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In the end Bell-boy resigned to getting some things too -and a swim-shirt as well? Daniel raised an eyebrow, but then thought of the bruises he'd seen. Fuckers. It angered him all over again, or well. He knew there was supposed to be anger. All he felt was a desire to murder someone, preferably the people from Haven for doing this shit. How could Bell-boy even believe that shit was normal?
"Sure," Daniel said stoically, then went ahead and got them the swimming-gear as well. He could Bell-boy smiling to himself, standing around doing shit-all, watching some kids.
"Hey, got us the things," he said with a smirk.
Daniel narrowed his eyes at Bell-boy, but then let his suspicion go. If Bell-boy had something to say, the man better just spit it out before he choked on it. "Let's see how those hot-tubs are then, shall we?" Daniel started with renewed energy. The longer ago it was he took the medicine, the better he felt, generally.
He took the lead and followed the signs, taking his time to leisurely look around and see the sights. Snow everywhere. Daniel was glad he'd kept the sunglasses on. It looked like some of the hot-tubs were set up outside. The contrast could be nice. People were already out there, playing in the snow and enjoying the heat of the tubs. Some were just relaxing, others were causing mischief. Daniel grinned.
Yeah, this was definitely the life.
The lady behind the desk raised an eyebrow, but when he flashed the room's keycard, they got in easily plenty.
"You going to be okay, Bell-boy? Or you need me to help you get changed?" Daniel grinned at Bell, unconsciously licking his lips at the offer. Of all the emotions and sensations that did penetrate the medical haze, lust was a pretty strong one and Daniel didn't feel much for denying it either. Bell-boy knew they'd been an item. It must've dawned on the man that he found Bell attractive.
But then Bell-boy wanted to make that choice himself all over again, didn't he? Daniel prayed to whatever would listen that Lenny wouldn't take over to fuck shit up for them both. He shook his head, dismissive, then went ahead and found a changing booth. All by himself. See? He could be a good boy and behave.
He followed Daniel's lead in finishing his hot chocolate and subsequently stuffing his mouth full of cookie. Out into the hallways. There was something nice about being surrounded by people. It made him feel alive. Like he had a meaning in being here. Like someone cared about him and his life. Maybe it was stupid. None of these people would recognize him tomorrow. But still, there it was.
Buy swimsuits? "We're only going there for a--" it was too late. Daniel had already vanished into the flashy, doubtlessly overpriced shop. With a long-suffering sigh, Bell followed.
The noise from the bar and the lobby made a dull background roar in the shop. He didn't mind it. He was a part of it, that dull roar. Part of the big faceless blob of humanity.
Standing apart from the blob, distinct for being too handsome--and he wasn't sure if he was jealous of the fact or attracted by it--was Daniel. Bell moved closer to inspect the swim trunks and sighed. "Yeah, let's get a pair for me, too, as long as we're here." Didn't make sense to come to the shop and only buy one pair. He grabbed a pair of black trunks with a swath of blue down the side and passed them to Daniel. A suspicious part of him questioned whether this was some kind of ploy to see him naked, but he instantly refuted it. Though open in his desires, Daniel had been excellently behaved so far. Why would he suddenly change?
He spotted swim shirts as well and nabbed one quickly, passing it to Daniel as well. No need to show off his scars. "I'll be right outside," he told Daniel, and stepped out into the lobby. No need for him to hover while Daniel paid.
The mass of humanity that had been reduced to a single anonymous roar was more distinct stood out here. Skiers rushed past, bringing the chill of the slopes with them. In the bar, behind him and to the left some, the roar became raucous laughter and good-natured conversation. A lost-looking family, young children taking everything in with big, round eyes, checked in at the front desk. Bell smiled to himself. He'd missed this sort of thing. Missed it since Haven, and somehow, missed it in Haven.
"Sounds like a good idea," Daniel said. A hot tub was just the thing he needed right then and there. Their room wasn't anything remarkable, but it had some of the nicer things to be found in a hotel-room they'd likely never even use. Bell-boy called dibs on the bed before he could, evidently happy or neutral about his decision to make it two separate ones. Daniel tossed his bags down and sipped from his coffee, exploring the room before staring out the window. So much snow. He pulled off the beanie and ditched the gloves. Didn't seem like they'd be leaving the hotel no more today.
