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With luck. Daniel hoped so; Cat and Sam were ill prepared to deal with any of this shit. Worry later, act now. He nodded in agreement. Daniel moved back from the main door -they were going elsewhere? Oh, a back-entrance. Not that it mattered much in the grand scheme of things, since they ended up outside regardless. Scraps and equipment littered the yard the door opened in to and Daniel surveyed the expanse. Apparently the other hunters had realized their targets had given them a run for their money, because they weren't far into the road they'd been on before they stopped.
There were never just two, were there?
Daniel scanned the tops of the buildings they were passing, trying to see whether he could spot any snipers. It'd be nice if they could actually use Spot to track some of these hunters, but the mutt seemed as useless as ever.
Shit, Bell-boy started moving. Hopefully the other two were just exploring somewhere else or still getting into position, because Bell wasn't about to give them a reprieve after what they'd done apparently.
Daniel started after the man, bat drawn. The echo of their footfalls stalled the hunters' footsteps and they turned about face, then one jumped up, high, way higher than was humanly possible. Joy- hybrids. That made sense.
Rogue hybrids. Without their commander leading them, without the facility reigning them in and subjecting them to tight control, these hybrids were acting on their own. But why?
Just because they'd heard of what happened?
Maybe they were just a special sort of team.
"Hybrids," Daniel managed to choke out, but it might've already been apparent. The hunter that hadn't fled the battle-field made himself wide enough to bar passage. The man's square face was chiselled, hands large as spades, muscles like bolted wires. Obviously this hybrid had done a play on strength.
Daniel stalled, keeping an eye out for their little bird. If he used the goatling, he'd disturb Bell-boy too. He couldn't use that unless it was absolutely necessary -he'd already been using the goatling too much lately.
"So what's the deal with you guys, huh?" Daniel started.
The man in front of him just grinned widely. Several teeth were missing.
"Great," he muttered. And then the man charged at them with considerable speed.
Bell nodded. Yeah, Daniel was right. No way they'd screw with both vans. And hell, maybe a rusty van would even be better. It looked less like a hunter's van and more like just your average white van, such like a child predator might tempt children with candy from.
Another team to deal with the girls? Shit! He hadn't thought of that. "With any luck, they don't know about them," he said. Honestly, it felt like these guys were rogues. The rusty vans, attacking them wildly with guns in front of civilians... this didn't feel like the usual hunter attack. And it made sense, didn't it? If they were rogues. Because they'd just taken down that base. It'd make sense if these were hunters on the run, so to speak, just out for his and Daniel's blood after what they'd done. Though to be fair, they might include the girls in that, but they might also not have enough men to go after all four of them. He didn't know. He was thinking too much when he really just needed to move.
"We'll have to worry about that later," he hissed. The sound of the van was gone. The hunters were on foot as well. It was only a matter of time before they met.
Spot had run out the back. Bell moved towards the rear of the building, figuring there'd be an exit back there. There was; he snuck out, sliding past rusty scraps and odd equipment. He glanced back to make sure Daniel was with him, then stepped out the half-ajar door.
Outside was a yard, full of larger scraps and equipment. Bell crept towards a narrow alley between buildings, peering out. On the other end of the alley was the road they'd come in on. Around the corner was a dead end, and a white van parked there. He could see the hunters moving around; two of them were by the van. If there were any more of them, he couldn't see them from here. Likely they'd already spread out, away from them. He looked at Daniel, then held up two fingers and pointed. Two this way. They could take them, but it might be a trap.
The two started to move towards the building, away from the van. Bell moved up the alley. Couldn't let them get away either. And two on two was good odds. His grip on the pipe tightened, and he started to run.
"I don't know if they made the exit," Daniel replied, trying to hold on for dear life and protect Spot while struggling with the map. Not that Bell-boy needed much more of it, because the refinery was already looming up ahead. Daniel pressed the mutt's face into his chest and was grateful he hadn't chosen to rest in the back for all of this. Although maybe then he'd have been able to launch more a counter-offence than their one-sided chase right now.
