the black goat of a thousand young

/ By kaitoXi [+Watch]

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Bell's words sounded about as disappointed as Landon felt, especially with the taste of Bellwether's lips still on his. That didn't prevent his desire from flagging as his eyes drooped shut, body practically melting against Bellwether's for warmth. When Bell started to idly toy with his hair, Landon all but relaxed into the sensation, until he heard the other question his sanity on leaving tomorrow.
Of course he'd be fine.
Maybe not.

"Not like we have much of a choice," Landon mumbled, contently listening to Bell's heartbeat. As long as it was there, passively beating as if alive, Landon could pretend nothing was wrong for a moment or so longer. He wondered whether goats had heartbeats, but they were sure to have one, since Bellwether boasted about shooting one to death instantly by blowing its chest up using a sawed off shot-gun.
Right.

"...the money that's left 's better spent on food," he shrugged faintly and stared at the wall with glassy eyes. The light was still overly bright, every sensation sensitive and exaggerated. Just lying like that, peaceful and being loved, it wasn't hard to give in to being vulnerable. With Bellwether of all people.
Who'd have though the two of them would get all cosy with one another like this?
Landon knew that there'd be less comfortable opportunities to get laid once they left the room, but his dick couldn't keep convincing the rest of him indefinitely. Not even his mind could convince Landon to stay awake for much of it.
Not entirely anyway.
Having slept earlier however made Landon sort of float on the edge of awareness.

"What's your real name?" Landon offered drowsily, one hand drawing lines across Bell's collar bone. This was potentially dangerous. Whatever. If Bellwether-goat didn't want him to know, so be it. It's not like he'd asked to be left alive. Even if Landon hadn't known, and they did get together, it'd be something Landon would want to know about Bell.
Was it a sensitive topic -like Daniel to him?
"It's okay if you don't want to tell me," he put the easy way out there. Just in case.
Maybe if he could get some actual sleep, Landon figured they could get around doing the nasty, shower and then leave the ruddy suite. Like a sensual farewell salute to luxury.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 3y 223d 2h 4s
He grimaced a little at Landon's suggestion. Doorframes weren't the most comfortable. Or the best places for a little fun. When Landon ran out of money, that might very well be the end of this little fling.

"Are you complaining? You don't even have to leave the bed, lazybones," Bell said, watching Landon's slow approach.

Landon didn't make it very far. His best efforts left him breathless against Bell's chest, which wasn't exactly what Bell had had in mind. But then again, the guy was sick. Maybe he should just let him rest for today, as little as he wanted to. Unless he wanted another unsatisfying handjob. Or to do all the work himself, which, while not a deal breaker, wasn't exactly enticing either.

With a grunt, he pulled Landon into his arms, kicking back the sheets as he went. Maybe they'd just make out for a little while, like a couple of teenagers. Nothing too exciting for the sick guy. "Alright, alright, I get it. You're sick. You ain't doing shit." He bent his head and tilted Landon's up to meet his, and just kissed him. It didn't taste like vomit this time, which was an improvement. Whatever Landon himself might say, there was a certain sensation from around the man's midsection that suggested otherwise. Bell grinned evilly. Maybe there was a chance, after all. "So I'll just keep you warm, then. How's that sound?"

It sounded disappointing to him, and hopefully Landon felt the same. But he didn't want to force Landon further than he could go. If they were really going to leave tomorrow, Landon needed all the rest he could get, not...cardio. As little as he wanted to admit it, it was the truth. And the fact that he was already tired just from this...he was kind of worried that even if he did all the work, Landon would pass out in the middle of riding his dick, and that wasn't something he wanted to have to live with.

"Cruel? Me? Never," Bell said, toying idly with Landon's hair. If this was his last chance to play with blonde hair, then he wasn't about to let that pass him by. "Are you really going to be okay to move tomorrow?" They needed to, but it was starting to look like tomorrow might have been an optimistic date. If Landon couldn't even find the energy for this, how would he handle having to get on a train and go to a new place?
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 3y 223d 5h 53m 32s
"Relax, I shut it off," Landon mumbled into his pillow. Besides, if the police were looking for two vagrants, a phone was probably the last thing they'd be looking for. If anything, they'd be hitting the streets and the usual go-to places, only to find remarkably few homeless littered the forgotten side of town.
"You want me to make us money, right?" he defended needing the phone around.
Yawning widely, Landon dropped the hand that was playing and closed his eyes. "Got a stash coming through which should last us a while," Landon confessed, but failed to mention how much it was, or where it came from. Business-fraud was a very lucerative job if you got out in a timely fashion.
"It's not through yet, so best find a comfortable doorway," he chuckled softly, stifling a few coughs from escaping. He really had zero energy.