A nice hot-tub, a hearty meal and they'd be sleeping off their food-comas before morning.
"Sure," Daniel agreed languidly.
Exploring the hotel sounded like fun. He finished his coffee in one big gulp, grimacing as the bitter liquid burned a trail down his throat. He wished it was alcohol, but no dice. It was best he remained sober for now, especially considering Bell-boy was a more vulnerable target. Less aware. Less attuned to danger, somehow.
Daniel stretched and opened the door. The hallways were busy with people coming in and out in the most ridiculous getups. Some were ready to ski, others were ready to venture towards the saunas and spas, while others were going for a meal or a drink after having had fun in the snow. Daniel smiled at the sight. It felt good. Felt like they were actually enjoying a vacation for once.
"Hey, we might be able to get some swimming-gear before we go in," he offered, spying a small store at the first floor of the hotel. There were more small stores in the large lobby, set off to the side. Very likely they'd be competing with the stores outside, but that didn't matter. What was a dollar more or less at this point anyway?
Daniel entered the store before Bell-boy could object.
It was busy, like most things.
The closer it got to night-time, the louder the music and party-noises got. He was pretty sure the hotel's bar would be crowded, catering to a group that didn't enjoy being in one of the après-ski huts or whatever.
Daniel found something suitable in his size and eyed it up. It'd do fine for a couple of dips in the hot-tubs and springs and whatever.
"Want me to get you some too?" he offered and held up the item. Even if they went back to warmer regions, it'd be nice to hang onto some swimming trunks. If they could.
Cookies first. Bell stuffed one in his mouth on the way past, cookie box conveniently halfway to the coffee stand. Mmm, chocolate chip. Nothing outstanding, but he was hungry, so whatever.
He made up Daniel's coffee. It was easy to remember how Lilah wanted it, easy to remember how he liked it , but Daniel? He stared at the black fluid, then shrugged and grabbed a sugar and a creamer. Daniel could decide how he liked it on his own.
For him, he made hot chocolate. He'd been in a mood for it for a while now. Something about snow just screamed hot chocolate for him. Trading the cookie for his hot chocolate, he took a sip. Nice and hot and sweet. Exactly what he wanted.
Daniel came up behind him. He knew it was Daniel before he looked, before he heard the man's voice. The same mysterious familiarity that had haunted him this whole time welled up again. "Kay," he agreed. He turned and offered Daniel his coffee before picking up his bags again. Juggling hot chocolate and cookie in the same hand, he nodded at the sign. "Wanna go to the hot tub after?" He didn't have a swimsuit, but he'd never been bothered by going in with his gym shorts.
He followed Daniel up the stairs and to their room. The door clicked open, revealing a fairly standard hotel room. There was a little microwave and a fridge, which was nice, but the rest was absolutely standard. Two beds. He blushed a little at the memory. Yeah, he'd fucked that up royally last time, hadn't he?
"This's my bed," he declared, plopping his bags on the first bed. He followed them down to take a moment and sip his chocolate and eat the cookie. Then he set them down and bounced back up, taking off the jacket, gloves, hat, and other winter accessories. They could explore the hotel today, then worry about the snow tomorrow. Or... that was his plan anyways. He glanced at Daniel. The man would say if he had another idea, right?
"Let's go check out the hotel," he said, hopping up. No point in sitting around here and doing nothing when they could be wandering around checking out things.
As always, Bell-boy was uncomfortable waiting for him to actually wrap up the transaction. Daniel snorted and glanced over at the machine.
"Coffee would be nice," he told Bell-boy. Might as well have the man make himself 'useful'. Whatever that meant. Both times he'd been less that useful, Bell-boy had offered for him to beat Bell. Daniel wasn't sure what they did at Haven, but the bruises on Bell-boy's stomach told him it wasn't anything good. It made him a little less guilty about extracting Bell from that place in a violent way. Fuck them for hurting Bell.
