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"Funny, are we?" Daniel huffed, slightly amused. Awake wasn't really what he'd call himself, but he wasn't prone to dozing off no more either. Maybe if they actually had a real bed. Daniel stared at the scenery without actually focussing on anything in particular. When Bell pulled over, confusion fluttered across his face. Oh. A super-market. Made sense. They'd have all they needed.
Did he want anything else? Daniel thought for a moment, lifelessly blinking at nothing in particular before his mind came up with some answers.
"Coat, coat and water, maybe something for the pain. Liquids, doc said I'm on liquids for a while," he rambled. Wait. He wasn't coming along? Daniel followed Bell until he stepped out of view and returned with clothes. At least they'd fit better than what he currently wore and Daniel kind of wanted Bell-boy to have his own set of pants.
Man would get a cold, walking around like that in the snow.
Daniel watched Bell enter the store and numbly wrestled the comforter to unfold some of the clothes he'd bought. He pulled the shirt over the one he already wore, just to keep warm. Pants were a different story entirely. Daniel tried to push them down and kick them off, but most of those motions involved using his stomach-muscles.
He felt his stitches pull as he fought the 'new' pants. Finally, they were on. Daniel rested back, drained after that ordeal, but also thoroughly awake now.
Looked like they were in between towns. Cars littered the car-park of the super-market and despite the snow and bad weather, it was fairly busy. Bell-boy was back though. Daniel wondered whether that meant they'd see more switches happen. Almost as if they reversed roles. What Bell-boy needed was a 'cure' too. Hah.
Daniel kept a look-out for anything funny; for white vans and suspicious people, but he grew weary of remaining vigilant all the time. His body just couldn't handle it at the moment. He just needed another day or two.
Sure. Major surgery, just a day or two.
Life had changed.
His mind drifted to Bell-boy's response to knowing Becky had been out. Bell hadn't seemed that surprised, but maybe he'd missed that part. Bell-boy was probably holding it together for his sake. Curious, Daniel pulled the mirror down and looked over his reflection.
Fair enough. He did look a bit worse for wear.
So his knife was gone. Well, fair enough. Becky might hurt herself--wait, cut herself free? He peered questioningly at Daniel. Had he tied Becky up? Why?
It'd have to be a tale for another time. Daniel burrowed down in the comforter and went right to sleep. The heat in the car quickly became stifling. Bell stripped out of his coat and found himself glad for having shared his layers with Daniel. It was a sauna in here. He cracked his window a little to keep from getting carsick, but left the heat high otherwise. Daniel probably needed it. What they were doing was risky, with an open wound in Daniel's gut. He wasn't going to do anything to upset Daniel's already-fragile health.
He kept driving. The road rolled past, white lines zooming by. He headed south, but otherwise didn't have a destination--just "away." Whatever that means. He snorted to himself. It felt like they were perpetually headed away. Away from hunters, away from goats, away from trouble. All they did was run.
Daniel's question startled him a little; he hadn't noticed the man wake up. "Morning, beautiful," he greeted him, half-joking. Needed things, did they? He needed his knife back, for sure. Felt naked without a knife. And without his pants, which Daniel was wearing. "Alright," he acknowledged Daniel's request. "When do you need them, now? Soon? I'll start looking for a place to get them."
A supermarket loomed up before long, the kind of huge store that would hold a little of everything--hopefully including knives. That was going to be there toughest thing to replace; his knife. He pulled into the parking lot, then took a good look at Daniel. Nah, he wasn't going anywhere fast.
"Want anything else? Food, drink? I'll go get the things, you stay here." He waited for Daniel to reply, then hopped out of the car. He made a quick stop to grab Daniel's clothes out of the back and hand them up to the man, in case he wanted to get changed, then headed into the store, careful to lock the car up tight behind him. Didn't want anyone attacking Daniel while he was gone.
Daniel eased himself into the passenger's chair with Bell's help, the crinkle of old blood audible as he sat down. He didn't care much; the chair was comfortable, the blood was his anyway. Bell-boy was kind enough to get him the comforter and Daniel put the chair back. Couldn't do seatbelts though, but just being able to lie back was miles better. He was still shivering profusely, burrowing underneath the blankets.
Daniel gave Bell an imperceivable nod. A little better.
Once the station wagon's engine roared to life, Daniel fiddled with the heating and cranked it up high.
