the black goat of a thousand young

/ By kaitoXi [+Watch]

Replies: 6082 / 2 years 217 days 20 hours 49 minutes 36 seconds

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He looked up. There was a way? Oh. Just let her out. Let her live a part of his life. He looked down at his hands. He didn't know how to do that. Would she even be able to come out, still, when the goat was fully awake and back in control? So maybe this was the only time she had. And here he was, hogging it up. To be fair, though, she'd turned back into him of her own will, and he could imagine that she wouldn't want to be out now, when it was cold and icy and there were hunters everywhere and Daniel was injured. He barely wanted to deal with that.

The sandwich? Bell looked down at the sub in his hand and took another bite. As worried as he was about Daniel and Becky, it was a miracle he'd eaten this much already. Any more would be... just... not possible. "No, I'm fine," he said. At least Daniel had eaten his food, such as it was.

Daniel faded fast. Bell watched him fall asleep, then got up and walked to the bathroom. His reflection stared back at him, pale, hollow-cheeked. For a long second, he watched his own face. Empty. He looked empty.

With a sigh, he rubbed his neck and turned to take care of business. Now was not the time. He had to stay strong, keep an eye on Daniel, be good, watch out for hunters. He had to be strong.

At least Daniel had already warmed up the bed by the time he returned to it. Bell shucked his jacket and boots, leaving them in the floor, then slid between the sheets to join Daniel. It took him a while to fall asleep. Every sharp noise outside was the hunters, come to get him. Every voice and set of footsteps in the hallway was a threat. Even though he knew better, he couldn't keep himself from tensing, or stop his heart from racheting up from a restful state to an adrenaline-fueled pace. Pure exhaustion claimed him eventually, and for a while, he slept quietly.

Then she was there. Only now she was unbound, cut, abused, but free, not tied down in her chair. She looked at him, an emotion in her eyes he couldn't place, hate, anger, something else--

Bell snapped awake. Someone was moving! They were in the bed, they were going to--to--it was Daniel, wasn't it? He turned and looked at Daniel, doing his best to make out his features in the darkened room. "You okay?" he asked quietly, sleep making his voice slow.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 7d 3h 8m 59s
A yawn crept its way up and Daniel finally sought fit to realize there was 'food' in his hands. It looked and smelled just as dreary as the stuff they'd served him at the hospital, but at least it'd be something he could keep down. He was just taking the first sip when Bell-boy's pained face fell and was replaced by full-blown guilt.

"Not right now, but...I think there's a thing or two you can do for Becky," Daniel muttered. He levelled his gaze with Bell's, tired and worn after the day they'd had. And it'd just been escaping the hospital and driving in a car. Oh yeah, he was really going to love the days that were to come. Hopefully he'd feel better after a decent night's sleep.

"She uhm...she seemed to want to experience life more than anything's a little like me and Lenny, you know? I used to think every single second counted, that that was freedom -being out," he rambled. "I think it's the same for Rebecca in many ways. her a chance to be out would be...would mean much to her."
In a way, if Bell-boy did make space for her, it'd earn her respect. On the other hand, Daniel didn't much care to share his life with Rebecca over Bell.
She was far too young to be even remotely interesting and they hadn't started things off well at all.

Daniel finished the smoothie and sighed out.
He hadn't been hungry to start with and now he just felt bloated. "You have enough on that sandwich alone?" Daniel pointed out. Maybe he'd slept through Bell-boy eating lunch. Hadn't been there for breakfast. Something told Daniel that Bell-boy's first priority hadn't been on food regardless.
At least Becky hadn't minded eating lots and lots of food.
He brushed his hair back and slumped down in the pillows. Daniel figured he was done for the day. His hazel eyes drowsily regarded Bell for another while before Daniel succumbed to the pull of sleep. Exhaustion made it easier to ignore the steady ache playing him parts.

