You don't have permission to post in this thread.
Part of him ought to care that Bell had seen his trembling hands, to defend his honour at least, but Landon was too far gone to react in kind.
“Yeah, you do,” Landon muttered. Bell getting shot was frightening, even if the man was generally fine afterwards. Watching Bell cough up blood was even scarier. But it wasn't fright or the adrenalin-crash causing the tremor in his limbs. General sickness plagued Landon more than any of that.
So when sleep came, he accepted it wholeheartedly. He didn’t even register Spot had joined them.
Landon woke to itching. His shoulder itched. Mechanically he moved and scratched at where the injury had been. Nothing.
No pain. Landon examined the hand that came back, the peeked down the shirt -dried blood. Oh. That explained. It’d gotten warm inside the abandoned store. Still light out too. Landon took a couple of deep breaths and looked around.
Spot was right there, licking his hand, trying to coax him awake more. Bell was still asleep. Good.
Good. The man would need rest in order to recover. Landon inched up a little from where he sat, sagged down the wall. He stroked Spot’s fur and the mutt seemed reassured everything was alright now. His tail was sweeping across the floor, even as the dog was laid down. Landon smiled meekly.
He reached for the drink trapped between Bell’s legs and took a tentative sip. Ugh. Warm, sticky, slightly less than fizzy drink. The sugar woke him up at least. Their excess food would’ve gone cold as well.
It didn't really matter. There was only one hamburger left anyway. They could toss it out. The bag seemed stirred however and Landon suspected he was wrong about there being anything left. Explained why Spot wasn’t more adamant about receiving dog-food though.
“You smart little- That stuff’ll kill you,” Landon muttered.
He reached a hand out to Bell and felt the man’s temperature. Warm. Then again, it was kind of warm inside the store. Landon pushed from the wall to inspect the other man’s injuries, checking whether they were healing up alright.
Landon handed him the drink, using his left hand as Bell had suspected. So something was off with him. Well. They were both injured. No surprise there. Bell took the drink and sucked at it, the sugary-fizzy drink inside sharp and a tone too sweet for him--but that didn't matter. Right now, it mattered more that he got sugar and water.
Landon sank down beside him, copying him in sitting upright. Bell looked at him, then closed his eyes, drinking his soda with his eyes shut. He felt tired, super tired, but he was scared to sleep after what had happened last time. He peeked his eyes open. Landon was there. Landon would wake him up before things got dangerous.
Motion in Landon's lap. His hands were shaking. Bell reached out and took one with the hand that wasn't holding the soda. It was okay now. The hippie was dead. He'd been a goat after all. The police had no reason to keep searching. All they had to do was rest and heal. Hope the goat could take care of the injuries they'd accumulated this time.
He shrugged. He wasn't really feeling better. It'd take a little while before everything got sorted out. "Feeling better for having sat down," he sighed out. Walking like this had been torture. He shifted and grimaced as it pulled at the hole in his gut. "I gotta stop getting shot." Just because he could get shot, didn't mean he ought to. Maybe he should use the goat's speed a little more, try dodging bullets.
A weight settled across his legs, and he looked down to find that Spot had joined them. The dog looked up at them and panted, eyebrows lifted in concern, and Bell grinned back. It was all okay now. They were safe. For now.
Landon quieted down before he did; Bell was drinking pure sugar, after all. But even so, it didn't take long before Bell found himself following Landon into dreamland. His head sunk down on his chest and he slid slowly down the wall, no longer able to care about sitting up. The paper cup in his hand stood half-up, propped between his legs so it wouldn't tip over and spill. When sleep came, it was deep and dreamless.
He got handed they key. Landon gripped it tight to prevent the small metal bit from finding its way on the floor. At least he wouldn’t need the key to secure the padlock. It just clicked into place, even with his clumsy hands mowing about. Landon tucked the key into his pocket and sighed out, resting his forehead against the door.
A steady ache now throbbed in his shoulder.
It was only at Bellwether’s command that Landon pulled away and sauntered over.
“Why, yes, your majesty,” he joked without energy and put down the bag to get out the drinks. He favoured his left hand for most of it and offered up the cup.
Once Bell was set, Landon sank down next to the man, head against the wall, eyes closed. Exhaustion didn't even come close to what he felt. Wired though. Too wired to just give up on being alert. Also too wired to panic, to give in to the delusions, too distracted to worry about what lurked in the dark recesses of his mind.