Maybe unleashing a goat or two wasn't enough, even. Maybe it would be better to just slaughter them all.
Daniel blinked at the lady behind the desk, who smiled at him.
"Can I help you?"
He smiled back, a fake but practised smile.
"Yeah, a room for two -separate beds," Daniel mentioned. She smiled and nodded, not thinking much of it.
Bell-boy had made that mistake and he'd been practically unconscious last time, but Daniel wasn't sure Bell would be appreciative of their usual sleeping arrangements. And Daniel wasn't sure whether or not he could control himself.
If they wanted to do that shit, which it looked to be Bell-boy's next masochistic go-to, they'd be fine abusing one of the two beds for it.
The lady handed him a key once his credit-card cleared.
"It's up those stairs and to the left," she said with a professional smile.
"Thanks," Daniel muttered and gathered up his things to join Bell.
"Booked us a room," he said. "Want to ditch our stuff and have a look around?" At the very least they might as well get a lay of the land. See what they had, where the special quiet areas were, though Daniel suspected they'd have more luck outside. An accident in the snow was easy to fake. Blood was easily buried under a night's fresh snow.
Daniel smiled at Bell-boy and nodded towards the stairs. Time to get cozy with that swimming-pool or the saunas and relax before they went ahead and ventured into the snow the next day. Daniel sure as hell felt like he could use it. His gut was still a bit sore, but he had no doubt it'd all be healed up and well come morning. Hopefully.
They settled by the fire for a while. Bell watched it dance, feeling the heat reflect off his face, beating against bare skin more than it warmed his body, encased in clothes as it was. It felt like he was back in Haven for a moment, surrounded by pure white snow and the quiet murmur of other people talking. Felt peaceful.
Skis, passes, hotels. He nodded along, in agreement with everything Daniel had to say. All wrapped up in peacefulness like this, he felt more passive. Like all he wanted to do was sit here and be invisible. Enjoy the ambiance without being a part of it.
Daniel peeled away from the fire. Bell followed. He glanced up at the hotel Daniel had chosen when he did, taking it in. The building was nothing special compared to the rest, just another ambivalent block of corporate default. There looked to be a bar-patio a few stories up, though, which sounded interesting to him. And below that was a restaurant. A little bit of everything, all closed up in the hotel. [i You wouldn't even have to go outside,] he thought to himself. Except that they'd come here to ski.
The car door creaked open. Bell leaned in and grabbed his things out, the coat and bibs, woolly socks and woolly underwear. Back towards the hotel, then. He felt the urge to linger outside while Daniel checked in, and came to an awkward stop. Then he started up again, following the other man inside. Why not? It wasn't like they were going to assume they were gay, or whatever. Hell, he hadn't even made his mind up that he was, yet.
He looked around the lobby while Daniel checked them in. It was a fancy looking place on the inside, compared to the relatively bland outside. Rich carpets, colorful but stately wallpaper, unique chandeliers, and nice armchairs made up the lobby. A box by the door offered cookies, while a well-used stand offered coffee, tea, and hot chocolate to cold newcomers. By the door, a sign pointed the way to the hot tub and indoor pool, both of which piqued Bell's interest. For now, though, he nudged Daniel.
"Wanna drink? I'm gonna go grab a cookie," he told the man. Humming to himself, he wandered off to fetch himself his treats.
"It was a nuisance," he sighed out when Bell-boy offered a crow-goat might be easy. "There wasn't just one crow to deal with." Daniel gathered his things from the car and closed the door, though he did round the car to get the new coat out. It was cold.
"Hmm, they should all be nice," he remarked. Or equally shitty. He tended to go for the private resorts when he was still working the job. Now those were nice. It might be more fun to socialize and party with the people down here though.
"How about that one," Daniel pointed out a nice looking hotel. It looked warm inside, there were some people sat in the restaurant and it seemed busy enough he felt it'd be alright. Safety in numbers and all.