That peace didn't last long.
Soon enough Daniel was fighting off a goat in his dreams. Its face turned to Bellwether's, then to Rebecca's -to her dead face- and then to Mindy, then her goat. It pressed him down into the floor, threatening to crush his rib-cage and all the squishy insides protected by the ominously cracking bones.
Pain followed him wherever he moved. For a second Lenny was there, then Lily, Alice. Bell. Bell held him for a moment. It was quiet then, but not for long either. The man sagged and shifted into a faceless blob, accusatorily staring at his solid shape.

Daniel woke with a start, out of breath, sweaty and in pain. "Fuck," he whispered under his breath. He hated the pain-induced nightmares.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 7d 3h 34m 32s
"Yeah, but maybe alcohol after major surgery is something we shouldn't do, alright?" Bell replied. He was not going to have it right now. Daniel was being ridiculous. Couldn't even keep solids down, and he wanted alcohol? Nutter. Good thing Bell was here, or the guy might just kill himself by accident.

He shook the smoothie well, then handed it to Daniel. "Need help sitting up?" he offered, more than ready to assist. He hated to admit it, but Daniel being hurt was kind of... theraputic. He could take care of someone's everything without having to tie them up, could keep Daniel right where he wanted him without rope and a chair. It was a sick way of thinking and he recognized that, but he couldn't help it. Even if they weren't his memories, technically, of the girl, he still felt this way, still thought these things. Why hadn't the goat erased those memories when it'd taken him over? It didn't make any sense.

Daniel was speaking. He tuned back in, listening as the man described the time he hadn't been there. She wanted ice cream, a good meal? He grimaced and looked away. Just that much? After everything he'd done to her? It seemed unfair. It wasn't right. She deserved far more than that, the things he'd done.

Bell raised his eyebrows when Daniel described how it'd gone down. Becky really was a fighter, huh? He'd never have guessed it from the way she was in school. Quiet, bookish... but she'd been hunting goats, secretly, and now she'd saved Daniel's life. Something panged in his chest, a sharp pain striking deep; he put his hand to it. He owed her so much. All he'd done was hurt her, and she'd done so much for him. How could someone be so selfless? It didn't seem right. His shoulders slumped, head bowed inward. Why was he the one the goat had chosen? Becky was better than him in every way. It didn't seem fair.

"I wish I could do something for her," he breathed, pushing his hair back. "Make it up to her, somehow." But there was nothing he could do, was there? She was on the other side of him, his mirror image. No matter how hard he tried, he'd never be able to apologise, let alone make it up to her.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 7d 4h 57m 32s
"Everything's bad for you -if you'd stop doing everything, you might as well stop living," Daniel breathed. Eat? Daniel didn't even think his stomach was active yet. So far it'd done fine with water, so maybe. Had to keep up his strength and all that.
"Yeah, sure," he said, less than enthusiastic. The space-food at the hospital hadn't exactly been inspiring either.

Not that Bell-boy's food looked any more inspiring. At least the man was eating.
"Hmm, I don't know, it's -achy, I don't know, kind of don't mind being sober for a bit, you know? Stupid dreams," Daniel muttered, scrubbing at his face. What happened?
Daniel blinked back up at Bell and then looked around, searching for the best way to tell Bell-boy what'd happened. A hand touched his face. Daniel reached up and pulled Bell-boy's hand down, though loosely held on to it, bringing Bell's hand down to his chest. It was nice to touch.

"Well...after I decided I can't keep Becky tied up all the time and she couldn't do that to me either, we called a truce and figured we'd go South. She wanted to do stuff, you know? Get ice-cream and a nice meal, we got her some clothes that fit her so she wouldn't look like a drowning kid?" Daniel rambled. He was more tired than he thought still, even after that little nap.
"Anyway, I decided we should take a rest at a hotel? And...this hunter creeps out of his little van? Couldn't see the hybrid from where I was stood, but Becky could, so she charged at him, knocked off his balance." Daniel took a second, shifted on the bed and winced as he did so. His gut was none too pleased with him at the moment.