He felt empty.
His hands were still shaking, even as they rested slack on his lap. He felt a bit better for sitting down though. Landon opened his eyes slowly, looking at they shadowy outlines of the counter and the mess.
Just a few hours ago they’d been fine.
Landon looked at Bell.
“Feeling better?” he offered. They’d need different clothes. Maybe some way to change their appearance again. Might cut Bellwether’s hair shorter, as well as his own. It’d just get in the way anyway.
He watched Bell for a little while longer before sighing out. I
t’d be best if he went out to get them something to wear now, before word got around about them and what they looked like -if anyone had noticed to begin with. The hippie was the one toting the gun, after all. Not them. And they’d left the weapon where it was at. Aside from a missing corpse and a heap of blood, there was no trace of them.
Landon hoped the goat’s essence would spoil any forensic evidence.
He just could get himself to move. His arm felt like a dead weight.
Maybe just a short nap.
It wasn’t as if Landon had much of a choice. He was already steadily losing the battle to stay awake.
"Yeah," he said. He was good. Landon couldn't help him. He saw the way Landon was holding his arm stiff. He'd seen the blood. Landon couldn't carry a man any more than he could right now.
One step. Another. One foot in front of the other. His body ached every time he moved. He'd never realized, until now, how much his stomach moved when he walked, or how much his lungs labored just to move his sorry body along. It ached. Deep and painful, his lung screaming every time he breathed in, his stomach crying out every time he took a step. He needed to get back to the shop. Needed to get somewhere safe, so he could just heal. He was tired. So tired. He wasn't going to make it. No. He was. One foot in front of the other. As long as he kept walking, he was moving forward.
The urge to cough overcame him, but he swallowed it back. Not now. If he started spewing blood, people would take notice. Not now. Not yet. A little further, and he could cough all he wanted.
Landon's question startled him, and when he looked up, the shop was looming over them. The relief that flooded through him was almost euphoric. They'd made it! They were back! Home at last. He checked through his pockets, searching for the key, then found it and moved to the lock. The jingle of the chain falling free sounded like the pealing of heavenly bells.
Have a drink and rest. Sounded perfect. He nodded at Landon and handed him the key, then made a beeline for the pile. Landon could lock up behind them. He was too tired for that. He'd been taking care of Daniel, so now Landon could take care of him.
Sitting down took some doing, his stomach complaining any time he contorted his body a little. At last, he managed to prop himself up against the wall, butt cushioned by the pile. He wanted to lie down, but he hadn't forgotten what had happened earlier. He wasn't that stupid.
"Drink," he said, holding out his hands and making grabby motions. As soon as he got his soda, he'd be set. He could sit here and focus on making more blood, and everything would be good.
Landon stuffed their wet and abused clothes into the plastic bag with the good. They could burn these to be safe and get new ones. Soon. When there was a dry enough set to not stand out among the crowd. With the way the weather was turning, that shouldn’t be long. Bell could walk, but Landon could see just standing up took plenty of effort. He grabbed his bat and followed suit. At the low fence, Landon put the bag across first, then watched Spot show off with a shake of his head and climbed across himself. Whatever the goatling was doing, his shoulder felt as if the goatling had locked it in place.
“You good?” he asked Bell, noticing the low fence was an eve greater hurdle for the other man. Soon there’d be more food and rest. Oh, and he’d gotten some fizzy drinks that should help balance out some of the blood-loss.
“Yeah,” to the store.
Not as many people eyed them with suspicion now; most were actively avoiding looking at them even. Landon noticed people rounded them in a wide arc, making sure they wouldn’t come close enough to smell the two vagrants as they made their way to work or whatever other obligation was on the agenda.
After a few moments of walking, Landon’s body shifted to auto-pilot. His thoughts had slowed down to ‘just another step’, ‘almost there’, and he figured Bell wasn’t far off either. When the dilapidated building loomed ahead, Landon couldn’t be happier.
“You have the key?” he asked Bellwether.
His hands were still shaky. Landon was sure he’d drop the key when asked to open the lock. The burger from before didn’t sit well either. His stomach twisted around the greasy meal as if debating whether to be ravenous or reject this offer. Landon didn’t know which was winning.
Neither, for now.
