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After her initial rush around the backyard to make sure nothing had changed in the last fifteen minutes since she'd been out, Goldy looked over at Bell. At the sight of the stick in his hand, she rushed over and started barking, hopping at him to try and get it. "Alright, here, go!" he shouted, and threw the stick into the woods. Goldy charged after it, barreling down any plants that got in her way like a golden-furred linebacker.
This was simple. Playing fetch with Goldy was easy. There was nothing to think about, no impending storm on the horizon, dark and ominous, just a dog and a stick. It was kind of nuts, wasn't it? Goldy came back, stick in mouth, and set it at his feet, then bounced around, excited at the prospect of another throw; Bell scooped it up and threw the stick with all his might, as though he could send his worries flying away with it. But he couldn't. No, he was here, playing house with Daniel, pretending they were normal humans for once while in the basement, they prepared for what could very well be Daniel's death. And what did they do? Nothing. Normal shit. Just... live their lives.
It felt wrong, somehow. Felt like they should do something special. Make the most of these last moments before... before he had to lose Daniel and face maybe never getting him back. Go to an amusement park, or the ocean, or something, not just sit around and play fetch with a dumb dog.
Goldy returned again and barked at him. He snatched her stick up and threw it without ceremony, frustrated. Why? Why was he doing this? And he couldn't even talk to Daniel about it, not really. It was all short phrases and no eye contact and dodging the issues. No one was talking about what to do once Daniel came out, the drugs, or the danger he'd be in from goats, or what if Daniel never came out, or if he got captured by hunters, what to do then. Just... little dumb reassurances to each other, like that meant anything.
It was frustrating, but he didn't know what to do, so here he was playing fetch instead, pretending that nothing was wrong just the same as Daniel.
Bell-boy left without a fuss, leaving him with his thoughts and cooking. Daniel focussed on getting the curry right, even though it'd take more time to get it to taste properly. It'd be fine this way. They didn't need a perfect flavour, just enough. Once he had the rice cooling down and the curry simmering, Daniel washed his hands and closed his eyes for a second.
Human. In their line of business? Was it a fallacy? But they didn't have to worry about the hunters no more, who'd been the issue. Most of the goats Bell-goat selected hadn't actually been that tough to kill. Nothing as dangerous as the goatling. They hadn't been utterly dematerialized or whatever else. Only the vat-goat had honestly tried to do that.
He'd have to take goat's blood again. And probably use anti-psychotics, because he'd proven fairly suicidal before the goats did something to stabilize his sanity. Daniel opened his eyes back up and flicked off the running water.
He'd be fine. And human.
And mortal. There'd be an age-difference between them at some point, unless Bell-goat allowed Bell-boy to grow older and regressed him later. He sighed and poured a glass of juice. Might as well see how Alphie was doing. If they kept around Goldy, there was always another shot at life as a goat. Sinewy-goat might even... But then Spot?
"How's it going?" Daniel pitched. Alphie jumped when she finally realized she wasn't alone and hit her head on the cold and unyielding metal of the installation.
She sighed and gave Daniel a glare. The man wasn't even looking her way. Rather, his gaze was trained at the monstrosity she was trying to hook up.
"Slow," she chewed out. "You broke my concentration."
"I brought you something to drink. It's warm down here," Daniel mentioned.
Warm? What was he on?
Actually, he did look a bit... younger than usual. Especially shaven. Alphie slowly sat up, analysing the man. Sick? It wasn't any surprise to her. He'd looked a bit downtrodden to start with. She held out her hand and he eventually caught on enough to give her the juice.
This was. Awkward.
Daniel seemed to sense the atmosphere, because he toyed with the dish-rag draped across his shoulder and shrugged.
"I better get back. We're having lunch in a few, you can join. It's a curry," he explained.
Alphie looked down into her glass and took a few tentative sips. Just ordinary orange juice.
"...tha-..." he was already gone.
Right. He took a breath. Right. Yeah. It'd be okay. There was nothing he could do about it, in any case. No point in worrying. But it was hard not to.
