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For sleep. Uh-huh. Sure. And he was the pope. Fucker. Betrayers. Daniel felt the cold metal of the car at his back and narrowed his eyes at Bell. Sit out in the parking-lot. People gave them looks. Daniel flipped the guy the bird, a snarl on his face. He'd fight them if he had to. No skin off of his back. People were all the same. Judgemental sort.
"No, we're not -we shouldn't just sit outside, fuck' sake," Daniel muttered. He was fine to go inside somewhere.
Fine to take the darkness with him. Maybe taking the pills wasn't so bad after all. He'd be able to sleep it off. No more fear, no more panic setting him on edge. Just one of those little pills. But shit didn't work that way, did it?
He'd just end up drowsy and nervous at the same time.
Bell-boy shoved him back into the car and Daniel struggled against the man until he felt the familiar feel of the couch underneath his ass. So they were going to stay outside? Bell-boy was being funny. What was going on? The black on his chest. It seemed to be expanding. Was it expanding towards the inside of Bell's chest too? Into his heart? Was that why he'd tried to stab at his hand earlier?
Was it the goat that made him do it? That goat he'd never met?
Had the goatling repaired that?
Daniel pressed a hand against his forehead and tried to stop his thoughts from racing. He was all over the place. Some of his thoughts were founded, some warped out of context. Daniel wasn't sure which was which no more.
He blinked, as if trying to get things into focus, but obviously that didn't work.
"No," Daniel decided and wrestled against Bell. "I'm not letting you stuff me back in there," he spat. He hated feeling trapped. It made the panic worse.
His jaw still hurt. He'd started Bell-boy, hadn't he?
"Sorry about the-" Daniel gestured at Bell's gut.
The hand he'd used to gesture was all black. It was still creeping up at him too. He wasn't the sort to drown. He simply wasn't Lenny, but that didn't mean episodes like these weren't uncomfortable.
"Let's just go some place," Daniel suggested. He wanted to be around people. Just be drawn out of his own head, where the fears and thoughts got free rein.
"It's for sleep--" Daniel smacked it out of his hand. Bell sighed despondently. He watched the pill rattled off over the asphalt and out of sight. Should've known better than to expect it to be that easy. "What, then, you want to sit in the hotel parking lot all night, just sit outside for no reason?"
Daniel staggered in place. Bell caught him, and Daniel gripped him back like Bell was his only life jacket in a raging river. "Alright, alright, I'm not going anywhere," he muttered. Maybe it was a stay-in-the-car-all-night kind of night.
Abruptly, Daniel pulled away. Bell looked at him. What now?
Not that he really needed to ask. He recognized this pattern. Next Daniel would attack, and then he would go docile. Not a great way to not attract attention to themselves. In fact--he glanced over his shoulder to glare at a man in a worn jacket giving them a funny look. They were already attracting a fuckload of attention like this. Nothing he could do about that.
"Right," Bell muttered. He looked back at Daniel. Couldn't leave him. Maybe he could take him in to the hotel lobby with him? Almost immediately, he snorted at the thought. [i Yes, sir, I'd like to check out a room--oh don't mind him, he just thinks he's being drowned. Sorry about the lamp, probably just thought it was attacking him--promise it won't happen when he's in your room! ] Honestly, it was a minor miracle that he and Daniel could still get hotel rooms.
So maybe they weren't getting a hotel room. What then? Couldn't stay here, but he didn't want to drive with Daniel like this, either. What if he decided moving cars were the next second story jumping pads? He didn't want to risk it.
"Alright, back in the car," he said, corralling Daniel with his body. He could at least lock the doors and keep an eye on Daniel like that. Minimize some of the risks. He made a silent pledge to find the nearest sex shop and buy some serious restraints the next time he had the chance. Every time he went without them, he ended up regretting it. Should've kept the ones from the tent, way back.
Leave? Daniel slowly lowered his hands and watched Bell-boy without really seeing him. Everything felt as if it was shimmering, as if reality started to become pliable and susceptible to change at the drop of a hat. A glare. Not right now.
