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Rebecca ceded in the end. Daniel could understand her impatience, but honestly? They were in the middle of nowhere, bound to run into trouble if he took her any place. Becky was too young. Cat had been able to bluff her way through things, but Rebecca couldn't. It was too obvious she was underage.
She seemed to perk up the second they arrived back at the hotel though. Daniel nudged the car shut and locked the doors. A mutter. A sound. Rebecca rushed off. At first, Daniel feared she was running -displeased with his decision of having a quiet night in the hotel- but as he stumbled from between the cars to chase her, he caught sight of the man Rebecca barrelled into. The man was nothing too pleased about having a pre-teen fuck up his shot. Daniel felt adrenalin pump through his veins. A gun.
A hunter. A dying hunter, to boot.
In a parking-lot like this?
It wasn't even proper dark? What the hell? Not like this hunter had anything to lose. More importantly: how had he found them?
The hunter made short work of Rebecca. With an angry snarl, the man pushed her roughly into another car, away from him. Daniel didn't waste Becky's distraction. People really needed to stop pick fights with him while he was hungover.
But there was a van. Which meant supplies.
Dart-guns and the likes. Useful things which otherwise took ages to procure through different channels.
Daniel lifted his bat, came up close and struck. The man blocked the strike with his arm. Black tendrils sucked themselves onto the bat like an octopus. Daniel pulled the man closer, then kicked. The hunter stepped to the side and the kick glanced down the man's side. Daniel was just in time to duck the fist that came flying back in retaliation.
The bat came un-stuck at that moment and Daniel staggered back once it did. The hunter was relentless, no. Desperate.
He kicked after Daniel, who had to scramble away in order to evade getting hit. Daniel swiped a leg at the hunter's and the man's knee gave out. He held himself up on the van and the neighbouring car however.
Where did the gun go?
Daniel didn't care. He kicked the man back, his already unsteady balance making the chore easy, but also opening the path up for thy hybrid's arm to shoot out. A thin tendril shot through his stomach, clear through. It hurt.
Daniel ignored the pain. The hybrid's black skin was already oozing into the atmosphere, whatever it did inside of him, it couldn't keep its integrity intact any more. He swiped at the tendril and it broke off, dripping down from the man's arm. Both of them looked at it in disgust.
"Time to die, buddy," Daniel said with a grin.
She just ignored him. He didn't understand, did he? This sense of urgency to no end. The need to do something, anything, but having nothing to do, nowhere to go. No one was happy that she was back. No one wanted her. Maybe it was time she left. Her little revenge had gone on long enough, many times over what Bell had put her through. Was it really right to keep on like this? Was she in the right any longer? He'd have nightmares with or without her; all she could do was make them worse. Wasn't it enough that he had nightmares at all?
"I don't wanna go," she whispered to herself after Daniel had walked by. Scared? She was scared. Scared that she'd gotten her life back, only to realize there was nothing she wanted to do. Or rather, nothing she could achieve in such a short timespan. It was meaningless to be here. But only because she wouldn't be here long enough to do anything. If only she had a little longer, just a little longer, then--then--
She looked at him and pushed her hair back. She didn't want to go to sleep. It was such a waste of her precious moments alive. But what else was she going to do? There wouldn't be anything open this late that'd allow a kid like her inside, even if she'd been into that. So many things she'd never do. Never see. It was horrifying, just thinking about it.
But what if she was out forever? Tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after? There was no point moping around. It'd be okay. She walked over to Daniel with a sigh. "Alright, fine," she said, annoyed, but unable to find a better answer.
The parking lot was full, back at the hotel. She hopped out of the car and looked around, taking it in. For a shitty hotel, it was... well, not that shitty. Pretty nice, actually. She wandered closer, slightly curious if they'd have cable inside, and what'd be playing if it was.
Becky didn't notice the white van until the door opened, and even then, she didn't register anything wrong until she noticed the glint of a gun. There was a truck between the man and Daniel; Daniel wouldn't be able to see him from here. The man ignored her, eyes only on Daniel. "Can't fucking believe it," he muttered to himself, as he turned and raised the gun; his shirt fell back, and his arm was streaked with utter black. The goat in him was eating him alive.
Becky found herself moving before she even knew why, throwing the weight of her small body at the man. She knocked him sideways just before he shot, pushing him back into the car. "Don't!" she snapped, then wondered why. He wasn't anything to her. Why was she doing this?