That didn't mean his whole body agreed with that sentiment. At Bellwether's nibble, one part at least felt it was okay to spring into action and Landon shifted on the bed, slightly uncomfortable. The rest of his body hated him, especially the joints and muscles.
"Very," Landon admitted being bored.
"Too sick to shop, but not to play, hmm?" he argued. Bellwether had better have gotten lube on his little shopping-spree as well if they were going to try something. Oh, and also do the majority of the work, because even shifting to give himself some more room was a draining endeavour.
"Please don't start anything I can't finish," he squeaked out frustratedly, voice breaking painfully. Despite having said that, Landon found himself closing the space between them in attempts of figuring out whether yesterday's kisses were just as good as today's. It felt different from Lily, but more natural. There was no use for beautifying sex with another man.
At least not with Bell.
It was easier to just be yourself.

Landon ran out of breath easily and rested his forehead against Bellwether's bare chest. He was warm and at the same time cool. Leaving tomorrow was maybe an ambitious plan, Landon realized. A flu did not get cured in three days, or four. Actually, Bell was living proof and the man probably had a better equipped immune system than Landon had, who was a sedentary paper-pusher.
The dick-part of his brain tried to egg Landon on further, but using what energy exactly?
"You're cruel," Landon muttered, accusing Bell.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 3y 223d 13h 44m 21s
Bell poured some of the orange juice into his water bottle and started sipping at it while Landon gobbled up his pills. He stuck his tongue out in response to Landon's comment, which probably only served to prove Landon right. At his explanation of why the girl was waiting for him, Bell raised his eyebrows. "That sounds kinda dangerous for a couple of dudes on the run," he commented. "You sure you need that thing?"

Leaving tomorrow sounded good to Bell, and it was sounding better all the time. He nodded, leaning back on the bed and watching while Landon fiddled with his belt. Landon played with the oddest things. His hands, his belt. It was really quite strange. "Dunno. South?" he suggested, shrugging. "I'm not super familiar with this place."

"Mmm..." That was a good question, actually. How much [i was] left? He pulled out the remaining wads and set them on the nightstand. A bit, but not a lot. Enough for another day or two, maybe. "Not enough," he said at last, more interested in being pragmatic than accurate. "We can't live off your money forever. Unless you're secretly a billionaire, in which case tell me now so I can get us set up with a private jet and shit." He snorted at his own joke, then poked Landon. "Do you have a plan of some sort? Or should I get ready to go back to sleeping in doorways?"

He stood, then, and started to unbutton the shirt. He didn't want to get the clothes sweaty and dirty for tomorrow, when it'd count. He threw it in with Landon's set, then stripped out of the pants and threw them and the belt in as well. He was still wearing the gym shorts underneath; he hadn't been quite willing to trust the pants enough to go commando. Instead of getting dressed again, he climbed into bed next to Landon and leaned back on his elbows, tilting his face towards the other man. "Hey," he said, edging closer until he was close enough that if Landon looked at him, their noses would touch. "Hey, I'm bored. Landon. I'm bored." He darted his head in and gave Landon's ear a nibble, tugging playfully at the earlobe before he released it. "C'mon, aren't you bored?" he asked innocently. There were better things he could be doing, but he didn't really care.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 3y 223d 22h 8m 50s
Sleep was all Landon felt good for. Spending the better part of the night fighting the raging fever had worn him out proper. There was still a fever, but it was lower and Landon felt his thoughts had cleared up some as compared to last night. Sam's anger stood out starkly in his memory, but the whole journey of getting into the scuzzy hotel was rather foggy. He'd almost slipped back into dreams when the door opened and he glared through barely opened eyes at the general disturber of peace. At least it was Bellwether.
Groaning, Landon turned on his stomach and clutched a pillow close, burying his face in the fluff object. The hair-dye bopped off of his shoulder onto the bed and Landon looked at it long enough to see it was some shade of brown. Perfect.
Landon hadn't really paid that much attention -Bellwethers were easily recognized by their voice and stage-presence- but now that the man mentioned it; he did clean up nicely.

