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Bell-boy's hold was tight. Tighter than Daniel would've liked.
"Hmm," being held tight felt too nice, too good to break off on account of a little discomfort. The warm water went a long way into soothing some of the aches that still plagued his body though. That, and being washed offered up a nice distraction. Daniel followed Bell-boy's hands, first with his eyes, but after a moment Daniel closed his eyes and surrendered to the tactile sensation of hands across sensitive skin. As if Bell-boy was confirming his existence on this plain of existence, pulling him back to reality.
Bell-boy had that effect for the longest while after they'd done away with the pills. Daniel mutely wondered why that wouldn't suffice any longer.
He didn't really get the time to come up with an answer. Bell-boy's hands had found something else to play with.
At first his body was hesitant, but there was the spark of desire, if not enough blood to get him all the way there fast. "Hmm, I'm kind of useless right now, Bell-boy," Daniel excused his mild reaction. If Bell-boy kept it up, he'd get there eventually, but Daniel wasn't sure for how long. Not as if he could go all the way. He'd pass out halfway there.
Daniel reached back and pulled Bell-boy down, lips meeting his. Could still have a little frisky-time. Why not? He was feeling kind of lazy, kind of needy right now. Daniel's breathing was already growing deeper, his body setting the curious chemical reaction in motion that got them doing the nasty so frequently.
"You going to make me feel good then?" Daniel asked, a cheeky smile playing across his lips. Cat wouldn't be back for a while; this was one of those rare opportunities to get their socks off. Daniel bucked against Bell-boy's hand, making sure to keep his bum leg from participating and upsetting the fine balance he had momentarily.
Daniel was powerless to resist Bell-boy; both physically and mentally. Not that he minded much. It felt good. Felt like he was being grounded by the physical interaction. And this time they didn't have to be quiet about it either.
Daniel rested back against him. A hand found his. He'd take it. Relief and apprehension flooded through Bell's system at once; Daniel was going to take it! He'd be okay, he'd stop trying to kill himself, he wouldn't freak out and see things that weren't there! But was it really going to be Daniel? Or Landon? And what if they didn't remember Bell anymore, or... or the conglomerate decided it was straight, or didn't like Bell? It was frightening, but it was better than not doing anything. Better than losing both of them.
"Love you, too," he replied, and really meant it. He nuzzled the top of Daniel's head and held him tight, just for a moment, then released him; whoops. Might not have been a good idea to hold him so tight with his skin and who knew what else so sensitive.
The soap was sitting on the edge of the tub. He unwrapped it, then lightly soaped up his hands just to have an excuse to touch Daniel. He was scared. It was frightening, asking Daniel to... to essentially become someone else. But it was the only option. Nothing else was going to work so nicely. But... changing his brain. It was scary. Anything could happen. He knew he wouldn't be as calm about it as Daniel was being. Wasn't being as calm as Daniel. He ran his hands down Daniel's arms, slid them around the man's front, watching flakes of blood rise to the surface as his hands dislodged them. Up Daniel's legs, his hands tracing the wiry musculature, feeling the change in texture where the goat had regenerated his skin from the break. It was so new, so soft. So wrong, in a way. But he'd rather have wrong than have Daniel injured. And wasn't it the same with the cure? Daniel's brain was 'injured,' and the cure would 'fix' it. Was that the right way to think about it? It helped, a little, even if Daniel might not like it.
His hands slid back down Daniel's legs, coming to rest where they met. Fingers moved, stroking gently, trying to find a reaction. He kissed the back of Daniel's neck, a little noise escaping his throat to express his fear, his uncertainty, everything he didn't want to give voice to. Couldn't they just... be okay, for a moment? Pretend everything was okay, before-- before Daniel took the cure?
Lose both of them? Oh. It dawned on Daniel that he might've unwittingly made a very uncoordinated and effective suicide-attempt. Bell-boy pulled away and helped him undress further. What skin was revealed was discoloured in a variety of interesting patches. Explained why his gut felt so sensitive, for one.
Bell-boy's hand running by the new skin was almost enough to make him flinch.
"Feels sensitive," Daniel remarked, a heads up for Bell-boy to be careful, for now at least. It'd feel better soon, after he'd eaten and recovered what blood he'd lost.
It always did.
