the black goat of a thousand young

/ By kaitoXi [+Watch]

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Silently, Rebecca debated the pros and cons of leaving. First off, she'd leave the asshole who'd tied her up far behind, and fuck up Bell when--if--he woke up alone. Two big pros. On the other hand, it was icy cold out. She had no money, no shelter, no food, and no friends or family. If she left, she was really on her own. At least Daniel hadn't made any creepy advances, aside from tying her up, and Bell's boyfriend got an out for that on the basis that Bell couldn't love anyone who wasn't at least that creepy and vicious.

Parents and friends were out of the question. Too much trouble. She could go and try and get a foster home, but then what? Her precious moments of freedom would be spent in shitty offices doing nothing, and then it'd be a roll of the dice if she ended up anywhere worth living. And that was assuming she had months or years to be out. Monsters like the one inside of her tended to think glaciers moved fast, the way they perceived time, but she was pretty sure this one would notice its mistake sooner rather than later. That she was out at all was only because it was recovering, and the damn things recovered fast.

So her best chance of having fun was with Danny, wasn't it? He had money and mobility, both things she needed. She risked getting tied up again, but at least he'd seemed vaguely apologetic about it the first time. What was the chance it'd really happen again?

This was insane. She put her head in her hands. Even considering it was insane. She knew the kind of guy Bell was, and his boyfriend didn't look much better. Getting in a car with a strange man, driving off to somewhere else, what the fuck was she thinking? Everything told her this was a bad idea. Every last ounce of common sense. But she hadn't left yet, had she? Because the alternative was even shittier.

A gray station wagon pulled up. Rebecca hesitated one last second, then jumped up and ran inside. The heat instantly melted the cold she'd been sitting in, and she sighed out. "Warm," she breathed, hugging her coat closer. Then she looked at him, eyes wide with an emotion half fear and half exhilaration. "This is insane. I shouldn't do this. But what the hell. Hey, can we go get ice cream? I'm hungry." She grinned nervously. What the hell was she doing?
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 16d 1h 15m 38s
Sure she knew. Daniel rolled his eyes at Becky's recalcitrant reply and found himself somewhat fortunate Alice had never reached that state of adulthood. Then again, he'd probably have a laugh or two at Alice's expense if she ever got there.
"Hmm, it's appreciated," Daniel replied when Rebecca told him she'd try her best not to get killed. He gave her a once-over as she hunkered down by the high school to wait and sighed out. Right. At least she was willing to throw him a bone. Maybe she knew life for goats wasn't all that, especially now that twenty years had past and she was definitely no longer part of the system.
Not that she could've maintained normalcy for that long anyway.
Bell-goat wouldn't have let her. Maybe at first it had ideas of blending in, doing its killing where no one would notice, but eventually there'd be goats like Mindy's. Goats like Pan.

The car was still where he'd left it. Daniel got out the wiper and started scratching off some of the snow and ice that'd settled on the windows before getting in. He felt sick.
Bell-boy was gone now, replaced by a girl he'd left standing in the cold, and who Daniel was fairly sure had already left.
For a long minute, Daniel rested his head on the steering-wheel and caught his breath. Eventually, he peeled himself away and started the car up. Rather than crank up the heating, he let it simmer somewhere around normal, hoping the contrast between cold and hot wouldn't end up being too big.

He had to drive slow. People drove slow. Snow had piled up along the sides of the road, a white blanket that'd gone grey and messy in parts, frozen over in others. Daniel started to appreciate his winter-tires with renewed vigour. At long last, the school-building towered at the horizon, just down the road. He coaxed the car up the drive-way and near the entrance of the building, eyes out for Rebecca.
And then what?

Ice-cream, if she had any say for it. Then they'd likely head South. Follow the sun. The sooner they could leave this snowy mess behind, the better.
As if having Cat around hadn't felt wrong, Rebecca was a whole new experience. Younger still than Cat. Feistier too. Daniel expected Rebecca to be a greater challenge than Cat, whose goat had kept her docile enough to follow them into leading the hunters to their doom.
If she was even still there.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 16d 1h 36m 0s
So many things she'd been told never to do. Be alone with a strange man, talk to him, get in his car. Despite herself, Rebecca felt a little thrill of adrenaline. If her parents could see her now, they'd go apeshit. Probably not least because she was completely the wrong age.