It wasn't hard to get Rebecca to talk. Daniel figured that way around was easier, considering he rather not divulge too many details Becky could use against Bell-boy. Just her being out, sharing a meal, getting clothes, sharing a hotel-room, was enough for her to use. No truth would make it into the nightmares and Daniel knew it'd take some convincing on his part for Bell-boy to trust him again.
Daniel dipped some stray fried into some sauce, just listening to Rebecca talk, until she sat back, seemingly satisfied in more ways than one. He recognized a certain restlessness in her though.
Yeah, they probably should get going. Daniel dropped the last of the fries back onto the plate and wiped his hands on some tissue before getting up. She was definitely like Bell-boy. Same sense of presence. Or maybe that was Bell-goat's doing.
It was cold out. Daniel dipped his hands into his pockets and trudged after Rebecca, only to find out she'd stopped to look at the stars. He followed her faze for a second and raised his eyebrows.
"I'd say 'penny for your thoughts', but I'm not sure I want to know," Daniel muttered out. He was done for the day. Unless there'd be some nice, cool beer waiting at the end of the street, Daniel didn't feel much for walking down it.
Rebecca however, she seemed determined to do anything but sleep, even if she seemed tired. Then again, the woman had slept all afternoon already.
She didn't look old enough to get into the bar, otherwise he would've.
"You look scared," Daniel propped up calmly. Was she afraid Bell-boy would take back over? Then her little 'escape' would've been rather fruitless. No visiting far, exotic countries, partying, growing old or living in general.
Might do her well to pick one goal and go for it. Daniel wasn't entirely sure why he'd be bothered with that kind of sympathy though. No sense for it. She was already dead. So was Bell-boy, honestly.
Daniel put a hand to his gut.
He might be dead too.
He ran a hand through his hair and sighed out. Enough of that.
"Let's just get to the hotel, long enough day tomorrow," he suggested.
Food came, hot and glorious. She didn't know when or if she'd get over how great it was to be able to actually eat and taste things again. Still, as long as she was enjoying it, she'd keep on enjoying it.
Danny's cagey answer hadn't escaped her notice. Oh well, so much for that. She'd been legitimately interested, but she couldn't deny that she probably would've used it against Bell later. Seemed like she'd have to be more subtle for that.
"Mmm, yes and no," she said. "I mean, the shed was basically identical, and the high school... well, they built a new annex, but it's not like that's life-changing. Weirdest thing so far is how, like, the general style of everything has changed, you know? Like, even fast food restaurants are trying to look classy instead of cheesy now. It's weird. But like, there's no flying cars or anything. No huge leap in technology or fashion or anything, just kind of... you know. The world is the same as it ever was, just people are dressed a little differently and the buildings don't look so dumb anymore."
The hotel down the street? She turned to look, but there was a wall in her way. Of course. "Kay," she agreed easily, dipping a fry in ketchup to take a bite. Hot fries, hot damn. Delicious. They weren't kidding around with these suckers.
She finished her meal and sat back, slowly sipping at the milkshake. She felt sleepy again. Like she'd eaten herself into a coma. It was dangerous, she knew it. If she fell asleep, and Bell tried seriously to wake up, he'd probably be able to force her out. It was only by force of will that she was out at all right now. It stood to reason that Bell would have that same power, given the force of his own will.
Her eyes slid back to Danny. He'd had a look in his eyes she'd recognized from her own; utter despair and helplessness. He was doing a good job of faking it, but it was hitting him hard, wasn't it? Or more like, he'd managed to cover it back up, after he knocked her in the head with a bat earlier. She sighed and rubbed her head. Yeah, that hadn't been the most pleasant way to come back. But she couldn't really blame him. It must've been pretty startling.
"Let's get going," she said, standing up. What should she do? If this was her last chance to be out, what should she do? She'd already spent most of the day napping in the car, and mostly just eaten stuff. She should [i do] something, too. But what?
She walked out into the cold night air and looked up at the stars. This wasn't enough. She wanted to live her whole life. But she'd already died twice. There was no life to live. Just borrowed time. And she could practically hear the clock ticking down.
A wrench, huh? That actually didn't sound like a bad suggestion or a bad tool to have lying around. Guns. Ugh. Only in America. Well, mostly in America.