"Anyway, it's this crap setup between cars, so I fight the guy and he's...hybrid, he's falling apart, thought I'd had him down and he just..." Daniel motioned with his hand, "shot a tendril or whatever straight through me. That's when Becky picked up his gun and shot him in the head. It didn't really recover from that. Told me that stuff though -'bout being marked and then it just...evaporated basically."

Daniel took a little break again, resting back.
"We drove away from the scene but the bleeding didn't stop so I...I couldn't...there wasn't much time and Becky told me she'd try to get you out, because everything was fucked up," he shrugged, then looked at Bell-boy. Bell knew the rest. He'd found the wallet and visited in the hospital after all.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 7d 4h 52m 15s
Daniel wobbled his way upstairs and into the room, then immediately into bed. Bell walked over towards him, looking at Daniel. "I'm good," he said. He'd taken a load off just getting out of that car. Now... now he was chilling. Just... hanging out. Everything was good. Everything was fine. Yep. Perfectly fine.

Food. Oh, yeah. He looked around absentmindedly. "I bought a sub," he said. He'd brought it in, too. Just put it somewhere around here. Right. He hadn't eaten since... since... he paused and put a hand to his forehead. Since a while, that was the point. Yeah, he should probably eat.

He snorted a bit. "Mixed drinks? Look, I already said we aren't doing anything sexual, and you're bringing up umbrellas?" he joked. "You don't need alcohol anyways. Probably bad for you."

He walked over and sifted through the stuff he'd brought in. Clothes, girl clothes, water, smoothies... oh, smoothies. "You want anything to eat? I got some liquid stuff." He held up one of the smoothies. It looked like unappetizing brown sludge, but beggars couldn't be choosers.

But that wasn't what he'd come over here for. The sub, right? Yeah. A little more digging, and he finally located the plastic-wrapped oblong. It wasn't the most appetizing looking thing in the world, but it was calories he needed. He undid the wrap and started to eat, sitting down carefully on the edge of the bed to try not to hurt Daniel by sitting. The sandwich tasted okay, for all that it looked eh. The first bites made his stomach feel uncertain, kind of gross, but slowly, his stomach started to accept the idea of food again after a while without.

"How're you feeling? Should I get the painkillers?" he asked in between bites. "What happened, anyways? You and Becky and a hunter... did the hunter chase you down or something?"

At least Daniel had said Becky had saved his life, so whatever grudge she held against Bell, she didn't hold it against Daniel. For that much, he was grateful. He deserved whatever grudge she held against him, but Daniel didn't deserve her hate. He reached out and touched Daniel's face gently. Why did Daniel have to be hurt? It was the worst.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 7d 21h 50m 48s
Daniel glanced back. The first-aid kit? Where'd they left that? He sighed. No way was he crouching down or bending over to grab those, even though he'd probably get a better night's sleep with them. After the nightmarish haze from just seconds ago though, Daniel figured sober was what he ought to be aiming for. Sober and in pain, but awake and alert at least.
He gave Bell-boy a lopsided grin. Man could try, right?
Daniel still wasn't sure. He'd forgotten about Bell-boy's coldness before Becky and frankly, Bell seemed preoccupied still, in no small amount due to his little story about Rebecca. So what? Shouldn't he have told Bell-boy what Becky told him?
It was important the two knew. Wasn't like Lenny and him, where he could just tell or help Landon remember the important bits. Bell-boy wasn't at all aware of Becky and Becky just barely.
Only what happened in Bell's dreams, maybe.
It was Landon whose insecurity he felt. If it was just him, he wouldn't have cared what Bell thought.

Daniel shuffled after Bell-boy at a more moderate pace, taking care where to put his feet. His gait was slightly uneven, though Daniel tried to keep a straight and even pace. It hurt. Each step echoed through his muscles and jostled the sore and displaced intestines.
At least he didn't have to go far. Daniel leaned against the bar in the elevator for the ride and followed Bell-boy into their room. It was a decent hotel this time.