"Yeah, let's make it spicy," he said, pleased. And maybe Alphie didn't like spice. Wouldn't that be perfect? He was about to ask if they really needed to give her food, but stopped himself at the pleading note in Daniel's voice. He had to remember that this was bigger than just him. This was about Daniel's life, not whatever he thought about Alphie.
Being human was risky? Yeah. No, it was. It was, wasn't it? It'd been scary back when he'd thought he was human, when one mislaid blow could end his life. And then Daniel had seemed so weak, back then... it must've been the goat's subtle effect on him, somehow or another. It'd be back to that. Only worse. No meds for Daniel's head. Nothing to keep him safe from the goats.
He opened his mouth to ask what the medications were, what Daniel needed, if things went south that way all over again, but stopped himself. Daniel said he was fine, but he wasn't, was he? It was gnawing on him too. However he wanted to put it, he was afraid. Not of the tube, but of living past it. It made him want to laugh and cry. What was that supposed to mean? Afraid to survive. But it was true, wasn't it? Daniel seemed more scared of the what-ifs afterward than the process itself.
"Yeah, uhm," he started, then stopped himself. What could he say? What was he supposed to say? "Yeah, I'll go watch Goldy." He rested his hand Daniel's shoulder in return for a second before he walked off. Nothing to be said.
Goldy was lounging in the bedroom, napping in the space where Daniel had been. "Alright, girl, up and at 'em, let's get moving," Bell encouraged her, shaking the sheets a bit to dislodge her.
Goldy gave him an unimpressed look, huffed, and laid back down.
"No, come on," he said sternly.
She huffed again, then stood, stretching luxuriously before she finally deigned to trot after him. He guided her through the house and out into the backyard. For a second, she just stood there, but then she gave a doggy grin and ran off. Bell headed to the edge of the forest and found a stick, waiting for her to come back so he could throw it.
'Happy'. Daniel snorted. Surely Alphie had something to be happy about, not that she'd ever show them. The same rightful mistrust that was in Bell-boy, resided in her and Daniel didn't fault her. Actually, maybe it was his awkward way of thinking that made things different on his end. He didn't see the need to fight Alphie now that she'd left the hunters, even though he shouldn't trust her.
He didn't need Bell-boy's reply to know Alphie had rubbed her the wrong way. The look, the body-language, the small, precise cuts he made to chop up the vegetables. They were all telling of his opinion of Alphie.
Still nervous, huh? The mad chopping simmered down at those words.
Daniel looked down, avoiding Bell-boy's gaze. He wanted to promise Bell it'd all be fine, but he couldn't. Whatever Bell-goat and the goatling had done to keep him alive was about to be undone and there was no telling whether there'd be enough of him left to make the transition back to human. And wouldn't it be ironic, if he then, as a human, was killed at the first hunt they performed after he was well enough to do so?
He finally lifted his eyes and put a heavy hand to Bell's shoulder in whatever meagre comfort he could offer -which wasn't much.
"I know," Daniel chuckled. "I know." He trusted Bell-boy not to fuck things up for his sake.
"Right," he dismissed the heavy topics for now. Daniel reached for the rice and poured some in the boiling water before starting on a quick curry. It'd be better if he could cook it slow and the meat had more time to marinate, but right now he didn't care. He was hungry and there was food.
"You want it more spicy?" Daniel asked. Bell tended to like a little more spice.
"Guess we should invite Alphie to come eat with us. It's the least we can do... and I really need this to work, Bell. I just-" He stared at the meat, seering in the hot skillet, then jostled them around before they could burn.
"I don't even know. Being human... it's risky." Never mind his mental health. How had Bell-boy ever been delusional enough to believe he'd managed all those goats as a human? Knowing what they could do -having seen and felt what the goatling could do. He'd been too naive.
"It'll take a while," he warned Bell, nodding at the food. Didn't have to hang around for all of it. There was nothing else he could say. Nothing he wanted to say.