"I don't-... no, not that way," Daniel started, trying to reach for the wheel, but he snagged on the seatbelt. Frustrated, Daniel started to fight the restraint, though when he finally managed to get out, the desire to steer Bellwether elsewhere had died down again. He looked down at his hand. It hurt. Not as badly as his jaw -no, just differently.
The angry red was seeping down his arm, left a trail where his skin just let go. Underneath the skin wasn't red flesh, as he'd expected, but black, leathery, perfectly warm skin instead. Shit. What the hell?
He inched back into the corner, towards the door, away from the offending arm. It crept up further and further. No. This shit wasn't real. Daniel closed his eyes tightly and tried to focus on his breathing, on what the goatling saw, on flying, on the grain of the seat below him. He tried to divert his attention from the arm that felt as if its skin was peeling off.
The car door opened.
Keep it together? Daniel swallowed thickly. He didn't think he could. Everything was falling apart. Bell-boy couldn't see it, could he? The crow cawed, as if drawing in his attention. His arm was fine. Pink skin. No black seeping through, but he could feel it. Felt how things became disjointed and warped.
"I can't," Daniel breathed out, on the verge of panic. He reached for the hand that stretched out, offering the pill.
"What is that?" he asked, paranoid.
"I don't want to take it." He didn't want any medicine. Didn't want to get lost again. Fuck that. He'd sort it out. He could. Daniel rose, staggered on the spot. Why was everything so different now? This was how he'd thrown himself off the second floor of that building, wasn't it? Confused and deranged, falling apart all over again.
He clung tightly to Bell, even if the skin on his hand had now gone all black. His eyes searched out Bell-boy's, searched for a way to hold on and keep his shit together. And then he saw the black on Bell's chest. It was right there: the angry mark stretched out and unfolded across Bellwether's body. He let go and backed up, into the car's door. Black everywhere. There was no escaping it.
It was almost suspicious how obediently Daniel climbed into the car. Bell didn't fight it, though. Daniel was being obedient, so he'd take advantage of it while he could. The man would act up soon enough. Best to get to a hotel first. Maybe even grab some real restraints first, just in case. Idle thoughts. He climbed into the front seat and started the car.
Bell paused at Daniel's cry. Was that how he really felt? He didn't want to be here? He sighed. "You can leave, if you really hate it that much," he said, tired.
Then he paused and glared over his shoulder. "But not right now," he added sternly. No wild attempts to vacate the car for Daniel today, please and thank you.
If Daniel wanted to leave, would he really let him go? Could he? Daniel was part of the goatling. If he got away, it'd be the same as the goatling escaping. And he didn't know if he wanted to let the goatling out of his sight, much less its bonded human. No... if Daniel really wanted to leave, he'd have to take a look. There would be no more putting it off. He'd have to find out how that worked.
They were out in the middle of nowhere, so when he finally found a hotel half an hour later, Bell was exhausted all over again. He pulled into the parking lot and parked, then went around to the back to check on Daniel. "You think you can keep it together long enough for us to check in?" he asked.
Actually, come to think of it, hadn't he bought sleeping pills the last time Daniel--Landon had gone nuts, just to put him down before he hurt himself? He rifled through his pockets. They had painkillers too, but that sounded more dangerous than anything else. His fingers found a cardboard package, and he pulled them out. Thank goodness.
"Here, say ahhh," he said, holding out the pill. "Swallow that, chill out, and wait for me to get back." Daniel would probably be out by the time he got back, but better than than another suicide attempt or random attack. He patted Daniel's head. He felt bad about punching him, just a little, but what did he expect startling Bell awake like that?
He couldn’t see it. But it was right there. Every hair on his body stood on end, adrenalin pumped through his veins, colours bloomed into brightness, more vivid than ever. He couldn’t deny what he saw. Even if the goatling couldn’t see it. Bell-boy’s hand wrapped around his and the man pulled him along.
How had it missed him?
The beast was still there, a wide, feral grin about it as it circled them both.
