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It was bright out. The lady behind the counter gave him an even more worrying look than the person that'd helped them last night, but Daniel hardly cared. Being out on the streets just happened to come with some distinctly human features, such as a smell. Their car was still where he left it, at least. Daniel popped the back and sorted some of their things; clothes, some oranges for breakfast...
A shiver crawled down his spine, up to his neck.
Daniel slowed down, put a hand to his neck and reached for his bat. Something was wrong. He turned and glared around. Shit. Nothing? Really? Was he just being paranoid for no reason. Daniel chuckled at himself. Felt familiar, that paranoia. Like the goatling was messing with him and had returned his schizophrenia.
He grabbed their things and that's when he spotted them; two kids. One of them theirs. Just walking down the street. Did the kid even know its goat had brought it this close to Bell? He didn't look too worse for wear either.
Daniel glanced down at their stuff and then decided to do the sensible thing: go back to their room. Make sure Bell-boy was alright and well-fed. They were in no shape to have a retry. Daniel didn't even think the goatling would respond if he called upon it now.
He kept an eye out though, just in case, but it looked like their kid was just passing by -too much coincidence to be happenstance, but too arbitrary for the kid to notice it was with purpose. Kid would've had to have taken a bus to get all the way over here.
"I'm back, honey," Daniel said in a sing-sang voice.
He closed the door behind and made his way over to the bed, tossing their things on it. He picked out some clothes that were his size and figured it was time to get cleaned up and wash the remainder of the blood off.
"Saw the kid outside and before you freak...I don't think he realizes why he's even in this part of town," he muttered. It was definitely out of the way for their kid, but not overly much so. "Wonder if the goat erased his memory of what happened."
He put an orange in Bell's reach. One of the last ones in their batch, "breakfast. Eat up."
The corridor was dark. Behind him, something terrible was unfurling, darkness stretching out, devouring the world. The others raced ahead of him, Cat and another woman and some man, all of them fleeing the darkness. Up ahead, the path cut off abruptly as a void opened up in the floor. Cat, the first to reach it, jumped it like a gazelle, then reached back and caught the other woman as she almost missed the edge, the woman screaming, Cat grunting as she helped her up over the ledge.
Bell came to the edge and stopped. Daniel, where was Daniel? He glanced back, but there was only the darkness, swiftly approaching. The other man raced past him and leaped the gap, catching the opposite side by its very edge. The two women grabbed him and pulled him from the ledge up to safety until he could climb himself. "Bell!" Cat shouted, reaching out for him.
No. He couldn't. He had to find Daniel. He turned away from the ledge and ran into the darkness. "Bell! No!" she shouted from behind him, but he ignored her. Had to find Daniel--!
Bell jolted awake, gasping a deep breath--then bent over the edge of the bed and started coughing. Less came up, thin ribbons of sputum and blood. He spat and wiped his mouth. Hopefully that was the last of it.
The bed was empty. Bell stared for a second while the panic set in: had he ran away? Had someone grabbed him? Hunters? The twin goats? A scrap of paper caught his eye, and he snatched it up. Clothes. Oh. Good point.
Bell sighed out and rested back. He could feel the fluids shifting in his lungs uncomfortably, trying to choke off his air, so he grabbed a bunch of pillows until he was properly sitting up and laid back, letting himself doze. Must've been woken by Daniel leaving, somehow, but there was no point to staying awake. He'd take a little nap until the other man came back.
Though if he took too long... Bell sat up and checked the clock, marking the time. Fifteen minutes, and then he'd go down there and make sure Daniel was okay and really just getting their clothes. He sighed out and closed his eyes. Just a fifteen-minute nap...
Daniel ran. Hunters were after them. He ran down streets and by buildings until the road widened in front of him. A fence stopped his mad dash. Lights illuminated the machines and scrap-metal on the terrain. Static electricity hung pregnant in the air. He could hear their screams. Hear Bell-boy's screams as they attacked him. Daniel tried to climb the fence to help him, but then, as suddenly as he'd appeared in the nightmare, everything stopped.