Whoa, a curry? That seemed pretty intense to Bell. Lunch was more meat-and-bread sandwiches to him than actual-cooking, especially something like a curry. He wouldn't even know where to start, much less be able to do it from memory. Daniel seemed to disagree with that sentiment, so he swallowed it away, not sure how the man would react, as tired and grumpy as he'd been acting. And hell, he wasn't about to turn down a hot home-cooked curry for lunch, either. Sounded like a game plan to him.
Carrots and onions, okay. For lack of a cutting board, he grabbed a plate and got to work, chopping them up diligently into bite-sized pieces. "This small?" he confirmed, showing Daniel the pieces.
"Yeah, she seemed happy. Well. As happy as she ever seems," he qualified. But they'd gotten the right stuff, it seemed, so at the very least a second trip to the base wasn't likely to be necessary.
He snorted. "Course after you eat. We can go shopping while Alphie works, or wait until after she leaves, whatever." He kind of wanted to trot their lovely lunch in front of her and not let her have a bite, but he knew that was evil. Still tempting, though.
Bell gave Daniel a look at his next question. Of course she did. He hated her, and she hated them. They weren't going to just get over it in a heartbeat. He turned back to his carrots, chopping them a little harder than necessary. The damn bitch could rot in hell for all he cared.
"I'm still nervous," Bell confessed, glancing at Daniel. "I don't want to lose you." And the prospect of facing a future, even one work a foreseeable end, alone was frightening, too. Not because he'd never done it; because he had, and he knew how shitty it could be. And Alphie for company, to boot.
He sighed and set down the knife, done with chopping. "I really do [i not] like that woman, you know?" It was going to take some serious effort to not just do her in at some point. If she pushed his buttons a little more, at the wrong time... but then they'd be without a technician. He had to stay strong.
"Just a curry," Daniel mumbled. He was focussed on chopping up some meat, using the packaging of the product to cut on, for lack of a chopping board. For all they'd gotten a lot, obviously some things had been forgotten. Daniel put it on his mental list of items to get. There'd be a lot more added on to that one as they went on.
"You can chop some of the carrots and an onion or two," he delegated. If Bell-boy wanted to help, who was he to say no?
The man was already making use of himself by washing up the skillet they'd used for breakfast.
"Did we get the right stuff?" Daniel asked, eyes focussed on making sure he didn't cut into any fingers by accident. The lamb, or whatever they'd gotten, was a little sinewy -evidently not a product from the top of the line- but good enough. He'd make it work.
Nothing felt quite like home than cooking.
"And no, no chopping boards," he said with an air of regret.
"We forgot," Daniel shrugged. "I'll get it later. We need more food anyway." And maybe scissors. Proper ones, if he was going to cut Bell-boy's hair. Given, some of their new knives might be sharp enough to do a reasonable job, but hair just wasn't meat. Or a vegetable, for that matter.
"After I eat," he added as an afterthought. He really did feel hungry, but much better than earlier that morning. Breakfast, a bath and another nap did some good, at least. After the meat was cut, Daniel seasoned it and left it to marinate in a bit of oil. At least they'd gotten plenty of bowls. He brought out another pot to cook some rice in.
He craved a proper hot meal, dinner or not. They could always eat out for dinner. Either way they could both do with a bit more food to recover.
Daniel washed his hands once the water was on and wiped them on a towel, then leaned against the counter to watch Bell.
"She rub you the wrong way?" Daniel posed. He sighed. Of course she had. The whole premise to their cooperation was all wrong. First they were enemies, captives, escapees and now 'friends'.
"Forgot I asked," he said dismissively. "I'm not even nervous no more, you know that?" Daniel followed up. "Just want to get it over with."
Alphie took the bag and rummaged through it, setting out the jars one-by-one like a cook going through a friend's spice cabinet. With each jar, she felt the weight of it, tilted it back to read the label, then unscrewed the cap to take a peek at the insides. Two of them were unlabeled, but assuming they'd gotten the right stuff, it was obvious what they'd be. And if they'd grabbed the wrong stuff, fuck it. That was on their heads, not hers. She pulled a sharpie out of her back pocket and scribbled names on each of the unlabeled jars, then set them aside. "Looks like you found everything," she admitted, turning back to her work.
