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i want to hold you close

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Molly’s been alone in his and Fjord’s room for hours.

He’d been there ever since they got back from the will o’ the wisps and the puzzle and the strange entity, saying that he just had a headache (and that Jester should save her healing for the more injured of them) and that he just had to lie down for a while, that he’d be back in half an hour for drinks and food.

Caleb estimates that Molly’s been gone for three hours.

He closes his book slowly and looks up, hoping to catch Fjord’s attention. It was his shared room, after all, and Caleb didn’t want to just go in without any sort of permission.

Luckily, it doesn’t take long for their eyes to meet. Caleb jerks his head towards the stairs, hoping that Fjord understands the question without him having to speak. Fjord’s eyes glance in the direction of the gesture, then he nods.

“I’m going to bed.” Caleb declares. He stands up and tries to act like he’s not worried about Molly, and as soon as he’s out of sight of the rest of the party he takes the stairs two at a time.

A knock on the door to Molly and Fjord’s room, a mumbled response, and then Caleb opens the door.

Molly’s coat is over the window and the lantern is out, leaving the room shrouded in darkness. The light from the doorway slices through the room, revealing Molly curled on the bed.

“Molly?” Caleb asks.

Molly makes a hmm noise in response.

“Are you okay?” Caleb steps into the room and shuts the door behind him. Darkness envelops the room again.

Molly makes the same noise.

“That's not a yes or no.”

A pause, then: “...no.”

Footsteps echo in the otherwise silent room as Caleb walks over to Molly and sits next to him on the bed. Molly’s back is to him, and to the rest of the room.

“Will you be okay?” Caleb asks.

Another pause. “...maybe.”

“What do you need?”

Molly turns over a little from lying on his side (which can’t be comfortable because of his horns) and looks over at Caleb. “I have a dumb question...”

“No questions are dumb.”

“C’n I… hold you?”

Caleb tilts his head. “Of course. If it’ll help.”

Molly grabs at Caleb’s coat.

“One moment, Mollymauk.” Caleb takes a second to pull his boots off and Molly makes a soft complaining noise.

Instead of lying down next to Molly and making him turn over, Caleb crawls across Molly and settles near the wall. Molly immediately pulls Caleb closer, practically draping himself across Caleb’s back.

Warmth spreads through Caleb’s body, even through the layers of clothes that separate most of their points of contact.

“Do you want to tell me what’s wrong?” Caleb asks. His voice has been quiet every time he speaks.

Molly is equally as quiet with his responses. “Head hurts. Think Gustav called ‘em… migraines? Happens ‘cause… Lucien… that guy’s memories are tryin’ t’ come back.”

“Ah.” Caleb thinks for a moment. Responses to things are hard. “Well, you are Mollymauk Tealeaf. Just because someone else is trying to… be you, doesn’t mean you are them.”

Molly just responds with a hmm.

They lie there in silence for a while, Molly’s arms wrapped around Caleb. It’s nice being held, Caleb thinks. He’s missed it.

The door opens an hour later (Caleb’s good with time) and Fjord’s voice rings at a normal volume. “Molly? Caleb?”

Molly makes a noise of slight distress and holds Caleb tighter.

“Are you two okay?” Fjord’s voice is quieter.

“Molly is hurting. I am fine.” Caleb answers.

Fjord steps into the room and shuts the door. “Does Molly need anything?”

“Hi.” Molly mumbles. His face is almost pressed into Caleb’s hair. “Fjord. Come cuddle.”

“Uh.” There’s no response from Fjord for a few seconds. “Okay.”

There’s enough space on the bed for Fjord to lie down behind Molly and drape an arm across Molly and Caleb.

“This is nice.” Molly murmurs. “Sleep now.”

“Alright.” Fjord says. “Sleep now.”

“Sleep now.” Caleb confirms.

Fjord shifts so he can get his other arm around Molly, and then they all drop off to sleep.