He followed Bell-boy down towards the town square and soaked it all up. It'd been ages since last he'd actually gone anywhere and seen more than the whole mental-health sham. A big bonfire roared at the end of the square, some skiers puttering around it to ready up for the next run.
"We should rent some skies and passes," Daniel surmised.
It'd be a little more expensive because they'd be getting them on the fly, but money didn't matter, right? Why would it.
Daniel stepped a little closer to the fire and enjoyed the warm glow it cast.
"How about we go back to the hotel, check ourselves in and see what we can arrange for tomorrow, huh?" he suggested. They'd arrived fairly late already, but they could still join the festivities later tonight and them touch the snow first things in the morning.
Daniel lingered by the fire some more, but then pulled away and nodded at Bell to come follow him. They ought to be alright here for a little while at least, bar any goats. Actually, that wasn't very likely to happen. Just an ordinary trip, with Bell-boy and no other goats? Hah. Yeah. It wasn't happening, was it?
Daniel stretched and turned back to get the things from their car. He liked the small little setup they had. The snow really made the world seem innocent and expansive. For now. It'd be a nice contrast to red.
He shook his head and tried to put those thoughts aside. For now they'd just be innocent tourists for a while.
It was like waking a sleepwalker. Daniel startled back to the present with worrying ferocity. Maybe he shouldn't have let Daniel drive. He was a mental patient, after all. Recently ex-mental patient. Not like he'd finished the treatment, though, so he wasn't really an ex mental patient. Bell smirked. An escapee, then?
Either way, he should probably do the driving from now on.
"Crow goat? Sounds... easy to kill," Bell commented. A dog? "I remember the dog. Or... a dog."
Sarah. He frowned. The name sounded familiar. For some reason, the image of Lilah popped up in his head. Lilah in her research clothes, only... slightly different. In his mind's eye, her face morphed, pleasant expression morphing to an irritated one, her round cheeks thinning. Bell rubbed his forehead. The hell?
"Right," Bell agreed as the car came to a stop. The cold was a slap to his face, stinging his cheeks and drawing tears to his eyes. He followed Daniel to the back to grab his hat and gloves, then, after a moment's consideration, his glasses, too. The relief from the glare was immediate. The world went from an oversaturated white blob to something he could parse.
He stretched and took in the resort around them. Resorts, really. All sorts of hotels stood tall around a small town square, while little slopeside houses lined the actual slopes. Little dark shapes slid down the mountain, just visible through the houses and resorts. "Which one looks good to you?" he asked. They were all the same to him. All fancy looking places.
For now, he headed towards the town square. There were fancy shops lining the ground level, everything from day spas to jewelry stores. A few small bistros and cafes stood out among the less useful shops. Towards the end of the street, a large sign pointed out where they needed to go to buy lift tickets, while several resorts jostled for their attention. In the middle of town square, a bonfire roared, and tired, snow-battered skiers huddled close to its heat. Bell grinned. He was excited already. First time skiing, he couldn't wait.
"What?" Daniel started, pulled back to the here and now again. His arms moved on their own accord, steering the car's wheel so they followed the bends on the road almost on instinct.
Daniel blinked and reality startled back into focus with stunning ferocity and speed. He almost forgot to steer, but caught on at the last moment. Shit. Having Lenny take over now was no good. No good in general, actually, with Bell-boy hating Lenny's guts.
"Don't worry about the money. First place we see that's nice is where we'll be staying," Daniel pointed out. If they were going to have a damned vacation they might as well splurge a little. What was the use of money if they couldn't enjoy having it?
Daniel shifted and sat up a little straighter, then pushed his hair back with one hand. Shit. Focus.
Had to keep focus.
"Nah, it's just because of the shell," Daniel pointed out. "Ran into a crow-goat before you went to Haven," he shrugged. "Goat decided to take its form rather than a dog's. It can also do a human, Sarah." Daniel cast a sideways glance, trying to see whether that fact would land with Bell-boy or not. It wasn't nice knowing the goatling had taken a human and a human that hated them most of the time to boot.
A human that had betrayed them.
Poetic justice, in a way.