Bell watched for a little while. Alphie was the number one issue in their plan. There was no guarantee they could trust her, and if she went rogue, Daniel might die before he even knew anything was wrong. Sure, he'd kill her afterwards, but Daniel would still be dead, and there was no worse outcome than that.
Alphie glanced up. "Shoo, I'm busy," she snapped.
Bell gave her a last suspicious look, just so she knew he wasn't falling for any of her tricks, if she was pulling any. When she ignored that, he stuck his tongue out at her and retreated upstairs to check on Daniel.
Ooh, cooking again? Bell grabbed the dirty skillet off the stove and got to work washing it, figuring Daniel would probably need it. "What're we having for lunch?" he asked. It was afternoon already, a bit late for lunch, but far too early for dinner. A bit of soap, a little elbow grease, and the skillet was clean. He dried it off with their brand new hand towels and set it back on the stove.
"Need me to chop stuff, or anything?" he offered. He sure could use some stress relief after dealing with Alphie, and chopping up some helpless chicken meat or vegetables seemed like the way to go. That way, he got his aggression out and helped make lunch, win-win.
"Did we get a cutting board, speaking of," he mumbled, searching through the cupboards for something to cut on. Most of the cupboards were empty, their small portion of bowls and such not nearly enough to fill the space.
He stumbled into Bell-boy down the hallway. The door to the basement was ajar, though Daniel wasn't very quick to draw any conclusions. A quick kiss was his reward for finding Bell-boy.
"Morning," he mumbled.
Oh, Alphie was here already? Daniel blinked. How long had he been asleep for anyway? He gave Bell-boy a nod. Everything was under control. He could trust Bell-boy to behave, right? Well, if he couldn't now, there'd be no way he'd manage later and Daniel decided he'd press for him to give Becky a free pass for the duration of his stay in the tube. Not that Rebecca wasn't capable of harming Alphie, but at least the two had less of a history than they had with Alphie.
He moved to the dining area and ran a hand across their new table. For a second he just stood there, a little lost and dazed, but then he moved to satisfy at least one of his desires that early morning and rummaged through the fridge in search of some juice.
Maybe some coffee as well, to actually wake up and shake the post-sleep haze. Daniel stood at the kitchen-counter, sipping his drink in peace. This was really nice. The luxury of a house. Especially since it was the first time in ages he got the opportunity to rest up and just lounge around shaking the goat-sickness, rather than push through and continue on. That said, their fridge could do with a little refilling. He could probably whip up some decent lunch though. Maybe they could go into town after, get some books while they were at it. Or something else to do. A board-game, maybe. Some chess or whatever.
Daniel snorted. His ideas on how they'd spend their time in the house were too romantic. If anything, their time ought to be spent helping Alphie get things set up. At the very least he could cut Bell-boy's hair before they drove to town. Help the guy find a decent job. That's what they ought to pick up: a newspaper.
He pulled out some ingredients and checked their spices. Bell-boy had been a bit random choosing his basics, but Daniel was pretty sure he could make a stir-fry of some kind. Or a curry even, maybe.
Alphie's phone rang. Bell glanced at her. "Gonna answer that?"
"No," she said bluntly. It'd only distract her from the task at hand. If it was really important, they'd text her. And what on earth was really important anymore, nowadays? Wasn't like she had to worry about an originator breakout or an attack from the two men she was helping right now. She flicked on the lights and descended into the basement.
Bell licked his lips, watching her descend. It'd be oh-so-easy to lock her up down there, never let her out again. Another threat neutralized. But he had to play nice. At least until Daniel was healed. At least that long.
"How long until you collect the chemicals?" Alphie asked, setting her tools out by the tube. She'd start with the wiring. It was the most delicate part, and the most likely part to accidentally hurt herself on. If she was going to get hurt, better to do it now, while these two were still far from able to complete the tube on their own.
"We already have them," Bell replied, leaning against the top of the stairs to watch her work. Having a bird's eye view was nice. Made it feel like he was in control.