Smiling faintly at Bell, Landon ran his eyes across the man's frame.
"It'll take centuries before you become my boss," Landon noted with some amusement, even though Bellwether called the shots when it came to goats, so technically the man already was his 'boss'. Then again, Landon paid for everything. In that setting, what did that make the two of them?
Poor, Landon decided and allowed his eyes to drift shut.
"Hmm," he sighed out and pushed up on his forearms, reaching over to 'sate his addiction'. Numb hands fumbled with the package, all but breaking the flimsy cardboard, and wormed out a pill. With some water, it was washed down and Landon laid back down.

Soup, really?
They were going to eat it cold?
Actually, Landon hadn't looked around the room long enough to see what they had in terms of equipment. Maybe there was a microwave somewhere.
Not that he cared for food- huh?
"My girl?" he croaked in surprise and recalled the text.
"I thought those things sucked when came to accuracy," Landon bemoaned, muttering a few choice words. "Phone must've shared our location when I used it to find this place," he explained the short version of the story. But for her to wait downstairs...
So close.
What was she going to do? Wait for them to come out and then what?
Talk? She better not give him that. Lily had no right to talk to him about Daniel. Maybe Bellwether had been right about dumping women via phones: it was a cruddy way and probably did nothing to give closure to the other party.

"Let's leave tomorrow," Landon switched topics with a solemn few coughs. The aspirin took off some of the fever's edge. He'd be fine after some more rest, probably.
"Where do you figure we should go next?" Bored and dazed, Landon reached out and toyed with Bell's new belt.
"How much money is left?" he asked flatly. If it ran out, it'd be fine. Or not. They'd get by, somehow. Landon knew he'd been shirking making money, but he'd had to wait for Richard to come through anyway and frankly, life had been a mess. Still was, to some extent. Ex in front of the door, new fling sitting on the bed.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 3y 223d 23h 42m 16s
"Yeah, yeah, yeah," he agreed, quickly committing Landon's list to memory. Clothes. That was going to be interesting. He supposed he'd just have to take a wild stab in the dark at Landon's size. Medium would probably do it. Medium fit most people. Hair dye was an interesting choice too. He took a minute trying to figure that one out before he realized--their hair color had been in the report. He gave Landon's hair a forlorn look. Blond hair was so hot. He'd be sad to see it go, but of the two of them, it was the far more recognizable color compared to his mud-brown.

"Yes, mom," he said, rolling his eyes at the last requests. Though admittedly the last time he'd gone out on his own he'd fucked Sam while Landon got kidnapped, so maybe Landon had a point. He hovered for a second, hesitating, then darted down and kissed Landon's forehead quickly before he scurried out of the room. Hopefully this fling wasn't something that'd get cured away with the cold. He was a little worried that it might honestly happen. Landon hadn't exactly been in his right mind when--when it'd happened. The door thumped shut behind him, and he sighed. No point worrying. They'd cross that bridge when they came to it, and there was no helping it.

The trip to the supermarket was relatively painless. The cold air was still torture on his throat and chest, but at least no one looked at him too hard on the streets. He stopped by a little secondhand shop on the way there and got two pairs of slacks, a couple of leather belts, and a pair of nice oxfords; he almost splurged on business shoes, but they weren't comfortable, he didn't know Landon's size, and besides, they were more expensive than the rest of the lot. In addition, he bought five of the cheapest t-shirts and longsleeves they had, for once they could dress normally again. He changed into his set of fancy clothes immediately, brushing his hair into some sort of order in the bathroom, and when he winked at himself he almost looked like a respectable young businessman. Almost. He hadn't bought ties. Too expensive, and he didn't know the first thing about tying them anyways.

He felt like a faker, but forced himself to walk with his head up and his shoulders back, raggedy jacket hidden away in one of the bags but close enough for comfort. It was funny how differently people treated him, when he was dressed like this. At the supermarket, no one gave him a second glance, and the clerk even called him 'sir' when he checked out. He flashed her a smile, pleased with himself and his clever disguise, and she blushed a little. [i Why the fuck am I a ladykiller?] Bell thought, slightly irritated as he walked away. He didn't give a fuck about the ladies, so why the hell did they always fall all over him? [i I am a lady] killer, [i though,] he thought, and it cheered him right back up. Until he remembered [i her], and his mood dropped like he'd been kicked in the gut. Mood fully deflated, he groused his way back to the room and almost missed Landon's lady-bird hovering on a bench outside the hotel lobby.