She didn't want to see her parents, friends, anyone. It'd be better if no one knew she was here at all. After all, she probably wasn't long for this world. No point in visiting them, giving them hope and probably bewildering them all at the same time, just to vanish again. She wasn't that selfish. Besides, what was she supposed to say? "Just spend a few years in someone else's head, no big." Yeah, that'd get her shipped right off to a psych evaluation. Ice cream, on the other hand, had no expectations, and wouldn't ship her off anywhere, except maybe into a sugar coma. Of the two choices, it was far preferable.

"Oh, I know," she said flippantly. Did he really think she'd be here if the creature was at a hundred percent?. "I'll try my best not to get killed, thanks, [i dad.]”

She followed him out into the cold. The icy weather alone made her pull her hoods up, even if they smelled like boy. One of the pockets had gloves; they were too big, but she put them on anyways. It helped a little.

The longer they walked, the more she became aware of the fact that she wasn't wearing a bra. A surreptitious check confirmed that no nipples were visible through the many layers she wore, but it still wasn't comfortable. Felt oddly exposed, even though nothing was exposed at all. She glanced at Daniel's back and wondered if Danny would spring for a bra for her, then decided not to bring it up. He probably didn't want to know about her underwear situation, and she definitely didn't want him to know.

"Alright," she confirmed, and hunkered down by the high school to wait, using the building to block some of the wind. Minutes passed. It occurred to her that Daniel might not be coming back for her, and she shivered in place. Well, no skin off her back. She'd go find someone else. Let him chase his boyfriend down when Bell came back, she didn't care. Just as she was about to move on, she reconsidered and decided to wait another few minutes. He had money and a car, neither of which she had. Worst case, if she struck out on her own, she might freeze to death out here.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 16d 3h 23m 42s
She was so volatile, programmed to hate everything that even remotely felt aligned against her, it was almost amusing. Daniel figured he'd brought that upon himself, but come on -she'd just taken Bell-boy's place. What was he supposed to have done? Just greet her in a friendly manner, say everything was okay and leave things at that?
Her smaller hands tried to pry the knife back from his hold, but even Rebecca realized it was a useless endeavour.

"Hmm, that's basically what being an business consultant means," Daniel chuckled, when she called out the 'discrepancy'. "One thing doesn't exclude the other," he muttered.
Ex was right.
Her family would've already moved on. Wait. Were there things she wanted to do that didn't include Earthly pleasures? Things like revisit family, friends...that sort of thing? Daniel decided he didn't care.

Out of the three of them, he was safe to walk around town without too much trouble. Only Benjamin had a clue, but even good old Ben wouldn't know he wasn't entirely human, nor entirely goat.
She made a lot of assumptions. That he was going to cater to her, being one.
'Help'. Right.
She'd be a lot of help when faced up against hunters.

Daniel took a breath in, sizing her up. From a long distance, she might look like Bell, but even then her smaller stature would betray it wasn't the man people saw before.
"You should know we fucked up the creature inside of you during our last encounter," Daniel pointed out. "Try not to do anything funny, like bring it out for a while," he said, then pushed up to sit. Their faces were close for all but two seconds before Rebecca got off.
"You'll go comatose if you do," Daniel warned, then stood and dusted off. This time, there was no snow, just cold.

Rather than wait for Rebecca, Daniel started back the way they'd came, down the hill and towards the general direction of the school. His limbs had gone stiff with cold. As he moved however, blood slowly started pumping back into his extremities. Should've done that sooner.
"Car's a grey station, take me thirty minutes," he notified Rebecca. They'd opted for the walk on his account, mostly, and frankly, Daniel didn't feel that much better. No choice now though. Somehow, he always ended up with the short end of the stick.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 16d 3h 46m 53s
Aha, she'd done it! She'd escaped, and now she could go do whatever she wanted! Fuck Danny and his creepy watching-game, she was out of here!

"Well," she started smugly, "you do what I say and you don't get shanked, I think it's pretty simple."

Danny reached up to her face. She flinched back, expecting to get hit, but he just wiped her tears. "Get the fuck away from me," she snapped, jerking away. He was supposed to be scared. Why wasn't he scared?

In the second's worth of distraction that gesture afforded him, Danny grabbed her wrist with his other hand. "Ow--ow! Stop!" she complained, voice pitching higher with each word, half-hysteric, twisting her wrist to try and free it. If he got the knife, it was all over. Everything was over.

