When is the test flaky? [The work case study, that does not provide an answer]
30 November 2023 | 11:00 pm

At work, I am working on one of the bugs. One of our integrations for one of our customers does not work, because it takes too long. Upon debugging, I also noticed, that it would fail regardless, because some of the values were longer then what our database currently supports.

Since this seemed like an easier problem, and would have to solve both of them anyway, I started the alembic and wrote a migration. This is the entire change in the pull request, that I have merged (I changed the table name, the revision IDs and added the today's date as the create date):

""" Increase the size of the role
Revision ID: current
Create Date: 2023-12-01 12:00:00.000000

from alembic import op
import sqlalchemy as sa

# revision identifiers, used by Alembic.
revision = 'current'
down_revision = 'down'

def upgrade():
    conn = op.get_bind()
        ALTER TABLE table1
        MODIFY role varchar(1024) NOT NULL;

def downgrade():
    conn = op.get_bind()
            UPDATE table1 SET role = SUBSTR(role, 1, 512)
            ALTER TABLE table1
            MODIFY role VARCHAR(512) NOT NULL;

Nothing really looks problematic, right? Seems like just normal migration. It is not like I was creating and dropping tables or having way too many things going on in the migration. I had a coworker, that once broke migrations in a way, that they decided we all needed some more training with this being used as the example. I broke migrations on production before. Yet this one seemed simple. I did the exact same one, just going from 265 to 512 a couple of months before.

And the migrations did pass fine. What it did not pass is the tests, that we have for our golang code.

Now in the past, sometimes the test could be fixed by simply rerunning them. And based on the test logs, the test did not seemed to have anything to do with my change - the SQL indicated, that it was about a completely different table. But this time, even running them again immediately or the next day did not really help.

I guess I will have to figure out, where the test are failing. Not like I ever wrote any tests for our golang code and I never had to deal with the testing part of our golang code, so this would prove to be entertaining.

First thing to check was, when did the tests start failing? It was between the last time the commit requiring the flow with test suite - they passed all of them and my commit. There was one commit in between, but it was just Excel templates, so probably not relevant to the golang tests. I hope.

I had the name of the failing test. So as long as I figured out how to run that test locally, I should be able to add some logs and figure out what is happening in the test and how is that relating to my commit.

And yes, I know debugger mode exists and I had help with a coworker to set it up in Visual Studio Code. I don't write enough golang code to to feel comfortable requesting GoLand licence at work. But for some reason, after a couple of runs, it would just not run anymore. And I could not even run it from the terminal. So it is less frustrating to just use print statements.

Going back, it was not hard to figure out how to run the tests (I just copied the code generated from Visual Studio Code and added cache flushing). Here is the code for my future reference (yes, I know I am revealing, that we are forced to use Mac computers for work ^_・):

go clean -testcache
/opt/homebrew/bin/go test -timeout 30s -run ^name_of_the_test$ the_folder_of_the_file

Except, the test passed locally on my computer. Now I was confused. I also read through the test and nothing seemed relevant to what I was doing.

It was at that time, that I run out of ideas of what I could do. So I asked for help and thankfully Omer, my coworker agreed to help.

The probably most important thing, that I got from this session, is how to figure out how to read the expected and given values in our testing output. Not that this helped to resolve the problem, as the values just reinforced, that this had nothing to do with my change. I guess it is a good lesson for the next time.

Also, if I understood the way we log these, we have to log them manually. For this specific part of the test, it seems we don't actually log the values generated in the test. Or at least not the ones we are checking, if they are the same one in the if statement.

So not sure, if it is helpful to have this output. On the other hand, if I understood this correctly, it is a mistake that can happen to anybody.

The most productive discovery was, which part of the test is actually failing. It was easier to concentrate on the single if statement, then on the whole test, that tries to do a lot of things.

Still, that part seemed to not have much to do with my code change. It can potentially access the same table as the one that I changed. But completely different columns.