Daniel contemplated Rebecca's situation and wondered whether she'd even managed to kill any goats consciously. From what he could tell, she had the right idea, but it felt too close to what Bell-boy used. A bluff. It felt like a lie and a bluff.
Not like he cared.
Daniel propped his head on his hand and listlessly toyed with the pepper and salt shaker. Apparently the silence lasted too long, because Becky broke it with a question. He gave her a long stare.
"I'm sure you know enough about us to figure it out yourself," Daniel replied vaguely. She knew they were an item, so surely she'd pick the romantic route and go for 'love' as an answer. Daniel wasn't sure Rebecca was ready for anything more mature.
Besides, she seemed clever enough. Daniel didn't want to give Rebecca any more ammunition than she already had.
The only time Bell-boy was shitty, was when he'd had a nightmare, or acted like a kid -much like Rebecca did now. No relationship was ever perfect though. He'd disliked how clingy and over-bearing Lily was too, yet they'd stayed together all the same. There was plenty to love and like.
Besides, it wasn't as if he was mister perfect.
Food appeared soon enough. It looked a step up from fast-food, which was a boon in Daniel's eyes. Still, he wasn't really hungry. Not just because he was hungover either. He'd had some time to get over the alcohol abuse anyway.
Just. What use was eating if Bell never returned? What if Rebecca pulled all the strings from here on out? How long would he wait for that? Until the goatling decided it needed a host? And there was no telling. Maybe it already had.
Daniel started eating, forcing himself to at least eat the hamburger. If he wanted the goatling to recover, he needed to eat.
He paused to lick his fingers and changed up his course with some of the fries on the side. Not bad, not bad at all.
"So...things a lot different from what you remember?" Daniel pitched, just to find some neutral conversation. "Figured we could stay the night in the hotel down the street," he pointed out. He was tired, above most other things. Maybe some vacation would do him good.
Leather jacket? She looked at the two coats, then squinted hard at the older, nastier looking one. Was [i that] what this one was made of? It had patchworks of a million different colors and textures, but yeah, if she looked real close, that was leather underneath. "No," she said at last, confirming she didn't want it. "Honestly, you should take this opportunity to toss it. That's one ugly coat."
Daniel ignored her friendly advice and put it carefully in the back with everything else. She pulled the nicer coat on and zipped it up, getting nice and warm inside. It was still cold here, but a little warmer than before. And she'd take any improvement. Icy cold was not her style.
What did she use to--oh. "Whatever was at hand," she said. "I carried around pepper spray, and then just... whatever pipe or wrench or whatever was close enough. I used a wrench for a while before Dad caught on. I mean, can't exactly cut a goat to death, after all, right? And my family didn't believe in keeping guns in the home." Not that most guns would do much to a goat, anyways. She shrugged. She'd never really favored a weapon. Maybe she just hadn't been a hunter long enough to get that far along.
She followed Daniel towards food, eagerly following him into a burger shack. "Burger and fries, and mashed potatoes," she said enthusiastically. "And a milkshake!"
This was so sweet, traveling with Danny. No worries about getting a drink that wasn't water, or eating the fatty foods, no one to nag her for making bad decisions or anything. It was the best. If this was going to be how she spent her days out, it wasn't so bad. Much better than being locked up in the same dumb cave for ages.
They were led to a table. Becky sat down and kicked her heels, impatient for her food. Then she looked at Daniel and tilted her head. "What do you see in him?" she asked. "You know how shitty he can be. But you're still here. Why?"
Sure, Bell could get men, but they never stayed. He was too much of a trainwreck. If he didn't drive them off, he'd run away. And sure, maybe she helped him drive them off, just a little, but it was, like, 90 percent Bell's fault every time. What'd Daniel done to keep the asshole around, and why was he still willing to put up with him? That was what baffled her.
Oh boy, yeah, when Bell-boy woke up in those clothes, Daniel wasn't sure he'd be able to hold down his laughter. They were all clothes you'd expect a budding young girl to pick: cute and colourful, only barely mixing and matching. At least there'd be no confusion about whose clothes were whose.