Wait. Oh. Bell-boy found his wallet, hadn't he?
Just as well. Daniel didn't feel up to dealing with people much yet. Just talking with Bell-boy had been tiring and he loved the guy.
Daniel shook his head.
"Nah, I'm all good," he said languidly. "Just relax, take a load off, huh?"
Not that he expected Bell to be able to do that. Too much nervous energy, too many thoughts ghosting through his head to properly relax. Not much he could do about that.
Daniel slowly worked his way out of his coat and kicked off his shoes -never did take the time to tie them up- and moved towards the bed. Softer than the car-seat.

He took off the scratchy jeans and propped up a pillow before lying down under the comforter. Better. Cold, for now, but much better. He was a little out of breath just from that little walk, but his body didn't take long to settle.
"Hmm, bed's good," he invited. "Did you eat? You can order something in?" Daniel offered. "Get, you know...umbrella mix-drinks or whatever and have a party..." he muttered.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 8d 12m 53s
Daniel slowly figured out what was going on. Bell waited for him to climb out, hovering nervously. At least Daniel could move around and climb in and out of the car; he'd feared the man night be in much worse state. "Yep, yep," he replied to both of Daniel's questions. They were staying here, and he'd gotten them a room already. He still felt a little wrong carrying around Daniel's wallet, but it was that or nothing, and he didn't think Daniel was in any shape to sleep in the car right now.

At last, the other man straightened up. Food and--oh yeah. "I got you some shakes," he offered, already hurrying towards the back. Water, Daniel's shakes, oh, and the sub he'd bought and never eaten. He was past hungry at this point, his body leaning towards tired and sick, so that he didn't even want to eat, but he knew he probably should. What clothes were left in the back, he grabbed as well, including the ones that looked like they belonged to a girl. Who knew what those were for--Becky, maybe? But in any case, probably not a bad idea to bring them along.

"There's still some painkillers in the first aid kit if you need them," he offered, hands too full to grab anything else. He slammed the back doors shut before he managed to parse Daniel's innuendo. "No, I figured that out already," he said, rolling his eyes. He wasn't going to push anything sexual on a guy with a hole in his gut. It'd been a while, though. Since he'd come out of the coma, maybe? He considered, realized he didn't remember, then shrugged to himself. It was fine. Their relationship was more than just that, anyways.

"C'mon, let's get you in the warmth," he offered, leading the way to the closest door. Just stepping inside was a relief, even for him. Their room was on the second floor, but luckily, there was an elevator right by the door. In no time, he was unlocking the door to their room and flicking the lights on. Much like the previous hotel, this one was somewhere between cheap and average, not a dump, but not a five star experience, either. Just... normal. He sighed out and set the stuff down, putting it all out on the table by the television. "Need me to go back and grab anything?" he offered, hovering around Daniel just in case.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 8d 1h 17m 41s
He was young, far too young. Bell turned, but rather than his face, the man's features were all contorted, dark. Square eyes shimmered in the dusky twilight, regarding him with endless patience. Behind Bell, Becky was listlessly hung in the ropes tying her to the rickety chair. A tool was in Bell's hands; a pair of pliers. The pliers he'd seen in the shed.
Daniel took a step back, uncertain.
Bell moved with ferocious speed when he did, but before Bellwether could reach him, the goat behind him unfolded. Where once Becky was tied up, Bell-goat rose from her ashes. It moved with utmost grace, as if unimpressed with what was played out before it. The young boy that was Ben's copy was pinned underneath a heavy, leathery hand. It fought against Bell-goat, but was puny in comparison.
Bell-goat's jaw opened wide, wider than physically possible and it swallowed the other goat whole. When Daniel looked into its eyes as Bell-goat's jaw settled, he saw a thousand faces. The young copy of Ben and Becky were amongst the others.

