the black goat of a thousand young

/ By kaitoXi [+Watch]

Replies: 5133 / 2 years 64 days 19 hours 31 minutes 40 seconds

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Roleplay Responses

There? But 'there' was a motel. Cat blinked at Bellwether, but she couldn't stay her smile. "Yes!" Cat squealed. Yes, yes, triple yes! Bell had finally given in to them sleeping in luxury again for a night.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you!" she said and she would've wiggled her legs to emphasise her happiness if she wasn't currently driving the truck to their new, glorious, location.
They needed to get food for Spot, but they could get that tomorrow, along with some more supplies they could use on the road and they'd be able to make some more distance after they'd all rested. In Cat's perfect world, everything was working out just fine.

Daniel stirred at Cat's elated cries, but was about to settle back in when Bell-boy called out his name. He opened a set of bleary eyes to regard the man, a questioning look on his face.
"She's loud," Daniel remarked.
A yawn threatened and Daniel held a sleeve in front of his mouth, fingers mindlessly kneading Spot's fur.

"We find a place to sleep?" he pondered out loud.
He couldn't have been asleep for very long. Daniel realized he still had some orange juice in his other hand and raised the cup to take an experimental sip. Still cold.
He'd only fallen asleep for a few minutes at best.

Right. They had things to do.
Like walking. Daniel gazed at his bandaged foot and sighed out. Bell-boy would need his makeshift crutch to walk as well, so the man couldn't help him any. It'd probably be fine for a short distance, if he tied his laces nice and tight.
Besides, he couldn't let Bell do everything by himself.

Much to his surprise however, they'd stopped at a motel.
"We staying there tonight?" He shot Bell-boy a worried look. "I don't think-..."

"Nope, it's already decided," Cat interrupted Daniel's hesitation. "Bell said we could, so there." She was just inches shy of sticking out her tongue.
Once the truck was parked, Cat bounded out, followed closely by Spot.

Daniel bit his lower lip, concerned about their choice. If they had to deal with hunters, thinking they were safe, it'd be another disaster.
"I still don't think we should," he muttered, searching for where Bell-boy had put his shoe.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 17d 2h 7m 35s
It seemed Daniel wasn't long for awareness. Before long, he'd fallen silent, and it didn't take a genius to figure that he'd fallen back asleep. Which meant it was Bell's job to explain to Cat why they couldn't just stay in a hotel for the umpteenth time.

But this time, she gave in before he could even start. The defeat in her eyes was heartbreaking, but he was unmoved. This was just their reality. She ought to be used to it. "Yeah," he said, equally quietly. He reached over the back of the seat and ruffled Daniel's hair, gently enough he wouldn't wake up. "Find us some place quiet, and I'll get everything set up." As much as he could, anyways. He wasn't sure the mattress pad had stayed dry, and he was just as incapable of carrying Daniel to the back of the car as he was of carrying him to a motel. Might be they were just sleeping in the truck tonight, like they often did, lately.

"We need to get dog food," he added after a beat, his other thoughts catching up to him. Spot was going to starve at this rate, and well, dog food was cheaper than human. Should've grabbed it on their boot supply run...though to be fair, Daniel had not been in a good place for that one. He sighed. Both of them were injured at the same time, and he hated it. This way, neither of them could step up and watch out for the other, and it was frustrating in both ways--because he didn't have someone to help him, and because he had to watch Daniel suffer, trying to get through life like this.

Actually, what the hell. He pointed out a motel just ahead on the left. "Let's go there and stay the night," he decided. Daniel had an infected foot, and he'd only just treated it. Best thing in the world would be to get him somewhere warm and safe, completely out of the elements. Anything to help him get better sooner. He didn't know if he could carry Daniel, but hell, he'd try. Worst came to worst, there was always Spot. "Daniel, are you awake?" he asked quietly, leaning around his seat. Be best if Daniel would jushobble in on his own.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 17d 6h 44m 23s
Pus and blood? Nice. Daniel stopped eating the fries, sighing out. No wonder he'd been feeling shitty and still wasn't really feeling on par. If Bell-boy cleaned out the wound thoroughly, which it sounded he did, healing his foot shouldn't take too much longer. Daniel nipped from the orange juice, dazedly watching Bell hobble around and feed Spot. Spot made sure to get every last bit of dog food from the floor, squirming and searching for pieces that might've sought refuge underneath the chairs.
When there was nothing more to find, the mutt all but licked the floor clean of the taste instead.