"Yeah, have at it," Daniel commented as Rebecca went ahead and changed into her new clothes. Might as well. It didn't look comfortable to lumber around in clothes that were almost twice her size. He paid the woman some cash and folded his things into a used plastic bag while waiting. When Rebecca returned, he took Bell-boy's clothes and did the same to his. No use them getting dirty or abused in the trunk of the car.
"You don't need the leather jacket, do you?" Daniel pointed out. He'd noticed she hadn't gotten a coat, but the one Bell-boy bought new ought to be warm for her, even if it was too big. It'd probably get into fashion at some point.
He took up the bags and left for the car, opened the trunk and put their excess clothes in there.
"Out of curiosity...what did you use to kill them?" he pitched.
There was a knife or the pipe still. Not that Daniel thought Bell would want Rebecca to wield either of those, but maybe they could get her something fit for her size. If they were lucky, there'd be a dart-gun still with some ammunition.
Wouldn't be surprised if Bell-boy kept one around still, frankly.
Once everything was in, Daniel shut the trunk of the car and locked it back up. Burgers and fried chicken, huh? She wasn't that much different from Bell-boy at all. He guessed they shared some of the same favourites, being friends and everything.
"Right, dinner," he said and stretched out. Wasn't used to driving quite that much after today's tussles. Never mind his throat felt like sand-paper right about now. Daniel started for the restaurants and food-shacks, casually passing them by until he saw something that might tickle Rebecca's current fancy.
It was warm inside, but Daniel held off on unzipping his coat for now. He didn't want to deal with that kind of judgement as well. Paired with his current company, it was just too suspicious.
"A regular menu," Daniel started. Just a burger and some fries would suffice for today. He wasn't that hungry anyway. Daniel glanced back at Becky.
"What'll it be?"
"Burgers! Or fried chicken," Rebecca said. Who cared about how bad it was for her? It wasn't like she'd be around to suffer from it.
Clothes first? She frowned, then frowned deeper when Daniel led her into a secondhand clothes shop. Where was she supposed to get bras and such here? No way was she going to wear secondhand underwear. Though... knowing Bell, she probably already was wearing secondhand boxers. Oh well.
The shop had some cute clothes, for being secondhand. She found a bag of unopened underwear that were close enough to her size, and a bra r two, then went looking for the interesting stuff. A super cute long-sleeve shirt and a vest with rhinestones on it were added to the pile, then some cute jeans with embroidered flowers up the side. They were going South, so she added some shorts that looked comfy and a t-shirt with a cute bunny holding flowers on it. Some boring black socks that looked mostly clean went next, then some sneakers that were far closer to her size than Bell's boots.
Just when she thought she was done, she spotted a really nice pair of red velvet leggings and a heavy, medium-length black skirt. She hesitated, then grabbed them and added them to the pile. What did she care? It was Daniel's money.
"Okay, I'm ready," she said, heaping her stuff on top of Daniel's. She grinned at the lady behind the counter, who gave her a suspicious look but rang their stuff up anyways. When it was done, she grabbed the clothes again and looked at Daniel. "I'm gonna get changed real quick, okay?" she asked, then hurried into the changing room.
She came out in the skirt, leggings, and long-sleeve, more comfortable now that her boobs weren't shifting around at random. Bell's clothes and her changes of clothes were both slung over one arm. "Alright, dinner?" she asked, looking at Daniel again. He was so tall. Bell was tall now, too, though she was pretty sure he wasn't that tall. "Let's put these in the car first, though." She didn't want to lug a whole wardrobe around all night.
"Just another town," Daniel ventured. He'd seen the sign, remembered what it said, but honestly, it didn't matter much. "Sure, what do you feel like having?" he pitched, not particularly set on anything himself. First off though, they were going to get Rebecca clothes that were actually her size, even if they had to come from the second-hand shop.
"Clothes first," Daniel offered, opening the door to the second-hand store.
It was late, so the woman behind the counter looked slightly disturbed, and less than hospitable. When she saw Rebecca, Daniel had trouble reading the lady's emotions. They were from pity to disgust, to resignation. The world wouldn't change over one righteous opinion, after all.
"Pick whatever," he told Rebecca and browsed the clothes himself. Another set would make washing the things he wore a lot less awkward. Had to keep proper now that Becky would be sharing his life. Which made him wonder whether or not to get separate rooms, but he decided no. If Bell-boy came crawling out the wood-works same as Becky had, Daniel wanted to be there to comfort the man. Make sure he didn't panic and run.