“Yeah,” he was seeing things. Daniel would admit it, but it was hard not to respond. What was real. Was this even Bell-boy? Confused eyes landed on Bell as his mind tried feverishly to make sense of it all. The dual realities overlapped and overturned. He watched the delusion move with infinite grace, like a predator taking its time to devour its prey. Its next target? His sanity.
Back into the car? It wasn’t real.
He could easily get back into the car and be fine. No one was there. No Alice, no monster. He could easily just sit down and be fine.
Cops? They had to move. Daniel blinked at Bell, mouth already open to protest.
“Yes, fuck, yeah, I did,” Daniel started. He’d taken all the bloody pills, hadn’t held any back but they usually took a while to take effect. Things used to get worse before they got better. Fucking seatbelt. Bell-boy was already rounding the car. He wanted to get out. The less tangible monsters would chase him no matter what. No car was going to change that. Not going wouldn’t matter either.
Daniel pressed the palms of his hands against his eyes. It smelled like Bell-boy in the car. His comforter. His seat. The crow followed from above. There was no monster there, so Daniel focussed on what the goatling saw instead of what creations his sick mind managed to conjure up. His hands were shaking. It felt as if his skin was letting go. As if there was black goat’s essence just settled underneath. Maybe the goatling had never really left. The thought took root and sent him on another tangent.
He laughed then.
“Just stop, I don’t want to be here,” Daniel protested to no-one in particular. It was uncertain what he meant; the delusions, Bell-boy, the car. Life.
He wasn’t even sure.
Why? He didn't bother trying to answer. Who gave a fuck about Daniel's imaginary daughter? If he was going to kill anyone it'd be Daniel and honestly he didn't want to kill him. Just felt the urges. But he loved Daniel. He wouldn't do that. Not for real.
His hands closed on thin air, but Daniel's fist found his gut. Bell coughed as the wind was driven out of him. He stepped in to punch again, but stopped at the last second. Daniel had lowered his fists. There was no need to fight for now. Maybe he could talk him down. Unlikely. "No, I can't," he sighed, hoping Daniel might see reality.
Daniel ran for the car. Bell grabbed ahold, ready to jump in, but instead Daniel slowed and stopped, gaze trained on the sky, on nothing. Then he noticed the goatling, spinning loose circles high in the sky. He was looking at the goatling? It was being good right now, though. Nothing but a crow in the sky.
"Daniel, you're seeing things," Bell informed him. He reached out gently and took ahold of Daniel's hand. Slowly, he led the man towards the backseat, where there were child locks on the doors and seatbelts to restrain him. "C'mon, let's get in, I'll find us a hotel and you can rest up, okay?"
He'd rather watch Daniel in a hotel than try to drive with Daniel going nuts in the backseat.
"People are going to start calling the cops soon on us fighting, we have to move," Bell continued, helping Daniel into the car. Probably another hour or two before he could settle down, just to make sure they'd left this little scrap behind them. But Daniel--if he was acting up, he might not be able to.
"You take all your pills?" he confirmed. He leaned against the car. His gut still smarted, the sick feeling of getting punched in the gut lingering. Damnit. At least he'd landed one good hit on Daniel too, even if it'd been a sucker punch thrown dead out of sleep. He sighed and pushed away, towards the driver's side. Time to move on. Just another bump on the road, another little delusion. He shook his head at himself. It was crazy how every-day delusions had become for him.
Daniel staggered back, surprised more than anything, and realigned his jaw.
"Don't play dumb, you little shit," he started, watching Bell-boy take a stance. So they were fighting. Fuck, maybe they ought to be fighting. Calm down, was it?
"Why would you want to kill her?" Daniel spat. Before he could get a reply however, Bell lunged and made a grab for him. He almost succeeded too, but he'd fought with Bell-boy enough before to know what the guy was up to: choke him. Make sure he'd pass out. No. Daniel decided he wouldn't let Bell-boy have that kind of satisfaction.
The lunge left Bell open. Daniel stepped in close and got in a punch to the man's gut. Actually. He changed tactics.
The man's guts wasn't where his weak spot was.
His chest was -the bruise was.
Whatever the goatling had done, Bell-boy had still retained the mark on his chest despite of it. If there was any weak spot, it'd be there. And then he hesitated.