Daniel tried to catch as much of the refinery as possible -map out the lay of the land, but there wasn't much time. Bell-boy found them a nice big open factory door and some smart driving had the hunters chasing ghosts instead.
"Nice job," Daniel complimented Bellwether on his driving.
He slowly let go of Spot and checked the mutt over. The dog was trembling and panting, but was otherwise unharmed.
"Sorry, Spot," he whispered, then opened the door to let the dog out. It scampered into the darkness of the large factory. Daniel was certain they wouldn't see Spot until everything was said and done. And then came the challenge of finding Sam and Cat again.
He grabbed his bat and the tranquillizers, making sure the gun was loaded and armed.
"They wouldn't rig both vans," Daniel muttered. One would be left working, so they could always haul their stuff over, if need be. He had bad memories of factories like this though. The amount of metal, the possible hiding spots... he was on edge. The hunters could attack them from literally anywhere and if them choosing this abandoned refinery as a battle arena was preplanned, they were in for a mess.
Wouldn't be the first time.
Daniel took a deep breath and gave Bell-boy a nod.
He was ready and stepped out the door so Bell could shut it and obscure the van from sight. "What if they have another team to deal with the girls?" Daniel whispered, taking in his surroundings. The two women were ill-equipped to deal with hunters. Even when accompanying them in taking down the base and freeing Sam, Cat had hung back. As she should be. For all she was a goat, she was a young woman first.
He couldn't hear the van no more. Suddenly, any sound was the enemy. Any movement a potential death-threat.
"I know, I know," Bell muttered, watching in the rearview as the other van did its best to catch up. It was terrifying. He didn't like this at all. At least normally he could hit the other guy, but right now, stuck in vans like this... they had no options. They could only run. It got right under his skin and he hated it. "I know! Find somewhere!"
Daniel did, because he started spitting instructions. Bell followed them one after another, moving sharply with each of Daniel's orders. Right, left, right, left, this way, that way--he snapped the wheel around, feeling the van sometimes rise up on two wheels as he forced it around corners.
"Where's Sam and Cat, what happened to them?" he asked shortly, watching the van as the driver took aim at them again. He swerved to the left, and the bullet only just missed their rear wheel. There was no time to worry about anyone else right now!
Up ahead, he could see what had to be the refinery, an old factory with rusting pipes thrust to the skies, big, boxy buildings with small windows blocking out the sun. He swerved towards the entrance. Chained-link fence blocked their way, warning people to stay out. "Brace yourself!" Bell warned, then crashed through it. The van jolted, but the gates broke open before them.
The other van was hot on their heels; Bell spun the wheel and raced into the darkness of the factory, winding his way around the buildings. The factory was tight, and he couldn't see the other van behind him. He could hear it; but the roads were too short to see each other. Up ahead, a big, factory door hung open, the kind that'd been meant to take forklifts and trucks and other large machinery in. His chance! He slid the van in through the door, then parked it. The other van roared past a second later, white flashing through his rearview mirror as it passed the open door.
They were hidden for now, but it wouldn't last. He'd pulled in, and they couldn't back out, not with the hunters looking for any chance to get them. It'd take way too long. "Let's get out before they find the van," Bell said, grabbing his pipe already and reaching for the door. He'd rather they didn't find the van and disable it. They needed something to get to the facility with. No... if he could go and fight the hunters face-to-face, it'd be much better.
A confused glance, then a revelation. Their van collided violently with the other, the sound of metal bending a ferocious one. Sparks flew as they scraped by the other van and Daniel held Spot tight to prevent the mutt from hurting itself. Almost. Daniel saw the hunters' van swerve precariously, but it straightened out before they could hit the exit. Bell-boy took the exit without hesitation. Daniel's eyes grew wide at the red signs.
"You've got to brake!"
It shot to green. Not everyone clued on and they narrowly missed a late car crossing the intersection. The hunters' van was not as fortunate.
