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Bell caught his breath and tried to master his anger as Daniel spoke. His heart was still pounding away, racing like mad to produce the energy he'd need to face a threat that didn't exist. He knew it wasn't a good idea to keep up in this vein. He'd just end up hurting her. Maybe even kill her.
Or not, because Daniel was going to do it before he could get the chance.
He gave Daniel a wild stare, still not calmed down. He'd just shown her the goatling? What if she [i was] a goat? Or connected to the hunters? Or--well, she could blab all she wanted to whoever she wanted to, really. They'd just think she was on drugs, because she was homeless and looked dirty. Spot barked as she ran past him, and she let out a little squeal, but the dog didn't attack--more amused by having a play-partner than anything, chasing alongside her until she escaped the building. Sighing, he turned to watch her as she vanished into the streets, just another dirty blot; then he turned back to Daniel, giving his arm a surreptitious glance. It looked fine, though; the goatling had reverted as it always did, without leaving a trace.
"Hopefully it's allies," Bell said, pushing his hair back. He did not want to deal with Daniel's alcoholism and hunters at the same time. He snorted at Daniel's suggestion, but nodded. "She'll probably come back, especially if we aren't around. We'll have to be vigilant."
After all, it wasn't as though the town had a wealth of places for the homeless to sleep, and she'd been awful territorial of this one. Actually, they'd have to mind she didn't kill them in their sleep. Well--didn't kill Daniel. If she killed him, she'd have more trouble on her hands than a fifteen-year-old could deal with. Not that he pegged her as a killer. Even he'd had trouble with just taking out goats, at that age.
"So. Wanna go get supplies?" he asked Daniel, swinging his leg onto the scaffolding. Pushing him off the second floor... talk about sloppy. What was she trying to do, break his ankle? A few steps down the ladder, he paused and glanced up at Daniel, all but begging with his eyes. "Wanna get some real meat and pull the grill out?" It'd be so nice, after all the canned bullshit they'd been dealing with...
Had there been a tell? He’d just seen the gleam in her eyes, nothing else. If there was a goat inside of her that’d recognised him in that way, the girl hadn’t betrayed any outward signals as blatantly as they were used to seeing.
“No, I don’t think so,” Daniel muttered.
Rather leave one alive than try and kill a human. His opinion was about to change: Bell-boy muttered something about getting Spot up the scaffolding and the girl moved. For a second, Daniel was caught in surprise, but then she practically body-slammed into Bell-boy. The man was too heavy for her to shift. Bell stood his ground and turned the tables on her.
Daniel thought for sure Bell would hit her, but then he backed down.
The exchange had happened so fast, Daniel wasn’t sure whether it’d even happened, if it weren’t for Bell-boy’s sheer anger. She backed off, part guilt, part disappointment on her face. They were a threat. Daniel could tell by the way she regarded them. Of course. There were two of them and they were male. She hadn’t thought her attack through. Even if she’d have successfully dealt with Bell-boy, Daniel was still there.
Steal money? What they needed to be worried for was getting their lives taken.
“Maybe it’s a better idea you leave, little girl,” Daniel said threateningly. “Wouldn’t want anything to happen to a pretty face like that.”
“Creep,” she muttered, defiant if nothing else.
“Yeah? You don’t know half of it,” Daniel snorted, then reached for her. Black skin contorted the length of his lower arm and wrist, stretched the skin and bones beyond what was humanly possible and the girl’s eyes grew wide as saucers. Dark fingers elongated, even as Daniel stepped closer. She bolted.
Daniel chuckled, flexing his fingers until everything was human and back in place.
“How long till the rumour-mill starts producing either hunters or allies?” Daniel suggested with a grin. He wished he could’ve enjoyed his revenge for a longer time though. Anything to distract from himself was good.
“Should watch our backs a little more, huh? Next she might gain ten pounds and tip you over for real,” he said, running his eyes over Bell-boy. Not as if a fifteen-something had anything on Bell.