Omer did ask me, if we use the column that I changed, or if we index it. We do use it in a couple of queries, but never as a key. I was not sure, if we index it. I did know, it would not make sense, but that does not really mean anything in practice. That column is a kitchen sink of all the data, that does not fit in any other field. While it would make an interesting blog post of how we ended up in this situation, it does not have anything to do with this problem.

I did later checked with the query SHOW INDEX FROM table1; in the local version of the database. The column I changed was not in the list. So I am guessing we are not indexing.

The next suggestion he had, to check the types. The first idea was, that if I increased the size of the integer, then the overflow works differently and some people test for this. I changed the string, so the question that I don't think we answered was, if golang have string type, where this would be a problem.

So just like in MySQL, when the string is too long, it gets shortened or the query fails. Which one depends on whenever the strict mode is enabled. So if the test tested this, then the test would end up with the different result.

We should be having the strict mode on production now, so we should be seeing some problems already at that time? If this was the problem?

Strict mode was also a reason, why I changed the string to it substring in the down migration.

What I found even more interesting was, that we should be checking if golang have something similar. I know SQL have the size of possible strings, but do any other languages? By default? I could not think of nay I used, but I if they exist, what would be the reasoning for it? That is something, I would be interested it.

The next suggestion he had was, that maybe it is the resource problem. Since we were comparing the pointers to the memory addresses (this is what the * in front of the variable in golang does, right?), the difference in the resources could be the problem. The value could get shorted by having part of it rewritten? At least, if I understood it correctly?

I know there are programming languages, where the programmer have to manage the memory. Do any of the newer languages (yes, I consider golang newer, even when being aware, that it is in the early teenage years) or any of the higher language ones, which golang is?

And can this happen even in the languages, where the memory management is left to the program and not programmer?

Another suggestion, I think this one was mine but we checked together, was the relation between the tests and migration environment. If they are independent, then tests would have been run in the wrong environment.

It seems that we always run migrations and then run the test suite.

One other suggestion he had was, that it had something to do with the test database. But none of us had access to it and we had no idea where we could check the data, so we did nothing with that.

So in the end, we went with a lot more hammer approach. I wrote the reverse migration. That failed the test on the production. Then I also reverted the last two changed, which also failed the test on production. All of them failed on the same test. Even though, I revered to the part, that had passed the tests before.

By this point, I had no idea what to do.

Some time after that, I save a Jira ticket from another team. They decided to disable this integration test, since it is flaky in the continuous integration / continuous deployment (CI/CD) pipeline. So the test was deleted and the problem no longer existed.

I still don't know why the test was failing. I am still not sure, why they decided that the test was flaky and they could delete it. And if it was not important enough to debug, why have it in the codebase.

So far I though the flaky tests were the ones, that sometimes worked and sometimes did not. This one consistently worked locally and did not work on whatever environment we are running tests. So not really a definition of flaky.

I guess it was flaky in a way, that it seemed that it broke on something, that had no relevance to it. Is that the definition on the flaky, that I should be using in the future? Does not seem like it would be a very safe one. Are the tests no there to tell you when you screwed up and to check the work again?

I am getting more and more question about testing based on the experience here. Also makes me wonder, why people are so anal about the testing?

To me it seems like it have pluses and minuses, and it is a tradeoffs of whenever one does them and how much. But then again, I much prefer going into the old code compared to doing something from scratch. I also don't suffer as much from the memory problem - for some reason people can't understand their own code, that they have written in the past.

I guess I will just have to wait and see. Gather some more data.

December 2023 Carnival of Aros Call for Submissions: Aromanticism and Holidays
30 November 2023 | 11:00 pm

This is a cal for submissions for the Carnival of Aros, a monthly aromantic/aro-spec themed blog carnival. I will post the link to the last month roundup on the topic of The Aplatonic Spectrum, once I will see the link.