The screams stopped, the wind stopped. Everything seemed to grind to a halt.
Daniel turned around. Eyes were on him.
It offered him up darkness. Plain and simple. It'd take away all of his worries, take on all of his pain. It'd live his life for him, like Lenny had before. Daniel stared into the abyss that were the goatling's eyes and noticed the small flecks of colour buried deep inside of it. Sympathy? Goats didn't do sympathy. Emotion? Goats didn't do emotions.
It felt like he'd be making a deal with the devil.
And it'd take Lenny away from him.
'Voluntary'. Yeah. He'd done that voluntarily. For the good of Bell-boy and him, but he regretted the decision. Bell-boy would've stood by him even if he hadn't changed who he was. There'd been other solutions available to them. He could've gone back on the medication. Could've sold his soul to a human devil instead.
It'd need a host.
It wanted to be on Earth.
They were simple desires that resonated with Daniel's will to live. Soon.
He snapped to with a sharp intake. The room smelled like stale food. Bell-boy was there. Daniel turned on the bed and was met with blankets. No boots either. Daniel glanced around and realized they were in the hotel he'd suggest they get. Already day though. Shit. That meant they'd have to vacate the room soon, unless Bell needed another day. He pushed up on his elbows and looked down at the other man.
Waking him up now would be cruel. Daniel pushed up to sit and breathed out a long sigh. He'd get them fresh clothes and abuse the shower, get freshened up and hopefully shake the cobwebs from his head.
Daniel got up and blinked around. He felt better for having slept through the night for a change. Better, but still a bit dazed. Daniel found a pen and scribbled 'fetching clothes, be right back' on the back of their receipt and left it on the bed for Bell-boy to find. It'd only be ten minutes, at most, but in their line of work, there was no telling what'd happen.
The warm noodles warmed up his chest even more than the shower had already; Bell could already predict another batch of coughing before this was done. He scowled at himself, then shook his head. It was good for him, even if it was unpleasant. Better out than in, and all that.
Daniel was eating well for once--when he wasn't busy passing out in his dinner. "Daniel, hey," he tried, giving the man a gentle nudge. "Gonna fall asleep right here?" The bed was literally feet behind him, surely he could drag himself over there and fall asleep instead?
Suddenly, Daniel startled awake. Bell yelped, surprised, but no one was more surprised than Daniel, who proceeded to fall right off his chair and nearly bring everything down with him. Bell grabbed his food off the table and held it up, but in the end, Daniel stopped just short of taking a noodle-shower and managed to leave the table standing upright.
"You alright?" Bell asked. Maybe he should've been more concerned about Daniel all this time. He'd been tired, but Bell had just thought it was goat-sickness or something. Or was this what goat-sickness looked like in Daniel? It was worrying either way.
Going to bed was probably the best decision Daniel could make. Bell nodded in agreement and worked on finishing his noodles. By the time the last of them disappeared, the other man was passed out.
He got up and walked over to Daniel, then petted his hair back and just looked at him. Daniel had done so much for him. It wasn't fair to be mad all this time, was it? Moving carefully to keep from waking Daniel, he stripped off Daniel's coat and boots, tossing them to the floor. There, had to be more comfy like that.
The urge to cough came on hard. Bell scurried back to the bathroom and only just made it before he started hacking his lungs up into the trash can. It hurt more than before, but less came out this time--probably a good sign. He wasn't sure. He wiped his mouth and sat up, then looked around the room. Should probably put his clothes back on. But... ugh. They were so dirty. He winced as he got dressed, skin a little too sensitive from the fever and not at all pleased with the abrasive sensation of wearing dirty clothes.
That unpleasant task complete, he climbed into bed beside Daniel and pulled the sheets up over both of them. He didn't pass out like Daniel had, but it was a close thing; within seconds, he was dead to the world.
Sounded like Bell 'got it'. Daniel looked up when the man finally did come out, then glanced away again and focussed on food. The odds of them getting anywhere near intimate were pretty much zero with the way Bell-boy's lungs were, so why torture himself? Eating proved to be more of a chore than he cared it to be. Every single bite was met with resistance. Sitting up in general was too.