"What?" Oh. Shit, the knife.
Daniel's reply stalled, exchanged for a defeated little sigh.
"It was in my coat's pocket," he said apologetically. No way had the coat survived the ordeal, nor would the knife have. "Becky cut herself free using your knife, and well -your knife's blunt anyway," Daniel said with a yawn.
With the heat of the car blasting away and the comforter all around him, Daniel was getting pretty comfortable. Should've thought about their knives. They needed to get new things regardless.
A lot of mistakes had been made. Daniel cringed. He'd really royally fucked up that one, hadn't he? His feelings of inadequacy didn't last particularly long. The little walk out of the hospital had left him exhausted. Between the heat, the painkillers and exhaustion, sleep wasn't something Daniel was equipped to fight very well.
Only the jostle of the car and the slight discomfort in his gut kept him from sleeping deeply. Every now and then he caught a glimpse of the road they were on, or a few buildings flashing them by.
Only when the slight discomfort was no longer as slight, did Daniel wake up. A groan escaped his lips. Why had they escaped the hospital again? They'd had him on the good stuff too.
"...where are we?" he sighed out, rolling his head to face Bell. His eyelids were still heavy, but the pain was too much of a nag to remain asleep.
"We need more things -clothes, I have clothes, in the back," Daniel told Bell. "Gotten them from the second-hand store when we went to get Becky some things." He wanted a proper coat again, so they wouldn't have to make the entire station wagon a furnace at his behalf.
Daniel shifted, a hiss escaping his lips when he did. He adjusted the seat a little to be sat up higher, "...and painkillers."
Maybe the pain wasn't that bad. Just wasn't use to it, now that the pain threatened to fog through the gentle haze that'd gripped the last couple days.
Daniel did not do well in the cold. The wind cut at his legs, but Daniel immediately started shivering, and hard. Seemed like the blood loss and the gaping hole in his gut did not pair well with winter. Bell guided him towards the car, moving a little faster as they went to get Daniel into safety faster.
"Nah--it's okay. It's not your fault. Let's get you nice and warm," Bell said. If he'd been there--then, then maybe Daniel would still be okay. There was no telling. He'd said Becky had saved his life. But still... he couldn't forgive himself.
He opened the passenger-side door for Daniel and helped him in, offering him support as he climbed into the room. Once Daniel was in, he hurried to the trunk and grabbed the comforter, then jogged back to Daniel and tucked the comforter over him. "Better?" he asked.
Bell didn't wait for Daniel to reply, but ran around to the driver's side door and climbed in. Time to get the hell out of here before anyone noticed they were gone. The keys--he patted his pockets down, and was mildly surprised to find them in the knife pocket, and his knife gone. With a roar, the engine came to life; for a few minutes, he had to focus on remembering how to drive, but then he remembered the knife. "What happened to my knife?" he asked. Had Becky stole it or something? Seemed like a dumb thing to do, but maybe she'd wanted to get back at him. It seemed only fair. It was nothing compared to what he'd done to her.
The road stretched out before him. He stared straight ahead and focused on driving, getting further away from the hospital with every moment. Hopefully he could get out of here before the police showed up. Because, well... they were going to. They'd taken Daniel's prints. Unless the goatling had changed those, they'd find quite the laundry list of crimes under those prints.
He glanced over at Daniel, just checking on him to make sure he was okay. If it came down to it, he'd bring out the goat to heal Daniel. Being in a coma was better than losing Daniel.
Boots. Daniel almost jumped when Bell-boy entered the bathroom, senses dulled by the painkillers. He shut off the tap and dried his hands.
"Yeah, I don't know," Daniel muttered, then stepped into his boots. For a second it crossed his mind to tie them, but bending over seemed like a task best performed later. The painkillers took the edge off the dull ache, throbbing deep in his gut, but they also made him space out quite a bit. So that's why he'd been asleep most of the day.
Daniel put a hand to Bell-boy's shoulder, just so he could measure Bell's pace.
"Just...slow, okay?" No running today.
A snail's pace was just about all he could manage. Walking became a little easier as he started to fall into a rhythm though. A nice and gentle rhythm, like that of a rocking boat.
Daniel snapped to, blinking at their back-door escape. Once it opened, cold blasted at him. No coat. No nothing. The only part of him that was still nice and warm, was the part of his stomach covered in bandages. Daniel shivered, tightening his grip on Bell's shoulder.