Soon the road came to a stop. If they wanted to go further up the mountain, they'd need a different method of transportation. Several buildings, resorts, he assumed, were lined up near each other. Cars were parked in neat rows in front of them. Cables extended beyond the small pool of buildings, further up the mountain. A little further up were more authentic houses.
Daniel parked their car next to the others and stretched out. At least he'd made it without shifting back to Lenny today. He grinned. Would've been a shitty waste if he had.
"Let's see what's out there," Daniel offered and got out of the car. Cold assaulted him. Rather than jump at the buildings, he opened the boot and got out some of the things they'd gotten: the beanie, gloves and sunglasses quickly made a reappearance. Better. Much better.
Time to see what was out there.
So he just let his life be dictated by the monsters, huh? Sounded shitty. Sounded like something he wouldn't stick around for, if the monster had finally been consigned away to someplace it couldn't escape on its own. But whatever. He didn't mind being rescued from Haven, and Daniel clearly didn't mind getting dictated to. Different strokes for different folks, he supposed.
Bell nodded. "You're gonna blend right in," he commented on Daniel's more boring choices. "What'll you do if I lose track of ya?"
"You sure? I can keep driving," Bell offered. Daniel looked sure, though, so he handed the keys over and climbed into the passenger's seat.
He watched the road roll past. The scenery was muffled, muted by heavy white snow that rounded out all the sharp points. Trees looked thick, heavy, evergreen boughs bent under the weight of the snow. Bell curled up in his seat, feeling cold just looking at it. "Be nice if we had a big bonfire and some hot chocolate," he murmured. Sometimes they'd had little parties like that in Haven. It'd never been fun then--the cold had always bothered him too much--but maybe with modern clothes and Daniel there it wouldn't be so bad.
They reached the foot of the mountain. The road wound upward, scaling into the heavens on a zig-zag path carved into the earth. "We gonna stay at the ski resort?" Bell asked, shifting to look at Daniel. It'd be really expensive, wouldn't it? "There's probably cheaper places nearby."
He sat up a bit then, looking ahead. Were they going to ski today? Or get set up today and go tomorrow? Either was fine by him. it was just... the whole thing was so sudden. He wasn't used to deciding to do something and then just doing it. Maybe he had been, once, but the sensation was novel all over again now.
A black bird flew past, high in the sky. He watched it go. The goatling? Could be. What other black bird would be stupid enough to be out in this weather? "You think it likes being black?" he asked Daniel. "Since it's close to its original color, or whatever?" Did goats care about that kind of thing?
Daniel raised his eyebrow at the sunglasses Bell-boy had selected for him and looked up at the man with a dismissive expression. A shake of his head had Daniel try something more suitable instead.
“I don’t know, your goat tends to dictate where we go; going against it, would be breaking open the lease I’ve signed on my life,” he shrugged. Though that didn’t explain entirely why Bell-boy willingly hung out with him now. Actually, he’d have thought Bell-boy would’ve left the first opportunity he got. Instead they were having a vacation, which was far removed from leaving. Or maybe it was a plan.
Going by Bell-boy’s choices in clothes, Daniel doubted it.
“Last chance heaven,” Daniel replied languidly when Bell announced he was good. He picked up a few more bits and bobs himself before gathering everything up and moving to the counter. The man behind it seemed pleasantly surprised, then a smidgen suspicious. Daniel brought out his credit-card to appease the man.
“At least I won’t lose you in the snow,” Daniel teased Bell-boy’s penchant for choosing outrageous colour-combinations. He paid without fuss and took the two large bags of clothes off of the guy’s hands. It was cold out. Almost made him wish he’d have taken out the gloves. His gut ached as they put the things in the car.
“Want me to drive for a while?” Daniel offered, leaning against the door of the car, waiting for Bell-boy to show up with keys.
The goatling soared above them, taking it all in. Its body wasn’t suited best for where they were going, but it could adapt relatively easily, unlike its ‘parents’. Daniel pondered what it would turn into then.
A snow-owl? Hah. That’d be a sight for sure.