The goatling would want sustenance, but his body was coiling in on itself. The feeling of being ill caused a sweat to break out across his forehead. He wiped the sheen away with the sleeve of his shirt.
All he wanted was to lie down and rest. Maybe sleep through feeling like shit. He couldn’t complain though; Bellwether was likely in a great deal more pain than he was.
“I bought drinks too -you should…you should have one and rest, yeah?” Landon suggested once they reached the entrance.
Landon held him close. It was nice. It was nice, but it couldn't last. Once he could breathe and the goat was healing him, once his wounds were starting to close, he became more and more aware of it. The police would find them here. Landon had been seen, seen in a wet shirt, and it was weird. They had to move. Had to move on. "Yeah," he agreed around a mouthful of burger, not yet able to find the will to get up and act on his words. They had to move.
Okay. No. They really had to go. Any longer would be dangerous. He pushed himself to a stand, his head throbbing and heart pounding as he reached his full height. By now, the sensation was familiar, if unpleasantly so: he'd lost too much blood. But he could stand, and walk. "Yeah. I can walk," he said, nodding; he abruptly stopped nodding when the motion threatened to bring on a headache. He grabbed his jacket and traded Landon for the trusty item. Landon was wearing his shirt, and he had no idea where Landon's was, so he just did up the few remaining buttons in hope that it'd be enough. There were only a few bloodstains on the jacket, and those were hidden among the mishmash of other stains and dirt that had collected through the years.
He led the way under the bridge and up the other side, over the fence again. His chest ached when he grabbed the fence, but he gritted his teeth and pushed through it. Nothing for it. Had to keep going.
In an impressive show of sportsdogship, Spot hopped the fence and landed neatly on the other side, then looked back at them as though he was wondering what was taking them so long. Bell scowled at the dog. Stupid animal.
"To the store?" he asked Landon. Back to the store. It seemed like the only safe place right now. And it'd have more clothes. He led the way, moving almost by instinct. The sirens had quieted, but more people were out now, people who tended to look twice at a pair of homeless men and their dog. He ignored them and stared straight ahead, moving as quickly as he could. Back to the store. They'd be safe there. It would be alright.
Bell’s hands grappled for purchase as he struggled to breathe and Landon felt powerless to help -what could he possibly do? Stick a straw in Bell’s lungs? Fortunately it didn’t come to such drastic measures. He never thought the sound of a gasp could bring such immense relief. Bell was breathing. Everything was going to be fine. Food? Landon nodded.
“Yeah. Yeah.” Bell was already reaching for the bag. Landon was too dazed to react, to do anything else. He felt tired. Exhausted even. Especially when with each bite, Bellwether’s breathing audible improved. Landon held the man regardless, pressed him close to his chest. His nerves were shot after that.
And there was no time to rest either. Once Bell was good to go, they had to leave the safety of the river behind.
“Love you too,” Landon replied numbly. He snapped to.
“We can’t stay -they saw me in a soaked shirt, people gave me funny looks. There’ll be gossip soon,” he babbled, trying to convey his concern. The clothing store was likely a safer place to be right now. They wouldn’t leave a bloody trail this time at least. Landon took a few moments to breathe, then reached for the bag and worked free some fries.
He needed fuel too.
Landon felt detached. Daniel wasn’t stepping in, but at the same time it felt as if he wasn’t the one acting. He was though. The food made him hungrier and sleepy. The skin around his damaged collarbone felt tight. When he felt reassured Bell would be fine, Landon dared to unwrap a burger for himself and set into it. He felt ravenous and shaky at the same time. Like he was crashing after a high.
Or at least, he imagined this would feel similar. Daniel had more experience with that. The burger was gone within seconds. there was more food still, but no time. He didn’t feel safe.
“You feeling better?” Landon asked. “We need to move, can’t -we can’t stay, it’s not safe.” He wasn’t thinking rationally, but at the same time he was. Landon wasn’t sure which thoughts were off-kilter and which weren’t. His decisions seemed to pan out okay so far. Their clothes. Right, they’d need those. The washed-up shirts weren’t dry yet, but at least they weren’t utterly soaked either.
Their hideout wasn’t far from here.
“Can you walk?” Carrying Bell wouldn’t be pleasant for either of them.
Landon started gathering their things.