"Where's the car?" he muttered, trying to keep his teeth from chattering.
The sedentary warmth of the hospital was a sharp contrast with the outside world. Daniel sobered a little, but the drowsy, spacey feeling chased him. Only now he was also miserably cold.
"Fuck -g-glad I brought the fucking comforter," Daniel breathed out. He hoped they'd get a hotel, just for the heating alone, but knew they ought to make distance. Get away from the hospital and its inquisitive people.
The car would get warm plenty once it was up and running.
He caught the dull grey car they'd gotten themselves. Probably stained it with blood.
"G-got an automatic -you can drive," he chuckled softly.
Not as if he was in any state to drive. Poor Bell.
"Sorry," Daniel breathed. "Should've...I don't know, been more careful," he apologized. He'd gotten them in this mess in the first place.
"Let's just get the fuck out of here," Daniel urged, already making his steady way over to the station wagon. He'd feel better once he could sit down, put the chair back a little, maybe cozy up to the comforter and sleep. He'd be just fine.
Bell nodded and gestured vaguely. "Yeah, just kind of using 'run' for lack of a better word," he explained. It was very apparent that Daniel would not be running today, tomorrow, or for the rest of the week, if the goatling didn't kick in. "I'll probably carry you."
He almost added "if we have to move fast," but looking at Daniel, he'd probably have to carry him regardless.
"Alright," Bell agreed. He hesitated for a second, not completely sure that Daniel could stand on his own even with the bathroom bar's assistance, but when Daniel succeeded at that, at least, he turned and left.
Daniel's boots were where he'd last seen them, sitting quietly on a chair by the man's bed. He grabbed them casually and left, heading back into the bathroom. All the families ignored him, more interested in spending quality time with their hospitalized friends or family. Even when he returned to the bathroom he and Daniel were co-occupying, no one batted an eye. He supposed it was a little more normal to share a restroom when half the people here would need assistance to do so, anyways.
"Boots," he announced himself, clicking the door shut behind him. Daniel was by the sink, washing his hands. Looked like he'd taken care of the bags after all; the machine was shut down, all the drips still and silent. He put the boots on the ground and waited for Daniel to slide them on, then gestured. "Let's get a move on. Can you walk on your own?" It'd be less suspicious if Daniel could walk casually out rather than needed help or to be carried, but from the looks of things, it'd be a minor miracle if he managed to pull it off.
He offered Daniel a shoulder just in case, then led the way to the bathroom door. The coast was clear on the other side. He slid out into the hallway as casually as possible, careful to block the nurses' view of Daniel as much as possible as he snuck by.
It was further to the back entrance than he remembered--probably because bringing Daniel along made it that much more stressful. No one seemed to notice them, but the hairs at the back of his neck wouldn't settle down; he felt watched, hunted. At last the door loomed up, and he guided Daniel towards it. "Let's hoof it," he muttered, already bracing himself for the blast of cold air against his legs.
Was that -a joke? Daniel narrowed his eyes at Bell and shook his head. Even if it'd been just a day and a bit, he'd missed having Bell-boy around. "I think there's just a switch, isn't there?" he muttered. Daniel glanced at the pole, but gave up to listen to Bell-boy's options.
Okay, unhook and run, walk to the back-door, then unhook him and 'run', or well. Run.
"You realize that no running will occur in either of plans, right?" he tested Bell's awareness of reality.
"Let's just try to shut it off -no power, no alarm, it's not as if this is prison already," Daniel pointed out slowly. With all the people around, nurses would be too busy anyway. While he'd been in there, he'd seen about four different nurses rush about and all seemed over-worked, underpaid and stressed out.
"I'll figure it out, could you get my shoes?" he offered Bell, feeling the back of the monitor. Instead, Daniel found the controls to his pain-medication, pushed it a couple times and waited for the drugs to take effect before carefully extracting that line. He felt along the bottom of the display for an off-button, pretty sure they had to have one.
He'd seen the damned devices powered down on some of the other beds, after all.
Ah, there it was.
Daniel flipped the switch.
Nothing happened. The lights went off, but other than that, nothing much. He moved quick, or as quick as his muddled mind would allow him while hopped up on opiods.
The oxygen meter went first, then the line to the painkillers. Daniel sighed out. He'd be less suspicious with no bags of fluids at all, but could he risk leaving the antibiotics behind? They'd probably given him a second bag just to make sure.
