught herself by grabbing the woman's shoulders. "Sarah, where is it? I'm--they did something to the lab," she said, watching the other woman's face for some hint as to where to go, what to do. "I'm going to be late."
She let go and pushed past Sarah, down the lit hallways again. Just ahead. It had to be just ahead, right? Only the lit hallways, though. Things lurked in the dark. Badness. She didn't need to see it to know she couldn't go in the dark. "I'm gonna be late," she muttered. The originator might escape. They couldn't let that happen. She knew. Deep in her bones, a sickness that she didn't want to face; she knew they couldn't let it escape. Everything would go wrong. It'd all go bad.
Hot coffee steamed away in the styrofoam mug. Sarah moved the cup from hand to hand and nudged the door to Alphie's room open with her shoulder. She hadn't expected any change. For a long few moments, she stood there, confused. Scalding hot coffee brought her back to the here and now.
"Crab-cakes," Sarah muttered, and put the cup on the bedside table to relieve her fingers. Tubes. Leaking into the sheets. But wait, that meant Alphie had only just gotten up and left. Sarah didn't waste a minute. She pressed the nurse's button and sped to the door, then looked down both hallways. How fast could a confused patient with a concussion be, exactly? At the same time she was glad; Alphie moving about meant she was at the very least, able-bodied enough to be walking and make decisions.
So much of Alphie could've been lost. Running however... Who wouldn't? Sarah knew from the conversations they'd had that Alphie was scared. She'd be confused too, if she woke up in some unknown hospital.
Acting on a whim, Sarah started down the hallway with the brightest lights illuminating the path, figuring that she would choose that path over something darker.
Landon fiddled with the restraint. It was harder than he remembered. Daniel had always been better at it, but this time it felt different. Not in the last place because there was only one hand. He tried moving the other, but a grating, fierce pain stopped him dead in his tracks. Wait, Bell said. Sit tight and get better.
And take the stupid pills.
Had he already?
He couldn't get it. Landon rested back into the pillows and deliberated calling the nurse. She'd just medicate him back into oblivion, without a doubt. There was something there. Landon felt it. Knew it.
The same awareness he'd felt when observing Bellwether as the goatling returned to haunt him. Did that mean it was close? Bell did mention he'd gotten it 'out of him', which implied it'd been inside of him. Had Daniel agreed to have a baby-goat as a parasite, living inside of them?
Landon did the only thing he could: call the nurse. He didn't have protection in here, but a nurse might just be kind enough to undo some of his restraints so he could run.
Bell wandered the town, the wig he'd bought for Daniel firmly on his head to at least disguise him a little, dressed in his usual clothes and a baseball cap. It was a nice afternoon for a stroll downtown.
The hunter's building was still a mess of activity when he got there. Police had set up a perimeter, blocked off the whole road, and were shooing away the people who'd stopped to rubberneck. Down the street at the hunter's building, a huge chunk of the facade separated from the building and crashed into the street, eliciting screams from the watching citizens. "It's not safe here! Move on!" the policeman nearest him roared. Bell obeyed.
Looked like the hunters weren't going to be able to move particularly soon. He smirked to himself as he walked away, pulling the cap low over his face. Good. Daniel was going to be safe. Landon too. He headed back to his car to settle in for the night, satisfied for now.
Alphie twitched. She was trapped. She was trapped and she had to escape. But she couldn't. Everywhere she turned, everywhere she reached, there were hands, hands reaching and grabbing her arms, hands holding her down to the floor. "You killed us," they hissed, looking at her with black eyes, black tarlike hands winding around her body like snakes.
"You were already dead!" she argued. They didn't respond. She kicked and twisted, struggling for the light, the way out. There was no way. No way out. She couldn't. Couldn't move. The hands gave when she pushed on them, but only enough so she couldn't escape. They wound their way towards her mouth and it became hard to breathe, the pressure on her chest, the weight on her head all pushing her downwards. She reached upward, trying to get someone's attention. No one came. No one was going to come.
She woke up.
It was dark. It was always dark. Alphie shifted and sat upright, was surprised when something pulled at her arm. Tubes. Pipes. She plucked them out of her skin, disgusted. No. Nothing would get her. Not like that. Alphie slid her legs out of the bed and started for the door. She had to leave. This place was too dark.