How could he even know Bell-boy wanted to kill Alice? Because she said so.
His eyes flicked away from the fight, towards the girl in the car. Instead of finding Alice, he saw a goat. It was occupying most of the car and its dark, square eyes stared straight back at him. It had a grin that spanned the backdoor window, with several rows of teeth, leading the way into a dark abyss.
Daniel faltered and stopped.
"Can't... Can't you see it?" he asked softly.
His jaw hurt. He'd lost all anger and will to fight however. The monster in the car stepped out instead. Daniel backed up. Fuck. Where was his bat? Bell-boy's pipe. He'd take that instead.
"Give me your pipe," Daniel demanded. "It's not Alice," he started. It unfolded, standing taller than the both of them combined. Long, slender arms dangled all the way to the ground. Its head was twisted on its neck, carelessly pasted on.
It struck -going straight for Bell.
Fuck. Daniel grit his teeth and made for the car, for his bat. He had to beat this thing down. The goatling. Where was the-
Up in the air. It was just sitting there. Anger.
He could see the street through its eyes and it was just the two of them. Was it delusional? Was he? It was him, wasn't it?
The door slammed open. Bell's eyes snapped open. A man. Angry. Loud voice. He struggled out of the blankets and socked the man in the chin before anything else could register. He slid backwards, panicked. Fingers found the opposite door. He slung it open and rolled out backwards. Dirt pressed into his face, rocks digging into his back. A car rushed by, close enough the air from its passing stirred his hair. Bell rolled the other way, back to his feet, hands raised, ready to fight or run. He eyed up his opponent, weighing his options.
Daniel. It was just Daniel.
He let out a sigh and lowered his fists. The hell was Daniel angry for? A whisper of the dream played back before his eyes--the knife, coat slitting open beneath it--but it was just a dream. His eyes flicked to the jacket, confirming it was whole. Daniel was fine.
The words filtered through at last. Kill... Her? Who, Rebecca? No... wait. It couldn't be. "Alice?" he asked, already anticipating the answer. Had he skipped some pills? Was this just the inevitable, finally playing out?
[i It's the perfect time. Tie him up,] a little voice whispered. Bell tensed. He wanted to, but he shouldn't. He'd given in to those urges with Rebecca, and where had it gotten him? She'd died. Daniel would too. He didn't want that.
And yet he still wanted to know.
"Daniel, calm down, back up," Bell said. He advanced slowly, trying to move closer without catching Daniel's attention too much. Edge into reach, with nothing between them but the evening air. "Hey, we're all friends. No one's trying to kill anyone."
He lunged, grabbing for Daniel. He'd already punched the guy, no way was he going to go quietly. If it was going to be a fight, he'd land the first blow. He aimed for Daniel's neck, reaching with his whole arms. If he could get him in a headlock, he'd be able to put him down as safely as he could. [i Should never have upgraded myself from babysitter,] Bell berated himself as he lunged. He'd been dumb to think Daniel would get better so soon.
It was getting late by the time he checked the time -that said, the clock inside the car wasn't actually anywhere near what he suspected was correct, but beggars couldn't be choosers. He shifted behind the wheel and spotted a nice enough exit. Not that he'd know anything about where they were or where they were going. It seemed Bell-boy didn't mind too much after all. Perhaps they'd already missed their opportunity.
Just a shimmer. Daniel narrowed his eyes, slightly confused, and flicked his gaze back. Nothing. Nothing in the mirror either. Paranoia crawled up his spine. Shit. No, he'd taken his god-damned pills already. Why?
Shitty timing as well.
Daniel steered them down the exit and focussed on his breathing. He felt the goatling's presence there, in the background, but it was as if it couldn't quite sit between this as it seemed to do for some of his emotions.
It'd blocked pain and fear. It couldn't block this.
So was it out of his head?
Daniel looked down. Near his heart then? His spine? Somewhere near the unconscious parts of his nervous-system, influencing what he could and couldn't do. Was that why he'd passed out?
Another flash. This time Daniel thought to recognize the shadow as a figure. A small figure.