Still, he pushed on, just shovelling the food in without really tasting it. His enthusiasm quickly dwindled however. Soon enough Daniel's pace slowed. His plastic fork sagged into the plastic tub he'd opened and he docilely stared at what was left. He sagged towards the table so slowly, he barely noticed it was happening.
A sluggish nudge had the leftover food shoved closer to the centre of the table and his head even lower. Daniel decided his head was too heavy to carry and rested it on the surface of the table, now that there was room. The arm that'd nudged the food out of the way joined in. Nice pillow. It'd make a nice pillow.
Daniel didn't even notice his breathing sagging into a relaxed rhythm, body giving in to sheer exhaustion. He'd never felt this drained before he'd met Bell-boy. Quite the opposite. He'd be restless and suffer insomnia, courtesy of his schizophrenia.
And then he was falling.
Daniel shot up with a yelp, upset the balance of his chosen sleeping-arrangements and slipped off the chair. Reflexively, Daniel reached for something to grab and found the table. His weight was almost enough to pull everything down all at once. He managed to land somewhere between the chair and table, leg propped up underneath him to keep everything in place.
His heart was racing.
With a weary sigh, Daniel let go and sagged onto the floor. Couldn't fall down floors. Though why a floor when there was a bed, right there?
He wiped his face and pushed his hair back, taking a second to compose himself.
"I'm going to bed," Daniel excused himself from sitting through more dinner. He picked himself up and put a few sleep-addled steps towards the bed, only to let himself fall face-forward into the sheets. Good a place as any. If Bell wanted in, the man could nudge him aside.
Looked like Daniel didn't want to join him. He yawned and closed his eyes. Fine by him. Whatever the guy wanted. Was he angry or something? Well, whatever. He was too tired to worry about it. The guy would decide something eventually, and then they'd see what was up. Sometimes Daniel would do this, get angry because he was angry. And he wasn't even angry anymore, really, so Daniel was just going off on his own.
Maybe he was just tired. He sure looked real tired. No point worrying about it, really. Just let him do what he wanted.
"Mmm," he mumbled sleepily. He'd do his best. Water in his lungs would just make the whole thing counterproductive, wouldn't it?
Rather to his surprise, he was startled awake when the door slammed shut. Bell scrambled up in the tub, body tensing for combat, but it was just their food. Annoyed at himself for startling over something so dumb, he settled back down--then sat up again immediately as another coughing fit started up. Shit, he couldn't breathe, couldn't breathe--he spat the shit from his lungs into the toilet, conveniently close to the tub, and kept going, gasping little breaths whenever his lungs let some air through, then all-but-gagging as the next batch of stuff came up. The coughs shuddered through his body, knocking his chest against the edge of the tub hard enough he wouldn't be surprised if there were bruises later.
Need help getting out? He didn't know if he could even keep breathing with this shit. He shook his head, not that Daniel could see it, then choked out the last of the lung gunk and spat, clearing his throat a few times to squeeze the last of it out. "Nah, I got this," he called.
His old clothes looked gross, now that he felt nice and clean--even if he'd just rinsed off and not bothered with soap. Bell stood slowly, but even so, the blood still rushed straight from his head and left his vision dark; he clutched the wall and stood there for a moment, waiting for it to clear, then swayed his way away from the wall and towards the towels. Dried, he still didn't want to put his old clothes on, so he just wandered off into the room in his towel. "Food?" he asked. Smelled good. He grabbed one at random and opened it. Ooh, noodles, tasty. Bell delved back into the bag for a fork, then sat down heavily in the chair opposite Daniel to set into it.
If you want, was it? Not a ‘sure’, or even an invitation into the tub. Daniel figured Bell-boy to still be angry, but it’d already been a couple of days and he’d been good since then. Seemed the man was perfectly fine bathing himself. Even Bell’s breathing seemed better. Getting a hotel-room had been a good choice.