His hand hovered over the line, but his hands did what his mind couldn't decide; slide out the needles. Once the last line went, he was freed entirely.
Ready to go.
Daniel plucked at the bandage wrapped around his arm and ripped off a bit to stem the bleeders. No pain at least. Daniel waited for the blood to clot and rested his head back. He felt hazy now. Like he could sleep another day or more.
He didn't allow himself to drift. Daniel moved over to the sink and washed up, tossing the scrap in the bin and pulled the sleeve down. Almost normal.
His neck was still an angry red. Nothing they'd done about the bruises.
He was ready.
Bell rolled his eyes at Daniel. Take the whole thing? And put it where? The station wagon Daniel had picked up wasn't that tall, for one. "No, we can't," he said. One or two bags wouldn't be impossible, but the pole itself was just too bulky, not to mention the machinery they had on it, monitoring Daniel's vitals; some part of that probably had a GPS associated with it. They'd have to leave it behind.
Bell nodded. The car was close. "I moved it closer to the back--there's a door in the rear of the hospital we can sneak out of without too much fuss." Even he knew that getting Daniel across the parking lot wasn't going to happen. For one, he doubted Daniel would be able to walk that far. Even just getting to the bathroom had been a chore for the man.
"Really? What a surprise," Bell said sarcastically, following it up with a grin to show he was joking. After the last few days, it felt like physical effort to make a joke, but he felt like he had to, all the same. If he let himself get down from this, he'd never get back up.
Turn it off? "Probably... it might cause an alarm," Bell said, uncertain. If they removed the monitor, there'd almost certainly be an alarm, but if they shut it off, then what? Still an alarm? He didn't know. Not that he knew how to shut the thing off, either. He shrugged. "It might be our best bet to unhook you and just run for it, alarm or no."
Though at the same time, Daniel wasn't exactly about to set any sprinting world records at the moment. He pushed his hair back, giving it a thought. If they grabbed a wheelchair... no, that'd stand out more, and where was he getting a wheelchair from, anyways? Maybe he should just carry Daniel out. That'd stand out too, though, maybe even moreso than the wheelchair. No, they probably had to shut down the machine, just to have a chance at making it.
"Either that, or... we could wheel the pole down to the door, then unhook you and make a run for it from there," Bell suggested thoughtfully. Yeah, that would work, wouldn't it? It'd just be a matter of helping Daniel shamble all the way down to the door.
Daniel winced. He'd have hoped Bell-boy would've come up with an escape-plan of sorts, or maybe the no-clothes thing was just an oversight. At least the man wore layers plenty.
Daniel was forced to lean heavily on Bell, his gait uneven and slow. Walking wasn't the problem -he could walk- just that it felt like swimming at times and his gut protested most motion. They probably still had him on some good stuff.
For a split-second, Daniel thought he saw doubt flicker across Bell's face. It'd be fine though. As compared to yesterday, he was doing a lot better already. A little voice in the back of his head went 'sure, you keep telling yourself that', and Daniel ignored it.
Pants were held out.
Daniel leaned against the wall, both hands on the bar to keep steady. Once he was semi-dressed, he slowly sorted out Bell's shirt, then regarded his lines.
"They're in the way," he muttered. The gown could be untied, but the shirt would have to go over it all. "I want to keep the antibiotics though," Daniel breathed out. Maybe one of those drips were the painkillers. Did he really want to forego on those?
"Can't we just take the thing?" he offered sheepishly.
Sure, they wouldn't stand out abducting a whole pole. At best, they could smuggle one or two bags. In which case it didn't matter whether the shirt went over the lines or not.
Daniel slowly pushed his arms down the sleeves, carefully pulling the fabric along skin and lines, taking care not to undo any of them yet. Could do that later.
"Car close?" he tried. No way could they walk across the parking-lot without standing out like sore thumbs -Bell's legs looked cold, even inside. And it was ridiculously warm in the hospital at most times. It'd been a nice change of pace from the cold outside.
"Fuck," Daniel breathed, running a hand down his face. He was so ill-prepared for any of this. The longer he stood, the more prominent the ache combating the painkillers. It wasn't too bad. The injury itself wasn't that impressive. Only thing making it bad was the fact that it'd gone through-and-through.