"That didn't stop it," Daniel urged. They needed to find a nice quiet place to pull over, deal with these hunters before things got even more out of hand. Daniel was pretty sure the car that got hit at the intersection would have some angry people in it calling the police straight away.
Quiet wasn't even what they needed. They just needed to be away from the van, was all.
"We're sitting ducks like this this -we got to ditch the van," Daniel started. "Well, not ditch it, just...make sure that when the hunters find it, we're not in it." He reached for the map and traced where Bell-boy had, finding their location. Spot whimpered in the foot-well, crouched down and frightened.
This exit lead into a city.
"Down the main street," Daniel guided Bell-boy. In the rear-view mirror Daniel could already see the other van coming up at breakneck speed.
"To the left, they have an abandoned refinery just outside town," he spoke quickly. The hunters had already caught up. Daniel could only just brace himself when the enemy van hit them from behind.
He found himself wishing he had a weapon, anything to use in their defence, but options inside the van were limited.
"Down that way," he pointed. He caught one of the hunters in Bell-boy's rear-view mirror, aiming their weapon at their tires.
"To the right!" Daniel urged. A blown tire would slow them down severely and they couldn't use that right now. As he hoped, the hunter held his fire, but only until they arrived at the next long stretch of road. Shit.
These guys gave them no pause.
Bell just shook his head at Daniel's 'would've been fine.' If he hadn't tried to kill himself this time, then next time, or the time after that, and eventually he would've succeeded. It'd been a constant threat, and one he was glad had mostly disappeared.
Daniel all but took over, shouting commands and grabbing the wheel. Feeling inadequate but doing his best to keep up, Bell slammed the gas and followed Daniel's lead to zoom up alongside the right side of the truck. The other van raced ahead, coming up to meet them on the other side. He glanced at Daniel. To the left? But the van was to the--
Bell jammed the gas and roared up to meet, then overtake the other van, which was still in the dropping-back-to-meet them mode. He slammed his van to the left when he was almost past them, and smacked the rear side of the van into their front corner. The other van jerked, swerving to the side, and almost impacted with a car on its other side.
While the driver recovered, Bell scanned the horizon, falling back beside the truck to keep the van from attacking them. An exit, he needed an exit. This crazy road-rage fight would attract the police before anything else; neither of them wanted that, but the hunters seemed beyond caring. An exit loomed, and he took it without hesitation, flying down the shoulder of the off-ramp, hitting his horn to warn the other drivers he was coming. The other van followed him, in hot pursuit. There was a stoplight at the end of the ramp, coming up quickly. Bell swallowed. Shit. Light was red, too, other cars flying by through the intersection. No, no, no!
The light went green. He jammed the gas and flew through, narrowly missed by a red-light runner, who jammed their brakes. The van behind them did as well, and the two cars impacted; the van hitting the red-light runner. It backed up and started to navigate around even as the angry driver climbed out and started shouting. Bell zoomed away, using the little amount of time that'd bought them to put a little more distance between the vans.
It took Bell-boy a while, but he finally came up with a distinct 'no'. Daniel wasn't sure whether to feel glad the answer was 'no' or disheartened that Bell-boy had to think about that one so long. A split personality wasn't all sunshine and roses, huh? But he was neither Daniel nor Landon. Not the bad traits, nor the good ones.
It'd taken Bell-boy the better half of a year to get used to them both and now things had changed around again.
Had it been the right choice though?
"You don't know if I would've actually been successful at killing myself -maybe if I took the medication it would've been..." Daniel glanced away from Bell and focussed on the receiver instead.
"...it would've been fine."
Bell-boy seemed distracted then, searching the rearview mirror for something. Daniel glanced over, but the banana-mobile was still in plain sight, though maybe behind a fair deal. Then he caught it, the white van Bell warned him about.
Daniel was just in time to put a hand out to the dashboard when the van hit them.
Honestly? They were going about it this way? How would that be effective? They were goats! And it'd break their only means of transportation.
Daniel ducked, grabbed Spot and held the animal still as Bell hit the brakes.