Cat shook her head.
"No, looks like the storm got plenty of people already occupying all the good spots," Cat said around her food. It made sense. If the weather was this bad, she'd find a nice place to hide out as well. Putting up their tent wouldn't be the smartest idea either.
"Maybe we can sleep at a motel?" she started hopefully. "It looks like more rain," Cat pushed her luck. That, and the wind hadn't let up yet either. Their truck would likely be fine, but Daniel wasn't better, was he?
Even with the infection cleaned out it'd take a while for his body to clear everything from his system.

Cat gave Bell a pleading look.
"Pretty please?"

Daniel really didn't care for where they slept. The hunters wouldn't likely act with one of their own indisposed. He'd closed his eyes, resting his head against the back of the seat, steadily drinking the orange juice. Bell-boy was right, he was craving fluids and sugar. He'd probably lost a bit of blood, if Bell-boy had had to drain the injury, so it made sense.
Somewhere halfway through the juice, Daniel was already losing the fight with sleep. He woke himself up two more times to drink more, but after that it was a losing battle.

Daniel didn't even notice a self-satisfied Spot crawling to rest in the space between his legs, head on his leg.

Cat caught sight of Daniel and realized he'd be no help. It'd most definitely be easier for Bellwether to pick the truck, just so he wouldn't have to wake up and move Daniel.
"It's just been so long..." Cat whined. "I'm sure he'll wake up if we try?"
And then what? It'd seemed Daniel was reluctant to even put his foot down, let alone walk on it, this time. She couldn't help the guy walk and Bell couldn't either.
But then, most any other location would be out of the question too.
"Think we should just find a quiet place to tent up?" she said, a whole lot softer.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 17d 15h 37m 45s
"Well, that goes without saying," Bell muttered. If Daniel's foot didn't hurt, he'd be more worried. But he was glad that was the extent of it, and there was nothing else Daniel had to say, no headache or stomachache or anything. And he ordered food, hey! That was always a good sign for Daniel. Usually a sign he was doing mentally okay too, though less so nowadays.

His foot? "Oh, yeah," Bell said, nodding. "I drained the pus, it seemed like a good idea. And then there was something in there, so i squeezed it out. Bit of bullet, bit of bone. And a whole lot of pus and blood. Mostly pus and blood, really, just a little of the other two. But it's all out now. Did my best to clean everything out."

Cat passed out the food, and he took his share and started eating it. He handed the orange juice back to Daniel, just because. If Daniel turned it away, he'd just take it back. Daniel opened the door, and Bell spun, not sure what he was opening the door for, but it was only to let Spot get out to use the toilet. The food didn't taste as good as earlier today, but he figured that was just because he wasn't quite as hungry as he'd been earlier.

The truck shook a bit as Spot hopped back in. The dog whined, then turned around and looked at Bell, giving him puppy eyes. Bell looked at the dog, then realized; dog was hungry, wasn't he? He peered around for dog food, but no, they'd put that in the back, hadn't they? Groaning, he heaved himself up and grabbed the broomstick. He hobbled back to the truck's rear and grabbed the nearly-empty bag, then poured out a measure of food onto the floor of the car. Spot started gobbling it up before he'd even finished pouring, just devouring up the food. Bell felt vaguely guilty. Had they even fed Spot today? Whoops. He should be more careful about that.

"And there's been no good place to sleep yet?" he asked Cat conversationally. Things were just not going in their favor today, were they? First the storm, then the hunter, and now they couldn't even catch a break for the night. Things sucked.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 18d 8m 2s
How was he feeling? Daniel decided he wasn't too bad.
"Foot hurts," he managed, lying back with Spot still sprawled across his stomach. He wasn't really feeling up to moving much, though the cramped back-seat got his back muscles twisted in knots already.
Just to make a statement, Daniel yawned and inched down a little, pressing his nose into the soft, downy fur of Spot's scruff. Nice blanket.
Wriggly, but nice.
Once Spot realized they were slowing down however, he grew restless and started whining. It must've been a while already. "Think someone needs to get out," Daniel remarked.