It was too late. The knife was in his hands now. She snatched at it, but it was like trying to wrestle a toy from her dad; he was so much stronger than her that she couldn't even budge it from his hand. Fear kicked in, cold as the icy landscape outside. No--no! She'd almost made it! She didn't want to be tied up again!

It took a few moments before she registered that he wasn't bucking her off or attacking her with the knife, but just sitting there, folding the knife away patiently. Start over? She frowned. She didn't want to start over, she wanted to hurt him like he'd hurt her! But then again, if she just tried to fight him, she'd never get out of the shed. He was bigger and stronger, and now he had her weapon, as well. She didn't like that it was all going his way, but... if she didn't take this opportunity, there probably wouldn't be another.

"You said you were a thief earlier," she muttered. Alright, fine. She'd play along for now. "Rebecca. Ex-high-school student."

Car was back in town, was it? "Then we can walk to the high school. I'll wait there while you fetch the car. I'll keep my hood up, and if no one looks close, I'll look just like Bell," she said, tossing her hair. Sure, she was smaller than him in every way, but no one was going to notice that from a distance. She climbed off of him and stood at last, stretching as much as she could in the limited space of the shed, then rubbed her wrists and yawned. Be good to get out of here.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 16d 5h 56m 37s
He sighed. Okay, so they hadn't exactly gotten off to a good start. Daniel was about to reach out when the snap of rope resounded in the small shed. Quicker than he thought she'd be, she launched at him. Daniel landed on his back. His head knocked against the rotten wood of the shed and he blinked the little stars from his eyes. People really needed to stop fighting him while he was hungover.
The cool metal of a blade was pressed up against his neck.
Rebecca looked so much like Bell, the semblance was uncanny. Was this part, this anger and fire, actually Bell-goat? Had the fear that made Bell-boy torture Rebecca been the goat inside of him, echoing the fear of Bell-goat to its host?

"Hmm, how is that going to work exactly?" Daniel muttered softly, skin scratching against the dull blade. He lifted a hand to wipe the tears from Rebecca's face. He'd wanted to free her, so this evolution wasn't a bad one.
They couldn't keep hostile towards one another. He couldn't, at the very least. He needed Bell-goat to be there when shit went down with the goatling.

"Fine," he agreed, then grabbed Rebecca's wrist and pushed her hand away. Daniel dug his thumb into her tendons and used his other hand to extract the knife. As expected, just the sheer difference in strength made the chore easy enough. Rebecca might've gotten the pounce on several goats, but Daniel had to wonder how and whether she'd survived many of the encounters. Perhaps dying too often was what had Bell-goat decide to adopt a different shell.

Once the knife was out of her grip, Daniel let her go, but allowed Rebecca to keep her dominant position.
"Maybe we should start over?" he posed. Technically, her grudge wasn't with him and while Daniel was pissed at what she'd been doing to Bell-boy, he could swallow that emotion down for the time being.

"Hi, I'm Danny, accountant and business consultant," he introduced himself with a small smile. He put the blade on his chest and folded it, so it couldn't do any more harm. Bell-boy's blade. Rebecca was swimming in Bell-boy's coats.
"You're right, the floor is cold," Daniel ventured. "Car's back in town," he nodded. "You're going to stick out and we make an odd couple."
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 16d 15h 58m 5s
Needed some time, huh? He couldn't have just asked her first? Asked if she was going to fight or run? Honestly, she hadn't even been predisposed against Danny until he'd tied her up like an asshole. Probably would've gone quietly with him, if he'd just agreed to take her where she wanted. But fuck that noise now. Now Daniel was the enemy, the same as Bell.

Danny paced the shed, distracted by something. She nudged the knife into reaching distance, then leaned down and fiddled with his lips until she could feel the hilt in her mouth. She drew it out slowly, watching for the seconds he wasn't looking, then whipped her head around and dropped the knife down to her hands where they were tied to the pole. For a second, she floundered it, and she tensed--if the metal clinked against the pole--

By some miracle, it didn't. She closed her hand around it and squeezed. Now she had hope. Now she had a chance.

Slowly, she worked the knife open, still fake-crying the whole time. Not all of it was fake. There was plenty to cry about. The lost years. The frustration of being tied up. Whenever the knife slid too close to the pole. It was slow going. The knife was dull, the rope was thick, and her hand was twisted at a weird angle. But slowly, slowly... she was getting there.

Then Danny was right there, crouched right in front of her. "What do you want?" she snarled, and was a little surprised at how angry, how tear-broken her voice sounded. Behind her back, her hands worked faster than ever. If he noticed now, it was all over.