Daniel narrowed his eyes at Bell. The man seemed to have purpose, a goal. For Bell-goat, maybe a clean sheet was easier to manipulate than a jaded one, who knew what was going on. Who knew he was being manipulated. It was suave about it though, masking their journey as a holiday.
Was that so bad though? Lenny would probably think so.
Daniel zoned out for a few seconds. Their shifts had become easy. Easier. It felt almost as if he was floating outside of his body entirely.
"Oh, alright," Bell sighed, taking the scarf off. Daniel really didn't need to tease him like that. It was a nice shade of purple, but nothing he'd ever wear. He hung the scarf back in its hook and went searching for what he'd need. Some snow pants and long underwear were the first on the pile, then a lighter-weight jacket. Gloves, socks, shoes, sunglasses, ugh. They'd be here all day. At least it was fairly easy to pick up that kind of thing.
Daniel was preening in front of the sunglasses stand. "Here, try these," Bell suggested, handing him a hideous metallic-gold-lensed pair. It made Daniel look like a fly, or maybe someone from a science fiction movie. He snorted and grabbed some aviators for himself.
"Why not?" he asked, trying on a hat that had a neon blue mohawk sewn into it. He gave himself finger guns in the mirror. Daniel would straight up abandon him if he wore it, though, he could tell. He took it off and exchanged it for a more conservative hat with ear flaps and a pompom on top. If they had no goal and all the time in the world, why had they never paused to do something fun? It'd be a day or two at worst before they were back at it.
Gloves got added to his growing pile, then wooly socks and some chemical hand warmers. "Okay, I think I'm good," Bell declared, looking over his finds. At the last second, he added a neck warmer, then paused again to be sure. Yep, all was good. He hadn't grabbed new boots, but the old ones had served him fine on snow so far.
He hadn't really paid attention to color while he'd shopped. Most of it was fine, but the gloves were neon orange, the neck warmer was yellow, there was some purple in the coat, and the hat was bright green with blue pompoms. He shrugged to himself. He wasn't trying to win a fashion show, so it would be fine. No one was going to care if his colors weren't coordinated on the ski slopes.
"You ready to go?" He glanced over at Daniel's stuff. His choices were similar, if less clashing when it came to color. Looked like he had everything. Bell started towards the checkout.
The goatling hopped out when it got the chance to. Daniel didn't even pay it any mind. He was half aware of where the crow flew, but found it easy to focus on the task at hand: warm clothes.
"Can rent a helmet and shit like that, so just some nice wool clothes will do," Daniel surmised. He looked Bell-boy over. Leather was nice, but not for skiing. "Some light-weight coats, maybe. And gloves," he pointed out a pair of mitts.
He picked up a purple scarf and tried it on around Bell's neck.
"Purple suits you," Daniel said with a grin and a wink.
"Oh, and sunglasses," he decided and tried on a couple until he found something that was actually kind of nice. Even if he wouldn't use it out in the snow, it'd be good for driving in the cold and hot weather. America was a land of extremes, the lengths with which they travelled. Daniel found some long underwear and some nice wool shirts.
None of it was cheap, but he didn't care. It'd be the first actual leisure Bell-boy and him would venture on. It was kind of new and exciting. Boring, maybe, but new still.
Of course, they'd probably run into trouble.
"Socks, don't forget socks," Daniel mumbled. "And shoes," he continued in the same motion. At least they didn't look as downtrodden as they had the first time they'd gone ahead and bought Bell-boy clothes, but the man behind the counter did give them a suspicious look before he continued to fiddle with some price-tags on several items.
"Never really did this sort of things together, you know?" Daniel ventured, trying on a beanie. He exchanged the one he wore for a colour that suited the glasses better. Might as well look the part, if they were going to play in the snow.
Maybe he'd get Bell-boy drunk and play a little more. Now that'd be a sight.
Rent out a nice cabin for the two of them. Make hot chocolate that was spiked with a bit more than heated milk.
A shiver travelled down his spine at the memory of snow and being caught in it however. Several times before winter hadn't treated them very fairly.
But maybe this was good. They could just let out. And there'd be plenty of private spots for the goatling to go about its business if Bell-boy did choose to have his memories restored. Or for Bell-goat to come out and play. Daniel almost felt nostalgic for the goat's presence.