Landon was there, suddenly. He grabbed on to Landon's pants, just trying to find something to hold onto. It hurt. It hurt so bad. Every cough seemed to tear the wound more open, aggravated the wound in his gut and made it burn. He couldn't breathe. His heart was racing, trying to find oxygen. Terror shot through his veins, the adrenaline making his heart race faster; it didn't help.
He found air. At last, sweet air. Bell gasped, choking back the coughs even as breathing triggered new coughs. He swallowed back the blood and sat up, taking deep breaths. "Shit," he sighed, clearing his throat. It hurt. Hurt to cough, hurt to breathe, hurt to exist. He leaned against Landon, tired. The goat needed to fix this already. Hurry up and fix this. "It hurts, dammit," he complained. Maybe they should just bring out the goat. Fix this. But then it'd hurt. He'd be tired. He couldn't. He had to heal.
He closed his eyes and tried to bring out the goat, but his stomach clenched, empty, distracting him from reaching it. Why? He hadn't healed too much. Or... or was it working that hard to keep him working this much? He smelled something salty, and his eyes locked onto a paper bag not far away just as Landon mentioned it. "Food?" he asked, fingers tightening in Landon's shirt. He was starving. He wanted some food.
Bell reached out and grabbed the bag, drawing it closer, then dug in. There were hamburgers and fries. Nothing good for him, but all of it tasty. He was ravenous. The first few bites tasted metallic, like blood, but then the taste cleared his mouth and he could enjoy the burger. It vanished in another bite or two, and he grabbed out another burger. Food. It was exactly what he needed.
He could feel the wound in his chest closing as the burger went to work. It became a little easier to breathe, his breaths feeling less wet. He leaned against Landon, resting against him to help prop himself up so his stomach didn't have to work too hard. "Landon, I love you," he sighed through a bite of burger. He didn't even know what he would've done without Landon here.
Landon hadn’t even noticed his shoulder was dark with blood trapped just below the surface or perhaps it was the goatling that made the skin there darker; either way it looked like a nasty bruise. Bell’s shirt covered it all up nicely. He was patted on the head. Landon knew Bell wasn’t entirely with things. He looked at Spot.
“Watch him. Don’t let him go anywhere,” Landon instructed. He hoped no one would find Bellwether down by the river. A hospital or anything of that kind would raise flags with police. Obviously -as they were victims of the hippie’s shoot-out then. Either way that was attention they didn’t need.
He didn’t take the bat. Or the pipe. They were both near Bellwether’s coat, somewhere on the river bank. Covered in the hippie’s blood before the man turned goat.
Landon tried to relax. Climbing the fence was a pain, but he willed his face to be straight. From up high, he could see Bell had chosen to lie down -not so smart, with a lung-injury. But it was healed, right? Not really. Not fully. Probably. Shit. What about internal bleeding? It’d bring the goat out. Fifteen minutes. It wasn’t long; he could be back before then.
And face the goat.
Landon swallowed thickly. Sinewy-goat would keep watch. It’d work out. This was their only viable strategy at the moment. But then, he was known to be a confused mess. He was still confused. What had happened to the gun?
Had he…? And then the things he’d seen, the intricacy of reality. The way it was brittle and a wave, tangible and yet fluid. And he was part of that.
He reached a fast-food chain before anything else. Surely they had decent things to drink as well? At this point, it really didn’t matter. Something high on sugar was probably plenty to drive off the hunger and kick-start another bout of healing.
There was plenty of cash still.
Landon ordered for four people. It seemed plausible. Bell would be hungry if anything. He didn’t even consider himself. The food was ready to take away before he realised what was going on. He’d gotten a few odd looks. Mainly because the shirt he wore was still wet. It was a clue. He knew it was. They’d have to leave the river soon. Back to their hide-out. Or the truck. Wherever that was.
He’d have to ask Bell and get it around. No point in dragging Bellwether all over the place.
Landon hurried back to the river.
Bell was still on the river-back, still lying down. He was moving though; no. More like convulsing. Coughs? Landon didn’t think, he just rushed over.
“Bell? Bell!” Landon dropped the bags, hands on Bellwether’s shoulder and head. Shit. Shit. What could he do? Panic took over.
“Bell, Bell…I just need you to be okay, okay?” It wasn’t reasonable. The fear. Bell-goat wouldn’t die from something as simple as this. It’d be moody, sure.