Daniel watched Bell-boy get comfortable in the tub and zoned out on the moist tiles. His thousand-yard stare was sluggishly interrupted when Bell-boy asked about food.
“Yeah. Yeah, ordered some Thai food,” he muttered, voice a bit distant. Daniel exchanged his arm for his shoulder and leaned against the door-frame. His skin crawled with the fever, but he knew it’d get better after another decent night’s rest. Goat-sickness never lingered for too long and it’d been worth the sacrifice this time.
He’d rather prevent a run-in with Bell-goat, if he could.
Daniel wiped his face down and then slowly pushed off. He used the sink’s tap to run some water and scrubbed at his face. Not even the cold water could help wake him up, however. All it did was cause him more shivers.
Bell-boy’s blood was still stuck underneath his nails too. He couldn’t really stand the humidity in the bathroom. Someone needed to be there to watch Bell-boy though. And to open the door to their food. Daniel ran his hair back with some water, then scrubbed half-heartedly at the blood still stuck on his hands.
There was more blood still, but he was too weary to care.
“Try not to drown yourself,” Daniel muttered at the sound of someone knocking at their hotel-room door. He got out some cash for their meal and carefully opened their room’s door. Just a delivery guy. Not their kid, or his copy. Not a hunter -hopefully. Food and money were traded out and Daniel put the bag on the table.
“Food’s there,” Daniel announced with more enthusiasm than he felt.
He didn’t even really feel hungry. Had to eat though. Daniel sank down into a chair, resting back to have a good old stare-down with the plastic bag of food. Bell-boy would want first pick anyway.
It was fine.
The last few days all the food had been forced.
He leaned forward and started to lay out some of the food on the table. “Need help getting out?” Daniel called, just in case.
Steam filled the room, obscuring the mirror and clouding up the air. Leaning against the edge of the tub, Bell took deep breaths, letting his lungs warm up and mist over. Felt so good. He felt a little floaty, a little overly-warm, but he knew that was the fever--and it was better than feeling frozen to the bones, anyways.
The tub filled up slowly, water crystal-clear for now, though he knew it'd be pink sooner rather than later. He sighed, then started to undress. He was too lazy and kind of too tired to lift his ass off the floor for the undressing, so he just sat there and slowly wiggled free from one piece after another until he was naked. The water filled up. He shut it off and stared for another second, watching the steam lift off the surface of the tub and into the atmosphere of the bathroom. So pretty. And it made his chest feel good.
But it'd make it feel better if he climbed in. He sighed out and was about to climb in when Daniel appeared in the door.
"If you want," he said, too tired to worry about being angry or anything. Nor did he feel like luring Daniel in. He could just do whatever.
Bell leaned against the tub, then pushed off the floor. He didn't feel like going to the effort of standing up to step in, so he just squirmed over the edge of the town headfirst into the tub. It hurt his skin a little to rub against the edge of the tub, but he was sweaty enough it was fine. He pulled his legs into the water, then broke the surface with a gasp and rolled over, the water making movement much easier, to lean against the wall.
"Water's fine," he breathed, giving his chest a bit of a rub. His lungs already felt so much better just being warmed up like this. Bell pushed his hair back and sighed out. Felt great. Maybe he'd just stay here and lounge in the warm water forever.
Problem was, the water would eventually get cold. He frowned to himself, then shrugged. Problems for the future, not right now. "We get food?" he asked Daniel. He thought he might've heard the phone in the other room earlier.
Halfway there Bell-boy got impatient and by the time they were at the door, Daniel realised why. Bell’s coughs sounded harsh, but productive. Daniel winced. There was little he could do to make things easier for Bell-boy, apart from what he’d already done. He opened the door and Bell used the opportunity to get inside. It was warmer inside, at least. Daniel felt the heat get to his head almost immediately. Made him drowsy and lethargic.
Bell-boy seemed fine to stagger to the bathroom by himself, so Daniel despondently tossed his keys on the side-table and sluggishly stripped out of his coat. He was too warm now. He’d been too cold before.