Daniel was glad Bell-boy didn't make a big deal out of helping him. They'd seen worse sides of one another, so Daniel didn't really mind as much that it was Bell helping him. The water was nice and warm, not hot, but Daniel didn't think it'd have been a good idea anyway. Blood oozed from his skin, dissolving in the clear water to leave it a pink hue.
Kind of morbid.
Bell-boy wasn't much better. He'd slit his throat again, hadn't he? Bellwether's front was one blooded mess. Daniel watched the man undress, listlessly trying to wash off some of the blood from his arms.
When Bell-boy stepped in behind him though, Daniel gratefully rested back.
Better. Much better than sitting up.
His legs were sticking out of the water a bit. The tub didn't quite accomodate the two of them. Daniel's fingers ran across the skin across the leg.
Had it broken?
More like shattered maybe.
Pierced the skin-broken. The nasty kind.
Bell-boy was right. Even if one of them wasn't going to be out, it'd be better than having neither of them. The choice was a no-brainer, even if Bell-goat might have a fix that, judging using human ethics, wasn't on par.
"I'll take the thing -whatever Bell-goat gave Cat. I'll take it." Daniel put his hand to Bell-boy's, head resting on the man's shoulder. He was tired, yeah, more than a little confused on what he'd done to get in this position, but his head was clearer than it had been for a while now.
"You're right. One of us is better than neither of us." Even if it'd take some getting used to. They'd get by, wouldn't they? They always had.
"Love you, Bell-boy."
Daniel sat on the edge of the tub quietly, slowly pulling off his shoes. Bell watched, then startled--he'd have to do that too, wouldn't he? He bent and yanked his shoes off, tossing them in the corner like Daniel's, then pulled his shirt up and off. The bath filled up as much as two men needed it filled. He shut off the water, and then was paused as Daniel drew him closer. Arms wrapped around his body, a head pressed into his gut. He held Daniel back, one hand stroking Daniel's hair to get some of the dried blood off. Scared, was he? That was okay. So was Bell.
"I--I don't know either," Bell said, voice faltering. The goat had said 'cure,' but Cat had left out if it'd been any more specific. What was it curing? That was the real question. And the only real answer was to take the cure and find out. What if it did 'cure' Landon? He loved Landon too, had loved him first. But... the way things were now, Landon was only out for minutes, and he was rarely sane for the minutes he was out. That wasn't healthy. That wasn't... it wasn't [i Landon.] Not really. And if things went on like this... He shook his head. "I don't know, but I can't lose both of you." If Daniel succeeded in killing himself next time, then there'd be no Landon, no Daniel. He'd rather have just one than lose them both.
He sighed. No point worrying in something they couldn't know. He grabbed the bottom of what was left of Daniel's shirt and gently lifted it off, then knelt and pulled Daniel's pants and underwear off. There was so much blood everywhere under the clothes, caked into his skin, making the discoloration of the new skin more clear by where there was no bloodstain. So much. So much was new. He touched the new skin on Daniel's side, mesmerized; it was soft, brand new and tender. How much damage was that? If they'd gone to a hospital, would they even have been able to do anything?
Bell offered Daniel a hand to help him into the bath, wanting to wash the blood away and forget. The water clouded over when Daniel entered, blood dissolving on contact; a moment later, he shed his pants and stepped in as well, sliding into the warm water behind Daniel so he could support the man. His hands slid around Daniel's waist, and he pulled him close. It felt safe here, hidden away in the hotel's bathroom, supported by the warm water. If he could just hold Daniel here forever, maybe everything would be okay.
Bell-boy looked worn. There was also no way Daniel could promise this wouldn't happen again. He still wasn't on medication, his mind wasn't stable and Lenny hadn't been out in ages. That was just the kind of life they lived.
Daniel looked up at Bell-boy when the other put a hand on his head. What?
A cure? Confusion knitted his eyebrows.
"What?" A cure? And how was that going to work exactly? Would it just take away the hallucinations? Solve the psychotic episodes? And what about Lenny?
At some point Lenny had believed they'd been cured. Would it be like that wish?
Would he disappear instead?
"I-" Daniel didn't even know what to say. It'd talked to Cat? Curious. Usually goats didn't bother with people. That said, she'd have been the only one available to entrust with such an offer. Sinewy-goat would be delighted at the beautiful poetry this shit-storm would make.