Nowhere else to be? Bell tried not to sympathize, but it was hard. He knew what that felt like. It was impossible to tell if she was a runaway, or a stray, homeless like them. He knew it was stupid to feel sympathy, that she'd just use them the second they showed any weakness, but... he knew what it was like to be there, and somehow it hurt to see someone where he'd been.
When she shouted, it gave it away; a boy's voice would crack before it went that high. Bell just smirked. "Think you should be saying 'thanks' instead."
"Why?" she snapped, eyes narrowing.
He grinned a little wider. "Because we're not running you off, that's why," he explained.
She flipped him off, and Bell shook his head and released the pipe. Stupid kid. Well, he'd been there once. Nothing they could do but ignore her.
Moving closer to Daniel, he leaned in. "Did you see the tell?" he asked quietly. Daniel had met eyes with her first. If she was a goat, she would've done it for Daniel, but not necessarily for Bell.
Spot barked, and Bell walked over to the edge and looked down at him. The dog grinned stupidly at the sight of Bell, tongue hanging out. "We gotta figure out a way to get Spot up here," he muttered, then shook his head. Wrong order to things. First they had to get supplies, bring their gear over. "Should move the car closer, once we get supplies." He didn't feel like lugging everything through the grass and forests from the strip mall where they'd parked it.
He heard someone come up behind him, footsteps lighter than Daniel's; then hands pushed at his back, all the girl's weight thrown against him. Bell staggered forward, but caught himself, toes on the very edge of the building, heart racing as adrenaline pumped through his system. He twisted to the side and threw her off, the girl almost staggering off the edge herself. Just before she fell, he grabbed her and raised his hand, and she flinched away, eyes wide and scared--Bell swallowed his anger and tossed her aside instead, away from the ledge. She landed hard, but jumped right back up, retreating from him. "What the fuck?" he snapped at her, almost screaming. "We're going to let you stay here! What, do you really think you can beat two grown men off this building? Just chill the fuck out and share the goddamn building!"
“Yeah, seems like we’re late to the game,” Daniel smirked, giving the kid a good look. Bell-boy was already reaching for his pipe, but Daniel doubted it was needed. Unless the kid toted a gun, an attack would be utterly pointless.
Not a kid, huh? That voice proved all the difference. Daniel gave the kid an unimpressed look, shrugging. The only threat the kid would pose would be if he or she stole some of their money -or tried to anyway. It was a girl. He could tell. Something about the structure of her face clued it away.
Daniel narrowed his eyes.
“Don’t you have any other place to be?” he questioned. For a second, it looked as if the young woman was going to lash out again, but then she gave a solemn shake of her head.
“No, so you can fuck off,” she muttered.
Almost bitter. They were intense emotions, hidden under a fine layer of spunk. Young then. Perhaps younger than he’d guessed her at. Rather than stay huddled in the corner, she rose, slowly, making herself big. Daniel gave her a bemused glance.
He found himself wondering how Alice would grow up. What would his dead daughter look like?
She wouldn’t have dark hair, that much was for sure.
“Looks like we found a place to sleep,” he remarked, then turned and left the room. The girl shot Bell a glance, looked at the almost-drawn pipe and then scowled.
“Hey! Didn’t you hear me say you can fuck off? You can’t stay here. I was here first!” she shouted at Daniel’s back.
“Hey!” She looked at Bell. “Is he deaf? Get the fuck out.”
Daniel pointedly ignored the shouting behind him. The girl, whoever she was, had nothing on them. To boot, Daniel feared she might know about the hunters. If she did, it’d be interesting to hang around and learn some new things. Of course, she could just be a sorry kid who’d opted for the streets over whatever home she came from. Either way it wouldn’t impede them staying in the building. It was big enough to share. And if she did try to steal, Spot would need a little less breakfast.
Bell glanced up. "Good thing there's no sign of rain, then," he mentioned. Sky was clear and bright, nary a cloud to be seen. Reminded him of the song: sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue... not that he'd expect Daniel to know that one.
"We can chase off any kids easy enough," Bell commented, kicking a can. It rattled off over solid concrete, loud as a siren. "We're the big, scary homeless men, after all."
