Reynie supposes it was always their habit.
It was always their habit when they're together at Mr. Benedict's house and when it's snowing.
Reynie doesn't even know when it started, this little habit of theirs. He supposes when they were thirteen? Or maybe twelve, but it did stick (Reynie laughs at his choice of words) until now, when they're sixteen.
Constance and Kate would be outside playing in the snow, Kate (now seventeen) would be acting like a big sister to Constance who's now eight years old, they'll play and build snowmen together, sometimes they'll even build snow igloos! But only when Milligan helps them. Which is often.
Mr. Benedict would be upstairs, drinking coffee and smiling fondly at his adopted daughter and Kate, sometimes he'll even join Kate, Constance and Milligan and the four of them will have snowball fights.
Not Sticky and Reynie though, oh no.
Both of them deems that it's too cold to go outside, and the both of them will share a blanket and a big cup of hot chocolate before taking books that have caught their eye and swapping them with each other, and after they're done reading they'll swap them again.
It's a nice habit.
Often times, Sticky would lay his head on Reynie's shoulder and Reynie's heart will skip a beat and it'll also feel nice for Reynie because Sticky's warmth is nice and then after a few moments, Sticky's head will quickly be gone from Reynie's shoulder and Sticky would mutter a quick apology before going back to his book and Reynie doesn't understand.
He's actually a little disappointed "when Sticky moves so any of his body part doesn't touch Reynie" happens.
This time he won't let that happen.
The next time he and Sticky switch books and share one big cup of hot chocolate together, Reynie sticks his feet to Sticky's place. Sticky jumped a little, probably because of the coldness and stared at Reynie, face flushing a little bit.
"Why did you do that?" He asks, on the verge of folding a page of his book, a habit Sticky recently acquired.
"My feet are cold." Reynie simply replied and they both continued reading.
The next time Sticky placed his head on the other boy's shoulder, Reynie immediately placed his head on top of Sticky's head.
He felt Sticky tense and then relax.
"Why did you do that?" Sticky asks, eyes flicking towards Reynie, and then to his own book, "You're neck's going to hurt after you know."
"Because I felt like it." Reynie replies and that is that.
(Sticky was right about Reynie's neck hurting, but he doesn't care, it was worth it for Sticky.)
Before they could start reading anything, Sticky asked a question.
"Why are you so close with me?" He asked.
Reynie thought for a moment, he closed his eyes and began pacing. This was a puzzle to solve! Why does he feel so close with Sticky? Why does his heart skip a beat when he's close to Sticky? Why does he feel a little disappointed when Sticky isn't laying on his shoulder?
Why does he feel sad when Sticky isn't close to him?
Then, the answer hit him.
"Because I like-like you." He replies and Sticky flushes up, "I have a question for you Sticky, why aren't you so close with me?".
"I like-like you too Reynie, but I often feel like I don't deserve you or something like that" Sticky mumbles before turning red a second time and hiding under his book.
"That's ridiculous!" Reynie tells him, "Everyone could be so lucky to have you! You're smart and handsome."
"You're also smart and handsome Reynie," Sticky muffled reply came out of the book, he's now burying his face inside the book.
Reynie smiles, "You're smarter and more handsome than me Sticky." He tells him before patting his head and kissing his cheek, "That's why I like-like you."
Sticky hides under his book for the rest of the day, Reynie supposes he can live with that.
(After all, Sticky's so cute when he's like that.)