Around the parts that I live, December the the holiday season. It is the time, when some of the other socialisation have to give space to a lots and lots of holiday teamed parties. Or in my case, have a relaxing month, since everybody is really busy with these parties.

I don't celebrate in the way people around me do - which is why this is a relaxing month for me. And I think the reason for this is, that since I had to question many points, where I did not fit in the society, that made me question all the things like that as well.

And now that makes me wonder. Aromanticism (with the whole aro-spec included) is something, that does include questioning at least some of the social norms. So that means, that it could be interesting to hear everybody's opinion of the celebrating the holidays. Don't even have to be the December's ones.

Below I have written some of the prompts, but feel free to submit anything connected to the topic of holidays:

  • What do the holidays mean to you?
  • How has the your aromanticism (or lovelessness or aplatonic or anything in the era) influenced the way you see the holidays or celebrate them?
  • Do you celebrate the same holidays? In the same way? Or are there any changes in how you see the holidays and how you celebrate them, that you want to share?
  • Do you celebrate some different holidays or traditions, that you want to share with us?
  • Or share the reason of why are you not celebrating a specific holidaz? Or any holidays?
  • How does the holiday season affects you?
  • Is there something you want to point out in relation to the subject of the holidays? Some parts, that you think other people are missing - positive or negative?

Anybody can participate in the carnival. For this month, I am accepting the submissions in any modalities. So feel free to write a post, draw a picture, make a sculpture, edit a video or anything else you feel inspired to create in. You can also participate in any language you want.

In order to participate, just send the link to my email at sarajaksa@sarajaksa.eu. I will also be checking the comments on the Carnival of Aros post for this month, so feel free to post there.

I can also host it on my own site, if you do not have a place on the internet to post it.

Submissions are due by the 31th of December. I will probably only write the roundup post on the 3th of January, so if it is a day or two late, I will just include it and nobody needs to know.

I am excited to be able to see everybody's submissions.

The World of Touch and Smell [Moriarty the Patriot Fanfiction]
29 November 2023 | 11:00 pm

William was lying on the floor. The rough concrete floor was cold, but after who know how long, William no longer had the energy to keep himself up, if not necessary. They have not given him any food or water since the experiment.

Most of the time he spend alone, working on the maths problems inside his head. Right now he was working on his research question connected to the irregularities regarding the Mercury position in the sky. For some reason the math and the observations did not align, so he wanted to see, what changes in the math equations would allow for the explanation of that.

There was a draft, indicating that most likely somebody had opened the door. As far as he remembered, the room did not have any windows. He did not let this bother him. Not like he could do anything.

William felt somebody grab his shoulder, forcing him up in the sitting position and shake him. William could not stop a wince as he forced his consciousness to the front.

The rough touch disappeared. The captives so far never really cared about his reactions so far. So this was a change right now.

He tried to see, if he could discover something through the smell. The room still smelled almost the same. There was a bit more fresh air, so that was another point in favour of his hypothesis, that the new draft came from the open doors.

But the person there did not smell like any of the people he was dealing with so far. Among the smells of this person, there was also a smell of cigarettes. If he remembers correctly, this brand is... the one Moran is smoking?

But if this was Moran, why is he not doing anything? So it made it more likely, that this was some third party, that just happened to come there.

But then he noticed another smell below it. The smell of the gunpowder, rose cologne water, the smell of bleach and soap. And as it become stronger, he could also smell the whiff of wine and the coming together with the base of something that felt safe and home.

He could feel a hand on his shoulder, light and steady. The feeling was so familiar, that he partly sagged. He guessed that really was Moran. And this really is Albert.

He tried to grab Albert's shirt. He wanted to feel something safe and familiar after the recent events. But he must have miscalculated, as he only grabbed the air. Underestimating his current weakness, he lost his balance and started to fall forward.

Just as soon, he could feel the hand on his other shoulder, steadying him. The touch was just strong enough to stop him, and it was not hurting him at all.