"My insides aren't happy with me," he confessed to Bell, keeping a hand against the worst of the aches. Daniel took a deep breath and slowly let it out, then renewed his interest in the cable-work following him around.
"These are antibiotics," Daniel muttered, trying to figure out what the rest was. He'd probably be better off without painkillers to numb his thought-process. "Think we can just turn it off?" Would it cause an alarm when it was off?
He found Daniel much the same as before, though a little more with it than before; this time, the man actually sat up in bed. Clothes? "No, I..." Yeah, he really should've thought of that, shouldn't he? Daniel couldn't exactly wander out in his hospital clothes. "You can wear some of my layers," he offered quietly, glancing around the room. Daniel's clothes had probably been cut off, hadn't they? A pair of boots sat on a chair in the corner, but the rest of the clothes were nowhere in sight. He sighed. That was what happened in surgery, it was true. He'd totally not been thinking about that. Luckily, he wore at least two layers at all time, so it should be fine anyways.
Inky fingers. Ooh, yeah, he should've thought about that. Too late now. "Let's get the hell out of dodge, then," he muttered. He offered Daniel his shoulder to help the man out of bed, sliding his hand around Daniel's shoulders to take most of Daniel's weight. "We'll get you to the bathroom, and you can get changed in there."
For the time being, he took Daniel's pole with all his drips and monitors along with them. The monitor would start going off as soon as they took it off, so they should leave it on as long as possible. They really had Daniel hooked up. Looking at it, Bell had to wonder whether taking Daniel out of the hospital was really the right decision. If he died after this... no. He couldn't think like that. Besides, leaving Daniel in the hospital meant he'd end up in jail, almost certainly. He couldn't do that.
The bathroom was a single-stall family-style restroom, a big room with a bar around the whole outside for grip. Bell quickly pulled off his pants and took the top layer of his shirts off. He didn't have a second layer of pants, but he wore shorts as underwear, so it looked fine, if unseasonable. The pants he held out for Daniel to step into, figuring that with his stomach ripped open, he probably didn't need to bend over too much. "Need help with the shirt?" he asked once the pants were up, tugging at the ties on Daniel's gown already. They had to move fast.
People entered the room. Daniel felt ill at ease when they did. Most of them were innocent plenty; a mother and father visiting their teenage kid two beds down, an older man visiting his wife. Next were a couple of friends for the older lady next to him. They served coffee and tea. He wasn't allowed either. Water though. He was allowed water. Daniel hadn't been thirsty -the drip he'd had all day had seen to any needs he might've had in that department.
His fingers were still black with ink.
Daniel wished them luck. Actually, they weren't likely to need any. They were on borrowed time already. His fingerprints would be all over several of the crime-scenes they'd ravaged and left a bloodied state.
This was their time to get out.
If he could get Bell-boy to bring clothes, they could sneak out, pretending to just be visitors for some poor sod or other. Just had to make sure he was careful for a couple days, make sure he didn't pull any stitches, because he was pretty sure there were stitches deep inside the soft tissue of his intestines, holding things together.
He wasn't too worried about the injury itself. As far as stab-wounds went, it was a relatively small puncture-mark.
Daniel shifted on the bed, slightly uncomfortable. The graceful high of painkillers was quick to dissipate and leave him in a half-state between pain and numb. At least the anaesthesia had worn off already, leaving him a bit more with things than before.
Daniel sat up a little straighter -with marginally more success than before- and used the bed's controls to help him get there a little faster.
"Hey," he greeted the man on approach. "D'you bring any clothes?" Daniel scanned Bell-boy's face, looking for any signs of trouble, but Bell looked to be alright. A little skittish, but after what'd happened yesterday and what he'd told Bell, Daniel wasn't exactly surprised.
He kept a hand to the injury, where he felt pulling underneath the bandages, and reached for some of the water. Daniel took a few tentative sips, but so far water had been reasonably alright. He really needed to transfer to solids, because he felt weaker than he expected. Teach him not to underestimate surgery.
"Now would be a good time to skip la-la-land," Daniel said, wiggling his ink-stained fingers to show Bell things were going to come crashing down sooner, rather than later.
Bell wandered the hallways in the hospital, looking for a back door to escape out of. His bet was that at least one of them wasn't kept as diligently locked as it should be, or at the very least, he should be able to prop one open. With two entrances, he'd have a step up on anyone else if they tried to come after Daniel. It was better than nothing.