Alphie's eyebrows shot up. Maybe that was what that call was about, then. She checked her phone. No. Just Sarah, not a safety advisory. She sighed and set it back down beside her. She'd talk to Sarah later. The girl was probably worrying herself sick about what-ifs. That was why she hadn't wanted to bring her into this, damn it. Sarah had enough to worry about.
"Well, bring 'em down," she said belatedly, realizing she'd paused a bit too long.
Bell nodded and retreated. She probably needed to look them over, to make sure they'd grabbed the right ones.
He heard Daniel before he saw him, the slap of bare feet on wood floor a giveaway. The man still looked haggard, but better for the wear for having slept. Bell stepped in and gave him a quick kiss as greeting. "Alphie's here," he explained. "Didn't want to wake you. She wants to see the chemicals, but you can rest up here if you want. I have it under control."
He grabbed the bag and headed back down, offering it out to Alphie. "This everything?" he asked, voice more gruff than it had been seconds ago with Daniel.
Sarah breathed out a thick sigh. She'd left, but honestly? She hadn't wanted to. Alphie was in danger. Voluntarily. And what was she going to do about it? Sarah knew she couldn't go to the organization. Alphie had left, also of her own free will, even though they'd all advised her against it. Of all the researchers they'd had, Alphie ranked as one of the best they had. Sarah sighed again, deflated. Her hands were wrapped around her phone, thumb hovering above the dial-button. Alphie's number was on the display.
Call or not?
She didn't want to just leave things between them the way she'd left them when she'd walked out. That hybrid and the originator though... Why wasn't she telling the organization? They needed the originator's blood, because there were more hybrids to be made. More warriors to fight for their cause.
The ringer sounded on the other side of the line and Sarah got up from her bed, moved to the living-room, stroked her cat's fur and moved back. A beep.
[i 'You've reached the following number:...' ]
Sarah hung up.
No. Wait, maybe she should just leave a message.
"Shit, Alphie, why?" she breathed, closer to desperate than tears. "They're trouble."
Sarah breathed in deeply and dialled again. This time, when the tone came, she didn't end the call.
"Alphie? It's me -Sarah...I just. I wanted to say I'm sorry and... Alphie, I'm worried. What you're doing isn't like you. None of your choices have been like you lately. Ever since that day, you've just changed so much... I-" Sarah swallowed and composed herself.
"I'm sorry, please just call me?"
Daniel woke to voices. Distant voices.
He blinked, only barely more awake than just a second ago and stared at the bare wall of their chosen bedroom. No Bell-boy. No Goldy either. Wait, so who was Bell-boy talking to? Daniel sighed out. He was comfortable. Comfortable, but thirsty. Not so comfortable after all then.
After a moment's reflection, Daniel pushed himself up into a sit, scrubbing at his tousled hair. It'd dried funny. Not that he cared for what he looked like at the moment. He got up and padded around, did a self-check and figured it'd suffice for whoever that second voice was. If they asked, he'd tell them the truth: he was sick. Or had been. Or was. Or whatever.
Bell nodded. "Yeah, I know," he said. Had to prepare for the worst case. But it might all go smoothly. It was possible. Unlikely, but possible.
He took his time drying off, then got dressed. Their clothes were running a little low--oh! He padded over to the washing machine and moved the clothes into the dryer, careful to remove the lint from the filter before he started it up. By the time he returned, Daniel was already dead to the world. Bell snorted to himself and sat down, ruffling Daniel's hair just to feel it before he slid down beside him. There wasn't much room, the way Daniel was sprawled, the sheet-hog, but he made do.
A deep sleep wasn't in the cards for him. He managed a light drowse, somewhere between awake and asleep but not quite to either side. When Goldy joined them, he shifted a bit to make room, not asleep enough to want her heat and weight on his legs.
Before long, he got bored. Sleep wasn't going to happen after all, so fuck it. Daniel was still out cold, and probably needed to rest, so he got up quietly and tiptoed out of the room, closing the door most of the way behind him. He'd go work on the back door, start getting that thing to close a little more securely.
A prim knock interrupted his plans.