Daniel felt sympathetic to Bell-boy being done dealing with this though. So was he.
And if the accident was really that bad -bad enough to bring out Bell-goat- then...then it should stop. For Bell-boy's, Spot and Cat's sake.
"I'll think about it," Daniel agreed.
It was a big choice to make and his head wasn't entirely with it yet. Everything felt new and missing memories felt foreign.
He took Bell-boy's hand, "yeah." A bath would be good. See how he felt after washing away all the blood. They'd be drawing two of these, huh? One to soak off the blood and one to actually get cleaned up.
Daniel sluggishly picked at his shoe-laces, throwing the shoes in a corner. They'd survived the crash fairly well, sturdy as they were. Blood had soaked into his socks though. His pants was just tatters. Daniel stopped there, reaching out for Bell-boy and pulling the man to stand between his legs. There was nothing to say, so Daniel just pressed his head against Bell-boy, arms circling the other man.
He felt as if he'd fucked up, but there were no memories.
At least the times he'd gotten drunk were easy; Bell-boy would be mad, with clear reason and Daniel would be able to make things up. How could he smooth out a memory he didn't have?
"I guess I don't really have a choice."
They couldn't continue like this. When Daniel was younger, he'd begged for a solution like this many a time. But over the years, he'd gotten used to having Lenny around.
"I don't know what'll happen to Lenny."
"For some reason." He shook his head wordlessly at that one. Like a car to the gut, was that some reason? Daniel needed to use his shoulder as a crutch, which didn't surprise him at all. He'd be more surprised if the man was totally okay to just up and walk around after that.
"If we waited until we were supposed to be up, we'd never get up," Bell deadpanned back, and then she was gone.
He shook his head and turned back to the bathroom. Daniel was surveying himself in the mirror, and it wasn't a pretty sight. "Don't ever do that to me again," he sighed, leaning against the wall. He wiped a hand down his face, trying to wipe away the grimace that'd formed on his face. He closed his eyes rather than avert them as Daniel used the restroom, too tired to move. No, not tired. Weary. He just wanted to sleep, but he knew sleep wouldn't help.
Sorry didn't cover it, not one ounce. But at the same time, he knew Daniel hadn't done it on purpose--or at least, hadn't been aware of what he'd been doing when he'd walked into the road. But it didn't have to be like this. That didn't have to happen every again. He moved closer and put a hand on Daniel's head. "We have a cure," he said. "For--for your head. Cat...the goat gave it to her. You should think about it. I love you, I love you the way you are, but I can't..." his voice broke. He sighed deeply and shook his head, trying to find his voice again. Finding Daniel in the tub had been bad enough. Watching him walk into traffic was--it was... the image flashed past his eyes again. He shook his head, trying to banish it, banish the blood and the gore and the...everything. "I can't do that again."
Bell sighed. He took his hand off Daniel's head and offered him a hand up. "Let's get that bath running, huh?" he asked. He helped Daniel to sit on the side of the tub, then started running the water. Once it was warm, he stopped up the tub and let the water start to fill it up. As it filled, he dipped his hand in to try it, testing the warmth of the water. Didn't want it to be too warm, with Daniel low on blood.
"Yeah, leg hurts for some reason," Daniel muttered, not keen on admitting he probably needed help, even though physically he was probably okay -if it was Bell-goat healing him. Either that or he'd been in a really bad state. Bell-boy's fear seemed to suggest he had.
Both mentally and physically, unfortunately.
Bell-boy untied the cloth binding them and Daniel pushed himself up to sit. Everything did a topsy-turvy spin before settling. Head-rush; to be expected after the blood he'd lost. His clothes were pretty much ruined. Bell-boy hadn't been joking when he said getting hit by a truck was exactly what he'd done. Probably a car, but still.
Pink, sensitive new skin peeped between the tattered remains of his pant-leg. Practically everything was covered in blood. His shirt, the layers underneath. Maybe he hadn't worn his coat -probably a good thing. Hadn't Bell-boy mentioned he'd been meaning to drive them to a hospital?
Daniel caught hold of Bell-boy's shoulder and kept himself steady using the man as a crutch. His leg complained furiously. Goats might've mended the break, it was still extremely tender.
Okay, she could take a hint. Daniel's gait looked painful.