She stood ramrod still on the side of the road, more clear now that they were slowing down. And then Alice was there, in the car with them, sitting next to Bell.
[i 'Where are we going, daddy?']
Daniel licked his lips.
"Nowhere. Fucking nowhere," he breathed. "Fucking nowhere."
Lights. He stopped the car. She turned her head to Bellwether slowly. "You leave him alone," Daniel threatened. Alice's face turned towards him. Her pupils were dark and square. Like a goat's eyes, but pure black.
[i 'But daddy, the bad man wants to kill me.']
His eyes flitted from Bell-boy, to the road stretching out in front of them and back to Bell. A car's horn pulled his attention back.
He instinctively hit the brake.
"Shit," he cursed.
Almost. He'd swerved down the wrong lane. The lady in the other car looked just as startled and wide-eyed as he did, until she realized and Daniel could see the anger flash in her face. Angry and a little shaky, Daniel started to move the car and got back on his way. The first opportunity he got, he parked and pushed his hair back.
Alice was still there. Her focus was on Bell.
"The hell are you doing?" Daniel asked, got out of the car and opened the door to the back. "Is it true? What she says?" he growled at Bell. "Is it true you're trying to kill her? Because so help me god, I'll make sure you die before you can."
The car rocked gently to life, familiar and comforting. Bell snuggled down in the comforters and closed his eyes. He'd slept here alone so many times now that it felt like home, surrounded by his own scent and his fluffy blankets. The light spilling in the window and the music on the radio did nothing to keep him awake. In moments, he was gone.
There were flickers of motion in the corners of his consciousness. He was drawn to them, dragged forward. He saw her face, drawn and pale, furrowed with pain. Then it flickered. Became Daniel's. He wasn't scared, just angry, yanking on the bindings. "Let me go!" he shouted.
"I don't want to hurt you," Bell told him. It was true. He wanted to hold Daniel, love him, keep him safe. But this... there was no guarantee this was Daniel. "I just need to make sure."
He pushed Daniel back, head against the back of the chair. Daniel's clothes were in the way. He needed to check him all over. Make sure all his skin was unmarked before he went deeper. Daniel flinched back when he drew his knife, and he relished the reaction. Who was in control now, huh?
"Stop, stop--" Daniel's protests quit when the knife slid through fabric instead. Gray stuffing bled from his jacket like blood from a wound. The shirt beneath parted with a breath. He tugged then both away from Daniel, exposing his flesh. Bell leaned in close, searching Daniel's skin for some mark, some mar. Nothing.
The pants, then. The denim was harsher under his knife, but parted under his knife. Soft pink flesh. Familiar flesh. He ran his hands down Daniel's body, feeling the shape of it. Everything was exactly how it should be. Skin, muscles, everything.
Then he had to look deeper. He drew his knife up the length of Daniel's body, savoring the shiver that danced over Daniel's flesh. "Bell, please," he begged.
Bell grinned. This felt good. This felt right. "I'll be gentle," he cooed, giving Daniel a kiss. He pulled away, but Bell didn't care. He couldn't escape. Bell slid his knife into Daniel's flesh and shuddered with satisfaction. Perfect.
He waited for Bell-boy to settle, watching the man through the rear-view mirror. At long last, he adjusted the mirror and sparked some life into the car. A mischievous grin played across his lips. Ah, it felt good to be behind the wheel, to be back in control again, even if it was only for a little while. He had to admit, it was better with the drugs. Better and worse. Daniel wasn't sure whether he wanted another dose of the shitty medicine. He hadn't had an episode in a while now. He was all better.
Bell-boy probably wouldn't view things quite that way.
Daniel snorted. He sought out a radio station and put the volume low, so as not to disturb Bell-boy too much. Not that he thought some music would, the way the man had virtually fallen asleep at the breakfast table.
Why the fuck were they even headed West?
Then again, when had anything about goats ever made sense? Speaking of which. Daniel rolled down the window and called out, wordlessly. Within seconds, the crow, now fed, landed on his outstretched arm. Daniel ferried the bird into the car and offered it a spot in the empty passenger's seat.