Daniel snapped to, owlishly blinking up at Bell.
A normal face. Cold. It was cold. Daniel was about to pull up his comforter, when he noticed Bell-boy was on the wrong side of the car.
"What're you doing there?" he muttered drowsily, but awareness slowly trickled down. A car, a hotel, snow. Lots of snow.
Oh, they'd stopped.
"We staying here?" Daniel sighed out, rubbing the sleep from his eyes with one hand. He gave Bell a look and narrowed his eyes. There was something funny about the guy. Concern? Fear?

Daniel took a deep breath and pushed the comforter down, then slowly moved to sit with his legs out of the car. His stomach protested sharply, but Daniel welcomed the sharp ache -it was an honest hurt. The kind that told him things were healing.
Shreds of the nightmare he'd just had still clung to his mind.
"You get us a room?" he asked, slowly getting up. Daniel used the car's door to hoist himself up, but had trouble straightening out. After a small pause, he slowly did and was face to face with Bell-boy.

"Probably want to bring some of those clothes and the food," Daniel pointed out. It'd be good to walk for a bit. There were a host of problems correlated with sitting still too much after surgery and Daniel didn't care to face any of them.
"I hate to break it to you, Bell-boy, but as romantic as this is..." he shrugged, a half-smirk on his face. It'd been a while and now it'd be even longer on his account.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 8d 1h 40m 23s
It started to snow. Bell's grip on the wheel got tighter, eyes narrowed to watch the road ahead more carefully. If it got to be too much, he'd pull over, just like Daniel asked. But until then, he'd keep moving. It was the only thing that made him feel like he was in control.

Beside him, Daniel was drifting in and out of consciousness. He didn't know if that was good or bad--if he should let the man rest, or keep him awake to keep him here, aware. In the end, he just let Daniel be. What else could he do? He wasn't any kind of medical personnel. Even if he kept Daniel awake, then what? Then they'd have more confusing conversations, and he'd just end up lost, completely lost with no way out and no map of where to go.

The sun set, and the snow started falling harder. Bell slowed down, matching the pace of the cars around them. One of the cars stopped suddenly, and he hit his brakes as well, only for the car to start sliding forward, brakes useless. Bell's stomach fell out of his body. He slammed his hand out in front of Daniel, bracing for the impact, but a second before it came, his tires found traction, and he stopped at last.

He just sat there for a second, breathing fast. He'd almost died, he'd almost fucked them up for good. No good, this was no good. A car honked, and he startled into motion, every movement too fast, too precise as he got the car moving again. They had to find somewhere to rest, now. He couldn't keep going.

It was another long set of slow miles before he found a hotel waiting off an exit. He took it in a heartbeat and navigated down the off-ramp into a sleepy little town. The hotel wasn't far off the ramp; he sighed to see it. When he pulled into the parking lot at last, his whole body relaxed, letting off tension he hadn't even known he'd felt.

He glanced over, but Daniel was asleep. "Gonna get us a room," he announced to the sleeping man, then hurried out through the snow to the hotel. He wasn't the only stranded driver; a family of four stood ahead of him, getting their room. The man behind the counter gave him a vague smile, and he nodded back. "One bed," he requested, flashing Daniel's card. The man nodded and got him set up, and he hurried back out into the cold, two key cards heavier.

The car had cooled some, but it was still warmer than outside. "Daniel, I got us a hotel, want to wake up and walk in?" he offered gently, in the voice used for children and sick people. He was fully ready to carry Daniel if he had to, though.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 8d 3h 11m 23s
Bell-boy's summary was on point. Daniel watched the man, but Bell-boy's gaze was directed at the road. His mind however seemed elsewhere entirely. If Bell-goat's cogs had also resided in Bell's head, Daniel imagined he could hear them spin right this second as Bell-boy tried to give the information he just spat out a place -or not.
"Yeah," he sighed.
He didn't know either.
Daniel rested a hand at the incision-site where the hybrid had stabbed him and tried to get comfortable again. It was a fruitless effort and he gave up. Even the water he'd just drank didn't sit that well no more. Pain wasn't an emotion, but close enough, because it wasn't really a sensation either. Each time Daniel thought the pain dulled down, that he'd gotten used to it, it flared back up again.