Sarah looked down at her hands and kneaded her fingers almost compulsively. She shifted in the uncomfortable hospital-chair and adjusted the blanket she'd received a while ago. Alphie was still out cold and it worried her. Normally, people would arouse from their unconsciousness for at least a short while, but it appeared that short while had been used for panicked conversation instead and she was now faced with a sleeping Alphie instead. Damn it. She knew it'd been risky. Why did they think these people were something they could deal with? That originator was just toying with them and their organization!
It'd been so frighteningly strong. It and its child.
Sarah stood and approached the bed, then rested her hand on Alphie's.
She sighed. Warm, but inanimate. She prayed there wouldn't be any lasting damage to Alphie's mental capacity. A concussion was no joke, especially not to them, who relied on their mental acuity to perform the tasks they were given. They should've just both left and stayed away from those two.
She'd be the first to admit the data they'd gathered from the infantile monster was important, but was it worth this kind of sacrifice? Perhaps.
She pulled her hand away and hung her head, the scrubbed at her face. She needed a coffee if she was to remain vigil over Alphie all night.
It was empty in the hospital hallways this time of night. Sarah shivered. It felt uncomfortable to be out here alone, with only a few nurses dotted around their stations.
Landon woke to more white. His eyes searched the room, but found nothing. All thought of sleep had gone in that split-second. No Bellwether.
No. No, of course not. Landon pushed his hair back. How could Bell still be here? Hospital staff would send him away, at best and try to arrest him, at worst. Landon shifted, uncomfortable. He could feel the lingering effects of the drugs holding him down against his will. He should've pleaded with Bell to help get him out of the hospital.
The restraints were back as well. This time, there was even one around his good arm. The other was in a sling -a restraint of a whole other nature. At least he could still reach the buzzer. Sometimes he could convince the nurses that he was fine. A moment of clarity was all he needed to get out.
Landon sighed out and winced.
His ribs were playing up.
What good would it do to try and escape now? He was too bad to be of help to Bell and after the risks Bellwether had taken, he couldn't linger.
Alphie shifted, trying to get a better look. "Yellow," she said. No. She had to do better. Something else. She couldn't. It was all so confusing. "I don't know. I don't know."
It was frustrating. Every time she tried to think hard, her head hurt. Every time she moved, it hurt. Everything hurt. It all hurt. "Sarah, help," she whined. There was nothing else you could do.
Something crashed to the ground not far from her, cracking against the linoleum with a boom she felt through wherever she was. "Sarah!" she whimpered. "Am I gonna die? I'm gonna die, aren't I?"
She couldn't hear anyone. See anyone. She clawed her way to upward, but it just slid away from her again. She was going to die. She was going to die right here.
[i No. No, I'm not going to die.] She snarled and threw her weight against the thing, whatever it was. It gave, fabric shifting with her. Again. This time, she felt it rock. Something thudded against another part of it, destabilizing it. She threw herself against it harder, harder. It rocked up, down, back up. [i Now!] Her whole weight went up against the wall of the thing. It tipped, further, further, then fell over, her body slapping against the floor. Her head hit with a crack. White burst across her vision, washing everything away to pain.
And then someone was there. Rough hands grabbed her and picked her up. "Hey, we've got an injured over here!" they shouted. She felt herself be jostled as she was carried out of the building and let out a breath in relief She wasn't going to die. Darkness blocked out her consciousness, and she passed out.
After a while, a nurse came in. She looked startled to see him. "You can't be in here," she said, almost accusingly. "Visiting hours are over."
"Here," Bell said. He handed off a note to her. "His prescription. Make sure he gets it." He walked out before she could think of anything else to say and vanished down the hallway. Time to make sure no one was on his ass. The number one thing to do right now was to make sure Landon was going to be safe.
Landon, yeah. He nodded. What Bell said was outlandish; a goatling, inside of him, but weirder things had happened and what Bell said somehow made sense. He allowed the man's hands to guide him back down to the bed, opened a set of drowsy eyes to regard the man and reassure himself that Bell was fine, that he was there and they were still okay. Only then, only then did he allow himself to relax.
Sleep wasn't far off. The concoction of drugs that were coursing through his veins made sleep easy. Easy and filled with dreams.
Tape. A street. People he didn't know crowded outside, all watching a building that threatened to collapse. Panic. He felt it, but Landon knew it wasn't his. It wasn't his panic, and so it didn't matter. None of it mattered.