"Should you even be up?" Cat dead-panned, searching through the room for the key-card. Once she had it, Cat watched them for a second longer before accosting Spot.
"C'mon, boy, let's go for a walk."
Spot didn't need Cat to mention twice. Being away from the room had several benefits, amongst which was not having to listen to Daniel and Bell making love.
"I'll be back in a few," Cat announced and shut the door behind.
Daniel grabbed hold of the door-post of the bathroom, keeping as much weight off the one leg as possible. He was still wearing boots. The reflection in the mirror looked ghastly. Was that his face?
"Wow, that must've been quite the accident," Daniel muttered. Most of his face was brand-new skin. Half-half, honestly. He could tell by the difference in skin-tone. It'd even out sooner rather than later, what with the good weather and all.
Daniel ran a hand through his hair and shook some of the blood-flakes onto the floor. Shit. No preventing that, really.
Hopping into the bathroom, Daniel went about business and nudged the toilet closed after he was done to sit down.
Sitting down made things easier.
His gut was still sore. Maybe he'd had internal injuries or whatever. It'd been really bad, huh, if he was still feeling this fragile?
"I'm sorry," Daniel offered up. It was the least he could do to acknowledge that this couldn't have been easy on Bell-boy. Especially having to deal with the aftermath.
Daniel spoke, grabbed his hand. He was calm, composed, just sleepy--everything was fine. Everything was fine again. Bell sighed out, relieved. His eyes slid shut as his heart rate dropped again, sleep still alluring. Still here. Daniel was still here. A hand pushed his hair back, and he nuzzled into it, opening his eyes again. "Love you," he murmured. He didn't want Daniel to leave him, ever again. Didn't want Daniel to hurt himself ever again.
Another 'still here' sounded from the corner, and he turned sleepily to find Cat looking back at them. Oh, right. She was here. Daniel kept petting his hair, which felt nice; instinct told him to pull away, but he quashed it before his body could move. Cat knew. She'd watched him feed Daniel water, for fuck's sake, heard them two nights ago--a blush returned to his cheeks, and he turned away. Damnit. They'd done some embarrasing-ass shit yesterday, hadn't they?
But now it was all out in the open, so who cared?
Bath? He sat up a little and scratched at his chest, still bleary. Yeah, a bath sounded good. "Need me ta'... hmmm," he yawned, then rubbed his eyes and tried again. "Need me ta' help you over?" Daniel's leg had been pretty horrifically broken. The image of Daniel's body splayed across the asphalt played before his eyes again, Daniel getting hit, flying, striking the ground--he clenched his eyes shut tight, fingers digging into the sheets. He didn't want to see that ever again. Didn't want to have to watch helplessly as Daniel was hurt ever again.
He shook himself, then climbed out of bed. He didn't get far; the cloth connecting them pulled tight, and he was stopped short. Bell looked at the cloth, then looked at Daniel; after a moment's contemplation, he slid the cloth off his wrist, then untied it from Daniel's. They hadn't needed it, after all. Thank goodness.
He offered Daniel his shoulder, then led the way into the bathroom. At the door, he stopped and glanced back at Cat. "You have a key card, right?" he asked. Not because he didn't know, but--well, in case things went well in the bath, Cat wouldn't have to sit and listen. Not that he expected much to happen today, but it never hurt to be hopeful.
Hands. Someone was touching him. Reality came crashing down like a waterfall. Daniel made a small noise of malcontent at being so rudely awoken, but a quick check caught on to Bell-boy's sleepy attempts at making sure he hadn't gone off anywhere again -mentally and physically. Made sense, considering he'd somehow wandered into traffic. Not that he recalled any of it. If the blood hadn't been there, Daniel might've laughed in Bell-boy's face.
"Hmm, easy on the goods," he protested lazily.
Daniel stopped Bell-boy's floundering hand from patting the wrong, still sensitive parts by trapping it with his. Still warm. Not quite as bad as last night though.
Falling back asleep hadn't been the brightest idea. He was still propped up a little. There was a bottle with some water tucked against his side, uncapped and it'd evidently leaked some. Great.
He'd been pretty out of it to let things slide like that.