In the end, Daniel copied Bell-boy and stared at the road, watching as the grey clouds from before packed tight, orange almost against the street-lights that'd switched on prematurely. Soon enough the first snowflake came drifting down, calmly for now, but with increasing intensity. It wasn't exactly a storm, but Daniel figured Bell-boy wouldn't exactly be comfortable driving in these conditions either. Hopefully it'd be the last snow they'd see for a good while.

"If it gets too much, we need to find a place to pull over," Daniel muttered wearily. He rather they pull over sooner, rather than later. Maybe there was something he could take in the first-aid kit they'd stolen from the hunters that would smother the pain.

In the end, it didn't matter.
Daniel felt himself grow tired fighting the pain as time passed. Sleep didn't seem possible, but he started to drift a little. His eyelids were heavy, occasionally closing as if guided by someone else's will. Daniel liked to believe he didn't sleep, but every time he woke, it felt as if he'd come back from a deeper layer of consciousness to an increasingly whiter world.

And then he felt himself falling. Deeper and deeper into darkness. At the bottom of that pit, Daniel stood, lost. The darkness was so pressing, it felt like an actual weight pushing down on his shoulders, his lungs, his gut. He was bleeding. Dark, crimson droplets descended upon that darkness and were lost in its void.
When he moved the world spun, twisting and churning like the goats' cogs. He was caught by something immeasurably greater than he was, even if it didn't have form. Daniel wanted to get back up, but felt himself being lifted instead.
Confusion pulled at him. Shreds of images fluttered by. Memories. His life. An empty road. Becky's near-corpse.
Bell hovering over her.
It was all wrong.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 8d 3h 40m 37s
The road slipping by made it easier to just listen to Daniel, rather than interject or think too hard about what he was saying; he had to put enough focus into just driving that all he could do was listen. So she was... his predecessor, essentially. The Bell-goat who'd come before him. Well, it wouldn't have been Bell-goat back then, but Becky-goat, huh? He almost chuckled, but it was far too serious for that. Everything about this was deadly serious.

"So... she was my goat, I killed her, but I was also already a different goat, so Bell-goat--her goat--took over my shell instead of sticking with her?" he summed it up. And she was able to come out because Bell-goat was weakened from fighting off the vat-goat's infection?

On top of that, forget being the original Benjamin; he wasn't even the original copy. He had memories from a dead copy of him that wasn't even the same as this him--but it felt the same. Those memories felt real. Hurtling her--that wasn't him. But at the same time, it was him. Or was it? It was like Spot saying the memories he got from Bell were his. It was such a short amount of time, but still...a lot had happened. A lot had happened, that'd really shaped who he'd become. But... it wasn't him. That guilt wasn't his.

But he'd have done the same, wouldn't he? That was why he'd felt so guilty for all this time; because he felt the potential for that kind of aggression inside of him, and it made him nervous. And he was right to be nervous, wasn't he? He'd almost hurt Daniel a couple of times at the shed. He was capable of some real shitty stuff.

"I...I don't know," he muttered, half to himself. This was all too much. He didn't know what to do with any of it. His knuckles tightened on the wheel. He'd gone back to the shed for answers, but he'd only ended up with more questions. How was she inside him? How had this happened? Could she come back out? Was she his Landon, now? Everything was all mixed up. And on top of everything, the lovely cherry on this shitty sundae, was that Daniel was hurt real bad, and nothing was healing him. Hell, his goat hadn't even recovered. Who knew when it'd be that there goatling was finally able to do anything.