Bell snorted. "Good point," he muttered. Daniel already had enough in his system. Who knew if weed would interact with any of that. All of it, with their luck.
"Yeah, it's gorgeous," Bell sighed, taking his eyes off the road for just a moment. Really beautiful.
Silence reigned in the car. Bell yawned and cracked his neck. Nothing much was going on outside; too much snow. Ice and snow everywhere. It made everything look soft and beautiful, but if he got stuck out in it, it'd be deadly. Hidden danger. Kind of like Daniel. It was hard to believe something so pretty had such a sharp bite, but there it was. He snuck a glance over at him. And last night, they'd killed people. Monsters too, but also people. He didn't feel anything. Excitement, if anything. Was that okay? Should he be allowed to feel that way?
When Daniel pointed, he pulled over into the parking lot. It was a smaller store, but one that promised to outfit you specifically for skiing and snowboarding. Bell parked and climbed out, waiting for Daniel to emerge before he glanced at the crow. In or out? Icy snow, or the relative comfort of the car?
Then he turned back to the other man with a nod and led the way inside.
Bells tinkled as he pushed the door open. Bell glanced up, the sound somehow reminiscent. Daniel had said he'd had a bell, right? Not like this one. But some kind of bell. He shook his head and continued inside.
The interior was dark and cramped, full of everything from big puffy coats to long underwear, from ski bibs to ski boots. "Let me know if you need any help!" the shopkeeper called from behind his desk. Bell nodded back, but he was already overwhelmed. How much gear did someone need to ski? Certainly not all of this was essential.
"So what do we need?" he asked Daniel. He'd been skiing before, right? He probably had a better idea of what they needed than Bell did. Bell yawned and stretched a bit, somehow still sleepy despite their long nap. Maybe because of it. He'd slept too much today already.
Huh. Daniel narrowed his eyes at Bell-boy, to detect any lies, but there weren't any. Wait, so Lenny didn't know about the goatling being a crow? Was Lenny even aware of it? Now that he thought about it, some things slotted into place.
"Well, what do you know?" he said with a faint smile.
It grew when he caught Bell-boy's furious blush. Oh, so he had suggested it, huh? If he were a lesser man, Daniel felt he might've taken advantage of Bell-boy's insecurities. As it was, it felt like a coupling made out of guilt would feel empty.
Good in a physical way though.
Shit. If he hadn't been on the stupid drug he would've just done it. Fuck regularing emotions and shit like that.
"Nah, I enjoy skiing and snowboarding both, really," Daniel said off-handedly. "I'm shit at it, but hey, it's snow," he shrugged. Hadn't ever broken a limb or anything, so he wasn't exactly bad at it either. Most of the 'sports' during his business outings tended to be casual anyway.
"You want me on more drugs than I already am?" he chuckled. "Why not, it can only get better," Daniel shook his head. Weed wasn't anything special, was it now? He'd smoked some back in his college days, when he was still tending bars and the likes, but hadn't really liked how hazy it made him.
It felt more like what people might use who felt too much already. Like Lenny.
The wimp hadn't ever though.
"Pretty, isn't it?" Daniel remarked, staring at the horizon. The goatling showed him some different images, images he remembered Bell-goat had shown him once. It'd seen it all. Nothing was quiet as majestic now that humans had touched upon them and infected them. Daniel sighed out and pushed it away.
There was no point to that now, was there?
It would be better if it just remained as an observer, rather than a judge.
It agreed, reluctantly.
Daniel lazily watched the road drift by, the cold hiding people's faces. It was lame. It felt like they were doing something risky. If they lost the car, they'd be doomed. There were more opportunities for the hunters to fight them; the cold weather made them more vulnerable, in a way. Even to goats. Or was it Bell-goat who favoured the heat? Or was it that the heat made goats more vulnerable to their attack?
It didn't seem like Bell-boy had hunting on his mind though.
"Let's stop there," Daniel put out and pointed. "They'll have warmer clothes."
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