There were hunters around. The hybrids were falling apart, though. He looked at his hands, then sighed. If they hadn't been falling apart, he and Daniel both would be fucked. If hunters got at Daniel while he was in the hospital... He shook his head. No, that wouldn't happen. They'd gotten away from the hunters. And it was just one hybrid, right? Maybe it'd just been chance that he'd found Daniel at all.
He found a back door that led into a loading bay. It locked, but with a pebble in the corner, it stayed wedged just open enough that he'd be able to use it in an emergency. Assuming no one came along and un-wedged it first. But why would they? They didn't know he was here.
It was hard to say that he'd made the right choice. He didn't feel comfortable leaving Daniel behind, but... the guy had barely been with it enough to have a conversation with him. No, it was the right choice. It was the right choice. He just had to get them out of there before it was too late. Maybe even later today.
His day was uneventful, overall. He wandered the streets around the hospital, always staying close enough to keep an eye on things. He didn't eat. Why would he? He didn't feel hungry, his stomach too busy chewing on his fear to want food. Daniel was hurt. Hunters were around. The law might be catching up to them. How could he eat like that?
Visiting hours came around in the evening; he could tell by the slow influx of families and friends. Unable to keep himself away, he snuck back in his rear door and wound his way back to Daniel's room. Nervously, he peeked around the corner, checking that the coast was clear before he entered. Didn't want to walk in on some doctor or something.
Some other goat. Yeah, he did think it was exactly that.
"Yeah, hybrid was falling apart though -losing it. Without Vat-goat's influence, they're not doing well. Figured no treatment," Daniel breathed softly. Bell-boy was right though, the goatling wouldn't want him caught. Nor would Bell-goat, now that he was carrying its spawn. At best, it'd shake its head at their stupidity and frailty before restoring everything back to normal.
What surprised Daniel was the fact that Bell didn't want him to hate Rebecca. Was it guilt? Yeah, Bell-boy looked guilty. Daniel closed his eyes, giving Bell a dull nod. He'd try. Rather than the expected hands, or stolen wheelchair arriving at his bed, Bell-boy was telling him to stay?
"What -no, Bell-boy, you don't get it...they've...they're going to-" Daniel sighed out. It was no use, was it? Fighting Bell on this. A kiss was pressed against his forehead and then Bell-boy left. Daniel watched the door, but other than a few raised eyebrows from the people he shared a ward with, no one seemed to kick up any fuss.
He trusted Bell-boy to sneak out effectively and laid back. Just that short conversation had left him spent.
Daniel didn't sleep though.
He rested until breakfast was served and gave his milkshake look-a-like an unimpressed stare. Fluids only, right. Because he had a hole in his gut, put there by a hybrid. The irony was that he couldn't even finish it all.
Daniel slept for as long as they let him -which wasn't long. A nurse came by to check his drain. They took his vital signs and adjusted his drip. Painkillers made their way into his system again and time got a bit more choppy after that.
He slept mostly.
The doctor came by to remove the drain, said everything looked fine and that a law-enforcement officer would come by to take his fingerprints and what not. Daniel still didn't tell them his name. What use would that be? Not that the doctor didn't urge him to do so, because the man did.
When their eyes met however, the doctor stopped his inquiry and glanced away.
Maybe the man knew something. Maybe not.
They took down one of the drips later that day, though the antibiotics were replaced with a new one. More space-food arrived for dinner. They made him walk to the toilet this time, with assistance. It hurt. Daniel slept. His dreams were slowly turning into dismal experiences and colourful imagery blending together with reality. It'd been a while since he'd dreamt like that. Ages, actually.
Goatling wasn't there to solve that one. Lenny wasn't there though. They were still whole. He dreamt about Alice. Dreamt about Bell and Becky. Dreamt about the goat and the cogs, churning away in the hive.
She kept her promise? Bell frowned, slightly confused. Who...? What did that mean? Then he shook his head. No point worrying about it. Daniel was probably high on painkillers right now and not too with it in the first place.
He couldn't help but let out a sigh of relief when Daniel said he didn't do it--though the statement that followed it had him anything but relieved. "A hybrid?" he asked. What were hybrids doing here? The hunters were still after them? And why the hell didn't he remember any of this? Had he really been out for a whole fight?