Bell sighed and went to the door. Behind him, he heard Goldy shove her way through the bedroom door and trot over, excited to say hello to this new person. Her opened the door, and neither he nor Goldy were surprised to find Alphie there, a box of tools in hand. Alphie jumped up to say hi, then shouldered past to go explore the yard.
Bellwether today? Where was his handler? Alphie peered over his shoulder, but Daniel was nowhere in sight. "Where's your friend?" she asked casually.
"That's for me to know and you to shut up," Bell snapped. "This way."
"Is that how you treat a guest?" Alphie asked, annoyed. At least the other one was polite, even if it felt like he only did it to lure her into complacency.
"Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot we were playing friends with the creepy scientist who locked us up to experiment on. It ever occur to you that maybe you're the bad guys?" he returned, leading her to the basement. Damn, this bitch was annoying.
"Says the serial killer," Alphie muttered back. Why was she doing this, again?
Knowing Alphie, she'd only be taking long because she had a perfectionistic tendency to get everything just right, but she seemed like a diligent, hard worker. Daniel shrugged. They still needed to find a decent nurse, because they couldn't rely on Alphie asking around all by herself. It was a question of ethics for her: who would she want to be exposed to such a dangerous situation? There was no insurance or guarantee that the goatling would exit the tube in a non-violent way, even if Goldy's personality was lovely.
Daniel grabbed a towel and started to dry off. He paused when Bell-boy suggested everything might run smooth as could be.
"Assuming that'd be the case would be a mistake, but hey, I'll take it," he shrugged. They ought to prepare for the worst-case scenario. The goatling wouldn't likely be able to heal all the damage it'd done in one day. Actually, Daniel was fairly certain it wouldn't be able to. It was just too ingrained with his flesh for a clear, fast split. That'd been the whole reason for this operation. If it'd be just one day, just finding a basement would likely already be enough.
Another yawn split his jaw. Daniel finished drying, then lazily padded off to the bed to dress in a shirt and some boxers. And that was him all finished for the day. For now anyway. Once his stomach had digested the food he'd offered up, Daniel was pretty certain he'd be scampering to the kitchen for another meal and a half.
For now, it felt like a relief just to relax back into their comfortable bed.
Daniel felt all his energy and tension just slip. He closed his eyes and surrendered to the disturbingly strong pull of sleep. A half-hearted attempt to coil some sheets around him ended in Daniel taking up a large amount of the bed, sprawled out in the middle. It was nicer once the sun moved to another side of their house, where it was obscured by some of the trees. Daniel slept hard, oblivious to the world.
He didn't even stir when Goldy came into the room, huffed and joined them on the bed. Or when Bell-boy joined either. Or when Alphie knocked on the door to be let in.
Daniel started playing with his feet suddenly. Surprised, Bell giggled and yanked his foot out of reach, under the water. "'m ticklish," he muttered, but made the effort to grab the soap. He sat back with a huff, then heaved himself up and started to actually apply the soap to himself. All the stinky places.
He ducked down under the water and scrubbed his hair to get it wet, then applied to soap and repeated. It was always a bit unwieldly to wash up in a tub, he'd thought. So much ducking and tucking and such. Showers were easier, but they weren't half as comfortable or fun. Tubs were cozy, but annoying. There was always a tradeoff, wasn't there? Always, always, always. Got a home, and responsibilities. Daniel got healed, but he got a creepy little parasite chilling in his gut.
Bell sighed out as he shook the water off his hair. "Yeah, I wonder too," he said, slicking his hair back. "I don't know if I want her to take a long time or be quick." Too long, and Daniel's life might be in serious danger. But if she did it too quickly... he didn't want to lose Daniel. Not even temporarily.
"Me too," Bell agreed. Tired. He'd used goat strength yesterday, but honestly, he didn't think that was what this was. It was more like... weary. Tired from all the constant stress, tired from the logisitics and the effort of figuring everything out.
He looked at Daniel, then sighed out. "What if we're all worked up for nothing? What if you go in that tube," he gestured, "and just pop right back out a day later, perfectly fine? And it's just... that easy?" It wasn't likely. Everything he knew about goats said it wasn't going to happen so simply. But still! Still. What if they were all worried for nothing? What if everything went smoothy, and then... they were just living in a house for a while?