He found some decent-looking pants. Sturdy-looking, with some holes in it, but still reasonable. Especially if he was wearing another layer underneath it anyway. Another shirt and a sweater, and Daniel was done. Didn't cost a thing, clothes like these. They'd help him keep a low profile as well.
He wondered whether Bell-goat would even drive Becky to hunt.
It hadn't noted the changes, or if it had, hadn't seen fit to intervene. But it would eventually, wouldn't it?
Daniel stared down at his hand, then clenched it into a fist. Nothing.
No goatling, no darkness, nothing even remotely close. Just silence. Daniel felt disturbed by the goatling's absence. At least back then, he hadn't been able to just get hurt and or die. He caught himself in a daze and sighed out, running his hair back. Rebecca was sure to take longer, so he simply walked up to the counter and put his picks on there, before settling in to wait.
"This," Daniel told the woman, when she raised an expectant eyebrow.
"...and whatever she's having," he waved in Rebecca's general direction.
Confusion. Fear. Utter darkness. Floating. A lack of sensation, nothing to ground him. Loss. Wrong.
A light. He moved towards it, like a moth to flame. Warmth and comfort, and more than anything, a place to ground himself, orient himself by. Where was he? What was this?
Safe. Warm. The light was a soothing presence, like a campfire on a cold winter's night. It hovered just out of reach, promising comfort, but never giving it. He chased it further into the darkness.
She was there. He drew away on instinct, but this was a right form of her. Her as she should be, a kid on her way to school. "Shhhh," she soothed him. "Go back to sleep."
His eyelids were so heavy, and he felt so safe. He let himself drift off.
"Eh--what?" she asked, startling awake. They were--car? What kind of dream was--no. This was no dream. This was reality. She blinked and rubbed the back of her head, wincing as the headache spiked. Ouch. Now that she was in a nice warm car, comfortable in every other way, that headache was really killing her. Couldn't Danny have been a little more gentle?
Oh, they were here? "Where's here?" she asked, sitting up. Some small town. Wherever it was, it hadn't been hit nearly as bad by the snow they'd gotten back in her hometown. Looked like a nice hotel in a quiet little town. Good place to run, really. Nice and far away from her hometown, where no one would find them. She yawned and stretched as she climbed out of the car, careful with her head as she looked around. Nothing too unusual about it. Midrange hotel, couple shops, a skeezy strip mall down the way with an equally skeezy bar. Usual stuff, but right now, it all looked beautiful to her.
The sky, too. She stopped dead, amazed. What a beautiful sunset, the colors all bleeding together. She'd forgotten how beautiful they were, all those colors. For a second, she just stood there, completely forgetting herself; then she shook her head and looked at Daniel.
"I'm hungry," she complained, following Daniel wherever he was going. "Let's get food." More food! Warm food this time. She was seriously hungry.
It was almost funny how excited Rebecca could get over something as simple as ice-cream. Daniel understood though. She'd been deprived of human experience, of having a body and all the senses that went with having a physical presence. Daniel couldn't say his desperation had ever been this immediate however, but then, it hadn't exactly been twenty years for him either. Lenny's poor little mind never really held up well enough for such a prolonged period of time.
Or his didn't break down that long. Whatever way you wanted to look at it.
Daniel drove away slowly, nipping from his coke. Rebecca was devouring the ice-cream like a starved animal. He hoped it'd help her recover. Help the goat recover, honestly.
He shook his head when she offered him.
"I bet. No thanks, too cold for my tastes," he declined the ice-cream.
"I'm fine with just this, and you're welcome," Daniel said. At least she had some manners. He wondered how much of her last twenty years was condensed in one giant mess of a time-span without clock.
Time was funny like that.
It grew quiet after a while. The radio was playing some kind of jazz, the road ahead was free of snow, if not slippery here and there, and they'd left Bell-boy's home town behind them. The girl, much to his surprise, had fallen asleep. Daniel put away the empty cup he had and shook his head.
Well, she did get hit over the head. He cringed. Yeah, okay, maybe not the best way to get to know someone. On the other hand, this was a young woman whose favourite past-time while being trapped was delivering Bell nightmares.
For all she seemed innocent and cute, she was an unwanted presence. He'd much prefer Bellwether. It felt like he was dead this way. Worse still than when it had been the egg.