Cat wasn't very creative with her choice of food, but Daniel didn't mind much. He hadn't exactly had any appetite this afternoon, so he wouldn't get sick of the taste of burgers any time soon.
More orange juice?

Daniel raised an eyebrow at Bell-boy's order but took it for what it was: Bell-boy being concerned. And here he'd feared the man might take sadistic pleasure in chopping a few additional toes off.
"Just a burger and fries for me," he passed on his order.
Might as well try to eat something. Worst case scenario he threw up the food, but Daniel hoped it'd go a long way to mending his foot and helping him feel better.

Realizing the order would actually have to be eaten as well, Daniel made to sit up, hissing softly when he shifted his foot. Bell-boy had really butchered his foot to get the bad stuff out.
"What did you even do to my foot?" he muttered sluggishly, trying to get with things a little more by scrubbing the sleep from his eyes.
Daniel left his leg stretched out on the bench, resting his back against the door.
Walking on that foot would be a no-go, at least for the coming few hours. If the goatling felt so inclined to heal it this time.

Cat took their food and Daniel accepted his share, slowly unwrapping the burger. It tasted funny, but his stomach wasn't utterly rejecting the food, so Daniel ate until he had his fill and shared some of the burger's meat with Spot. He felt a little better, as he hoped.
Daniel reached out to open the door for Spot once Cat pulled up in the parking-lot to eat her share of the loot.
Did they even have dog food?
He never did get around to fetching supplies.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 18d 33m 37s
Bell dozed for a while, wandering in and out of sleep. He was tired and not tired. Weary, really. But his body couldn't get to sleep. After a while, he gave up and sat up, wiping his eyes. The landscape that passed by wasn't much better. Boring, driving was boring. Even when he wasn't the one driving.

Daniel spoke up. Bell turned around and gave him a smile. "How're you feeling?" he asked. Wasn't quite awake yet, huh? Well, that was fine. He could sleep more in just a bit, once they found somewhere to sleep, that was. Cat had been pulling off exits at random, and it didn't take a genius to figure out that she was looking for a place to sleep, to no avail. They'd find something. Worst case, they could sleep in the truck again. Wasn't as though it'd be the first time.

Food first? His stomach grumbled, and Bell nodded in agreement. At the very least, food was something they could find easily. He pointed at the next exit sign ahead wordlessly, where at least five fast food options were listed out. "Take your pick," he told Cat. He had no particulars, as long as food was involved.

Hey, at least Daniel was hungry, if he was looking for food! Daniel wanting food was always a good sign, particularly when he'd been so sick earlier. It had to be a good sign, right?

They pulled off at the exit. Cat drew up to a fast food place; it looked like the typical burger place, which, as it was what they'd had for lunch, was a little less than what Bell had wanted, but whatever. Burgers were great. He could have another. "Burger and milkshake," he said, repeating his order from earlier. "Oh, and fries, I want some fries. And an orange juice." He glanced at Daniel in the mirror. If Daniel didn't order, that OJ would be his. If he did... well, Bell had always liked OJ. He'd have no problem drinking it either.

Cat put in his order and hers, then waited for Daniel's. Bell glanced back as well, not quite sure Daniel was awake enough to order. The guy seemed kind of out of it. Even if he was hungry, he was more out of it than he'd been earlier. He wasn't sure if that was good or bad.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 18d 1h 25m 16s
Keep moving? Cat's wide eyes stared at Bellwether for a second and then she blinked. Yeah, okay. Daniel seemed to be all patched up or whatever and it was fine that he'd passed out, so he wouldn't be in pain. Of course, there'd still be hunters roaming the city, with the one they'd sedated in the library still out there, so there was little choice.
"Okay," Cat nodded, sitting herself behind the wheel again.

Just. Keep moving. Cat wanted to ask where, but before she could even take a deep enough breath to voice the question, Bellwether was already settled in to get some sleep.
"Right," she mumbled under her breath. It didn't really matter where, probably. As long as they made it on the highway and made some miles. Cat looked at the sky, which was still overcast, and figured they could do with a decent place to sleep as well.