He'd probably go mad with boredom, honestly. Even waiting alone, with the stress of hiding Daniel from the hunters, it was going to be a close thing. They'd have to travel, at least. Find enough goats to keep him occupied.
Daniel climbed out. Bell huffed out one last time, then ducked under for one last rinse and climbed out, reaching for a towel. Naptime. He needed a good nap.
He shrugged. Sure it was a table, but. Hell, it was a table. In their house. Nice. Whatever. As long as they were functional, probably. Bell-boy's yawn was catching. Daniel blinked the world back in focus to catch Bell-boy's leisurely grin. He raised an eyebrow and reached for the soap, lazily unwrapping the package.
Bell had the right idea, probably. He lathered up some soap between his hands and washed the obvious places first. Just to make sure he smelled a little less like something that'd died out on the street.
Daniel scrubbed at his hair when Bell started on the couch. If he dared open his eyes, he would've given the man a look.
"What do you want to do on a couch that we can't on a bed?" he proposed. Actually, that was part of the problem, wasn't it? There was little to nothing in terms of entertainment they could do. Maybe they ought to get a television and some cable.
Or some books at the very least.
Daniel washed away the suds from pricking in his eyes and raised his head.
When he went to relinquish the soap to Bell-boy however, he found the man already semi-asleep.
"Hey," he called out.
"Wash up and then sleep... that was my plan anyway," Daniel chuckled. He lathered up a little soap and squeezed Bell-boy's feet, soaping up between the man's toes.
"C'mon," Daniel coaxed Bell-boy into doing the rest himself. He didn't feel like he had the energy to go the whole nine yards yet. And he'd already made breakfast and everything too.
It felt weird to act like normal people would. Not that it was quite normal to be in a tub with another man, but still. "I wonder how long Alphie will take to get everything set up," he mumbled, resting back. He slipped down and washed the suds from his hair. After a short few seconds, Daniel broke the surface of the water and came back up for air. He was done washing. Done with today in general.
He ran his hair back to press out the excess water and got up.
"I'm tired," Daniel excused himself. He'd feel better once he shook the fever, but that'd be another day at the very least. Until that time, he planned to do as little as possible, aside from eating and sleeping.
He kicked off his pants and grinned at Daniel, then stepped in with Daniel and sunk on down into the water. It was nice and warm; Daniel had done a good job filling it up. He sat down opposite Daniel, figuring he shouldn't sit in Daniel's lap when he was overheated and feverish to start out with. Their legs were still touching, though.
"Yeah, you know, short and presentable," he said. Normal hair, not long and ugly. Job-getting hair. The kind where no one looked at it and thought he looked homeless. Because they weren't, anymore. Now they had a house, so they should look presentable, right?
"What, no," he said. "Yours is so pretty, though. If I had nice hair like yours, I'd grow it really long." Daniel's was getting long enough to be really hot, actually, almost long enough to tie back. Just a little longer and it'd look great.
He leaned back against the back of the tub and sighed, adjusting his legs a little. They could just take their time. There was no checkout time, no one waiting on their room. They could just... lounge.
"It's a table," he said. What else was there to say? Tables were tables. After a moment, he shrugged. "A nice table. Looks sturdy. And it'll be better than sitting on the countertop. Chairs look... nice."
He yawned and sat back. It wasn't that he was sleepy, so much as just that everything had been so tense and tiring lately that relaxing made him want to nap no matter what. But now they had all the materials! He could just nap, if he wanted to. A grin came back to his face, and he shifted a bit, pleased with their success. "Daniel, where's the soap," he asked lazily. They were bathing, and all. Maybe they should actually clean up, or something.
"We should've got a couch, or something," he muttered, settling into the tub a little more. Couches were nice for napping on, and just nice in general. Though they didn't have anything to put in front of the couch. No television, or fireplace, or whatever people put in front of couches. Another yawn escaped his lips. He let his head tip back, leaning his head against the edge of the tub. Maybe he'd nap here. Water was nice for napping too.
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