The only thing he was really worried about was the backache they'd wake up with from sleeping on such a hard surface. He had no illusions about himself anymore; he was soft, used to beds and pillows. This night was going to be a little rough. He wandered into the next room, hoping against hope that there was a mattress here, but no luck; the only thing he found was a giant penis crudely sketched on the wall. He regarded it, amused. Glad to see the classics still hanging around.
Was he seeing--? Bell bolted out of the room for Daniel, mildly concerned, but this was no illusion. A kid was all huddled up on the floor, eyes glinting with a frightened sheen; they jumped when Bell appeared. When Daniel spoke, those glistening eyes darted to him, but the kid didn't say anything. "Looks like someone's staked this place out already," he said with a smirk, one hand sliding subtly towards his pipe. He knew how it could be. Cornered by two strange men...the kid might get it in...his? Her? He honestly wasn't sure--mind to attack. "Mind sharing, kid?"
"I'm not a kid!" the kid protested. Their voice didn't help Bell one bit in determining their gender; it was somewhere between alto and tenor, and hell, maybe his voice hadn't broken yet. If it was a he. The kid shifted, reaching for something, but stopped when Bell raised his eyebrows at them, caught.
It was almost nostalgic, in its own way. He really should run the kid off, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. Reminded him of himself, a little, sleeping out here, wearing scraps, hair all mussed up... though for all he knew, they were just throwing a fit and hiding out from mom and dad for a day. He glanced at Daniel and shrugged a little. He didn't mind if the kid stayed. Daniel was better at people, though.
He laughed. Some dogs, but obviously not Spot. The mutt had a dumb look to give at the very suggestion and he shook his head.
“They’re not mountain-goats…then again,” Daniel surmised with half a shrug. Spot was me type of goat at least. He crouched down next to Spot and stroked the animal’s fur.
“Stay out of trouble,” Daniel warned the mutt and then waited for Bell-boy to reach the top and followed. The scaffolding didn’t feel very stable, but for all that it shook and groaned, Daniel managed to get up fairly easily.
So this is where the climbing cool-kids went. Definitely a boy’s pad.
“As long as it doesn't start to rain, it looks good,” he said, surveying the spaces available to them. One even had the remnants of a fire. Meaning it’d be dry during the rain, most likely. But not everything would. That, and the uninspired grey wouldn’t trigger any delusions, though some of the graffiti might. Daniel cocked his head at some ‘art-work’, trying to make sense of what he was looking at.
“That, and the rest depends on our company,” he gestured at the painted walls. Some poor kid might actually favour sleeping out here rather than in their parents-provided dump. He could imagine that.
Daniel followed Bell-boy further down the floor, nudging a few cans out of the way. A rat scurried along the wall, then disappeared into a hole. Yeah, they were definitely having company tonight. But he could live with some rats and roaches. More so than he could with dead cats.
That said, the floor wouldn’t exactly be the most comfortable thing on Earth to sleep on. After last night, the contrast would be pretty sharp. There wasn’t much else on the second floor either. Some wooden boards were propped up against a wall in one of the rooms. Maybe they could use some to sleep on. It’d be only a smidgen up from the concrete though.
They could even haul the grill out here, if they wanted to. Plenty of ventilation.
Daniel was about to give the place the all clear when he saw something huddled on the floor against a corner. Dark eyes shone deceptively bright and Daniel thought for a moment he was having another delusion.
“Uhm, Bell-boy? Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Because Daniel made no illusion out of the fact that Bell-boy had likely already caught on to his less than stable state. The kid looked young, maybe barely sixteen, if that. They were dressed in dark clothes, eyes wild. The length of their hair was no clue to their gender.
“Hi,” Daniel dead-panned with a grin.
True enough. Bell shook his head at Daniel and kept wandering, kicking a few beer cans out of the way. At least no one had gotten it in their head to fill the empty cans with piss. He'd run across that prank before, and it was never pleasant to deal with.
"Yeah," he agreed, though he honestly hadn't known it wasn't a weekend. He didn't keep track of things like the day of the week. Hadn't for years. Unless there was something to remind him, or some reason to need to know.