“You need to heal yourself more, you hear? I got food,” Landon tried.
"I'm fine," he argued, but sat obediently anyways. Landon could do the laundry, he didn't mind. Besides, he'd probably just get the clothes more bloody with dripping on them. From where he sat, he could see the river sliding past, the water curling around rocks and swirling through rapids. He coughed again, spitting up more blood, then sat back and watched Landon work. Sunlight warmed the plane of his back, outlining the muscles in sharp contrast as shadows fought the harsh light of early morning. He could see every movement, every shift of Landon's back as he scrubbed at the clothes. It was kind of a turn-on.
Contrary to how Bell was feeling, Landon's face was tense when he turned back to Bell. The cool water felt nice. He patted Landon's head, giving him a smile. It'd be okay. As long as he sat still and took shallow breaths, it barely even hurt.
Landon brushed too close by the chest wound, and Bell flinched back with a grimace. Okay, maybe it was a little worse than he thought.
Lagoon stood at last, coming back to drape his jacket over Bell's shoulders. "Okay," Bell agreed. He could sit here, no problem. "I'll watch the stuff."
He turned and watched Landon walk off, then abruptly realized he didn't have his pipe. He patted at the ground, feeling around for Landon's bat. He hadn't left Bell unarmed, had he?
Spot padded over and sniffed at Bell, then laid down beside him. Bell looked at him, then laid down as well, careful to lay on his side, where at least he wasn't laying directly on his wounds. Spot had a point, and he was tired, too. So tired. Like he could sleep forever. Might as well get a nap in while they waited for Landon. Just fifteen minutes. Fifteen short minutes. Would it be long enough?
Barely five minutes later he jolted awake. Air. There was no air. He couldn't breathe. Couldn't breathe, he was drowning. He coughed; globs of blood came out, rushing from his throat all at once. The coughing took over, until he couldn't breathe for coughing, until they're was no air to cough but he kept going. Spot whined, nuzzling against him in concern, but there was nothing he could do. Nothing but cough.
A kiss was pressed against his lips. A kiss that brought him back, but Landon did feel he didn’t deserve; after all, he’d only hurt Bell. His fist unconsciously clenched in the bloodied short he’d extracted from Bellwether’s barely healed skin. Landon rose when Bell did, and was about to extend an arm to stop the man when a stab of pain stopped him. It was annoying. The place where he’d gotten shot was nothing short of inconvenient. He watched as Bell tripped, inclined to rush over.
“Will you just…give yourself a break?” Landon urged.
“For my sake?”
With ease, Landon pulled the shirt from Bell’s clutch and shook his head. He kneeled down at the river-bank and started to soak the shirts one by one to wash out the worst of the stains, so none of them could settle as he worked. The top layer of Bell hadn’t suffered too much. He could wear it and go for a run. The shirt he’d pulled away from Bell was utterly ruined.
His shirt wasn’t too bad either.
Just the top-bits.
Landon scrubbed, the water icy-cold to the touch. By now though, the sun had travelled higher than before and was warming his back. It felt familiar, that warmth. Fields came to mind.
Once most of the stains were gone, Landon used the ruined shirt to wipe away the blood from his skin and looked at Bell. He inched closer.
“Sit still,” he muttered. First the man’s face. He wiped at the blood-spatters covering Bell’s chin, then slowly worked his way down. Landon wasn’t too sure about the injuries themselves so he gave them wide birth. They’d need proper clean water to wash those out. And disinfectant.
Or just food.
For Bell to heal up.
He got most of the blood anyway. Landon got up and grabbed his coat, draping it over Bellwether’s shoulders before wrestling into the top-shirt of Bellwether’s.
“I need to make a supply-run, get water and food,” Landon explained.
Concern was badly hidden in his gaze. Most of his emotions were flaring wildly, but they were so much none of them were immediately prominent. That and he had a clear goal.
Having a goal made things marginally easier.
“Bell? I need you to stay here, rest, okay?”
He had little choice. They couldn’t just -do nothing. Landon reached into his coat’s pockets for his wallet and kissed Bell’s cheek.
“I’ll be back in fifteen, okay?”
THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen
/ 10d 16h 10m 39s
A hand landed on his back as he was coughing, making Bell grimace, but after the initial impact, the soothing sensation won out. Landon was there. Everything would be alright.