Her eyes turned to him, and he started, but they slipped right back. Bell relaxed just a little. Ha, so she didn't recognize him like this! Well, to be fair, he hardly recognized him like this, and she'd only seen him in the dark of night after he and her lover had beat some poor critter to bits--if she'd seen him, he couldn't remember quite honestly. He doubted she remembered much about him, if she remembered him at all.

With his disguise, he almost went in the front door, but heeded Landon's warning at the last second and climbed up the rear. [i I prefer the rear entrance anyways,] he thought, smirking to himself. He let himself in to the hotel room and thumped the bags down on Landon's bed.

"Hey, sleepyhead, got your hairdye," he said, tossing the box at Landon. "It's a pity, though, I've never fucked a blond guy." Handjobs didn't really count, all things considered. "Check it out, Bell's a buisnessman! You can call me boss if you like." His fluctuating mood had settled on good, for better or for worse. He pointed at the bag of clothes. "Got you a set of spiffies, too. And i got some food, for if you get hungry, and orange juice, because isn't that supposed to be good for sick people?" He held up a can of soup. "Look, chicken noodle, aren't I good?" Down at the bottom of the bag he found the little bottle of pills, and set it on the nightstand. "And some asprin for your addiction, pill-slugger. Hey, so what's your girl doing downstairs?" He settled down on the bed and kicked his legs, feeling the new clothes out. They felt weird and stiff, and he decided he didn't like them. Soon as they got to the next town, they were going straight back to the consignment shop, for whatever ten cents he could make off them.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 3y 224d 24m 54s
With their new understanding, Landon had few reserves over watching Bellwether get dressed, admiring the wiry muscles slipping across jutted bones. Only half with things, Landon was slow to realize that meant Bellwether was getting ready to get out. Pushing to a wobbly sit he watched Bellwether discuss plant-life not suiting their life-style and blinked owlishly. All stubbornness aside there was no way Landon could argue the man's reasoning, other than a muffled, "-hate it when we split up," before letting himself fall back into the pillows. He felt instantly better for it and slightly relieved at not having to get out at all.

Landon sniffled pathetically and pulled his coat on the bed, pilfering numerous pockets of their cash, tossing the bundled wads onto the bed. It was meaningless junk, same with their clothes. Their only value was in the trades they could make.
Requests?
Landon considered it for a moment.
"Clothes, hair-dye," he muttered and sighed out at the heat. What else was there?

"...aspirin...maybe juice? Uhm, the police-one. There was a couple whispering, don't know-" he shrugged. Nothing had happened, so showing up bedraggled, sick and with a nice new bruise probably wasn't enough to warrant calling the police. They weren't sure what else the police were looking out for though. The bat and pipe, likely.
"Keep the pipe concealed," he muttered and shivered. The bed was colder without Bellwether tucked at his side.
"Use the back-entrance and get back soon," Landon said finally, imploringly. One more disaster on a solo-run and he'd damned well die of agony before letting Bellwether go anywhere alone. Finding the key had slipped from his coat along with the cash, Landon tossed it at Bellwether.

One more day. That's all Landon was willing to give himself to feel like less crap and be ready to move again. Staying in this place -with Lily so close by- made him feel uncomfortable. Pulling the blankets up a little higher, Landon left the coat where it was now, covering him partially. Keeping his eyes closed made his headache more tolerable. How about a cure for the flu? Maybe Bell could get that -wait. He already had that.
Mr. Pan had cured him of the first signs of the illness.
That wasn't going to happen twice. Bellwether-goat didn't make house-calls and Landon preferred it that way.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 3y 224d 1h 1m 42s
Bellwether opened his eyes when Landon spoke and stopped petting the other's hair. "Yeah," he said, sitting up slightly to thump on Landon's back while he coughed in an attempt to help get the phlegm out. Landon's coughing made his own throat itchy as though it'd only just remembered to cough, and before he knew it he was joining Landon in coughing his lungs up. He [i felt] better, his joints much less achy and his headache gone, but apparently his lungs were still crapped up.