"Lanes, switch lanes," Daniel urged. "That truck, pull up alongside it," he pointed. Daniel grabbed the wheel, not at all intending to pull up alongside the left of the truck either. It had to be on the right. Leave them with little space to pull up alongside and then find an exit.
"Hit the gas!" he shouted, leaning over to catch sight of where the van was.
A gun was pointed out the window. Aimed at their tires. And these hunters were not shooting darts either. They were aiming to kill.
They probably had weapons, somewhere, but everything they had was in the back.
The truck loomed up, creating a physical barrier between them and the van. At the speed they were going, they cleared the truck easily. The van was already waiting on the other side, creeping up in front of them. Another shot was fired, but missed.
Shooting tires wasn't easy.
The hunters' van was losing speed, aiming to get beside them again.
"To the left," Daniel hissed. Behind them -two could play that game.
For a while, there was an uncomfortable silence, broken by too-casual comments from the both of them, nothing that could really be called a conversation. Then Daniel finally addressed the elephant in the room, going at it all at once. Bell ran his hair back, body going even more rigid than it usually did when he was driving. Would he...? If he could have the both of them, and no side-effects? It'd be nice. But at the same time... then he'd have to deal with the mood swings, the being left in the bed, Landon and Daniel both getting jealous... it wasn't as though them being split had been perfect. Not by a long shot.
"No," he said at last. He only realized how true it was when he said it: no, he didn't want that. This was better. This was the way it should've been from the start. "No, Daniel, I... I miss them, but I wouldn't rather have them. It's not that I don't love you. It's that I... also loved them. And I knew them for longer, and now they're you, and they aren't gone, but I..." he sighed and ran his hair back again. He did miss them. Deeply. Viscerally. But he knew it was stupid, because Daniel was right there, but... "I don't know. It's stupid and confusing and..."
"We made the right choice," Bell said firmly, cutting in. That much he knew. There wasn't another choice. "Daniel, missing them is nothing compared to losing you forever. This is just a change. If you were gone, I'd--"
His voice cut off. Bell stared out the windshield, then swallowed. Shit. He really shouldn't have said anything. Now he just felt like crap. He glanced in the rearview, but the van was gone.
Alarm bells went off in his head. He scanned the cars around him, looking for the van. Where'd it gone to? No, he should calm down. Maybe it was just a normal van that'd taken an exit. Yeah. Yeah, that had to be it.
Something slammed into the side of the van, sending it lurching towards the shoulder, tossing Bell against his seatbelt. Spot yelped, thrown up against the footwell. Bell looked out his window, and found a gun pointed directly in his face. "Daniel! Down!" he snapped, even as he ducked and slammed the brakes. The gun went off, a loud pop, and the bullet skimmed over the hood of their car. Bell tensed and slammed the gas, jumping ahead, but already the dirty white van was picking up the pace to match theirs.
Nothing his ass. Still, it'd be nice if it was nothing. Nothing, the same nothing Bell-boy figured his personality change was? Why was he even so bothered by that? It'd only be natural Bell-boy would notice a difference in him; it'd been the whole point of taking the 'cure' in the first place.
Daniel followed Bell-boy back to the van and sat back down to tuck into his meal. Burger first, followed by some fries, dipped in a funny sauce that was actually half-decent.
A nasty-looking van, huh? Didn't sound like these hunters had much rest then. Or maybe they'd been on a hunt; the hunters they'd missed while freeing Sam.
"Right," Daniel muttered around another bite of burger.
Bell-boy still seemed tense. Nothing much hunters would do while they were on the road though. Daniel knew that was naive. Might be they had some other kind of tactic. If anything, they'd be vulnerable in a vehicle, even if it was a sturdy van. The banana-mobile was at an even greater risk.
Check the receiver?
"Sure," he muttered, licking his finger. Spot used the opportunity to stick his nose down the paper bag and wrappers, but there was only trash in there by now.
Disgruntled, Spot freed its large head from the bag and whined. He wanted meat too.