Somewhat reluctantly, he sat on his jacket. He didn't want to get his jacket muddy. But they had to get this shirt off him first. Landon offered him the shirt to bite on, and Bell took it. It tasted like dirt and blood.
Landon peeled the shirt off slowly. He watched the first bit, mildly curious, then grabbed at Landon and looked away as they neared the injury. He didn't want to see. If he didn't see, it wouldn't hurt so bad. It was a naive belief, but he had to stick to it. He had nothing else.
His whole body tensed as the pain hit, teeth digging into the shirt, breathing fast through his nose, in-out, in-out. It stung and pulled and ached, like ripping off a band-aid but a million times worse. Shit. And they still had another one to go. In the moment's reprieve as Landon rolled his shirt up again, he caught his breath, taking the t-shirt out of his mouth to gulp at the air. "Do it quick," he urged Landon, then put the t-shirt back in his mouth and tensed, preparing for the pain to hit once more. It tugged deep inside him--weirdly deep--a needle of pain going all the way through him, and he couldn't help but let out a short, choked-back whine. It hurt so bad, dammit.
And then it was over. Landon pulled the shirt off and rested against him, and he rested against Landon as well, spitting out the gag. He felt limp, exhausted. The pain had worn him out. A new wave of coughs struggled to burst free from his chest, but he swallowed them down. They'd just hurt. And there'd just be more blood. He hoped he wasn't still bleeding, that the goat had already closed up the internal bits and this was just the leftover blood from getting shot, but there was so much of it. So much blood. Everywhere.
He leaned forward and kissed Landon. "Gotta wash 'em. Before the blood sets," he breathed, pushing away and slowly rising to a stand. He felt kind of lightheaded at his full height, his heart racing faster as it tried to pump blood to his head. He grabbed his shirt--the outer one, not the one that Landon had practically ripped out of him--and wobbled to the edge of the river to wash it. He tripped at the river's edge and only just caught himself from falling in, then looked back. What had he even tripped over? There was nothing there. Stupid of him to trip over nothing.
Coughs. Wet, sickened coughs, complete with concerning amounts of blood spraying from Bellwether’s lips. Landon was scared. That wasn’t good. He shouldn’t be -the goat, it wouldn’t let its shell die. When the shell did die, the goat could mend it easily. But at a cost they could currently ill afford.
He lowered his hand and approached Bell, kicking some of the muddy bank’s sand to cover the blood, keeping one hand on the man’s back, rubbing it quietly. There was nothing else he could do but let Bell know he was there.
Bellwether’s goofy grin was met with an exasperated eye-roll. Honestly? Hadn’t the man already gotten rid of his frustration just seconds to now? Landon shook his head, not quite patient enough to correct Bell’s thoughts. Each weird motion -which, with a collar bone involved was pretty much anything- hurt.
“To wash,” he stipulated finally.
Bell ceded to receiving help, which was concerning in and of itself. If Bell passed out or anything, Landon wasn’t sure he could keep it all together in his head.
He took the shirt Bell had gotten off from the man’s hands, then spread the leather jacket on the floor.
“Sit down,” Landon instructed. They didn’t really have anything to wash away the blood with, so peeling the shirt from the injuries had to happen fast; before the fabric could dry up and get healed into the skin or something similarly nasty.
Hopefully the stomach-wound was a through-and-through. Landon kneeled in front Bell, leaning over to carefully roll up the shirt. The first part was easy, slightly sticky with blood, but nothing too bad. The blood-stains darkened a little further up, where the injury to Bell’s gut had been. Landon looked up at Bell and reconsidered.
This wasn’t going to be pleasant.
But they couldn’t be detected either. Spot hovered, uncertain of what to do, sniffing at Landon’s discarded shirt.
He grabbed it and rolled it up until it was about the thickness of a few fingers and offered it to Bell.
“Bite down, this is going to hurt,” Landon forewarned.
Landon focussed on what he needed to do, rather than what he was doing to Bell. He needed to wash their clothes, let them dry and make a supply run. Water, at the very least. Preferably some meat; maybe a take-away meal? And that all without raising suspicion. Some of the shirt came free. Landon rolled it up further.
Up to the chest-wound.