Then the rope snapped. He was right in front of her, and the knife was in her hand. She spun it around behind her, then launched herself at Daniel. She didn't have all that much weight, but Daniel was crouched and at a bad angle to exert his own weight; she bowled him over and put the knife at his throat.

"Okay, now you're going to listen to me," she growled, getting right up in his face. "Take me to your car, right now. We're gonna get some fucking ice cream." .
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 16d 22h 7m 0s
Make it worse, huh? Daniel was convinced Rebecca's hatred wasn't something that was under his control, or could be undone by a flimsy promise. Either she'd tire of it, or forego on any promises made, so it was bound to be useless. A glare. Oh, he'd done it now, hadn't he?
"I can sure see why Ben used to be your friend," Daniel pointed out. The two were probably more alike than they cared to admit. Even shared the same history. Wait. She'd said a year, right? So that meant she'd been a goat long before Benjamin had become one. Whatever Bell-goat's motives with taking Ben's appearance that day, it was obviously to get close to and kill Rebecca's goat.

But why?
Didn't it agree with the goats Rebecca's goat killed?
Or was that where they exchanged the roles of bellwethers? Daniel sighed. He'd made a split-decision and didn't regret it, however inconvenient for Rebecca.
"I just needed to buy some time and decide what to do next," Daniel shrugged. It was nothing personal. Hell, he didn't even know the girl until now. "Besides, can't have 'missing girl' running around town screaming murder and mayhem," he muttered under his breath. Daniel stuck his hands underneath his arms in a bid to get them to warm up. Maybe he ought to take Bell-boy's gloves. They'd be too big on Rebecca anyway.

Daniel watched her cry.
She'd been tortured to death. It was sad. Her retaliation wasn't any inch better however. She'd gone from victim to bully. How old was she even? Fourteen? Was she older than Bell-boy? Fifteen? She looked even smaller in Bell-boy's coat.

Just a few more hours. It wouldn't take much longer before the sun went down now. Daniel paced around, trying to keep the blood flowing. He found himself wishing he'd brought the car closer to the shed already. That way, he could've risked getting her over there.

Actually. They were pretty far out. If he brought Bell-goat out here, the worst case scenario had Rebecca in a comatose state. Easier to move around. Daniel reminded himself that he'd have to get intimate on a whole new level taking care of a pre-teen's bodily functions for her and dismissed the idea. Bell-goat was bound to already be pissed, if not weakened. He didn't want to risk the hunters.
Just a little while longer.
And then what? He'd keep her tied in the car? That was an even greater risk.
Maybe he ought to risk freeing her. See where she'd run. If shit got too dangerous, he could always come back for Bell-boy later. Daniel stepped up and crouched down in front of her, debating his options. He'd win in a fight, but he wouldn't be able to stay awake twenty-four seven.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 16d 23h 38m 55s
"You're sure convincing me to make it worse," she muttered darkly. Not that she needed much convincing.

Rebecca ignored him, hunkering down in the too-big, stinky coat she wore. Wasn't like he was going to take her there anyways. He'd just leave her sitting here to rot, and watch her do it, like some pervert. Maybe that was what he got off on. Bell liked to hurt people, and he liked to watch. Gross. What a pair.

Red flashed before her eyes. She wanted to kill him. At first, she'd thought maybe he'd be nice to her, see her side of things, treat her with the sympathy she deserved, but it was pretty clear he was fucked up in the head too. Well, how else could he be with Bell? Had to be pretty fucked up to like that guy in the first place. She should've known better.

She glared at him the next time he tried to talk to her. She was done. She just wanted to have a little time to herself, and this was the bullshit she had to put up with? "Fuck you," she snarled. "Maybe if you didn't tie me to a fucking pole in a shack in the middle of nowhere, then I could 'help you out,' but you can fucking imagine I'm not feeling helpful."

With that, she turned away and shut her eyes. She wasn't going to say anything else to him. No point. He'd made it abundantly clear that it wouldn't get her anywhere, so why bother trying? It probably just made him feel all tingly inside to have her tied up like this, at his mercy. At least he was gay.

Damn. Why couldn't anything go right in her life? She didn't want much. Just to live a little. But even that was too much to ask, huh? She burrowed deeper into the coat to hide her tears. She was tired and cold and sore and just done with everything. Nothing ever went right. She never ever got her way. Never.