The first thing Daniel became aware of was the sharp pain in his foot. Unlike the pain he'd experienced before however, this felt healthier. His head was still spinning. Oh, they were driving. Well, that explained everything.
Spot was staring at him, then licked his face.
"Spot..." Daniel muttered, pushing the enthusiastic mutt away from licking his face even more. To Spot, it soon turned into a game of tug. His stomach couldn't choose between hungry or nauseous and his body was confused about being either too warm or too cold. When Spot noticed Daniel wasn't really playing, he simmered down, tail still wagging. Maybe if he waited a few minutes, they'd play some more?

"Silly animal," Daniel chided the dog good-naturedly.

"About time you woke up," Cat muttered tersely. It was almost nearing dusk and she'd still not found anything decent.

"...exaggeration," he breathed from the back-seat.
When permitted, Daniel was pretty sure sleep was just what his body needed. That and maybe some saltines or whatever to calm his stomach and tempt it towards hunger.

"I haven't been able to find a decent place..." Cat started. They were still on the highway. She'd taken a couple of exits, but nothing seemed to be abandoned enough for them to try it. Plenty of tags to show there were other people around though.

Daniel pushed himself to sit up a little, glancing around. It was getting dark already. Might be easier to just set up the tarp and rest that way.
Food first.
"Stop at a drive-through. Food first," Daniel muttered. Bell-boy at least would be hungry.

"Now you're talking," Cat said, cheering up at the thought of food.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 18d 2h 4m 37s
Daniel wasn't happy about it. He hadn't expected the guy to be. A bit of him leapt with glee at seeing Daniel squirm and hearing him beg, but the rest of him--most of him--ached in his heart, that he had to do it, that he had to hurt the one he loved so much. And then Daniel went limp.

He glanced at Cat. Yeah. Probably had. He wasn't surprised. "Okay," he said. For a little while, he just waited for the wound to drain, but soon enough, it finished dripping fluid. Once it was done, he grabbed the alcohol and the iodine and set to cleaning the old wound and the new one he'd just made, then packed them with clean gauze and began wrapping the foot up once more, tightly this time.

"We're running low on bandages," he said. If Daniel kept up with this, he'd only be able to redo the bandages another one, two times. The kit had been meant for one or two injuries, not for repeated care of a long injury.

Bell let out a long sigh and stepped back, wiping his brow; he almost fell over backwards as he tried to step on the foot that wasn't there, but caught himself with his stick. Okay. Okay. He was done. He'd succeeded at playing doctor without going overboard and trying to hurt Daniel. He'd been good. He rinsed the tools he'd used, the tweezers and the knife, with the alcohol, then dried them and put them where they belonged. The first aid kit packed away, he reached in and repositioned Daniel, getting his body back into the car.

Bell stretched, then shut Daniel in and hobbled back over into his seat. "Okay," he said, nodding at Cat. "Let's keep moving." Daniel was taken care of, but there were still hunters in the area. They couldn't stop here. Had to make some progress on the day.

He curled up in the front seat, closing his eyes. He was tired. Tired of just... walking. Being alive. He wanted to sleep. Maybe Daniel would be awake when he woke up again. "Wake me up if you need help," he told Cat, but he didn't expect it. It wasn't like they really needed a navigator when they weren't going anywhere in particular.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 18d 3h 23m 38s
Relax, sure, with two inquisitive hands trying to prod and dig into where it hurt worst. Needless to say, Daniel was unable to relax. When the truck ground to a halt, it only served to increase his pending anxiety. Daniel hadn't failed to notice Bell-boy's grimace either. It wasn't good, but then, he'd expected that the injury wouldn't be.
Bell-boy's fingers were careful, but Daniel hissed as the man came closer to where it hurt most. He involuntarily flinched, though tried to let Bell-boy. Something had to be done. The nausea increased with each wave of pain and Daniel wiped the sweat from his brow before it could sting his eyes.

Bell-boy pulled him closer to the edge of the seat, legs hanging out and Daniel just laid back. It'd prevent him from seeing too much and gave his stomach some space to twist and turn. He groaned. Of course something was still lodged in there.
"Fuck me..." he muttered, swallowing down some bile.

The cold sting of alcohol announced the presence of a blade and Daniel tried as best he could to keep focussing on one point -a blotch on the roof of the truck- and nothing else. He tried to keep his breathing even, but failed. The knife penetrated the skin and it hurt like a mother-fucker.