That one was closed further though. Landon had no idea where that left the bullet. With some hope, Bell could cough it up, but that sounded like a painful ordeal. With it closed, there was no taking out the bullet either. Finally, Landon was able to pull the shirt over Bell’s head. He rested his forehead against the other man’s. Never again this fucked up mess.
The adrenaline was starting to wear off for the both of them; he could hear it in the way Landon's breath caught and feel it in his own gut, the pain finally leaching through strong enough to hurt when he walked. His chest felt like he had a bad chest cold, as if he could feel the blood sloshing around. He bit back the urge to cough more, not wanting to startle any passerby any more than they already were.
It was a bit of a jump down from the railing, a jump that jarred him to his core and aggravated both wounds; his chest felt like it was tearing back open, and he put a hand to it, worried. It came back bloody, but he couldn't tell if the blood was new, or already spilled.
They'd fucked this one up, royally so. Miss Hannah would be a thousand miles away by the time they were able to go within a hundred yards of her place. He started for the river, but Landon kept going, walking along the bank, and he fell in line. Hopefully Landon knew where he was going. He was too tired and hurt to argue over it.
At last Landon drew to a halt under a bridge. Despite everything, Bell felt a little thrill of triumph. He'd won that argument after all, and there! The thrill was killed as quickly as it rose as Landon mentioned the woman, and he groaned aloud. "This fucking--" he bent over, overcome by a fit of coughing. More blood splattered over the mud by the bank. He tried to stop it, choking down the coughs, until it petered out. He spat the last of the blood and shook his head. "Fucking sucks. Stupid hippie." Weren't hippies supposed to be all peace and anti-violence? Why couldn't this one have been a real hippie?
Give me yours? Bell looked up to find Landon topless. A goofy grin spread over his face. He liked where this was going. And maybe he was starting to get a little loopy from blood loss. That thought sobered him up well enough. They needed to get clean and get moving, before the goat used too much of his reserves and knocked him out for good. He shook his head and shucked out of his coat, then started peeling his shirts off. The first layer was fine, but the second one had gotten stuck in his wounds, bits of it combined in the scabs. He started pulling it off, gritting his teeth and wincing every time it pulled. He was getting nowhere. By the time he got this thing off, the police would be here. "Yes," he admitted at last. A little help would be nice, actually.
Bellwether’s hand clutching his shirt as he healed brought Landon back to the here and now. Numbly, he watched as Bell’s face contorted with pain -until there finally was a relieved gasp. At least it seemed like Bell could breathe again. Landon gave easily enough at being pushed and let his hand fall away from Bell’s chest, nodding in agreement. They had to clean up, before the blood could settle on their clothes.
Maybe a quiet gas-station. Bell seemed to know where he was going however, so Landon just fell in step with the other man, grateful it was no longer at breakneck tempo.
He was breathing heavily, more so because he was trying to supplement what the goatling had used in resources with oxygen. Not that it amounted to much, but at least he stayed awake now that his adrenalin was fading fast.
Water soon loomed ahead. A river. Clever. And easy. The water didn’t seem entirely clean and was dark, rather than see-through, but it was clean enough to wash a bloodied shirt or two in. Landon’s coat didn’t have the benefit of being dark either, so it too would have to get washed. Truthfully, there were spatters everywhere after Bellwether’s coughing and it was unlikely they hadn’t raised a flag or two with some early risers.
He followed Bell over the railing, his collarbone aching fiercely. The injury was closed, but not mended. Not entirely anyway. Landon put a hand to the sore spot and pushed through. They’d live. And there was still ‘miss Hannah’ to consider.
Once Hannah heard the news she’d bolt.
Landon could already see a looming bridge. It would be perfect. Some bushes down the side offered some cover from plain sight; they could move on after washing out most of the blood.
“Let’s stop there and wash off,” Landon suggested, figuring that’s what Bell had been meaning to do. He could wash their clothes some while Bellwether rested. Should’ve brought food.
“The woman’s going to get away like this,” he muttered and huffed, trying to think up a way where they could still move despite the police. There were few options.
Once they reached the bridge, Landon pulled off his coat, shivering as the early morning was still a little chilly and stripped his shirt.
“Give me yours too,” Landon instructed, giving Bell a look. “Do you want help?” He doubted Bell-goat had managed to heal everything in one go. That would be too much to hope for.
All posts are either in parody or to be taken as literature. This is a roleplay site. Sexual content is forbidden.