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Six years

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"Are you moving in here?" asked Noah, glancing around the warehouse. It wasn't much to look at. Not exactly a home for two rich, living boys.

Gansey and Ronan both jumped. They hadn't seen Noah come in, because he hadn't come in. He'd just stepped in next to them, joining the conversation.

"Geez, Noah. Why do you have to be such a freak?" asked Ronan, angry because he'd been scared and wanted to hide it.

"I'm dead," said Noah. "Six years a corpse. I can't help it." There was always the chance the words would stick this time.

Ronan rolled his eyes, but Gansey drew in a sharp breath. "Don't joke about that."

Noah didn't make jokes, so he stared at Gansey, unblinking.

"C'mon Gansey," drawled Ronan. "It wasn't funny, but it was just a morbid joke."

Ronan had lost everything when his father died. So far he was only showing his grief to Gansey in sullen withdrawal and biting sarcasm. Noah hoped it would stay that way.

"I died," said Gansey. "Six years ago." His eyes were wide, caught somewhere half a decade earlier.

"You're alive now," said Noah.

Gansey blinked once, twice. "I am," he admitted. "I'm alive."