Daniel carefully stretched, testing out his limbs. Mostly okay. His leg smarted, his guts were sore still, but he was okay. As okay as someone could be after head-butting an oncoming car. He combed Bell-boy's hair back with his fingers, soothing the man's unspoken fear.
"Still here, Bell-boy," Daniel eased.
And still attached to one another as well. What was -cloth? Sheets?
He need a piss. And more water. Maybe proper breakfast. Oh, and definitely a shower. Or a bath. A bath would be better.
"Still here," Cat mumbled from her corner, before the two could get frisky. She really didn't want to be a witness to that. All things said, she was glad Daniel was awake and with it. Bellwether didn't seem to have the strength to stop Daniel if the other really forced his way. Not that Daniel seemed that strong at the moment either.
Daniel didn't stop toying with Bell-boy's hair and smiled lazily at Cat.
"Mornin' Kitty-Cat," he snorted.
Cat merely rolled her eyes and stretched, then fetched Spot some more dog-food. No reason they should all go hungry.
Daniel wasn't even sure he'd be able to put weight on his leg.
"Want to take a bath?" he nudged Bell-boy, letting his fingers toy with the finer hairs at the back of Bell-boy's neck. Promises he wouldn't be able to keep. They needed to be clean to get food though, unless they'd trust Cat with the card and ability to use it. Unlikely.
It'd just end up getting taken.
Daniel sipped at the new water bottle, still not particularly coordinated. Bell dabbed at the bits he spilled on himself with a corner of the sheet, but stopped when it turned the sheet pink with re-wetted blood. They'd probably be better off just leaving things as they were and getting all the mess in one go the next time they bathed. At least Daniel was aware and drinking calmly. That was better than he'd been doing in a while.
He was finishing up the beans, sure Daniel had already drifted back to sleep, when a hand was pressed lazily against his cheek. "I'm fine. I'll be fine," he said, shaking his head. It was only a goat-hangover. These beans, a little more sleep, and he'd be good as new. It was Daniel he was worried about. Usually the man was fully healed and able to be up and moving fairly soon, if not immediately after goat's blood. Maybe these injuries were more extensive than the usual ones, but even so... [i especially] so, it worried him that Daniel wasn't okay yet.
"Good night," Bell said. He watched as Daniel fell asleep, then gulped down the last of the beans and settled down beside him. There were still a few hours until morning, and he still had plenty of lethargy in his body to sleep off. He snuggled up close to Daniel and in no time had drifted off.
There were no dreams this time. Morning had well and dawned by the time he woke up, and he blinked awake, then snuggled back into his bed. Ugh, he felt so tired. His whole body was one big tired ache, his eyelids heavy. Just another couple minutes, please. A couple more minutes, and he'd be okay. He didn't want to get up yet.
Wait, Daniel--was Daniel here? Was he still okay? His heartrate jumped, forcing him into wakefulness against his own will. It was stupid to panic. Daniel had been fine. But he was still worried. He reached out and patted the bed beside him, searching for the other man's body. Daniel could've slipped the tie, after all, or cut it, or something--he needed to feel him to be sure he was there. "Hmm, Daniel," he mumbled, searching.
Bell-boy's mood did a one-eighty when he mentioned feeling like he'd been hit by a truck. Oh. He had been. That was -yeah, okay. Daniel cringed internally. Bad choice of words, that. And then Bell-goat had to save his ass too.
Daniel felt too lethargic to respond, so he just listened to what'd happened.
Walked into traffic, honestly? What the fuck was wrong with him? Daniel already knew the answer; his mind was a mess.
"Water 'd be good," Daniel muttered, cracking open an eye to watch Bell-boy. Fortunately it was still dark in the room. The only light came from street-lights outside. Knowing there was plenty of time to sleep still made Daniel feel better. He'd be more comfortable without the blood, but he wasn't complaining.
"Hmm." He'd be fine without the aspirin for now, probably. Sleep was only a sigh away, especially now that the worst of his thirst was seen to.
Daniel worked the fresh bottle of water, repeating his earlier gestures. Water made him feel considerably better, even though his stomach wasn't really agreeing. The pain made him a bit queasy. Nowhere near to what he'd expected to feel after Bell-goat's blood however. Something had happened. Something different from the usual treatment.
The resting-times between drinking water became longer and longer. Daniel felt as if he was floating amid pain and sleep, hovering on the cusp of consciousness and some place else. The pull wasn't as bad as it had been. It was easy to resist.