"You don't look it," he agreed. It made sense, though. He'd gotten sick first, so of course he'd gett better first.

While Landon attended to his phone, Bell started fetching his clothes from where he'd wriggled out of them in the middle of the night. He'd had a bad habit of undressing himself in his sleep back when he'd lived at home, and it seemed all the indoor living was catching up with him; he'd repeated the habit. He didn't really remember waking Landon up, or climbing under the sheets with him; he hadn't been fully awake to begin with, so his brain hadn't been recording it. Even the dreams were already fading. Slowly, he pieced the outfit back together. The coat was the real 'I'm homeless!' clincher, but being as it was where he stored all the things-he-might-need as well as his various weapons, he was loath to leave it behind in any situation. A moment's hesitation was all it got before he shrugged into it.

"I think we're fucked if we don't," he said. "Unless we spontaneously learn to photosynthesize." It was a joke, but he was serious. They had water and nothing. His appetite wasn't back yet, but it was hanging around in the back of his mind, and his stomach was on that edge where he wasn't sure if he was hungry, or if it was just aching. Soon enough, Landon would be hungry too, and they needed some food for that. Plus he had no shirts. The shirtless hoodie-jacket combo wasn't the kind that fit in with the normal crowd; he'd need at least one shirt. Well. He had one shirt, but...it'd get looks for a rather different reason.

"Anyways, I don't think [i we] are going on a supply run. You'd probably mope around and be useless. You stay here, and I'll go out, just give me some money." He held out his hand, making grabbing motions. "There anything you want me to pick up in particular? Oh yeah, and the guy. What kind of suspicious? Like, goat-suspicious? Or like, calling-the-police suspicious? Cuz we might need to ditch this place. Honestly, if you weren't sick..." he stopped, then shrugged. It'd been his idea to wait it out in the first place. No point blaming Landon for something he couldn't help, when it wasn't what had got them in trouble in the first place. "Anyways, as soon as you get better--" he started coughing, and had to hold up a hand. "As soon as you feel good enough to move, we'll head out, find a new town. Sound good?"

It didn't really matter if it did or not. He was moving on, Landon or no.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 3y 224d 1h 34m 20s
Floating in blissful tranquillity, Landon was barely registering that Bell was close, actually cooing up to him like some love-struck teen. It wasn't until his phone buzzed inside of his coat -silent mode his ass- that Landon woke up to some extent. Only to groan in malcontent and burrow his face near where he felt the hand stroking his hair. It turned out to be Bellwether, a quick exploration taught, and Landon sighed out, relaxing again.
They had nothing pressing going on today -except to lay low from authorities finding them and oh, the hotel-clerk was already suspecting something and fuck Sam if he'd take the drawings to the police. Together with the mural at the other hotel, they'd instantly get pinned down.
For some of the hotels Landon had had to show his ID and he'd oblidged mindlessly.

Carefully Landon tried his eyes, but the room was already flooding with light, which induced a weird sort of sensitive ache. His fever had gone down a little at least. Or maybe that was just wishful thinking. Feeling meek, Landon closed his eyes again and sighed.
They couldn't stay in bed all day and it was easier for him to get out and retrieve stuff, given no one really knew Bell was in the building to begin with. What time was it anyway?
Getting out of bed seemed like a futile and tiring endeavour to undertake.

"Feeling better?" Landon croaked hoarsely, breaking out in a harsh set of coughs.
"Mmm, cause I'm not," he added after he'd caught his breath. Shifting under the blankets, Landon reached for the water and sat up a little, taking careful sips of the water. They'd need to get proper food at least. More juice, stuff that was rich on sugar.
Landon's elbows were shaky as they carried his weight, half-propped up. Yeah, going out was going to be just about as much fun as it had been yesterday.

Putting the water away, Landon reached over the edge of the bed to drag his coat closer and sank back onto his pillow to read the message.
Lily.
'Please come talk to me; I'll be waiting...'
Shit, wait what?
How did Lily know where they were?
The GPS. Landon cursed and fumbled through the phone's settings to shut it off. He'd used the tracking system to to find this worn little hotel, but apparently the conversation between Lily and him allowed for sharing locations. It must've shown in some sort of status update.