In a dark corner, he startled some cockroaches feeding on a dried-up puddle of some sort of liquid, and the bugs scuttled off into the darkness. He watched them disappear, then moved closer, peering around. Not much in the corner, aside from some bug corpses and a couple more bottles. Cockroaches weren't great bedfellows, but they were better than a dead cat, he supposed.
Daniel called out, and he turned and threaded his way through the hall until he found Daniel, standing by some scaffolding. "Some dogs can," Bell said, looking at Spot. Spot looked back, eyebrows raised in innocent curiosity. Then Bell sighed. "Probably not this one, though." They'd have to carry him up. "We can leave him here for now, then haul him up if we're going to spend the night." No point in hauling Spot around for the examination. Even if they decided to stay the night, they'd have to haul him back down again when they went to get supplies.
The scaffolding rattled, but held. Bell reached out and started climbing; might as well go first. A little fall wouldn't hurt him much. His leg ached a bit when the skin was pulled and stretched in the motion of climbing, but it wasn't crippling pain, so he kept going.
The second floor was like the first, only more graffiti and fewer beer cans. The walls weren't complete, but some of the area was boxed off, and there were complete rooms filled in, though the rooms had empty spaces where windows and doors would go. There was a black spot on the concrete where someone had made a fire, tucked back into a corner where it wouldn't be visible from outside, but it looked as though it had been vacated for a while now. "What do you think?" he asked Daniel, moving further into the second floor to poke around in the rooms.
Daniel watched as Bell-boy squirmed through the narrow hole in the fence, then looked from Bell to Spot, trying to measure out how to fit a dog through. Spot returned Daniel’s gaze with the same sort of suspicion, almost as if saying ‘oh, hell no’, but then Daniel smirked at the mutt and coaxed him over. In the end, it was easier to get Spot through than it was to wrestle himself through.
Breaking the fence hadn’t seemed beneficial to their cause either.
Daniel looked up at the imposing building, letting out a sigh. Hopefully it wouldn’t have more dead animals to find. That image really unsettled his nerves, despite him being okay with things like those when caught at a good time.
“Yeah, question is who and what; maybe when,” Daniel agreed with Bell. He didn’t mind people as much, but it’d get awkward if said people had staked a claim. They’d be treated as trespassers then regardless of the law.
Cool kids, huh? Daniel chuckled.
“If beer and graffiti is the height of their rebellion, I’m sure we’ll be just fine,” Daniel pointed out. There wasn’t enough beer to really get anyone properly drunk, so he surmised these people were smokers rather than drinkers. That said, he was almost tempted to see whether some of the cans still had beer in them.
“It’s not a weekend, so it’s unlikely they’ll be there tonight,” he shrugged and ventured further into the building. The concrete was a dull grey to which only the kids’ paintings brought life. Most of the time the graffiti were no more than marks; painted in black. No more than initials.
Some barely readable.
Water soaked into the concrete where the lower floor wasn’t yet covered by the upper-floor and it’d started to wear the material down. Still water was caught in large puddles on the floor in some places.
There weren’t really stairs either, but there was some scaffolding. Daniel gave Spot a look. “Can dogs climb?” he posed. Could have a look upstairs, but they’d have to carry Spot up. Or find some planks to bridge the height.
“Found a way up,” he called out to Bell, looking around for whatever else was there. Nothing else much. The scaffolding looked used, but sturdier than the stairs they’d almost fallen through earlier. Daniel gave one of the beams a shake for good measure.
They kept walking, sometimes passing by strip malls or old stores, sometimes passing by homes. A building site loomed up, stripped down and unfinished; Daniel pointed it out before Bell could. He leaned back, giving it a good, hard look. Memories of a night in Pennsylvania spent shivering on bare, hard concrete came to him, but he shook them off. It was hot here, hot enough the cool concrete would feel nice. "Worth a look," he said, and started for one of the holes in the fence.