One quick glance over his shoulder at Bell and Daniel pushed the gas. Automatic, easy as pie. Soon enough he had their car on the highway at a pretty high speed. Daniel watched the road slip them by, switched lanes and gained on the slow cars on the right. He didn't feel like going slow today. Didn't feel like thinking too much.
Bell-boy's behaviour had been funny and it should've enticed fear, rather than anger, but there was nothing there. It was that lack of fear which worried Daniel more than the odds of having another episode while behind the wheel.
Fear was a needless emotion.
He wondered whether the goatling simply blocked it out. Maybe he'd always already been that way, but knew differently because for a while, for a couple of weird months, he knew what it felt like. Now that they were separate again, those emotions belonged to Lenny, not him.
Daniel settled in for the long haul.
Driving was boring.
"Daniel," Bell complained. He hadn't put it in anything, just put it on top of the man's hand. He was totally overreacting. It wasn't fair at all.
They were done, huh? With a dramatic sigh, he followed Daniel out of the restaurant. Honestly, it wasn't even that bad. He hadn't done anything wrong. There weren't laws about putting cutlery on other people's hands.
"[i I'm] not suicidal," Bell muttered. Some people present might be, but he'd never had a death wish. He wasn't going to do anything stupid while Daniel drove.
The urge was creeping under his skin, though, searching for a way out. For so long, he'd been alone. There'd been no guarantee that Daniel wasn't going to be replaced, that the goatling wasn't going to renege on their deal. And then he'd come back, and it'd seemed like everything was okay, but... he shot a glance at the goatling. But maybe it wasn't. Maybe the goatling had made two bodies for itself. It wasn't normal, the way Daniel and the goatling could share senses.
Or maybe Daniel was back, but he was part goat now, or mixed up with the goatling. He wanted to [i know,] not have to wonder. And there was only one way to do that.
But he didn't want to kill Daniel either. [i Maybe it's different when they're only half-goat,] he considered. Maybe this time he could cut open a part of Daniel and see what was inside, the way he couldn't with her.
The urge had been there, slowly growing in strength as the months passed without Daniel, the months where anything could be happening. Then Daniel had reappeared, and he'd had to take care of him, and the urge had been suppressed by his fears and worries. But now Daniel was fine, and he wanted to see what was inside him.
First, though, he'd let Daniel drive.
He passed the keys to Daniel and climbed into the backseat. Time for a nice, long nap. "Yeah, west," he agreed. It was growing colder quickly. The comforters were comfortable and warm, instead of sticky and too-hot. He wondered where they were going. Too far west, it'd get really cold, really fast, especially if they got into the Rockies. Was probably already snowing there, at that.
Just thinking his ass. Daniel gave Bell-boy a look as if to say 'really' and shook his head. "Why don't you think like ordinary people, who don't put a fork in someone's skin while they do it?" he suggested crudely. What the bloody fuck? Was this where he had to keep watch of Bell-boy? Something about the guy seemed mighty curious about stabbing him. Daniel had always known it to be there, but out here? In broad day-light? In a setting like this? No.
There had to be some underlying motive still.
He wouldn't be surprised if either the goatling or the goat had something to do with this one.
"Fuck," he huffed and got up.
He was finished. They were finished with this restaurant. Daniel walked up to the counter and paid for their meal, then went back to gather Bell.
"Try not to 'think' while we're driving," Daniel pitched and shook his head. It'd be a death-sentence if Bell-boy tried to stab or investigate something that was inside of him while he was driving. He hadn't minded a few hours ago though, had he? But maybe he'd hoped death would come a little less painfully.
Having Bell-boy dig around and torture him didn't sound like the most effective method. Not that crashing into a tree had ever been, but hey. There'd been at least the faint hope that death might come sudden and quickly.
It wouldn't now.
Daniel stretched once he was back out.
It was a nice day, as far as days got. Made him wish he had sunglasses after all. He still couldn't tell whether it was reaching for summer or fading out into autumn. So dazed and confused. Like it was the first time in forever he was actually awake and seeing things.
