Sam couldn't explain how sometimes he couldn't breathe. How sometimes it felt like there was something sitting on his chest, cutting off his air supply as it watched him gasp for oxygen. He couldn't explain the feeling of pure dread and fear that came over him. How he had to know where the other three were at all times, scared that they'd disappeared. He couldn't explain any of that. He could try but the words wouldn't come, blocked by the same creature that crushed his lungs at night.
He also couldn't explain how he'd ended up with his head on Jake's stomach as he ran his fingers through Felix's hair.
It had started pretty simple. Jake's mum was staying the night at Bates', and Jake had approached them at school with his fists clenched and a slight rumble following him. Felix had just grabbed his hands and massaged them open while Sam and Andy were asking him what was wrong. He'd explained and asked if they wanted to stay the night, which they agreed to, of course.
Sam remembered showing up first. Jake said he'd make dinner, and who was Sam to turn down that offer. Besides, if Jake burned the house down, they could always order some heavily discounted Chinese. He was at the stove when Sam walked in, muttering things to himself as he stirred what looked to be pasta sauce.
"Hey." Sam greeted him, causing Jake to jerk up and splatter sauce everywhere as he whipped around to face this new threat. "It's just me." Sam assured him, and he wiped some sauce from the counter, licking it off his finger. "That's good. Your mum's recipe?" Jake nodded and turned back to the pan before handing Sam some paper towels. His mum always smuggled them home from work so they had plenty. Sam got to cleaning up the mess he had technically caused as Jake continued cooking.
Andy was the next to turn up, at six on the dot, right when dinner was ready. Jake asked if they should wait for Felix but Sam was already eating, and the other two knew damn well that Sam was capable of eating all of it, so they quickly dug in. Felix showed up five minutes later and managed to get a decent meal anyways.
They decided to just watch movies after they'd washed the dishes. Well, really Andy washed the dishes. He was too quick for any of the others to keep up with, considering his experience at the restaurant.
Felix flicked through the Riles' movie collection before finally settling on
"I'm not watching a horror movie, Felix!" Andy said when he saw the movie Felix was holding up.
"It's just Saw, it's barely horror." Felix argued back.
Felix either overestimated all of them, or underestimated Saw, which is how they all ended up squished onto one side of the couch.
There was an actual person on Sam's chest this time, Jake, but for some reason, he could breathe just fine.
"Guys, maybe we should move to the floor." Jake whispered. He wasn't sure why he was whispering, it just felt appropriate.
"Kinky." Felix's sleepy reply came from behind Sam. Jake reached over and smacked his shoulder, which made him a bit more awake.
"Maybe we should." Sam wheezed. Maybe Jake was affecting his breathing a bit, but he didn't exactly mind.
"Thank you, Sam. Felix, on the floor." Jake said. Felix was about to open his mouth but one look from Jake made him shut up and he slid to the ground, dragging Andy down with him. Jake and Sam joined them too.
And now here he was. He could hear Andy snoring, but couldn't see him in the darkness of the living room. Jake's hand moved a little where it was on Sam't chest, and Felix moved his head into Sam's hand a bit more.
Sam didn't know how he ended up here. But he sure as hell wasn't complaining.