Though it looked easy to step through from a distance, the hole ended up being a little high off the ground and a little narrower than he had anticipated. With some effort, he managed to squirm through, then reached back. "Pass Spot through," he told Daniel. No way would the dog be able to climb through this.
Once everyone was through, he led the way towards the building. From closer, it was imposing, the dark, unfinished facade almost glaring down at them. Towards the ground, it was almost finished, doors and windows set in place, but higher up, the windows gaped open. A door barred their way, but it opened when Bell pulled, even before he could bring the goat's strength to bear. "Someone's been here before," he said, as though the graffiti wasn't evidence enough.
The first floor was a mess. Light seeped through the windows, bright enough to light the place up completely; and it was a large space, a big, empty hall that might have been meant to hold cubicles, only the cubicles never got installed. Instead, the light illuminated the remains of someone's party; beer cans, bottles, cigarettes stuffed in the mouths of the cans, beads scattered on the floor, even a pair of jeans lying crumpled in the middle of the room. A rickety table stood at one end of the hall, and graffiti adorned the walls, ranging from artistic pieces to shitty tags.
"Looks like we've discovered where the 'cool kids' go," Bell joked. He moved further into the room, poking around for a staircase. The first floor wasn't going to work, not if it was a party room. Chances were, no one would use it while he and Daniel were around, but he didn't want to be so rudely awakened if it was.
Dog-bowls? Didn’t they- They did. He’d gotten a couple back when they’d started travelling, hadn’t he? Daniel let out a bemused snort.
“Didn’t think about that,” he excused. Then again, he had plenty to think about already. Or plenty to try and not think about.
“I think we may actually have bowls,” Daniel pointed out. He shrugged, then followed Bell-boy as he lead the way alongside the road. Plenty of old buildings to go around, some more lived in than others. Daniel trusted Bell-boy’s judgement more than his. After all, they favoured luxury whereas Bell-boy was used to just about anything. Glad Bell-boy drew the line at dead cats though.
“Looks reasonable,” Daniel agreed when Bell mentioned a vacant home, furnished and everything. They kept walking. Daniel didn’t mind it; the anxious tremble in his hands was slowly crawling upwards, leaving him restless and walking mitigated the nervous energy into something more productive.
Flashes of the creature they-…no. The create he’d seen came cropping back in every now and again. Whenever he thought to see something in the shadows, but the day-light was far too bright to cater to such thoughts.
It wasn’t long before they happened upon an abandoned building-site. Perhaps built in the hopes of making something out of this place and, realising their failure, never finished. There were signs of life though. Empty cans and graffiti on the concrete skeleton walls. Iron rods were decaying on the air as they reached for the sky above the grey slabs.
It was kind of sad. There weren’t many of these kinds of towns and cities where he was from.
“Looks abandoned well enough,” Daniel pointed out. There were fences, but some were askew and pulled apart to give way to narrow entrances. Hopefully just kids fooling around. Kids like that usually had places to go at night, leaving the site abandoned.
“Do you want to take a look and see whether it’s lived in?” Memories of Mr Pan returned. The lunatic. It’d been when he’d first learned Bell was a goat.
Look at them now though.
Totally embraced their unnatural calling.
Daniel found himself regretting he hadn’t let Bell-goat fuck him to imbibe him with a little offspring.
Get bandages for...? Bell followed Daniel's look, then shrugged. "It doesn't really hurt," he said. He figured he'd be fine. They were only little cuts and scrapes, after all, nothing serious like getting shot in the gut. He smirked a little at that. Was that what it took for an injury to be serious, nowadays? But he'd been injured so much lately, it was hard to worry about something so small as these little scrapes.
He pulled out a bottle and took a drink while Daniel fed Spot some of his. "We should really get Spot some dog bowls, or something," Bell commented. It'd make feeding the mutt that much easier. He shook his head, then gestured for Daniel to follow and led the way along the side of the road. It was a residential-esque area; they'd find something. An abandoned house, a house under construction, something. Or maybe another old, empty strip mall.