She shifted, trying to get comfortable, and felt something hard push up against her chest. Curious, she curled her legs in towards her body to feel the shape of it better, under the guise of curling up into a ball to cry. A flat, oblong shape, right in between her chest and her knees...?

Wait. Her heart racheted up a few beats. A knife? A folding knife, folded up? Maybe she could escape after all. She started to shake, supposedly from her tears, but secretly shifting the coat around so that the shape was closer to her mouth. If she could get it to her hands and cut her way free, then--!
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 17d 49m 13s
"This one? So not the other one, where you told me you wouldn't run? Lovely," Daniel dead-panned. "I don't think there's anything I can do or say that'll have you change your mind from torturing Bell-boy however much you like," he shrugged. And why would she? Bell had killed her -truthfully, after she'd already been killed by another goat, but still. That meant that the goat that'd made a copy of Benjamin was an enemy of Bell-goat, the goat he'd come to align himself with.
It was all grey.
Shades of grey. The nuances of life. Actually, hadn't Bell-boy purposefully asked him to kill him when it turned out he was a goat? It'd taken some convincing to get them past that point. His neck was already on the line. A little throttling from Bell-boy wasn't going to change the fact that he might die much sooner than hoped or planned, in a rather gruesome way.

Daniel felt glad he'd changed the topic.
"Ice-cream? You're freezing your ass off and you-...?" Daniel chuckled, the shook his head. Girls. There'd be things he'd never understand about them. Alice might have surprised him like that, one day.
Hybrid-Alice might still. Daniel snorted at his fucked up life, then lifted his eyes to listen at the girl go on a tangent. The tears at the end of that story seemed true enough at least.

"Hmm, beaches and sun are where it's at, for sure," he muttered.
"Guess we can go some place nice next," Daniel pondered. No reason not to. If it'd just been Bell-boy and him, they'd have gone somewhere warm eventually anyway. He just hadn't figured out how he was going to deal with Bell-goat being wrapped in Rebecca at the moment. At least he could safely assume that by the time the goatling had recovered, so would Bell-goat have. Unless he'd never recover his goatling-powers, in which case he'd assume the worst.

The pole wobbled at the girl's strength. It wasn't very sturdy.
"You'll bring the house down like that," Daniel said calmly. "I fancy beaches myself," he pondered out loud. There was no way he could trust the girl. Maybe he ought to get some sedatives somewhere. Shame they didn't still have the van. It'd have the supplies he needed, unlike their new car. Daniel rooted through his pockets, but there wasn't much there. Fortunately winter days didn't last long.

"Now, help me out here," Daniel breathed. "Tell me how I can ever trust you not to run off or do something funny?" Daniel was pretty sure he'd be able to find Bell-goat again, with a little help of the goatling, but he'd rather not get into any legal mess because of Rebecca. Never mind that it'd be impossible to help Bell-boy once Rebecca got into the system and tried to build a life for herself.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 17d 1h 13m 38s
"Oh," she said. Bell had picked a good one, huh? Danny had deep pockets. Explained a lot, really.

Why would she hate the monster? She'd be dead if it weren't for it. True, it'd tried to kill her off after her mistake, but if she'd just been some human Bell had killed, she wouldn't be here right now. "He tortured me of his own volition, no monster required, that's why I hate him," she explained, rolling her eyes. It was obvious, wasn't it? He was a victim of the goat, and so was she, but she was also his victim. Her hatred was justified, and Danny could fuck off.

"Well, but this one's true, so," she said flippantly. "Go ahead and don't believe me. Your neck on the line." Yep, he was racking himself up some nightmare points at lightning speed. She'd see how he liked it when Bell went and tortured him instead of her next time. Ooh, or she could replay Bell's rape again, see how he liked that. Bell thought he was over that one, too. Wouldn't that be a nice slap in the face. Fuck up Danny's neck and his love life in one fell swoop, and put Bell back on edge.