He'd just not go. Screw that.
Thoroughly awake now, Landon put the phone away and looked over at Bell.
"We making a supply-run today?"
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 3y 224d 2h 5m 29s
Only inches from sleep, Bell muttered something entirely unintelligible and meaningless at Landon's invitation. But the other man had a point, and he'd gotten the sheets open and everything. The shivers had died down somewhat, and now the room felt pressingly warm. Clumsily, he stripped out of the hoodie and flailed and kicked his way down to the gym shorts, not bothering to pay much attention to where the clothes ended up. With his chest bare, the room stared to feel cold enough he wanted to be under the sheets, and so he climbed in after Landon.

The whole procedure took place with his eyes shut; he didn't want to wake up enough to look around. Under the covers, he gravitated towards Landon's warmth and thoughtlessly threw a leg over him, hugging Landon to his chest like a teddy bear or security blanket. He'd never been fully awake, so it didn't take long to return to sleep.

It was more comforting than he was willing to admit to have another body there with him, another heartbeat against his own. His dreams strayed toward Mr. Pan again, but this time Landon charged in right before the knife dropped and knocked it out of Mr. Pan's hand with his baseball bat, then pummeled the goat-creature to a bloody, pulpy death. In the dream, Landon offered his hand to Bell to help him up, but Bell pulled him down on the altar instead, and they did unspeakable, wonderful things to each other until dawn broke and he woke up in Landon's arms with a bad case of morning wood.

Bell squinted at the dawn light over his shoulder, half-rising to get a better look, then thumped back down into bed and snuggled a little closer. Too bad that dream hadn't come true. He closed his eyes again and drifted off into a doze. They had this room to themselves, and this time there was no Sam to interrupt them. He'd just lie here and enjoy being in bed with Landon until the man woke up. Eyes closed, he stroked Landon's hair gently, wanting to touch but not wake him up. It was so peaceful, just resting like this. Why couldn't they just stay like this forever?
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 3y 224d 3h 17m 9s
A kick infiltrated Landon's dreams and painstakingly slowly the dusky outlines of their cheap suite started making sense. Bell's voice seemed to float somewhere to his left, and Landon felt like he was bobbing on a sunny ocean, without any way of shielding himself. Sleep tugged at his mind and limbs, fiercely adamant in dragging him back under into the dark realm of nightmares. Looking at Bell with a sluggish blink, Landon sighed out and shifted, running a hand down his face.

Nightmare was right.
Bell had died again in said nightmare, though this time it hadn't been real. Dead Bellwethers didn't kick you in the shins while you were trying to get some rest. Feeling uncomfortable, Landon sat up in the bed and looked down at Bell. They were both still mostly dressed, on top of the blankets, though somehow his shoes had gone missing.
One hand reached for the bottled water and after a while of clumsy fidgetting uncapped the mechanism to practically inhale the precious liquid. His throat didn't really feel any less on fire, but at least the immediate thirst had died down.

Slowly pushing to a stand, Landon squirmed out of his coat with a pained expression on his face. All of his muscles had gotten sore. Without his coat, the air inside of the room hit his skin and even that felt uncomfortable. Dressing down until all which was left were the sweat-pants and a t-shirt, Landon fought with the blankets to slip underneath.
It felt cracklingly cold and fresh, but way more comfortable. At least there weren't any foreign objects sticking in his side this time around.

He nudged Bellwether, "c'm under the blankets," Landon muttered.
A request, not an order.
Landon just wanted Bellwether close enough to feel the other's heartbeat. Just to make sure he wasn't in this stinking mess alone. Images of the nightmare were still vying for attention and Landon wished he had the energy to stay awake and shake them.
Vouching to stay awake at least until Bell had climbed in under was a nice resolution, but not one Landon could keep. Not entirely anyway. Eyes fluttered shut involuntarily, though he was still faintly aware there was someone next to him. Alive. Not dead.
A goat.
Strange how that fear had all but fled. Acting normal made it appear so.
It was a straight-up lie, of course.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 3y 224d 3h 42m 5s
Bell grunted in reply. Suspicious how? "This guy's bringing in a hooker" suspicious? Goat recognition suspicious? Normal, hotel worker checking in a homeless guy suspicious? Or "I recognize you from the police report" suspicious? Whatever. He was too tired to care. He'd ask in the morning, if he remembered.