"Alphie? Oh, god, Alphie, listen, are you listening?" Sarah started. "You have to tell me what you can see? Can you do that?" It was obvious from the way Alphie responded that she was in some kind of distress. Sarah didn't know whether Alphie was injured or not. Fire-men rushed into the building and several were already on their way out, carrying injured people out. Alphie had to be in there. She simply had to be.
Sarah wormed her way through the crowd, tried to get the attention of some of the people delegating what needed to be done, but so were dozens of others.
"I'm going to get you help, okay? Just hang in there," she cooed at the other side of the line, masking her panic quite expertly. How had she made it through? But then- maybe Alphie would've been fine if Bellwether hadn't done something to her. Christ. That meant that Alphie's chances at getting out of there alone were slim to none.
Bellwether wouldn't have taken that many chances. The miniature monster had obviously been Bell's main priority. Going by that, and the fact that he seemed damned well pleased with himself and Alphie's schedule, that meant they met on the way to the originator's chamber.
He wouldn't have had that much time to hide Alphie either, especially if she'd been unconscious.
"I need help, there's someone stuck on the second floor down," Sarah said, sterner than she intended. The man barely spared her a glance. "There are people already on that floor, please get back to the group and report your presence to the volunteers," the man dismissed her. Sarah wanted to object, but a colleague of her was already pulling her away again.
"Help is on the way, you hear? They should already be there," Sarah breathed, trying to mask her concern.
Oh, he got the note, good. Bell tried to slow down, but it was just impossible. He was almost jittering in place with excitement.
And then Daniel wrapped his arm around him, and a calm fell over Bell. He hugged the man back, carefully. Everything was the way it should be. He'd fixed things, and everything was going to be alright. "It's okay. I'm here now," Bell promised.
Or maybe it wasn't. He didn't remember the goatling? Bell's brow furrowed as confusion and worry set the tone. "Then... Landon?" he tried, uncertain. Landon, or someone else? How many personalities were there, anyways? He'd only ever met the two, but recently, with Daniel going nuts at all hours of the day, he wouldn't put it past the guy to develop another.
"You could... see me?" Bell asked. Through the goatling? "Maybe," he allowed. "It was inside of you." Did Landon remember that?
Landon was fading fast. Bell stroked his hair back and guided him down to the bed, carefully pushing him to sit, then lie down. "Don't worry about it. I'll tell you once you're all better, okay?" Bell soothed him. He helped Daniel navigate back into lying down on the bed--no, Landon. Landon was back again.
He didn't know how he felt about that. He'd missed Landon, mourned him, and now he was back? Right when he'd made his peace with losing the guy, here he was. Right when he'd finally accepted Daniel as the one and only, really fallen in love with the guy, there were two again. For a little while, he watched the man sleep. Like this, there was no difference between them. They were both beautiful.
He sat down in one of the chairs in the room and waited for the nurses to come back. He'd tell them Landon's prescription and get that ball rolling, then vanish again. Give the hunters a false trail out of town if they were still looking for him.
For now, he just watched Landon sleep. He'd rescued Landon and freed the goatling. Everything was perfect, just the way he'd wanted it. He smiled to himself. He'd missed this feeling. This contentment.
Bell. Emotion welled up through the numbness and Landon didn't know he'd missed Bell until he saw the man. At the sight of his injuries, Bellwether recoiled. Wait. Daniel? Oh, so it'd been Daniel up until now, hadn't it? But no. He could remember shreds and bits here and there too.
"Slow down," Landon asked.
Bellwether was a bundle of energy, hyped up on adrenaline.
"I'm not-... I, I got your note," he finished lamely. Landon ran a hand down his face. His legs were numb. He didn't think he could walk unassisted.
"It's ah-..." He hesitated, trying to find a place to start. In the end, Landon didn't and grabbed at Bell, pulled the man closer and rested his ear against the man's chest. After a while of concentrating, he could hear it: cogs. Landon closed his eyes and sighed out in relief. It was Bell. No one else.
Bellwether and his goat.
The hand that'd reached out to grab Bell tightened in the man's clothes. The drugs made him so fragile, so vulnerable and he hated it.
"I was scared, I wanted to go find you, but I just. I can't even stand properly," Landon admitted.
"What is the goatling?" He pulled away and looked at Bell with a confused expression. "I'm not Daniel," Landon breathed. "There are some memories, but it's all a bit. Detached," he finished lamely.