"Let's go," he offered, leaving some of the anger behind as they went. Daniel got behind the steering wheel and held up his hands for the car keys. He hadn't operated a car in ages. Too confused to after waking up from the tube, too hurt after the whole episode and falling off a building. It felt good.
"So...we heading West?" he offered. Why not? If Bell-goat wanted them to be somewhere in particular, it'd stop them eventually. Somehow.
He watched Daniel's hand tense in the grasp of his, the tendons standing out sharp against the back of his hand. It was like a cat tied down to the floor, but without the claws and teeth. Like a big spider, without the venom. Daniel's voice was a distant echo on the fringe of his awareness. Just sound. Nonsense. If he wanted to, he could stab him right here. No one would stop him. No one would even notice.
The fork was wrestled out of his hand. He blinked up at Daniel. What? Why was he so angry? "I didn't do anything," he said. He could've, but he hadn't. It wasn't like he was really going to stab Daniel in the middle of a restaurant. He wasn't that stupid. "I was just thinking."
He turned back to his food, scooping it up with spoon and knife since the fork had been confiscated. Just thinking, that was all. Everyone thought sometimes. Daniel was getting huffy for no reason. He hadn't hurt Daniel or anything. Hadn't even broken the skin.
[i But maybe I should.] Take a look and see what was inside him. Look for the darkness from the goatling. See where they were connected. He'd searched and searched but he'd never found it in her. Maybe he'd find it now. Now that Daniel was flesh-and-blood, connected to a goat somehow. There had to be a physical tether, right?
Bell dismissed the thought and finished up eating, swallowing down the juice last. He was tired, so his thoughts were all messed up. That was all it was. Daniel was the weird one for making such a big deal out of it. Had he ever stabbed Daniel?
Bell considered. He might have. At some point. It was certainly a possibility. But he'd never stabbed Daniel when he hadn't deserved it. That was for certain.
With a satisfied groan, he sat back, patting his stomach. That was a good amount of food. Big for a breakfast, but perfect for a dinner. Bell put down his remaining cutlery and waited for Daniel to finish. Once they got back on the road, he could take a nice long nap. His head would be all cleared when he woke up. He was just tired.
For a moment Daniel thought Bell-boy was just going to give him a dismissive answer and be done with it, but lo and behold! The man actually continued conversation. Even if it was ridiculously confusing.
"It tried to tell you what now?" Faces? And 'something' else. "Very descriptive," he muttered around the glass he held to his lips. Daniel drank some more water and put it down. He'd needed that. Helped him wake up a little more, not that he needed it.
The coffee would do that trick though.
"Right," Daniel shrugged. They'd see it when they got there.
Fortunately the waitress saw no reason to keep them waiting on their food. Soon enough their breakfast was served and Daniel eagerly tucked in. Bell-boy was slower, but he didn't care. It was fine for their roles to be reversed for a change.
He cast a glance or two in Bell-boy's general direction, but didn't comment. They could take their time. If Bell-boy thought it was safe enough to get a room, they could bloody well just sit down and enjoy breakfast in peace.
Hands stopped his midway.
Daniel's expression was one of confusion.
"What're you doing?" he asked simply. It'd be difficult to eat without his left hand. And it was the one which palm was still tender from having it cut. Sure, the goat's blood had helped heal it some measure, but it was still sensitive.
For a moment they just sat there.
Bell-boy seemed to study his hand. Daniel relaxed a little. "What's up with you, hmm?" he started, leaning in a little. A little romance never hurt anyone. If that was what it was.
"Hey, hey, no need to abuse that any further," Daniel protested. "You want me to drive or not?" He dropped his knife and went for Bell's hand.
What was this?
Daniel couldn't quite see Bell-boy straight in the eyes, since the man was so focussed on his hand, but he could tell the man's thoughts and mind were elsewhere. He wasn't even sure where.
Daniel gritted his teeth and started to wrestle the fork out of Bell-boy's grip.
"Fucking hell, do we need to get you plastic cutlery?" he spat. "The fuck's wrong with you? And don't tell me the goatling did that," Daniel snarled.
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