The room wasn't as bad as he'd expected. Clean, bugless...no honeymoon suite, but not awful either. He was still taking it in when Landon pressed a bottle of water into his hands. His first instinct was to reject it, but at the last second he remembered what Landon had said about him passing out. With a scowl, he chugged it down instead. It splashed into his stomach like a bucket of ice and chilled him to the core, but there was no helping it.

Landon plopped unceremoniously into the bed, boots and all, and Bellwether poked at his feet irritably. "Boots off the bed," he muttered, but the only reply was snoring. Out already? Jeez.

With a sigh, Bell sat down on the edge of the bed and undid his own laces, leaving his boots on the floor. He turned to Landon and worked his newer boots free of his feet as well, thumping the pair of them onto the floor at the foot of the bed. He considered undressing, but he was just too cold, and it wasn't as though he was exactly wearing too much right now, either. He shrugged out of his jacket but otherwise left his clothes as they were and climbed in beside Landon, pressing his back against Landon in a bid to stay warm. It didn't help much, but it didn't matter, either. He was exhausted; almost as soon as he'd settled down, he was asleep.

It was a deep and dreamless sleep, but as usual, good things never lasted. Chugging the bottle of water turned out to be his downfall; though he wanted to keep sleeping, his bladder had other ideas. Finally, he gave in, climbing out of the bed with a groan and staggering, half-asleep, into the bathroom. Business completed, he returned to the bed. Landon was tossing and turning, muttering in his sleep; it didn't look like a good dream. But was it worth waking him up from? At last he sighed and kicked Landon's leg, hard. He couldn't cuddle to Landon for warmth if he was twitching like that. "Nightmare," he murmured as explanation, already halfway back to sleep.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 3y 224d 5h 54m 31s
"The guy behind the counter suspected something," Landon muttered hazily and pointed up to let Bellwether know where the room would be.
"Don't use the front entrance," he forewarned.
The stairs seemed to go on endlessly and by the time Bellwether announced the final flight, Landon was good and well out of breath and energy. Stumbling onto their floor, he dug up the key and walked along the wall for support until they came across their room.

Cracking the mystery of the door's lock, Landon slipped inside the room. For a suite, it was miserable, for an ordinary hotel room, it'd do. There was a large bed in the middle of it, and that was the important thing. At least the sheets were clean, if not a little stiff from an excessive amount of detergent. There were stains on the taps, which were rusty but maintained, and some tiles were coming loose. It wouldn't stand in the way of having a bath though.
Stepping further inside, Landon found the mini-fridge and pulled out two bottles of overpriced water and pushed one on Bellwether before uncapping his own and taking a few small sips.

After that exertion however Landon sank down on the bed experimentally and lost the will to do anything else. His breathing was still laboured from walking the stairs, muscles sore and exhausted, joints aching fiercely. The headache was only drowned out by the new shiner Sam had given him.
Leaning over to put his water on the night-stand, Landon let himself fall sideways on the bed and pulled his legs up as well, boots and all. Undressing was too much effort. He just wanted sleep. A short nap -he'd get around to doing things later. Maybe visit a grocery store or local supermarket for something to drink and eat.
Oh, and cheap hair-dye.
Bell was probably fine with brown hair; brown hair was a common trait. Blond was a bit more rare. There was no way of knowing what else the police knew and were looking for.

Landon passed out more so than fell asleep, a gentle darkness whisking his consciousness away. Of course, such darkness didn't remain still for long, carrying tall shadows in the depths of it. Before long Landon shifted uncomfortably in his sleep, his mind repeating shreds of what both goats had shown him.
And then there was Mr. Pan, expression dead-serious, the knife clutched above Bellwether's chest without his usual smug face, and under the chanting of his followers brought the blade down. Blood instantly stained the front of Bell's shirts.
[i 'No, no!']
Landon wanted to wake up, but it felt like drowning the moment he surfaced. It was hot above the water, so part of him couldn't care less about waking up fully. The other part just wanted to escape the feverish nightmares, muttering unintelligibly to whatever ghosts haunted him in his sleep.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 3y 224d 15h 1m 37s
The door creaked open at last, and Landon shook him from the half-doze he'd fallen into. Blinking, he let Landon heave him upright and tottered inside. "It's fucking cold, what took you?" he asked, annoyed. Inside, he took a deep breath of the nice warm air and relaxed. The heat did a lot to calm down the mad coughing, and before long he felt fine standing on his own. The shivers hadn't stopped, but at least now it was only a matter of time. "Alright. So where's the room?"