No. He wasn't going to think about that. Drive. He'd just drive, until everything was well behind them. Then everything would be okay.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 8d 5h 59m 5s
So Bell-boy had stayed in the car, huh? Not a surprise. Daniel shifted, "just not used to it," he muttered in regard to the pain. When he'd get hurt out on the street and they applied their own medicine, he'd be in pain from the start. Now he went from numb to pretty damn achy, so Daniel felt uncomfortable as things tried to settle. Pain tired him out more than anything and he didn't want to sleep like that -there'd be nightmares now, what with the goatling gone.

"Like you -she's...she was Bell-goat, and you killed her," Daniel started. Surely Bell would know what that meant: a very pissed off goat.
"I bet...I bet she was hunting your goat from the get-go, which made it try and find a way to fight back," he gave Bell a look. "It found you, you're friends, she must've...," Daniel yawned, "she must have forsaken what warnings she felt from Bell-goat to go with you. Explains why copying Ben was such a messy job. Or maybe that's why Bell-goat was after it to start with."
Daniel drank a few more sips of water and put it away.
"She'd only been doing it for a year or so, she said," he breathed.

"Uhm, as she told it, Bell-goat won over the other goat after she died, but you got picked to be the shell." Daniel didn't know whether that was true, but it explained a lot. He looked at Bell to gauge the man's reaction.

"Now that Bell-goat's suffering the same as the goatling, she must've been able to fight out from under it's control. You changed in the shed, she's...I don't know, I knocked her out to stop her from going anywhere. Didn't know what to do," he apologized and rubbed the back of his head. Greasy. He wanted a decent shower or bath, but with the bandages in the place where they were, that wouldn't happen.
Did they even need changing? They'd have to check on the incisions at some point.
Take out some stitches.

Daniel rested back. All the talking tired him out. He wasn't as drowsy as before, or sleepy. The painkillers he'd pushed in the hospital were slowly relinquishing their grip over his mind. It was probably a good thing, all in all. Rather feel a bit more with it so he could help Bell-boy. He shifted as a part of his intestines cried out, until it died down again. Cars really weren't as comfortable.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 8d 15h 51m 40s
Found a place to stay? Bell looked at Daniel like he'd grown another head. While he didn't even know where Daniel was? Daniel should know better than that. "Car," he said at last. "It's just one day, I'm fine. We should get a little further away."

Though maybe he should stop so Daniel could rest. The man looked pained. Wait, pain. Bell slapped his forehead. "Shit. Forgot the painkillers." He dug in his coat, then grabbed at the half-ransacked first aid kit. Okay, good. They still had a few. Was that enough, though? He looked at Daniel. "Should I go back..."

Silencer thing? He opened the glove compartment, then slammed it back shut. A gun, huh. Not something you wanted to flash around a random parking lot.

"What?" he asked, startled. Becky was a hunter? Or... was she like him? What? "Like me, or like a hunter?" he asked. Had to be like him, right? No way would the hunters enlist someone like her. But... Becky! She'd just been his friend, just another kid! How on Earth had she been a hunter?

Daniel kept talking, rambling. Bell blinked at him for a full ten seconds before his brain caught up. Snow? They should get out of dodge, then! He reached for the wheel, only to get handed a pair of pants. He just grabbed them, slightly overwhelmed by everything that was going on. Becky was--and they had a gun, and he might turn into Becky, and he'd forgotten the pain meds, and Daniel was hurt, and now--pants. What was he supposed to do? What could he do?

He put the pants down and reached for the wheel. Drive. He could drive. They had to get out of here. Police, and hunters, and snow and such. At least that was something he could accomplish. Mechanically, he put the car in drive and started them for the road. He was still in control of that much of his life. Even if it wasn't much, it was better than nothing. He had to keep it together. Someone had to, and Daniel wasn't doing it, so it had to be him. He pushed his hair back. He missed what, one day, and everything went to shit? Just his life.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 9d 21m 22s
When Bell-boy returned, the man seemed determined and focussed. Stressed, more like. Similar to all those rushed nurses he'd seen drifting by. Maybe it was him then. Even the thought of being that energetic was outlandish to him at the moment. Daniel narrowed his eyes at Bell.
When was the last time the man slept? Ate a meal?
Daniel took the things Bell-boy offered, fit the knife into the coat and put the bottle of water to the side for now. Once that was settled, Daniel wrestled into the new coat and turned down the heating. Better. For both of them, probably.