Daniel sighed out. It was just temporary, right?
God. It better be temporary.
He drove until the sun went down and then some. Deciding he deserved some luxury -and hoping to earn some good stature with Rebecca so she might be more forgiving towards Bell-boy, he didn't go for the first street-motel available. Rather, he drove into town and found a decent enough place. Might get some decent food. Simple pleasures, right? And clothes. Fuck.
And what if they met hunters? Daniel pondered returning Bell's knife to Rebecca, just so she had something to fight with and realized she'd have Bell's pipe yet. And no strength to wield it.
"Hey, we're here, well, we're staying here for the night," Daniel let Becky know. He was hungry even. There'd be a bar. Might get a drink or two. Why not?
THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen
/ 15d 1h 35m 4s
Something went wrong? Well, for the goats, anyways. She snorted. It was a funny thing to call them, goats. But whatever. She'd accept it. "I'm glad," she sighed. At least the real Ben had survived. At least he hadn't done those horrible things to her. It wasn't much consolation, but at least some of her anger could be reassessed; her friends hadn't betrayed her. Or... had he, still? The goats made near-perfect copies. It'd be a lot of discrepancy for one to kill her and the other to decide against it.
No--she shook her head. She'd take this one at face value. Let herself feel that relief.
Three-thirty. A little weird to be so hungry, but by her estimation, she'd missed lunch, so. Either way, she leaned forward as they pulled into the drive-thru to read the menu. They had some crazy flavors of ice cream, exotic stuff she'd never seen before. And it all looked delicious. "No, it's warm in here. Uh, banana split! With chocolate brownie and birthday cake and strawberry cheesecake ice cream!"
The lady behind the speaking pole repeated their order and asked them to pull around. Rebecca was practically vibrating in her seat by the time they handed the huge confection over, piled high with toppings, bananas, and whipped cream and crowned with a single cherry. She dug in eagerly, savoring the flavor of each ice cream on its own, then carefully trying every one of the flavor combinations. Tasting things, at last! She could never taste anything in her dreams. And not only that, but every bite was super delicious. Even the plain vanilla that held the chunks of birthday cake tasted heavenly.
She'd changed her mind. Maybe Danny wasn't such a bad guy after all. "Thank you, Danny," she chimed in cutely, the way she'd been taught to. "You want to try some? It's delicious."
She ate the ice cream ferociously, devouring it just slow enough that she didn't get brain freeze. When she'd finished, she felt full. It was almost a foreign sensation, after so long without a proper body to feel full or hungry with. She settled down in the seat, setting the sticky bowl aside, and found herself drifting off. Now was... not a great time to sleep, but... she couldn't help it.
"Bell-boy's wearing plenty, 's just not your size," Daniel pointed out. Figured a teenager would find the remark embarrassing. Anything where their body was noticed was bound to be awkward. He'd figured the girl to be mentally older, but perhaps being stuck inside Bell-boy as secondary shell had stunted her mental growth. She was, after all, in the body of a girl still.
"Nah, something went wrong there," he explained. "Ben met your goat that night and got himself copied, but the thought of that happening was so obscure, he wasn't sure what to do." Daniel sighed. "Bell ought to be Ben's perfect copy -so I suspect the discrepancies are the goat's doing. The goat yours killed."
He shrugged. Nothing he'd say could change the past, but maybe if he planted the seeds now, there could be room for forgiveness later. Daniel thought of Bell-boy and figured it was a useless endeavour.
"It's three-thirty," Daniel offered, nodding at the car's clock on the dash.
He throttled their speed and slowed down for the drive-through. Sitting down was maybe a length too far, with them still being so close to Rebecca's home town. It wasn't busy at the place. Actually, Daniel was surprised it was open, until he noticed they served more than just ice-cream.
After all they'd been through however, he wasn't hungry.
Bell-boy would force him, probably, but the man wasn't there.
"Right, so what'll it be?" he muttered, taking out a few bills. "Or would you rather step inside and get your own?"
Maybe he'd get a coke, to calm down his unruly gut. Being pounced on twice had it aching with faint nausea. They barely needed to wait before arriving at the little speaker-pole and Daniel rolled down the window.
"Small coke for me and...what ice-creams do you serve?"