William was still not satisfied. Based on the arm positions, he figured Albert was just in front of him, so he let himself fall forward until his head touched something solid and comfortable. Just one moment. It is not like he could not blame in on the physical weakness later. He was sure that both Moran and Albert will ignore this moment of weakness.

He also must have surprised Albert, as he released his shoulders, but did not otherwise move.

He reached with one hand to touch the Albert's face. He let his hand lie there. He could feel the Albert jaw moving. Was he trying to tell him something?

He wanted to assure Albert, but as he tried to make a sound, he could feel the pain in his throat, so he was not sure, if he will be understood. He could also not check, if he was actually heard in any way. He needed to find a different way.

William then moved his hand slowly down, until he reached Albert's fingers. He grabbed it with his hand and squeezed. One short and one long. Then one short, one long and two short. Then one long and three short. Until he managed to spell a word with the Morse code. Albert.

There was no reaction for a couple of seconds. William was starting to worry. Did he miscalculated something? Was all of this so far just his hallucinations? What if it was not true? It would be nice, if it was.

But then the hand moved, and grabbed his in return. It took two more seconds, until the Albert started squeezing back the answer. "Yes, Will." He then paused for a couple of seconds, until he also signalled him the name, that did not pass any of their lips in years.

William laughed as he felt the rest of his tension leave his body. He was safe now. He knew things were going to be alright now. He can trust his brother to see to that.

William then felt another question being asked of him. "Walk?"

William shook his head. He did not think he had the strength to stand, let alone walk away. He tried to move his hand to also signal this, but Albert squeezed his hand to stop him.

He then slowly put one of his hands behind William's back and pulled him sideways closer to himself. Which just allowed William to burrow himself even closer to Albert's chest. It also moved William just enough, that Albert could place another hand under his knees.

William pull his hands around Albert's neck. He was not sure, how much of his weight he could hold on to, but any he could would be the weight Albert did not need to support.

It did raise him enough, that his head was now levelled with Albert's.

And he quickly find out the plus of that, as he could now feel, when Albert was talking to somebody else. Right, Moran was also likely here, right?

It did not take long, until William could feel the rocking. They were moving somewhere. William could felt from the changes in the rocking of how quickly they are going, when they were stopping and where are they turning. But he had no information about, where they are and where they were going.

As long as they are getting away from that place, and he is with the people he trusts, William did not really care, where they will end up.

William felt the sleep trying to get him, but he was fighting against it with all his mind. Until they are away, he should try to stay awake and not become just a dead weight. Not that he was able to do much - even so, he was probably already more dead weight than not.

Once they stopped, and William expected them to just continue after waiting or dealing with whatever obstacle they were dealing with. Instead, after some time, they moved a couple of steps, and then Albert was slowly putting him down. William let him move, leaving one of his hands gripping Albert's clothes. The other one moved over the seats. This felt like cloth, spun over something soft. Combining there being some rise, so this was a carriage?

He was thinking of the implications, where there was a hand timidly holding it and then taking it. There was another person there. The smell of it was of... he did not need to classify it, as he got confrontation of his guess as soon as his hand felt the familiar scar tissue on the cheek.

He was not sure, if the relief of Louis being alright or worry of Louis being here, or just a mixture, was what overwhelmed it. He moved his hand behind Louis neck and put their foreheads together. It is not something, that they have done for many years. But William figured, that he is allowed some indulgences right now. He felt the happiness well inside him.

He could feel Albert trying to move away, and he gripped him stronger. He is not letting any of his brothers get away right now. It seemed that it was enough to stop him from moving.

He was alright were he was right now.

Still, something must have been communicated between Albert and Louis, as both of them moved. Except this time, they both ended up sitting on each side of him. This must have been a thigh fit, but William did not care right now. Albert gripped his hand, that was clenching his cloths so far. And Louis hugged him with one hand, making his lean on himself.

The carriage started to drive. William finally let himself go, and he fell asleep soon afterwards.