A house under construction didn't seem likely, as they kept walking. Most of the houses were grand old structures, out of place beside the strip malls and abandoned bars, the trappings of abject poverty all around. A big, empty building with broken windows and a high chain link fence warning people to stay out that had, by the signs out front, once been a club of some sort, was wired up with a satellite dish hanging out one of the broken windows, the shadow of a couch beyond; looked like that one was already staked out. Bell kept walking, hopeful. With this much poverty, there should be a wealth of abandoned buildings for them.
It didn't take long before he found one, this one in much better shape than the first. Where the first house had been completely and utterly abandoned, left to rot in the wilderness, this one looked more like someone's empty vacation home. The yard was overgrown, but not terribly, and the house was furnished, the furniture covered in dust cloths. "We'd have to keep an eye out for a burglar alarm, but that's an option," Bell said, nodding at it as he kept walking. Should poke around a little more, get the lay of the land, see if there wasn't a better candidate somewhere between "rotted to ruin" and "burglar alarm."
“Yeah, that’s why I suggest we go get some?” Daniel said, looking over Bell-boy with a slightly confused expression. Apparently that didn’t stop Bell from rummaging through the now heated car, coming up with several warm bottles of water. Daniel raised his eyebrows and shrugged. Beggars couldn’t be choosers. He took one and uncapped the bottle, taking tentative sips of the warm water.
Oh. He bet Bell-boy figured they’d ‘go get it’ -from the car. Oh well, it worked out. Daniel shook his head. He didn’t need anything else, aside from his sanity maybe. Ever since they set foot outside of that house however, he felt better. He also got the nasty sense they ought to have checked the basement. If the house was bad enough to scare off any illegitimate trespassers, it was the perfect hide-out.
It wasn’t worth it though.
A cold shiver ran up his spine and Daniel thoughtfully capped the bottle again, starting off in a random direction. If Bell-boy wanted to go elsewhere, Daniel was pretty sure the man would say something. He shot a glance at the man’s leg.
“Should we be getting bandages for those?” he pointed at the blood-speckled leg of pants. It didn’t seem to bother Bell-boy as much by the looks of things, but the house was old. If Bell didn’t use the goat to heal those injuries, they were pretty likely to go nasty without further treatment.
Maybe they could get a cold beer at a bar or something. Sit out front, lounge in the sun, just relaxing. His delusions were more likely to take a spin for the better that way. He hadn’t been bothered by seeing Bell-boy or some colleagues, talking with them when he knew no one was looking.
Daniel crouched down and called Spot over.
“C’mere, you mutt,” Daniel lured the creature, then poured some water for the animal on his hand. Spot caught on eagerly, lapping the moisture up with gusto before it could run away entirely. Daniel playfully ran the soggy hand through Spot’s fur, giving the dog a temporary mane. He wiped his hand on his pants and continued his way.
Alright, walking it was. At least Daniel felt well enough to walk. He grinned back, glad Daniel could manage a smile, lopsided though it might be. Better than the delusion-fueled panic.
And then suddenly they were face to face, and Bell had to stutter-step to a short stop to keep himself from running into Daniel. "I meant if we were going to stay and camp in the truck," he explained about the supplies. They didn't have any water, for one, so they'd have to get that first thing. Either way, they'd have to get water, really, whether they used the truck or found somewhere new. But all he'd been trying to say was that regardless, they'd have to go for some kind of walk, whether it be for supplies or to find a place to sleep. He poked Daniel gently to get him to start moving again.
"I have no doubt," he replied dryly, leveling Daniel with an unamused look. He'd learned to tolerate Bell-boy; he had absolutely no desire to learn to tolerate any other nicknames. Knowing Daniel, it'd doubtlessly be derogatory, too. The man's idea of "cute" felt more like "putting everyone else down" most of the time. At least he seemed pleased with himself over it, which was always better than mopey.
Water? Bell frowned. "I thought we were out of water."
They pushed through the last of the brambles and came up on the truck, and he walked over and unlocked it to peer inside. The truck was like an oven; even he felt sick after peering inside. Another reason to find somewhere else, right there: he didn't want to get baked alive in his sleep. Moving quickly to escape the heat as soon as possible, he ran through the bags and various bits on the floor. Daniel was right; there was water. Just not much. Three bottles, one for each of them.