A garbled list of types, sizes and flavours was droned out in a monotone voice. Daniel watched Rebecca's response to any of it, trying to judge what she'd like best. Of course, he knew better than to interfere with a young teenager's choice. If Rebecca felt it was wrong to be in a car, being bought ice-cream by a man twice her age, Daniel felt just as awkward. It'd be good if Bell-boy could be back sooner rather than later. He didn't quite look old enough to be her father.
"Ice. Cream!" she insisted. If she was going to do this, get in a strange car with an older man, she'd at least get her damn ice cream. Might as well see it to the end, and all that.
A place? She nodded, then stopped. "It's probably closed, though," she muttered to herself. Twenty years, and all. Ice cream places didn't tend to last through the ages. Well, whatever. She wasn't going to let that get her down. Ice cream was tasty, no matter where it came from. "Anywhere works. Anywhere with good ice cream. Like, cool flavors of hard serve." None of that soft-serve vanilla nonsense. She wanted the fancy stuff.
Rebecca blushed. He'd noticed? She crossed her arms over her bosum. "It's not my fault he's not wearing anything," she muttered. Danny was so mean. It wasn't like her boobs were under her control. She couldn't choose what Bell was wearing when she'd taken over. Though, to be fair, it'd be pretty weird if he [i was] wearing a bra.
"Wait, what?" she demanded, sitting up. "Didn't Ben turn into Bell?" She knew there was something weird going on, but she'd never quite figured out where the breakdown was, whether the family had somehow figured out that Ben had died, or... explained a whole lot about his dreams, now, actually. She frowned, then sighed. This was good. Thank goodness. She was glad Ben had survived. "I'm glad he wasn't the real Ben. Ben would never do something like that."
An ice cream place with a drive-through passed by, and Rebecca sat up. "There, let's get some there." It looked like the kind of place that would have the kind of ice cream she liked. Then... then what? She was pretty hungry. "What time is it?" she asked. Would Bell be hungry, or was she just hungry on her own? How did that part of their bodies work? She really had no idea. She'd worked so hard just to get here, she hadn't thought of anything past this step--the being back in the world step. And just that was worth it. Being able to feel things again. Taste things. Touch, be. It was incredible, just existing.
A figure bolted for the car. With a cold gust and some enervating rustling, his new passenger made herself comfortable in their new car. Warm. Yeah, it was warm. Daniel nodded and watched her for a second from where he was resting on the wheel, studying the emotions playing out across her face.
Shouldn't? Confusion crossed Daniel's face, until he realized the power-balance between them was a little off. He'd offer her back Bell-boy's knife for self-defence, but Becky had seemed a little too volatile for that this minute. Heck, he wouldn't trust her with tranquillizer either.
"It's freezing out there and you-...?" Daniel shook his head and slowly sat up to coax some life back into the car. The engine rumbled back to life and he slowly turned away from the school. Hungry he could imagine. Actually, he'd do good feeding her a lot of food. Whatever favourites she craved. Bell-goat would surely appreciate the influx of energy and materials with which it could repair or mend itself -not that he assumed it was broken just...perhaps in a less than stable state?
Like the goatling.
"You have a place in mind?" Daniel pitched. He had no idea where everything was or how to explain what he was doing mid-winter buying an under-aged kid an ice-cream, but whatever. It'd be a whole new field of judgement they'd enter there. Beyond the kind of where they looked like stragglers. Actually. Rebecca looked like she was dressed in a pick of his clothes.
"We should get you clothes that fit," he muttered out with a sigh.
Maybe later, once they'd gotten out of the snow. No sense in buying her winter- and summer wear.
It'd be funny finding Bell-boy woken up stuck in teenage clothes. Daniel's eyes were on the road, focussing on navigating the slippery streets with care. Most larger roads were fine, but in a small town like this, not every street got the attention it deserved. Daniel stuck to the bigger road, weaving his way out of town.
It'd been twenty years. Anything Rebecca knew was probably already gone, or a lot older. Then again, plenty for Bell-boy to remember as well.
"Ben's still around, you know?" Daniel pitched, just to break the awkward silence. He fiddled with the radio at a stop-sign and mechanically drove the car down the road once it was clear. "Got himself a wife at some point, got kids, divorced, all that. Felt guilty that he hadn't done anything for you or hadn't realized Bell was..." he waved a hand. No need to rehash what'd happened.
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