"Yeah, yeah, get you something at the next stop," Daniel promised, then flicked on the receiver.
Daniel sat back and meticulously went through the steps, channel by channel.
"So...about before...I know you said to forget it and that you wouldn't change things, but..." he sighed out, glanced at Bell, then focussed back on the device in his hand, steadily beeping away.
"Would you rather have it be Lenny and me, than me being normal...fine? I mean, without the whole, 'I see things' happening?" It was the same as saying Bell-boy didn't love him, wasn't it? Sad part was, the Daniel in him was used to it. The Lenny part felt hurt. It was a strange mixture of emotions Daniel didn't care for getting accustomed to.
"I get it, you know. It's changed me, us...changed us," he rambled. Nothing on this channel either. "Maybe we should've given it more thought."
He didn't quite like the way Daniel phrased it, but the man was right. He made eye contact, then gave a little nod and shrug. Maybe. "I saw a white van," he muttered, moving closer so the girls wouldn't hear.
He took the food Daniel had forgotten to hand to him and nodded. Yeah, good idea. Let the girls take the first hit; then the cavalry could roll in afterwards and take out...whatever there was to be taken out. If anything. He grabbed a fry out of the bag and crunched it down, savoring the greasy, salty flavor.
The girls escaped just fine, taking their time to settle into the car. No one approached them or made even vaguely threatening motions in their direction. The old white van didn't reappear. Bell nodded and started for the door, munching through his fries as he went. "Guess it was just nothing," he said, shrugging. Maybe it was still too soon for the hunters to be on their tail. Maybe they hadn't noticed Sam's goat coming out. Who knew?
He headed back to the car and climbed back into the driver's seat, getting comfortable for a moment before he opened up his burger wrapper and took a big bite, unwrapping it to halfway so he wouldn't have to be bothered with unwrapping it more later. "Keep an eye out for a nasty-looking white van, though," he commented to Daniel, giving him a glance. "If we see it again, it's probably hunters."
With that warning, he started up the van. Cat stared Sam's car half a beat later, and Bell led the way back onto the highway. The road was full of cars, but devoid of white vans...at first. Then he spotted it. It was way behind the other cars; this far away, he didn't know if it was the same van he'd seen earlier or another one, or even a harmless, labeled white van that belonged to some business or another.
He eyed it in the rearview but didn't say anything. No point alarming Daniel until he was sure. And all he could see was a van. Plenty of white vans around. Just...sometimes they were dangerous vans.
"Daniel, you wanna check the transceiver?" he asked casually. Might as well, right?
He nodded. To go sounded like the best idea, keep on the road. They'd been chased on the highway before, but never out-right attacked. It was their safest bet.
"Yeah," he added for confirmation and scanned the menu.
"I'm really not-" Sam started. Not what? Daniel gave the woman a questioning look. Not hungry? Sam's face seemed to be crossed with several expressions all at once, only to finally arrive to the conclusion that yes -she was ravenous.
"Maybe just a cheese burger," she ceded to her body's needs.
Daniel nodded and put her order through, then went with a beef combo himself. It didn't take long for their orders to come through either. He reached for the bags and relinquished Cat's order to the little girl, then gave Sam her burger. Daniel was about to hand the menu-bag over to Bell-boy when he caught the man's alertness.
"You're not sulking," Daniel stated. "What's going on?" He tried to play it as casual as could be, not wanting to put the two girls into a panic.
Daniel glanced out the window, but whatever Bell-boy had seen was long gone.
"Let's have the girls go out first," he muttered. The hunters would know Sam, but they wouldn't be familiar with Cat. Either way it'd spark a reaction and unlike him or Bell-boy, when the hunters took out either Cat or Sam, they wouldn't be taking out any of their fighting-force.
"You 'kay?" Cat asked, mouth full of burger.
Daniel smiled at her, a lazy, fake smile that Cat had begun to recognize. She wasn't sure this time whether it was because of something between Bellwether and Daniel, but Cat did know it wasn't anything good.
She raised her eyebrows in question and Daniel shook his head.