"Is it that...? Is that how I could see you? I dreamt I saw you and I couldn't do anything because of the static things," Landon said with a dismissive wave of his hand. Things were confusing. Dreams, reality and delusions had started to become mixed together somehow. He looked up at Bell and pressed a hand to the man's cheek. Despite everything, just being with Bellwether brought a smile to his face.
He'd changed. Landon closed his eyes and zoned out for a little bit. The painkillers were quite effective at taking away any discomfort, especially now that they were paired with the sedatives.
"You need to let them know so they can start me on them," Landon breathed at last. His voice was soft. He didn't want to take the drugs and be that numb, but he was having trouble distinguishing all the different worlds. He'd be useless to anyone like this.
"...but if you-? What about the hunters?" Landon had trouble opening his eyes back up. The short burst of energy was wasted on trying to get up and failing.
The voices grew quieter. They grew quieter, and at the same time, the thudding grew louder. It sounded like the building was coming down around her. Maybe it was. Alphie started sobbing, quietly. Why? Why was this happening? Why was she trapped? She struggled harder, but the fabric around her just gave and gave. There was no way to get out. She was stuck. Helplessly stuck. "Help me," she cried. Someone, anyone. Why hadn't anyone noticed her?
A strange sound, harsh and bright. Alphie froze, then struggled again, wriggling around to get into her pocket. Her phone, her phone! She recognized the number before she even answered it. "Sarah, Sarah, I'm stuck, please, come help me. What's happening? What's happening, Sarah?" Her head hurt so bad. Why couldn't she think straight? Why was everything so loud?
After a while, the family left. Bell stood and looked around, then headed back to Daniel's room. Maybe it'd be empty now. Or at least nurse-free. He casually passed by and was rewarded by even more than he'd expected; Daniel was up and about.
Bell slid into the room and grinned at the man. "Daniel!" he said excitedly. He went to hug him, then stopped at the sight of the sling. Instead Bell awkwardly closed his arms with a clap and scruffed his hair. "Hey. You feeling better? I got the goatling out."
Maybe it was just him, but Daniel looked pretty with it right now. Maybe getting the goatling away from the hunters helped him get more aware. Yeah, and maybe this was just one of those good moments before everything went all bad again.
"You think you should stay in here 'til that shoulder's healed up?" Bell suggested. He was worried Daniel had been hurt much worse than that, but luckily it was just a broken bone. "I got the name of your drug, too. And we wrecked the hunter's building." He grinned wide, still hyped up on that. It'd been a good run.
"How've you been holding out?" Bell looked at Daniel's face. "Sorry I had to ditch you here. You get my note?" He just hadn't been able to leave the goatling in there until Daniel got better. Hopefully Daniel understood.
Sarah could only watch as more of the building came tumbling down onto the sidewalk. People were ushering them back; fire-trucks came rolling up, even though there was no fire. She knew there would be hazard soon though. Their labs had tons of materials that were flammable when mixed. Again. This was the second time she watched her work-place and all of the colleagues she cherished and love be damaged and destroyed. Killed. And for what? Their fight wasn't one that could be won, she felt sometimes.
Alphie was still in there. She wasn't on the list.
Hands pushed her back behind yellow tape and Sarah got out her cell-phone. Shaky hands scrolled down the contacts in there and found Alphie's number. Lord, this had to work. It just had to.
She sent her prayer up and pressed the button.
Landon woke slowly. For once, there was no pain, just numbness. A hospital-room. Not a thought clung to his mind for longer than a few minutes. They had him on some good stuff. Something to 'help him relax'. He snorted at that. Sure.
Landon shifted and moved his hand, then brushed his hair back. The room was bland, presumably purposefully so. He pushed to sit up and failed. One hand? Oh. A sling. Huh. That explained. Some memories slotted back into place. A break.
This was more Daniel's thing, but for once, he didn't want the man to take over. Landon was pretty content being out for now. He was pretty sure he'd missed out on a pretty long stretch of time. At the same time, memories would sporadically crop up that suggested otherwise. Memories of Bellwether. Of them being together. Landon figured he couldn't be in a bed, just lying around.
He needed to move, go find Bell.
The second he did he was snapped back to reality: restraints. Landon looked at them, almost surprised.
They weren't really there to keep him anywhere, but more to prevent him from lashing out. From kicking a hapless nurse. He got that. He really did. Landon sat up a little further and reached for the restraints. His hands were numb, but he had time and finally, the restraints yielded. There. Much better. Landon swung his legs over the edge of the bed and sat there for a few long moments.
Getting up was definitely a large step two.
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