Daniel picked up a few pamphlets and debated ordering in some food. Chinese? It seemed to be their best pick-me-up food. Maybe some Thai instead, just to change things up. Daniel figured Bell-boy would be fine with either, so he sat down on the bed and pulled the phone close. He could hear the water running.
Ought to check in with Bell-boy soon. Make sure the man hadn’t passed out or something similar.
Daniel was brought out of his referee by an impatient voice on the other side of the line. He ordered a good old famous phad thai and figured that’d suffice.
He slowly worked his feet free from his shoes and kicked them into a corner. More of his clothes had been soiled with blood than he cared to admit. Shit. Should’ve brought the washed clothes from the car -and the spares he’d bought to replace Bell-boy’s ruined ones.
He’d get them later. Tomorrow.
Daniel sat there for a few long moments, just staring ahead, before some incentive sparked him into action.
“You okay there, Bell-boy? You need help?” Daniel started, wandering towards the bathroom. There was a lot of steam in the bathroom. If the heat had bothered him before, it was oppressive now. The humidity was sure to help Bell-boy’s lungs along, but it’d do nothing for the man’s fever.
He put an arm out against the door frame and peered inside. It was tempting, to just wash off all the grime and sweat. A lot of effort as well. He’d rather use the bed and just rest up.
Daniel came back before he became a Bell-shaped popsicle. The sight of the keys made him more excited than he really cared to admit. Yeah, okay, he wasn't the strong one right now. He knew that, but giving in and getting excited over softness just... wasn't his vibe.
He gathered the few things he could reach as Daniel cleared up the backseat, coming away with a water bottle--half empty--and the box of pastries. "Okay," he agreed to getting inside. Sounded like a warm place. Warm, with a nice bath. Just imagining it made him feel warmer already.
Bell heaved himself upright, using the frame of the car and Daniel's shoulder, then leaned on the man on the way inside. He just had no energy. It felt like someone had come and sucked all the life out of him, and left behind a floppy, boneless puppet. He'd feel better once he got the shit out of his lungs and a good meal in him, he knew that, but damn, was it unpleasant.
Halfway there, his lungs started to ache, throat prickling with the need to cough. He swallowed it down and pressed at Daniel to move a little faster. Now was not a great time to break down coughing--he'd rather do it in the comfort of their own room. They came up to the door, and that was it; he couldn't hold it back anymore. He bent over and started to cough. It felt like he was ripping his lungs apart, each one shaking his whole body, and it was all he could do to keep the plastic bag in front of his face.
The second the door opened, he tried to bite back the coughs. Slowly, he succeeded, each one wracking his body even as he choked them down. It was almost an accident that he ended up through the threshold. The warmth that enveloped him, though; he sighed aloud, even though the sigh caught in his gummed-up throat. Felt like coming home.
Overall, the hotel wasn't too shabby. Plain, for sure. Boring. But clean, bright and well-lit, with a television and a bath and all the modern conveniences. Bell staggered straight for the bathroom and started up the hot water. He'd steam this damn room up and soak in a nice hot bath, and see what his lungs thought of that!
At Bell-boy’s suggestion to pull over, Daniel shot up, realised there was an actual hotel that didn’t look like a hostel for hookers and slowed down the car to park. He’d made it, somehow. Bell-boy however wasn’t fairing so well; the man’s sputum looked like something from a horror movie at this point. Daniel zoned out for a moment and put a hand out to the man’s neck, gently massaging there.
Wait here, was it?
Daniel looked out at the hotel and sighed deeply.
He really didn’t feel too with it. As a last resort, he just put his sunglasses on to hide the fact that he looked entirely like crap.
“Okay, be right back,” Daniel let Bell know and stepped out of the car. The walk over was interesting. Reality was swimming at the edges, almost enough so to convince Daniel he was unknowingly using the goatling again, but that couldn’t be the case. He drifted into the hotel and found the desk.
He leaned on it heavily, plucking at his wallet to bring out his credit-card. A wan smile was all he managed to give the clerk behind the desk and she didn’t seem to counter him with anything more exuberant.
“For two,” he muttered.