Instead of crying out, Daniel bit the sleeve of his coat, arms covering his face.
Fingers dug into his foot, bone ground against bone. Daniel thought he'd pass out for sure. The sounds from outside seemed to grow more distant and the roar of his own blood became deafening.
Something was extracted and Daniel thought he was done, but no. Bell-boy's claws prodded and pressed even more.
"Will you fucking hurry up?" Daniel said. He meant it to come out with a bite, but it ended up sounding more like a plea.

His breathing was shallow and fast when Bell-boy pulled out the second piece of whatever. Daniel thought he'd pass out for sure, but the pain was both sobering as well as subduing. Spot was still in the foot-space, tentatively licking and nosing his hand.
And then he just felt himself slide into oblivion. Daniel didn't fight it. His breathing calmed down after a few minutes.

Cat watched, withdrawn. There wasn't anything she could do.
"I think he passed out," she said meekly.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 18d 3h 38m 15s
The bandage revealed beneath the boot did not look good. The wound had oozed right through it, and not the blood; the fluid was pinkish, unhealthy. Bell grimaced at the sight and started unwinding it, working around Daniel's meddlesome hands. "Relax, it's okay," he muttered at Daniel. It'd be a lot less effort if Daniel just sat back and let him do it.

Carefully, he probed the swollen foot with his fingers, eyes flicking between the wound and Daniel's face to see if he was causing too much discomfort. The whole wound was taut and burning hot, Daniel's body doing its best to fight the infection. He could feel Daniel's bones, and touched them gently, afraid they might be fragile. One of them felt out of place, and he massaged it for a moment, turning Daniel's foot to take a look. No, not out of place; it was floating. A bit of gore or bullet that had lodged inside and needed to come out.

Cat pulled the car over. Once it'd stopped, Bell released Daniel's foot and grabbed the first aid kit from his lap, then climbed out of the car to come back in the rear. The broomstick he propped under his armpit to help hold him up for stability. He pulled Daniel's body towards the edge, so his foot hung out of the car. No point in getting the whole car messy for no reason. "There's something in there that needs to come out," Bell told Daniel, looking at him. He set the first aid kit down in the footwell and opened it, pulling his knife out as well. In a few seconds, he'd rinsed the knife down with the alcohol from the kit, then washed over the top of Daniel's foot with the alcohol as well in a poor attempt to sanitize it. He found the floating bit and lined his knife up with the shape; just a little, the smallest cut possible. Just deep enough.

Before Daniel could react or pull away, he stabbed through the flesh. Pus welled up and rolled down his foot, thin and pink. Bell pressed down on the flesh around the small floating piece and pushed it out, using the tweezers from the first aid kit to pull it out of the cut he'd made. Daniel's skin darkened as he pulled the thing to the surface, and then a small lump of misshapen metal emerged. Bell set it aside, but there was still more--something else in there. Frowning, he pushed on the wound again, ignoring any of Daniel's protests, and reached in with the tweezers as soon as it was near the surface. This time, he pulled out a small segment of bone, completely detached from Daniel's foot on both ends and starting to darken with decay. His eyebrows went up. Well. Okay. No wonder Daniel's wound wasn't healing up neatly!

At this point, he knew Daniel had to be in pain, but he just wanted to finish it out. Wanted to do this once, so they wouldn't have to do it again. Moving quickly, he ran his fingers back over Daniel's foot, tracing the bones and making sure there was nothing else floating in the foot.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 18d 4h 17m 57s
"No," Daniel muttered softly, fidgeting with the laces until Bell-boy's hands took over. He rested back and let the man, trying not to betray his discomfort. Bell-boy would have a field-day, but it was fine. It was fine if the man enjoyed it, because then at least one of them would get something out of it. Bell was surprisingly gentle about taking the boot off and Daniel winced only when the leather grazed the top of his foot.

The bandages were soggy, a pink stain where the injury soaked through. The nausea he'd felt before returned in full swing. Daniel sighed out, trying to stifle it, but it was hard. Sweat pearled on his forehead, though he still meekly tried to reach for the bandages to undo them -probably getting in the way of Bell-boy while he did so, but Daniel didn't care. He just wanted them off.