What would she do? Somewhat surprised by the tone shift, she stopped pulling at the ropes and sat still for a moment. It was a big question. There was a lot to do out there. "Well... I wouldn't spend it sitting in a damn shed," she said, then fell silent some more. So much to do. How could she pick just one thing, one day? "Uh... Ice cream. A huge ice cream sundae with a million toppings. Walk around Paris. Go to the Eiffel Tower. Or Jamaica, maybe, spend the day on the beach where it's nice and warm and play on the resort. No, the Amazon. Go see the rainforest. Or the Grand Canyon. Or Disneyland. I've never been. I don't know. Do [i something,] I'd do something. And then I'd eat all the bad food in the world and not give a shit about the calories, and watch all my favorite movies, read the sequels to all those book series I started way back..." she sighed dreamily. So much she could do. The whole world open to her. And then reality clamped back down. Her smile collapsed, tears sparkling in her eyes. She grimaced and yanked at the pole with all her might, throwing every ounce of her strength into it until the shed itself shook. "Not--sit in a shitty shed!" she screamed. "Anything but that!" Fucking asshole! Why did he have to tie her up? He was the worst. She hated him.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 17d 3h 13m 24s
Daniel chuckled. Yeah, sure. A single day. And then two, three...a month. A year. Whatever it took. While they still hunted, Bell-goat wouldn't care, would it? What Rebecca said reminded Daniel that she'd been Bellwether-goat to begin with. Bellwether was the intruder, or actually, his goat had been. Nothing Bell-goat hadn't handled before though. It'd won out. Twice. Only it'd decided to actively keep Bell as a shell.
He nodded.
Sure, she knew how things worked. At least he didn't have to explain her that much. Made things easier.

"Held down plenty of jobs," Daniel started, sighing out. "Got tired of jobs, stole a lot of money and don't need to work, honestly," he shrugged. "I guess that means I'm not trying," Daniel grinned. She wouldn't remember him working on the fields, would she? She too had been just floating in the middle of nowhere, battling Bell-boy for dominance. Had Bell fought her then too?
Must have.

"I think you're both victims. Why direct your anger at another shell, when it's the creature inside of you who decides which shell got to stay? That said, it kept Bell around at my request, so maybe I'm the one you should be angry at -no. Lenny, even," he muttered at the end, almost swallowing the words.
A bargain? Daniel looked at her when she laid out her terms. More nightmares, or less nightmares. Right.

"This where I mention you'd say anything just to be untied?" Daniel said in a low voice, slightly weary of it all.
He watched her pull at the ropes, interested to see whether Rebecca would be able to use the goat's strength, but even Bell had mentioned Bell-goat had seemed distant, so maybe she couldn't. If she could, he'd be fucked.

"So what would you want to do, if it was your last day?" he put out there. Daniel wasn't even certain why. Maybe because that's how he'd been whenever Lenny released him into reality. Could be his last time out. Could be his last day. And each and every time he'd lived it to the fullest.
He knew Rebecca couldn't promise him how long it'd be. Daniel doubted she had that much control over the switch. Maybe though, when she was less aggressive. Less volatile. Her emotions were all over the place; anger, despair, hope and depression all vied for priority. Couldn't be easy. A lot of things had changed in twenty years and she was just reliving her nightmare, the night of her death.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 17d 4h 34s
"I know we can have fun for, like, a single day," she said stubbornly. They'd gone to fairs and gone drinking and stuff on occasion. And before Daniel, there'd been long stretches where Bell's nightmares were the scariest thing around. "What, do you think I wasn't hunting? Same maniacal thing inside me, you know. My family used to travel a lot, and I'd sneak off and take care of business. I was at it for a whole year before I fucked up and Bell did me in." She shrugged. "Guess I wasn't very good at it. But don't act like I'm some baby either. I know how shit works."

"I mean, sure, you can't, but you could try a little harder than you're trying right now," she said, pointing her toe at Daniel. "I went to school and hunted those things. You could totally hold down a job if you tried. What about trucking? Same as what you're doing right now, driving around aimlessly, only you get paid, too. You just aren't trying."

She made a face. Yeah, why didn't she lock Danny here away in someone's memories and see if he didn't torment them a little, after a year or two of torture? "Don't make out like he's a victim," she snapped, irritated by the very thought. "He deserves it. Though..." she grinned, "we can strike a bargain, if it bothers you. I can hold off on egging him on in his dreams, if you let me have a little fun while I'm here, hmm? And I mean... the opposite is true as well." If he insisted on fucking up her moment of fun, then she'd be sure to fuck up Bell's dreams for the rest of this man's life--and based on how the dreams went, that wouldn't last too much longer.