The transaction went smooth enough, though there was something of poorly masked disgust when their fingers touched by accident as keys changed hands.
It didn’t surprise him. Didn’t even bother him as much as it ought to have.
Daniel picked his way back to the car, jostling the keys to show Bell-boy they were the official owner of a room for the night.
“Let’s get you inside,” he muttered, grabbing some of the cans and bottles of water he’d gotten them earlier. Time to get their game back on and recover. He grabbed Bell-boy’s coat and rounded the car.
Bell looked sickly, the way blood tinted his lips. Daniel sighed out and held out a hand.
“Just lean on me,” he offered. Hopefully Bell could prevent trying to hack up a lung as they were walking inside. A nice bath would probably serve them both right -to clean off the remnants of blood and to help clear Bell-boy’s lungs at the same time.
Time to see how well this hotel held up.
It seemed they'd slept most of the day away. Bell took the plastic bag and settled back in his seat, watching the world through the windows. It wasn't quite evening yet, but the sun was making its slow progress towards the horizon for sure. It'd make getting a hotel room a little less of a hassle, which was good, seeing as it already felt like a Herculean task just to stay awake.
He snorted. Be gentle, sure. Daniel usually said that in a significantly more husky voice while they were otherwise occupied. "Just take it easy," he muttered, curling up in the front seat a bit, but he couldn't help but grin to himself.
The first few hotels he passed advertised hourly rates, so he kept quiet rather than point them out to Daniel. No one wanted to rest up and recuperate in one of those hellholes. Yeah, nothing quite like bathing with the cockroaches in a stained tub. At last, they passed out of the seriously seedy part of town and into the suburban part. "Over there," Bell said, pointing at a cheap but clean looking hotel not far from a suburban neighborhood. Looked like it'd accept people who looked like them, but also probably not have an issue with cumstains on the sheets.
The urge to cough struck again as Daniel pulled into the parking lot. There was nothing he could do; he bent over and coughed, horking whatever came up into the plastic bag. The squelching and gagging noises made even him feel sick, but there was nothing he could do about it but keep on coughing.
"I'll--wait here," he offered in a gasped breath between coughs. No need to freak out the hotel clerks when he started coughing up blood like someone on the last stages of tuberculosis. He felt kind of bad for making Daniel go alone when he wasn't doing much better, but he didn't think it was a good idea for him to go with, either.
The car cooled down rapidly once it was stopped. He rubbed his hands over his arms and shivered, trying to keep warm. Ugh. He wanted to be south where it was warm already. This icy weather was literal shit.
Oh, hungry as well? Daniel offered Bell what was left of his pastry and broke out into a yawn. He leaned back into the car and looked down as Bell-boy tried to decide whether choosing to stay in a hotel was beneath him or not. Bell agreed at last and Daniel gave him a short nod. Good. As comfortable as sleeping in the car had been, he felt icky and sweaty. It'd be quicker and safer to rest up in at least a slight measure of comfort.
"Me too," Daniel started. He got out the car's keys and walked to the big doors. Bell-boy was in no shape to walk, so they'd have to drive. With the sun still out, it wasn't as cold as he'd feared, but Daniel still managed to shiver pathetically when wind whipped through his clothes. Wasn't as bad as before. Daniel repeated the thought like a mantra in his head as he ventured even furtther and opened the gate so they could drive through.
"Let's go," he offered the passenger's seat up to Bell.
Daniel emptied the items from the plastic bag in the trunk and offered the plastic bag up to Bell.
"If you need to cough something up," he shrugged half-heartedly. He'd rather not have half-rotted blood and sputum lingering about the car, if he could help it. Daniel sank into the driver's seat and had to take a few steadying breaths.
It was a bit risky, driving like this, but he'd drive while drunk too, so hopefully this time it'd be easier.
American roads weren't too demanding overall and this area of the city seemed docile in the early mornings, if anything.
"Ready?" he shot a sideways glance at Bell.