Once they were, it was easy to see why the injury was bothering him. The pink toes were growing fine and neatly, but the hole left by the bullet was red and swollen, despite being almost closed up. The goatling was closing in the infection.
"Shit..." Daniel breathed, leaving the injury for Bell-boy to tend to. He wouldn't be surprised if there was still some of the bullet lodged inside of his foot, never mind that healing bones was difficult for the goatling. And the foot was all bone.

"Should I pull over?" Cat offered, noticing Daniel's colour had gone from pale to white. Couldn't have the guy puking where she liked to sleep.
That, and she really didn't like the sight of the injury this close to her.
"Right, I'll pull over," she decided before anyone could say anything. She wasn't that squeamish, but if they were going to drain the infection or whatever, they might as well do so outside of the truck rather than inside. It wasn't hard to find somewhere to park; most people had taken care to get their cars inside garages to prevent them from being hit by any falling branches.
The park Cat pulled up at was virtually abandoned to boot.

"That looks nasty," Cat said, face pulled into a look of disgust.

"Tell me something new," Daniel ground out through clenched teeth.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 18d 15h 38m 15s
He smirked at Daniel's backseat driving. Just couldn't resist the urge, huh? Even with Cat. At least it was good to know that Daniel wasn't particular about his driving, and just particular about driving in general. Cat got them turned around--something he was glad he didn't have to deal with--and he pointed out a road ahead. "Turn right there. Yeah, back to the highway. Gotta get out of here before the hunters find us."

He pointed Cat around until they finally made it back onto the highway. The road was soaked still, but now that it was no longer actively raining, it was probably easier to drive. Daniel kept turning and tossing in the back seat. It was kind of funny, actually, because every time Spot settled down to sleep, Daniel would toss and wake the poor dog, so that there was a constant struggle going on between the two, both of them trying to get to sleep unsuccessfully. Bell eventually passed out a little, dozing in the front seat, but when Daniel started moving in the back, he startled awake. Daniel was--he--he had just woken up. He wiped his eyes and stretched, then turned around in his seat.

"Everything okay?" he asked Daniel. Spot had been shooed into the footwell. Daniel looked uncomfortable, so he bent down and looked for the first aid kid. It'd wandered under the front seat, but under the back of the front seat; he leaned over the back of his armrest and pulled it out. "Time to change the bandages? I can help."

He would get if Daniel didn't want his help, but he wanted to help. For real, not because it'd be fun. He wanted Daniel to get better. It wasn't fun when Daniel stayed hurt for a long time, he'd never liked that. Except maybe the first time, but that was a long time ago.

He reached out for Daniel's boot and started undoing the laces carefully, minding how tender Daniel's foot would be. He was still wearing Bell's boot, which was good, because he knew it pretty well, knew how to make the laces move and loosen. Once the laces were nice and loose, he carefully pulled the boot off Daniel's foot.
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 18d 23h 15m 5s
Right, leg up. Made sense. Daniel shifted from where he was sat, rubbing his face before hoisting both legs up onto the seat and inching down. He really ought to take off the boot, air the injury, clean it. Something. But it could wait. Just an hour. It'd all feel less achy after he'd gotten some shut-eye at least.
Spot's paws were a surprise, but the mutt seemed all too happy to settle on top of his stomach, so Daniel let the animal. If anything, Spot's body-heat was nice and warm, much like the blanket he'd been craving earlier.

He dazedly played with the dog's ears, stroking Spot's furry head, before giving in to his body's need for rest. Should've done so sooner, but there was no turning back time. And he'd had every right to be suspicious too, in hindsight.

Cat nodded, focussed on steering the unwieldy truck through the streets at a slow pace. There were plenty of branches, though some had already been dragged out of the way onto the sidewalk. Except -yeah. There was no way they were getting through that, were they?
Cat watched as Bellwether pulled up the map and she started searching for a proper way to get out of things. Ugh. It probably involved backing the truck up.

She fiddled with the gear until finally the truck wasn't threatening to collide with the car just in front of her and they were backing up.

"Easy on the old truck," Daniel muttered sleepily, shifting to find a more comfortable position, arms around Spot. Cat just glared at her back-seat passenger, but Daniel's eyes were already closed so she just rolled her eyes. Spot didn't seem to mind as much when it was Daniel holding him close like that.
"Do it yourself if you can do it better," she grumbled.