"I just got to hit the John, you girls go ahead," he urged them. Sam seemed taken by the idea of sitting back down in her car, because she was already halfway out the door. Cat hesitated for a second, giving Daniel a look, but agreed at last and followed Sam.
Daniel carefully watched the two as they made their way back to the car.
Sam got in. Then Cat, hands preoccupied with juggling the burger and the door. Some tissues exchanged hands inside Sam's car. Everything seemed normal. Safe.
"What do you think?"
Safe enough to get back on the road?
Ah, shit. He could tell by the hurt in Daniel's eyes when he faked a smile back that he'd fucked up pretty well this time. Should've just kept it to himself, shouldn't he? Eventually he'd have gotten used to the new Daniel, grown to love him as fully as he had the old Daniel, the old Landon, and then it wouldn't have been an issue and no one would have had to get hurt. He was always doing dumb shit like this, wasn't he? Everything from this morning to now was dumb, and it only served to fuck things up worse. Should just shut his dumb mouth and give up for the day, because every time he spoke, things got worse.
He had to right to get jealous of Daniel when he put a hand to Sam's back, but he did anyways, turning his head to frown in the opposite direction. He was just being a gentleman, that was all. And it wasn't like he could do that in public when Bell wasn't feeling okay. And Sam clearly needed support. But even so, he didn't like it.
The fast food place was neither busy nor empty, a small line formed to the counter, a few people sitting around the dining room. Bell headed to the counter. "To go?" he asked Daniel. Probably good to eat on their way. Or did he want to eat here? Honestly, they should've just taken the drive-thru.
The line moved along. He got to the front and gave the lady there a wan smile. "Number one combo, please," he said. He was feeling sorry for himself, so he wanted all the sugar and grease he could get. It'd make him feel a little better.
The others put in their orders--Cat enthusiastically choosing the biggest burger on the menu--and stood by the side, waiting for their food. Bell leaned against the wall and watched the road, tired. Had to be alert, though, hunters could come by at any moment.
A white van appeared from around the bend. Bell held his breath. No markings, but it looked shittier than most hunters' vans, the sides streaked with mud and rust. Suspicious nonetheless, Bell watched it until it vanished around the next corner. Hunters? Not hunters? He suddenly regretted not bringing the transceiver in; then they'd at least have a clue.
Kind of? Concern made Daniel's eyes narrow at Bell-boy. Was this how it'd end between the two of them? Passion burnt out over different sexual preferences? Never seemed to have been an issue before, not until he gave into Bell-boy's uncommon desires. Maybe he shouldn't have, but Daniel had always been the kind keen to explore new experiences.
Daniel let go then. There was nothing he could do about that. Ever since they'd taken Bell-goat's 'cure', he'd been, well...cured, for lack of better phrasing. Going back to being schizophrenic wasn't desirable, heck, he'd tried killing himself because of it so surely that wasn't wanted.
How could he take this the right way?
They'd grow apart over this, huh? Daniel watched Bell leave the van, Spot already gallivanting outside of the fast-food place Bell had chosen they get lunch at. There was nothing he could do about it either, which was the frustrating bit. Why couldn't the goat's solution just solved the delusions and halucinations, not their split-personality? Probably because the two were cause and effect, so fixing one had fixed the other.
He was a different person, someone Bell-boy claimed to love as well, but he was neither Daniel nor Landon.
Cat's enthusiasm fell on deaf ears; neither Bell nor Daniel felt the same. Sam was too tired to and Daniel surmised hamburgers weren't a staple food Sam missed having. Daniel caught Bell-boy's smirk and couldn't help giving a small smile in return, but couldn't hide the fact that Bell-boy's words preoccupied him more than Bell had perhaps meant to.
If it weren't for Sam and Cat, Daniel would've pressed the matter.
As it was, his headache was too prominent and their situation not one that allowed for personal matters to get they space they deserved. The 'cure' had unseen consequences and they'd known that from the start. Daniel still agreed with Bell-boy that it was better to be different than try and kill himself, chasing some mad hallucination.