"I'll try to be gentle," Daniel muttered. As long as he didn't zone out or fall asleep, things should be just fine. The engine roared back to life as Daniel turned the key. He had the sanity of mind to close the big doors and gate before pulling away from the factory, but Daniel found it difficult to keep his attention on traffic, as well as searching for a decent place to stay. It was either one or the other, it seemed.
"Just...tell me when you see something," he asked, hoping Bell-boy was with it enough to help out.
THERE IS NO EXPLANATION OR REASON / Urizen
/ 23d 11h 33m 36s
A hand rubbed his back, easing the tension there. He heaved in deep breaths as best he could, comforted by the contact. "Mmm, yeah," he agreed to water. Water sounded good. He took the bottle Daniel passed him and sipped at it, slowly draining the water down. It washed away the lumps and sticky sensation in the back of his throat, and he could breathe again, at least a little.
The stuff he'd coughed up looked gross as shit, a little white, little green, little dark-red-almost-black. He turned his eyes away and watched the sunlight play through the drifting dust mites instead, limning them golden as they floated on by. He felt his focus drift, but couldn't find the energy to focus back on any one thing. Mostly he just felt tired, still. Tired and achy.
Behind him came the sound of a bag rustling. He turned and found Daniel chewing on a pastry, then held out his hand for a bite. Didn't want the whole thing, just a bite. A hotel? He frowned. At least when they were out here, he felt like they were living properly, strong and powerful--but that wasn't the case anyways, was it? Not while he had a gimpy lung from being stabbed by some kid. And it wasn't just him. Now that he was a little more with it, Daniel looked real shitty too, sweaty and out of it. He remembered feeling the man's hand against his cheek, and the both of them the same heat; he wasn't doing well either. A part of him wanted to punish Daniel for his little bender, but what was the point of that, ultimately? It'd just slow down their hunt in the end, and that was what he wanted more than anything: to finish the hunt.
"Yeah, we should," he agreed at last, letting out a sigh. Felt like he was admitting his own weakness, but what could he do? Nothing, ultimately. Nothing at all. Nothing but heal up and get better and finally finish this whole mess.
He rubbed his face and looked at Daniel. Neither of them were in any shape to drive, was the problem, or walk there, even. "Hope there's one nearby," he sighed, running his hair back. It felt limp and sweaty and gross, just nasty.
Coughing dragged him from the darkness and in the reality he awoke, Daniel was a reluctant participant. His fever was blurring his perception. It caused him to take a ridiculously long time to realize the person coughing was actually Bell-boy and that the man's coughs were more than a little productive. More blood? Good. The way Bell-boy coughed seemed to contain an edge of panic and despair though. It went on a long time to boot. Worry crept into the lethargic state of mind that'd taken over ever since he'd fallen asleep. He felt nowhere near rested, but it was better than before. He was less cold, less stressed and wired. Daniel felt relaxed and content, until now.
Slowly, he sat up, wiping the sleep from his eyes.
When Bell-boy's coughing settled into gasps, Daniel reached out and kneaded some of the man's tight back-muscles.
"Water?" he suggested after some length, slipping by the man for the bags he'd brought. There were several smaller bottles of water in there and he opened one for Bell. He moved slowly, but deliberately. At least he didn't feel like he'd pass out at any given moment no more. Eating that hamburger had been a good choice.
He gave the sputum Bell-boy had coughed up a disgusted look and then wrapped his arms around himself. It was cold now. How long had they slept for anyway? Light still forced its way through what little windows the factory was rich, but it wasn't much and quite possibly the last dredges of it.
Kid had really done some damage to Bell-boy.
He felt too off-kilter to be angry. Maybe tomorrow morning he'd have a little more energy to put behind the emotions dancing around his head. Daniel rummaged about the bag some more and got out a pastry. At least they kept a while, were laden with sugar and tended to be something new to their diet as of late. They were also a step up from canned foods, which he'd also brought.
"Maybe we should check into a hotel tonight?" Daniel offered. They could draw Bell-boy a hot bath, help him breather easier and make it less of a chore to cough up what was left in his lungs. Daniel was fairly certain the dust-infested factory was no help.
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