He came up with his prizes and passed Daniel a bottle. "We weren't out, but these are the last of them," he said, putting the last two in his pockets. "Alright. You need anything else, or are we ready to go?" It was too hot for Bell to be hungry, but maybe Daniel was.
It was as if the sun melted away all the bad things. Alice was gone, at second glance. He couldn’t hear the creature. However the door leading into the house was a gaping hole, with only darkness lurking behind its depths. Daniel caught himself staring when Bell-boy started talking and instead focussed on the man. Keep looking or camp out? He’d had enough of the truck for a while.
‘I uhm…” Bell-boy beat him to it; more walking then? His stomach wouldn’t mind, but then camping out wasn’t quite the same as driving around. Or was it? Daniel just nodded faintly, leading the way at Bell-boy’s instructions, though it made him feel a little lost to do so. Lenny had a thing for following Bell-boy; he didn’t. But right now, it would’ve been easier. Maybe that’s why Lenny liked it so much.
“I mean it’s early, right? I can walk,” Daniel pointed out. As if to prove his point he glanced back and gave Bell a lopsided smile.
The rush of adrenalin had one thing going for it: he wasn’t feel sick no more.
Supplies, why were they getting supplies? They hadn’t even found a place to stay yet. Daniel pondered the matter, then turned about-face to give Bell-boy a confused look.
“Shouldn’t we leave the supplies in there ‘till we find a decent place?” Or maybe Bell-boy liked snacking on the way. Could be. The man had taken several cans already hadn’t he?
Bell-boy just earned himself a new nickname. Daniel grinned at himself, quite proud of himself for that one.
It suited remarkably well.
“You know, if you ever grow tired of the ‘Bell-boy’, I do have a few other suggestions,” Daniel started with a chuckle. He was slowly calming down. No more delusions. The truck loomed up after a short walk and Daniel held pace near it. His hands were still shaky. Despite everything. And the hot sun was uncomfortable, and it still beat the house. By miles.
“Do you want to get some water?” he suggested. If they were going somewhere aimlessly, they might as well have a goal. Couldn’t go wrong with water.
“You know, for on the way?”
Daniel was seriously freaking out, holding so tight to Bell's arm that he all but cut off Bell's circulation. What, was he that spooked by the dead cat? It was nasty, but not that nasty. Or was he afraid of Bell falling again? He watched as Daniel backed away from him and finally caught on. The wild look in his eyes, the glances at something that didn't exist. Daniel was seeing delusions again.
He smirked bitterly. So much for "I can drive," huh? He'd figured as much, but it wasn't reassuring to have his fears confirmed. He'd have been happier to be proven wrong. Was this something fueled by the alcohol withdrawal, or was this just thanks to Daniel not being on any sort of medication? He didn't know. Maybe they should look into medication. He didn't know.
He followed Spot and Daniel outside, keeping a closer eye on the other man now than he had before. If things got worse, he had to be prepared to get Daniel contained, whether that meant to tie him up or just weigh him down. "Wanna keep looking?" he offered neutrally, giving no hint that he'd discovered about the delusions. "Or do you want to just plan on camping in the car and call it quits, go fetch some supplies instead?"
At least it was a lovely day. Bell stretched, enjoying the sunshine. Bright and warm, not nasty and rainy, just pleasant out. "It's a nice day, I wouldn't mind walking some," he suggested, since Daniel seemed fine with walking but pukey when confined to a car. Walking meant they'd be able to check passerby for goat-signs, too, maybe try and talk to them.
He gestured for Daniel to go first and lead the way back through the brambles to the car. He wanted Daniel in front of him, where he could keep an eye on him. Maybe they should've just stayed in the hotel another night and ridden out a little more of this withdrawal in luxury. He sighed to himself. Yeah, that was the dream. He missed the days when they spent every night in a hotel, already. He'd gone soft, maybe, but it'd been so nice, having a real bed every night.
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