"You 'kay?" Daniel mumbled, drowsy gaze settling on Bell-boy. He'd have had to kill himself. Or have Cat do it. Or someone else. Not only that, Bell-goat being out brought along a heap of trouble on its own. Hunters, to name a few.
Daniel's hand listlessly reached for Bell-boy, feeling the man's cheek for a fever. Bell's skin was warm to the touch.
It'd be fine with some decent food. Probably. Daniel's hand didn't linger long.
"I need a little more sleep," Daniel slurred, already halfway there.
Sleep came easy and was absolute. Darkness enveloped him like a thick and tight blanket.
Daniel seemed to be struggling hard just to keep a hold on the water bottle, an act which at least left Bell confident that the man was going nowhere fast. He smirked as he watched Daniel struggle, amused, but Daniel didn't ask for help, so he let the man work the bottle himself. He'd probably be insulted if Bell jumped in. But he seemed to recognize Bell, so that was a step in the right direction. At last.
His expression sobered when Daniel spoke, and he glanced away. "You were," he muttered. He glanced back at Daniel, then forced himself to make eye contact. "You don't remember? You walked into traffic."
Bell nodded. All Daniel's. Well-- "A little might be mine," he said. "I had to bring the goat out to fix you."
What happened? He took a deep breath. He should probably start from the beginning. "You didn't recognize me when you woke up, then... then insisted you needed to go to the hospital and insisted on driving there. After a while, we convinced you to stop the car, and... then you walked into traffic, and I brought the goat out, and here we are."
There was silence for a little while, while Daniel drank. Bell reached out and touched his shoulder, just to--reaffirm that Daniel was there, really, more than anything. Aspirin? "In my coat," he yawned. He got up, sliding the tie off from around his wrist, and fetched his coat; on the way past, he grabbed another water bottle and a can of food, figuring between the two of them, they'd make good use of it.
"Hungry? Need more water?" he offered, as he returned to the bed, sliding the tie back over his wrist. "Oh, and the aspirin, if you're awake." Daniel looked pretty out of it already, though. With a yawn, he cracked open the can of food--turned out to be beans--and tipped it straight from the can down his throat. He'd probably join Daniel in sleeping in just a moment, but first he was going to eat.
He watched Daniel as he ate, just watching him. Everything seemed fine for now. Daniel was conscious, he knew who he was and who Bell was, it was all fine. It couldn't stay that way--he knew that. The next time Daniel woke up, he'd ask him about the cure. When Daniel was a little more with it.
Shit, he'd woken up Bell-boy. Nothing doing though, and hey, the guy made himself useful off the bat, an act which elicited a genuine smile. Daniel looked up when his name got called, then took the water. It slipped out of his meek grasp back onto the bed.
"What the hell?" Daniel croaked.
How did he feel? Daniel snorted, then clenched the bottle of water against his body and hunched over to get the cap, but gave up half-way to lie back and rest.
"Like I got hit by a truck," he confessed. "If you got the license plate, we need to do some serious talking to." His heart was beating fast, compensating for what Daniel figured was blood-loss. Severe blood-loss at that.
'This all mine?" Daniel posed, meaning the blood and plucking at his clothes to demonstrate.
Last night's dream had left him a little overwhelmed. Reality in general was a bit overwhelming. Daniel closed his eyes for a second, relishing the darkness, but thirst still proved a powerful motivator.
Daniel opened his eyes again to have a renewed go at the water-bottle and when finally the cap relented with a satisfying crack, he was faced with another issue: sitting up to drink.
Why was everything so painful? So tender?
"What happened anyway?"
Daniel pushed back against the pillows and headboard, until his head was at least upright. It'd have to be enough, because his body felt strained and his heart was thundering in his chest at the exertion. Some of the water sloshed over during the move, but Daniel hardly cared. He was a messy pile of bloodied clothes, what was a little water in the general scheme of things?
What water did reach his mouth and finally his throat, was absolutely divine.
Daniel drank until he needed to rest and catch his breath, then repeated the gesture until the bottle was near enough empty. The whole act left him exhausted.
Now that some of the minor aches were subsiding, Daniel realized his leg was being a genuine nuisance and so was his gut.
