Author's Note: This is a companion to A Couch. Actually, this could be a companion to a lot of things. All of my characters seem to know each other D: But this mostly directly relates to A Couch and would benefit from you reading that first or even second, if chronological order doesn't suit you.

He tried to ignore the knock at the door, but it became a bother; it grew louder and more frequent until he jumped out of bed, stormed down the hall, and almost peeled the door off its bolts slamming it open. "What do you-"

There was Micah, soaking wet and dripping, shivering to the bone and paler than death. His teeth chattered, and Noel wasted no time ushering him in. "T-thanks..."

"It's past midnight and raining. What are you doing?"

"Nothing." He pulled off the drenched, too-big clothes until he stood in nothing but his underwear, and Noel realized he'd gotten frailer. He could count his ribs, the knobs of his spine, the red splotches angry and dry on his delicate skin, and he could witness the painful jut of his hip. His hair was thin, and Noel was sure that if he stopped quivering, he could see his lungs expand and his heart beat. He could surely trace every vein in his arms and legs-

But there was still something beautiful about Micah's face, his doe eyes and straight nose and thin mouth and pointed chin. Noel sighed audibly and paced into the kitchen, returning with a bathrobe he'd left there that morning. He thanked living alone and asked, "Are you going to talk to me?"

He already knew the answer; Micah stared at the ceiling and shifted his minimal weight from foot to foot and wondered aloud, "Do you still have a spare bedroom?" but that was it. That was all he would say.

Noel nodded and took him by the crook of the arm, leading him down the hall. "Do you want a shower?" No response. "You look cold..." No response. "Are you all right?" No response. "Did something happen with Dane?" A cringe but no response. "With Nehemiah?"

"Noel," Micah rasped, and he pulled away, into the bedroom he knew had the spare bed and pressed sheets. "Thank you."

"You're welcome. Y'know, you can talk to me-"

"He cheated on me, and I went to Nehemiah and stayed the night there, but he got sick of me, too, and here I am. That's all."


"Yeah, oh. Shut the fuck up, Noel. I don't need your advice right now, that's why I'm not fucking talking to you. You're always so fucking nice. You couldn't understand, you're so fucking perfect, you couldn't. If I needed you to fucking talk at me like some kind of-"

"I think you're tired."

Micah fell silent, staring wide-eyed, chest heaving and short of breath. He withered, caved into himself like a silent implosion; even his stare was bleak and pallid within those dark eyes. "Yeah. I'm really tired. Thank you, Noel. Can you...?"

"Yeah." Noel stepped into the bedroom and lay on the bed, waiting for Micah to tuck in beside him. When Noel buried his face in his hair, it reminded him of when they used to date- so many years ago, it meant nothing to either of them anymore. He threw an arm over Micah's waist, felt his stomach writhe, and whispered, "You need to eat."

"I told I don't want-"

"I know. Go to sleep."

And he did.