Didn't seem like it was enough for now. She sat back against the pole with a sigh and stared at the roof. How long was she going to be able to maintain control? Danny thought this swap was permanent, but really, she had no idea. It might wear off in a few minutes. It might be permanent. Anything could happen. Still, it made it all the more frustrating to have to spend her few waking moments sitting in a damp shed, to not know how long she had. Growing, she tried to yank at the ropes again, but nothing happened. Shit! This was the worst, it was really the worst.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 17d 5h 15m 42s
"We're not really in a position where fun is something we can safely have," Daniel pointed out. Just how clueless was the girl about their situation? She knew some of the things Bell had been through, but it wasn't quite like he'd been inside Lenny, helplessly watching everything play out.
"Thought you knew what Bell is, what he's like. Did you really think he'd lead an ordinary life? Do you really think you can?" Not gone, huh? That was good at least. Not that he'd expect Bell-goat to forget anything. Only if they were trivial details. Like a promise made several months, years ago?

"It's not as if he didn't want to tell me, just that remembering you meant trouble," Daniel pointed out. "Don't act as if you don't know what that means either," he said hoarsely. "You can call me Daniel, or Danny."
Take her back right now? It wasn't a smart idea. Not at all. If a hunter recognized him, and realized the biggest threat wasn't present, they might as well paint targets on their backs.
"Sure, like you wouldn't say just about anything to get loose right now," Daniel muttered. She was friends with Bell-boy for a reason. And then she'd been a menace for a reason. He rolled his eyes. She was sitting on wood -the last thing she'd do was merge-freeze to the floor.

"It's just a few more hours, I'm pretty sure you'll be just fine," he breathed out. He was done talking. His voice was on the verge of just giving out anyway.
One wrong scream and he was a sex-offender walking around with an under-aged girl. There were too many risks at play here, where there were caring people. Even Benjamin, being depressed and disappointed with life, cared enough to pull two 'strangers' from a freezing river and help them on their way.
People cared. They'd be curious and the girl might seem familiar.
The risks were too great.

Actually, he hadn't thought about that. Benjamin.
He'd recognize the girl. If there was someone who could use forgiveness, it was Benjamin. Could anyone be forgiven for what Bell had done and for what Ben hadn't? Daniel gave up on the idea. None of them were in any position to let go.
Daniel crossed his arms and rested his back against the wall of the shed. He'd found his sunglasses again, at least, but it was cold. His fingers and toes were going numb, never mind his pants were only drying because they were freezing up.
He tried to position himself so the sun caught it, in hopes of warming himself up a little and he scoffed. This whole situation was a fucked up mess.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 17d 15h 50m 43s
She pouted. One literal second wasn't what she meant. He was being unreasonable.

So what if she'd been taken over? So had Bell. Twice. Boyfriend didn't seem to mind that, so why should she care? "I mean, don't--I just... can't I have a little fun?"

She took a deep breath and forced herself to calm down. Now was not the time to be emotional. She'd been through this before. Crying and screaming wasn't going to get her anything. No one was going to hear, and Boyfriend wouldn't care. No way he'd care, if he was boyfriends with Bell. Deep breaths. Calm down. It'd be okay. At least Boyfriend wasn't torturing her.

"He's not [i gone]," she protested. "I didn't take anything. He's still in here somewhere." She was just borrowing a little time. That wasn't anything horrible. Compared to what he'd done, it was nothing. At least Boyfriend was agreeing with her. She was the victim. That was the clear thing here. Even he couldn't ignore it.

"Ha," she said dryly. Well, she had, kind of. Gone missing in someone else's mind, thanks to some extra-dimensional alien creature. And then wandered around in a man's brain for years and years. Shitty existence, that.

She snorted. "What, he never told you?" she asked dryly. Great to hear that. "Rebecca. You can call me Becca or Becky. What about you, Boyfriend?"

It seemed like he was offering her a bone, at long last. Finally asking her name, listening to her story. She sighed and shifted a little, trying to get comfortable. The shed was just as drafty and uncomfortable as she remembered. Maybe moreso, even, what with the few years to get draftier and less comfortable. She looked at Boyfriend and gave her best smile. "I really won't try to run. If you want, you can take me back right now." She shifted, then glanced up. "I mean, my ass is freezing. Literally. Freezing to the ground."

It wasn't really a great chance, she knew that. Boyfriend didn't really care about her, much less her freezing ass. But she really wouldn't run. What was the point? She wasn't going to be out here long. It was only a huge pileup of coincidences that she was out at all. She knew that. She probably understood more about the freaky aliens than anyone else, right now. But she'd really rather be out there, living, rather than tied up in some shed like this.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 17d 17h 42m 55s
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