Marked them? Bell looked himself over, then frowned. They'd been captured by the hunters a few times, true enough, but he'd turned into a goat since then. Any tracker would be gone. And the same for Daniel; the goatling might be sleeping now, but it'd been awake enough after the last time they'd attacked the base to kill any trackers--not to mention that the hunters hadn't exactly had an opportunity to just stick trackers on them. Then again, [i marked] rather than [i tracked...] "You think it might be something with the goats?" he asked. It'd happened before, after all. Vat-goat, the goat in the first base... "Some other goat in some other base has us 'marked,' or whatever? I can't think of how they'd manage to get a tracker on either of us otherwise."
"Shh," he soothed Daniel. "The goatling wouldn't want you caught. It'll be fine." Just one more day. At least one more day. Daniel couldn't move like this. The goatling obviously wasn't healing him, so moving him would be a huge risk, especially with his goat also out of commission.
Becky? He'd--Bell went stiff. He'd what? She was here? Inside of him? He looked down and patted his body, but it felt... like him. Not like he'd be able to feel her, when she was hiding inside him somewhere. "Oh," was all he could manage to say. Guilt was flooding through him, embarrassment too, fear, that Daniel wouldn't want to stay with Becky hiding out inside him. So that was why he couldn't remember the day, huh? "Uh... sorry," he said. What else was he supposed to say? "I had no idea..."
Sad. Of course she was. Hurt. Probably scared, too, alone and afraid in this world. All because of him. Because he'd been stupid. Whatever hatred she had for him, he deserved. "Don't hurt her," he said, putting a hand on his face. "Just... I've already fucked up enough. She was my friend. Don't hate her."
"No... Daniel, you need to stay. Just another day, okay? I'll keep an eye on the place and be back tomorrow to get you. Just... wait until tomorrow." Bell pushed Daniel's hair back again and pressed a kiss to his forehead, then turned and hurried out of the room. He couldn't stay in the hospital, but he'd keep an eye on it from right outside. If anything weird happened--police came, or whatever--he'd be the first one to get to Daniel and sneak him out of there.
Going by the crestfallen look on Bell-boy's face, he looked like shit warmed over. At least he wasn't scaring the man off. Bell-boy stepped close and Daniel gave the man a loopy grin. Felt good to have Bell back.
"She kept her promise," he breathed softly in relief, eyes fluttering shut when Bell brushed his hair back.
"Hmm, what? No, you didn't...it's -long story, stupid hybrid caught me in a blind spot," Daniel explained. Someone had seen fit to clean out his gunshot-wound again, because when he tried to sit up again, Daniel could feel the bandages there tighten around his arm.
"If it hadn't nicked a vein, I wouldn't have risked it," Daniel grit with determination. He still felt a bit vague. Lingering anaesthesia, probably. He'd only just woken up from it, after all. No, no, that wasn't quite true. He recalled a nurse, in a dark and calm room with more people.
"It just -we drove away, but hmm...the uhm, the hybrid said something funny. Told me it'd marked us, so it'd know where to find us."
It was important Bell-boy knew these things right now, but he could tell him about Rebecca later. After they'd 'checked him out'.
"-have to," Daniel huffed.
He felt where Bell-boy's doubts were coming from. Even if they were going to arrest him though, they might not risk moving him either. That was good. Maybe he could risk another day, hope that having the goatling made his DNA unusable or different.
Despite his words, Daniel stopped trying to get up and just rested, eyes closed. He needed a minute. More than a minute, probably.
"...changed into Becky," Daniel muttered drowsily, foregoing his earlier plans. He opened his eyes to slits to see Bell-boy's reaction. "Knocked her out -scared the stuffing out of me, that," he rambled. Daniel realized he was tired.
"Couldn't keep her that way though, too cold, so waited for nightfall and then figured South, you know? She saved my life. Stupid hybrid would've shot me if she hadn't," he breathed. "She seemed relieved Ben continued his life and wasn't the one that hurt her. Sad too. She cried. Hated her for what she does to you though, so I didn't really care."
Daniel reached up and felt his arm being tugged at by the snares tying him down. Fluids, cold fluids entering his body.
With a bit more care, he rubbed at his eyes and sighed. He was losing the will to fight and get out more rapidly than snow melting on a beach. It was comfortable and warm in the bed. Maybe that's why they hadn't given him more painkillers. Was probably still on something.
"Hmm, need to go," he mumbled at Bell.
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