"You'll feel better after eating something," Daniel promised, putting a steadying hand to Sam's back, just to make sure she wouldn't trip over her own legs. She felt hot to the touch, as expected. Feverish then.
Penny for his thoughts? He looked at Daniel, then shrugged. Daniel would probably get pissed if he told the truth about missing Landon, and still being hung up on this morning. It wasn't about Daniel being hurt--he almost felt guilty that it wasn't. It'd at least be a good thing to be worried about. The car came to a halt, and he started to climb out, only to be caught by Daniel. He shrugged and was about to say it was nothing, when Daniel hit the nail on the head--halfway, at least.
"Kind of," he muttered, feeling caught. "No, it's, it's stupid, I know, but...I can't help missing Landon sometimes, you know? I know that you're Landon, too, and that this is better, and I'm happy you're healthy now, but sometimes, I..." he sighed out. He shouldn't have said anything. "I... wouldn't change anything. I wouldn't. But... I can't help missing the old yous sometimes."
He shook his head. "It's stupid, forget it," he declared, pushing up out of the seat. Shouldn't have said it. "I love this you, too, don't take it the wrong way." It was just that old adage: always wanted what he couldn't have. The grass was always greener. He knew it. But knowing it was stupid and irrational to think this way, didn't keep him from thinking like this.
Spot jumped out, no such concerns in his little doggy mind as he bounded around the parking lot. Bell snorted. Things really were better as a dog, weren't they? No worries at all, just a life of freedom.
Cat pulled up, Sam napping in the passenger's seat of the banana-mobile. He watched as Cat shook Sam awake, and then the both of them climbed out. "Burgers?" Cat asked, more enthusiastic than Bell had been. It beat canned tuna, anyways.
Sam still looked a little out of it as she climbed out of the car, and rested by the car for a moment to catch her breath before she started towards the restaurant. "Is it always like this?" she asked them, then shook her head. "What am I saying. How would you know?"
Bell glanced at Daniel, unable to keep a smirk off his face. She had no idea, did she?
"Apparently not," Daniel muttered, then surrendered and stroked Spot's fur back from his eyes, hugging the mutt against his chest with one arm. He was rewarded with a lick to the face and then just nudged Spot's muzzle down. A bit big for a lapdog, wasn't he?
Nothing doing now, apparently. A thirty-oddish kilograms of dog wouldn't move from his lap by just nudging it out of the way.
A yawn stretched his jaws and Daniel closed his eyes. The simmering headache proved unrelentless however and he didn't actually manage to doze. A heavy sigh. Not his. Bell-boy's. Daniel watched the man, but Bell-boy's mood seemed sour and frankly, Daniel knew it was best to just leave the guy when he was in a mood like that.
No. No, it was usually Lenny who didn't dare confront Bell on his behaviour. Not him.
It hurt his head to think about it and then the van jerked down an exit. If he hadn't been holding Spot, the poor mutt would've slipped off his lap.
Was that disappointment?
"Chicken...no, burgers, let's have burgers," Daniel decided. "Hey, what's going on up in that head of yours, huh? Penny for your thoughts?"
Maybe Bell-boy was just frustrated he was having to drive again, that he hadn't been able to stop Sam's goat from restraining him -stuff like that tended to bum Bell-boy out.
"I'm alright, you know?" Daniel put out there. He wasn't that fragile. His mind was in a right state, clear and he could move just fine. Sure, if they'd be faced with hunters right this minute, it might be a bit bothersome, but the headaches created by goats never tended to last particularly long.
Bell-boy knew all of this and still was in a mood. Well. Couldn't always be happy.
Daniel nudged Spot off his lap and waited for Bell-boy to park the van, then grabbed the man's arm before he could leave.
"This still about this morning?" he started. Should've tried getting in the mood to show Bell-boy more affection, huh? So he wouldn't feel so rejected, even though nothing had been wrong. Well. Obviously Bell-boy felt guilty plenty.
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