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First Steps

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Noah becomes Richard Gansey III's friend outside the gates of Aglionby on an otherwise unremarkable afternoon. Gansey is with Ronan Lynch, explaining something to Ronan's reluctantly interested ears. Snatches of their conversation reach Noah: Glendower. Ley line.

Noah steps closer and Gansey looks up, gaze sweeping past Lynch to settle on Noah. Gansey smiles, waves like he recognises Noah.

"Hey," says Gansey. "Ronan, this is—" He pauses, a wrinkle of confusion in his brow.

"Noah," he interjects, before Gansey can wonder why he doesn't know Noah's name. He offers his hand. He hasn't touched the living since... since. Strange that it would be Ronan Lynch.

Lynch, looking faintly offended at this interjection of social niceties into his afternoon, accepts the handshake. His hand feels like nothing to Noah. Pressure on his fingers. No sense of warmth.

Lynch shivers and drops Noah's hand.

Noah wonders what it would feel like to touch Gansey. They're connected: by the ley line, by six years of life given. Maybe he would feel warm. Maybe all the life would leave Gansey, sucked out to keep Noah on this plane.

Noah doesn't kid himself that he'd come back to life. His body is rotted to bones.