She wrestled the car free from the line of waiting cars and started back on themselves, trying to find a way around.
"Where to?" she asked. "Back to the highway?"

Daniel had a hard time finding a comfortable position. He'd fall asleep for a couple of minutes, then shift and wake himself up all over again. His living blanket was the only constant. Spot was always there when he woke, sometimes with one ear up, a questioning look on its stupid face and sometimes just glancing up at him.
After the umpteenth time of waking up, Daniel sighed out and sat up a little, nudging Spot out of the way. He had to do something about his foot. It needed to be cleaned out.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 18d 23h 41m 55s
The storm had been bad enough to down branches and create chaos, but not bad enough to seriously destroy houses or property, it looked like. Their truck was perfectly safe from the storm, not even dented by a falling branch. He hurried over as fast as he could go, excited to get back on the road. Of course, 'as fast as he could go' wasn't too fast, what with the broomstick and all, but he did his best.

Daniel didn't hesitate to return to the car either, but jumped straight in the backseat. Cat was driving? Well--of course. Bell glanced down. His leg hadn't miraculously regrown in the few hours they'd been down from the storm, and Daniel... he looked at the man. If anything, it looked like Daniel had gotten worse in the interim they'd been in the library. The yellowish after-storm light left his skin looking almost ashen and paled, and his expression was unmistakably pained. Yeah... he needed that whole backseat. "Put your leg up," he advised Daniel as he climbed into the passenger's seat. Spot followed him in, but quickly scrambled over his lap and into the back with Daniel, the traitor.

Cat got the car moving, and they rolled out of the parking lot. "Take it slow," he advised her. "Watch out for branches and people out walking the road, looking at the damage."

With that done, he leaned back in his chair and relaxed, putting his leg up on the dashboard. This wasn't so bad. Besides, it was interesting to see all the damage that'd been done. Mostly downed branches, though they passed by a house which had its roof half caved in by a fallen tree. He leaned forward to get a better look, but before he could, they'd already passed it by.

Up ahead, a few cars were backed up. As they approached, one of the cars at the front of the line turned, then pulled a u-turn and came back the way it'd come. Bell peered up from his seat, then sighed. "There's a tree in the road," he reported. "We're probably better off just looking for another route." He reached for the map and started to unfold it, examining the town's roads. There had to be another way out of here...
  Bellwether / kaitoXi / 19d 2h 30m 30s
Daniel was about to slump back down to accept Bell-boy's invitation to huddle back up when the lady spoke. Finally. The storm had passed, it was safe to go. And none too soon either. Now was when it'd get really tricky too. The one hunter they'd sedated would have little friends crawling around. Them being separated meant the hunters were close to boot. Daniel watched as Bell-boy stood on his own and closed ranks. Cat was up front, with the other children, blending in.

Hunters also meant goats, if they weren't after them to begin with.

The light outside was almost blinding. Whatever happened outside, the library appeared to have withstood the storm valiantly. Some smaller shrubs and trees appeared to have been damaged and there were scratches and a few broken windows because of tree-branches, but other than that, the building seemed to be just fine.

It was easy to see where the power had gone out.
A particular large branch had landed on the powerlines, effectively slumping a couple of them down to the floor, broken off from the rest.
Old trees were trouble everywhere, it seemed.

There were some dead branches on the parking-lot, but most cars had gotten through reasonably undamaged, including their truck.
Daniel breathed a sigh of relief. Just the thought of having to walk the way they were sent a shiver of loathing up his spine.
"That truck is special, I swear," Daniel muttered at Bell-boy, already hobbling over to the vehicle.

Cat grabbed the passenger door, but Daniel shook his head and tossed her the keys. He wasn't well enough to drive and this time, too weary to deny it. Bell-boy could babysit Cat's driving if he liked, but he was taking up the back-seat this time.
"Just get us far away from this place," he instructed. Hopefully none of the roads would be blocked.

"Ugh, I hate driving," Cat moaned out loud.
She started the car just fine however. Daniel stretched out his leg and rested his head against the back-seat, eyes closed. His nap was long overdue. Should've brought some of those complimentary blankets with them.
"Wake me in an hour or so," Daniel muttered.
Finding a decent place to stay would be a little trickier with people out surveying the damages to their houses.
  Landon Turner / THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen / 19d 3h 13m 31s
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