Of course it'd be the top floor. Bell groaned loudly and startled a passing family, who clutched a pair of darling children away from the two of them. Bellwether glared, though he understood the sentiment. Even without the police report, he and Landon looked rough--especially with the fresh bruise Landon was sporting. "Right, let's get up there, then," he muttered.

He found the stairs before the elevator--not that he was sure there was an elevator at all in this dump--and led the way up. Landon looked a little shaky, so he kept glancing back and make sure the other was right behind him. It was slow going, the both of them wobbly and tired. Halfway up they were passed by a giggling woman attached at the waist and lips to a red-faced man, and Bellwether came to a dead stop to let them pass. He didn't want to see any more of that than he had to. The two were also headed to the top floor, to his distaste, though they made it there much faster than he and Landon were going. With any luck, Landon hadn't gotten the room right next to those love-birds.

"Last flight," he announced, and then they were on the top floor. The love-birds were out of sight, likely already getting busy behind closed doors. He stepped back to let Landon take the lead; Landon had the key and knew the room number. He just wanted to flop down in a bed and sleep forever. Maybe drink some tea--though that wasn't an option anymore, sadly. But at least they weren't spending the night out in the cold. He shook his head at Sam. Throwing a couple of sick guys out in the cold? Seriously, what a dick move.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 3y 224d 23h 5m 36s
Listening to Bell's plans, Landon wanted to protest they ought to switch roles around this time. Landon was about to say something when his motivation flagged and all but sank. It was just getting a fucking room. Sam's punch had by then turned nice and red, darkening quickly without treatment. Hopefully it wouldn't be too off-putting.
Entering the establishment, Landon was pleasantly surprised. Yes, it was scuzzy, but at least the area appeared reasonably clean. The sudden warmth that came with being out of the cutting wind upset the precarious balance his body had found, his cheeks flushed with dizzying heat. Approaching the counter, Landon leaned on it heavily with both arms. The clerk was helping another couple. They were whispering amongst one another.
At least he didn't smell like bloody sewage this time around.

Remaining quiet, Landon did a quick once-over on the place. There were two hallways leading further into the building, stairs going up behind the counter on either side, a shoddy elevator at the back, out of sight. Out of service -no surprise there.
There was no bar, or restaurant. If there was, the scent of food evaded Landon at least. Once the family scurried off, Landon looked up at the clerk.

There was a brief moment of flaring recognition and Landon failed to care entirely. The man was sizing him up, judging, not quite as rudely as some of them had when he'd been a bloody mess, but it was still more thorough than warranted.
"A room please..." he said softly, voice hoarse and paused.
One or two? Fuck.
"Give me a suite," Landon said after a moment's hesitation.

The man, realizing he was being inappropriate, finally licked his lips and wrote something down before taking the key down from a board behind him and calling out the price. Coughing up the crumpled bills, Landon slipped the key from the desk and realized there was no way that him bringing in a one-plus was going to go down unnoticed. Bell was at the back however.
So there had to be another exit to this place. Pretending to round the desk and go up the stairs, Landon gently scaled the stairs back down and searched around, sweat pearling on his brow. Damn, why did they have the heating turned up so high?
He felt like shit.

After some searching and snooping around, Landon finally found the door. It read 'no exit' in big, bold letters. An emergency exit. Landon hoped it wouldn't activate any alarms of any kind. Probably not. He could see cigarette-butts littering the floor.
Personnel must be using it to get smoke-breaks.
Pushing open the door with a solid clunk, Landon immediately regretted letting in the cold. Leaving the door at a crack, he peered around and caught sight of Bell. What the fuck? He couldn't even wait a measly ten minutes? Stepping out, Landon shook Bell by both shoulders, lifting the man's head.
"C'mon, almost there," he promised the other.
Landon didn't wait for Bellwether to come out of it, but pushed his shoulder underneath and heaved to a stand, almost teetering into the very wall he was trying to pull Bellwether away from. Shaking his head against the dizziness, Landon got them both inside and shut the door behind.

Checking his key, Landon groaned meekly.
Of course the suites were at the top floor.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 3y 224d 23h 57m 31s
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