He kept the blankets covering most of him, despite the coat.
For some reason, his body just wasn't as efficient at maintaining a decent temperature. No painkillers. It hadn't escaped his notice. Daniel knew Bell-boy thought he was an addict at the best of times, but didn't having surgery almost a day ago warrant some aspirin at the very least?
Daniel rubbed at his face and blinked back to reality.

"You find a place to stay last night?" he poked cautiously. Bell looked tired. "You can't drive all day and night, let's find a place to stay today, hmm?" Daniel ventured. If he was going to have to suffer through the pain all sober, he'd at least want to do so in a comfortable bed, rather than a car-chair.
"Pretty sure whatever hybrid's still chasing us will be falling apart," he mumbled with a yawn. Oh, the pistol.
"Still got the silencer-thing," Daniel waved at the glove-compartment. He'd left it there for Becky, just in case she needed a weapon. She'd been able to use it pretty effectively.

"Becky...she'd been hunting goats, she said," he muttered and crossed his arms in front of him to preserve some warmth. "For like a year."
Daniel stifled another yawn, owlishly blinking at the grey and white scenery that turned darker as the hours turned. "Looks like snow." He took the bottle of water and fiddled with the cap, slowly twisting the top to get to the water. Daniel didn't drink much.
Most of him was still pretty numb.

"Oh, your pants, might want to wear those -you'll end up with the flu or something," Daniel rambled. He worried for Bell. They hadn't really been able to talk about what'd happened with Becky and everything. Daniel wasn't sure he was up for much talking either.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 9d 1h 31m 5s
The supermarket wasn't too crowded, overall. The grocery section was a bit of a mess, people all rushing about to grab the last of the bread and milk, but he had the rest of the store to himself. A coat was the first thing he bought, something hardy but cheap, so it wouldn't be too much of a loss the next time they tore it up or lost it or whatever. Water bottles were the next stop. At that, he realized he'd need a cart to tote his purchases around, and hurried back to grab one. Liquid meal-replacement shakes joined the water; he figured Daniel would need them, since he couldn't eat solids. Knives were harder, but luckily they were far enough in the boonies that the store had a hunting section. He grabbed two; one for each of them.

His stomach grumbled. Bell put a hand to it, then sighed. Hadn't eaten since last night. He really had to be more careful. He grabbed a premade sandwich from the deli and headed to the checkout, mechanically placing his purchases on the belt.

Becky had come out. Come out of him. How? What did that even mean? It had to be something with the goat, right? Something... like that. But wait, then... Becky had been a goat? But how was she in him? It didn't make sense. Nothing was adding up. He was glad he hadn't been wrong, but... he didn't know what to make of this. Of her.


Bell looked up, and met the eyes of an annoyed cashier. Oh. Time to pay. He grabbed Daniel's card and swiped it, then keyed in the PIN. Everything was coming down at once. Something was wrong with the goat and the goatling, Daniel was hurt, he was turning into Becky, the hunters were back-- he breathed out a long breath and heaved the bags into his cart. Everything was going to shit. Everything was going to shit, but he had to keep it together. If he didn't, who would?

A cold wind rolled up his legs as he returned to the car, leaving him shivering. They couldn't get out of this cold fast enough. He loaded up the trunk with their purchases, grabbing out the relevant bits to hold onto--the coat, his knife, Daniel's knife, a water bottle each, the sandwich--then climbed back into the driver's seat. Driving wasn't bad, right now. Kept him focused.

"Here," he said, holding out the jacket, knife, and water bottle for Daniel. Then he started up the car again and nosed it out of the parking lot. They had to keep moving.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 9d 2h 48m 46s

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