They hurt like over-exerted muscles after a shitty work-out, pulsating with fiery pain.
"Good thing we saved those aspirin?" he chuckled listlessly, eyes already drooping closed.
He just needed a little nap to recharge.
And probably more water.
Rather than act up, Daniel seemed more inclined to sleep. After a while of him lying still, his breathing settled down until he could only be asleep; before long, Bell found his breathing slowing to match. He gave up and laid back down, curling up close. Daniel was asleep, so he'd sleep too. He had the cloth, anyways. Worst case, Daniel couldn't get far before he got tugged along.
This time, he dreamed of cars. Cars flashing by, the heartless highway tearing past right in front of him. Daniel stood there, looking out at the lanes. No! Bell ran, moving as fast as he could, drawing on every last reserve he had, but he was too far away. The ground turned traitor, clinging to his legs and pulling him back, slowing him down; the wind blew hard in his face, until he could barely move. All he could do was watch as Daniel stepped out into traffic and went flying, body tossed in midair, smashing into the asphalt and the sickening, boneless way he rolled across the ground. Then the wind abated and the ground let him go, and he could run over just in time to be helpless, watch pathetically as Daniel bled out on the asphalt. He gripped Daniel tight, wishing he could do something, fix him, but there was nothing. No options. "Daniel," he cried, as though there would be a response. Daniel wasn't conscious, wasn't aware. Wasn't ever going to be aware again. And then the man in his arms went still, and his breathing stopped--
Bell jolted awake, the bed moving enough to shock him awake more than anything else. Daniel--Daniel was alive, and breathing, and moving. He took a deep breath. It was only a dream. Only a dream.
But it could have been reality.
"Daniel," he said, just to see the man react; but wait, did Daniel even know who he was? He hadn't the last time he'd woken up. The water bottle from earlier hit the ground with a hollow thump, and he reached out and picked it up for Daniel, handed it over. He felt a lot better now. More coordinated, stronger. Hungry as shit, but that was to be expected.
He realized sluggishly that he'd just called Daniel's name for no reason and cleared his throat. "Um. Are you... how do you feel?" he asked, almost nervous for the answer. Hopefully Daniel would at least recognize him. He had to hope for that much.
Whatever Bellwether's fear was, Daniel was too weak to really make it anywhere, pen or no pen. Cat felt like a third wheel, so she just left a fresh bottle of water on the night-stand and went back to Spot eating her can of corn.
"Nice, stupid mutt," she muttered, nudging him out of the way. Ugh. Now all that good food had slobber all over it. Gross.
Not that she'd been that hungry after last night anyway. Too much, too fast.
There was something import Daniel felt he was missing. His memory didn't really work the way he was used to. Bell-boy hushed him and Daniel couldn't really fight the quiet gentle atmosphere. An all-encompassing lethargy kept him still, eyes closed, not quite asleep but not awake either. Not entirely. Every sensation blossomed into a new, riveting experience. The sheets on the bed were woven together in an intricate pattern his skin could easily derive and loved exploring, until he was almost one with the cloth. And then Bell-boy's solid hand patted his; contact that exploded into bursts of energy pulsating through his body.
Daniel wanted to move, wanted to run and feel what air felt like on his face while he waded through, wanted to swim in water and be carried, be one with the water. More and more ideas burst to his attention like colourful fireworks, until finally both his brain and body had enough.
There was more darkness then.
When Daniel woke next, reality had settled considerably. His entire body was sore and stiff. Daniel slowly turned on the bed, taking in his new-found surroundings. Plain ceiling, a dim, flashing light -a television. It was dark out.
Cat was asleep in front of the television, Spot right next to her.
Daniel lifted his hand, only to discover a strange cloth tied around it. On the other end was Bell-boy.
Had he gotten drunk again?
There was a hangover saying yes, but it felt different somehow. And Daniel had vivid recollections of waking up and everything being a new revelation. His clothes were caked with dried blood. Oh. That -was all this blood his?
He was parched. Oh, water. That was convenient. Daniel tried to push up and reach for the bottle, but his limbs felt like they weren't entirely his, and sensitive at that. Painfully sensitive. Daniel's clumsy motion knocked the bottle off the night-stand. It fell to the floor and rolled under the bed, out of reach.
How did he get too weak to even hold a bottle of water?
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