The next time he awoke, he was in the comfortable, warm bed, with the freshly cleaned linen. It felt like his bed back in London.

Still, he was not sure, so he tried to raise himself, when he felt a hand on his shoulder. So he stopped in the seating position. Based on the smell, he assumed Albert, but he still reached he hand and moved it, until he hit the hair. He then explored the slight curls, and then the ear, the long cheeks, the nose, the mouth.

"Al..." he wanted to say, but he started to cough instead. It was very dry and he could feel the mucus in his mouth.

He concentrated on the breathing a bit, when he felt a warmed ceramic cup being put in his hand. He brought another hand closer, until he felt he was safely holding it in his hand. He tried raising it to his mouth, but was sit by something in the face. Upon feeling it with his hands, it was a straw. So he guided that to his mouth instead.

It was a warm milk with the honey. He slowly drank it. After some time without any food or drink, this felt nice.

When he finished the cup, he put it in his lap and sighed. "Albert?" he tried again. He had no idea, if what he was saying is understandable, but he could at least try.

He cup was taken from his hands. Then a couple of seconds later, the bed moved, indicating something got on it. Then his hand was gripped with the answer "I am here."

"How is everyone?" William asked first.

It took longer than with speech, but it seems that everybody was alright. And the only reason Louis is not here, is that he was ordered to get some sleep.

In the middle of that, William felt the pang of hunger and he could feel Albert stop signing. Did something happen? Then Albert signed a different thing: "Soup?"

Oh, his stomach growling was most likely quite loud. He nodded.

He was left alone. There was not much he could do. He could go over what happened. He could work on some of the mathematical problem. He could amuse himself with memorised drama and poetry.

But on the end, he just leaned himself against the headboard and enjoyed the feeling of being in a safe and comfortable place. How long has he been away? Too way, he decided as he closed his eyes.

Maybe because he was so relaxed, but he could smell Albert before he came closer. He smiled, while he still had his eyes closed. The soup also smelled nice.

Albert came closer, and one of his hands found William's: "What..."

"Just glad to be back." William said, before he waited for the end of the Albert's question.

There was a pause and William could feel some tension through Albert's hand. But he just brushed it, and then it took a couple of second, until something was put on the table, which touch told him was a bed table. He then slowly moved on top of it, until he found the spoon and the bowl.

He slowly mixed it. The texture seemed to be more of a porridge then a soup. Still, he leaned forward, in order to make it less likely to make a mess.

As he started to eat it, enjoying the hot food. He could feel the sweetness of the carrots, and the squishiness of the tomatoes and the firmness of the barley and the bitterness of the broccoli and the spiciness of the coriander and many other ingredients, that were in. It was all thick enough, that it was less of the chance of spilling the soup while eating.

When he finished, he took the napkin next to it to wipe himself. But when he finished, he felt Albert taking it and brushing on the two other places. He was getting sleepy, which was probably why he missed it. He smiled, as Albert took the bed table away. "I think I will sleep some more." As he lowered himself down to the pillows again.

There was no answer, and for a moment William felt a bit of panic. "Albert?" he called to the room.

It was not three seconds, when he felt a hand on his shoulder, gripping him and centring him. So William moved to the side and gripped that hand in his hands. "Will you stay here?" He hoped he was not sounding as weak as he was feeling.

He just felt Albert hand in his hair, combing and brushing it. That relaxed him, and he finally allowed himself to fall asleep.

When he woke up, the first thing he noticed was, that he needed to go and pee. The second thing he noticed was, that there was nobody on the bed next to him. He raised himself quickly. Next was removing his covers to get from out of them. But by the time he could do this, he already had a hand steadying him.

The feel of the hand and the smell told him, that this was Louis. But there was a part of him, that was still not sure. "Louis?" he asked.

William raised his hand, until he could feel the hair lying over the eyes, and the glasses and the burn on the cheek. He then let his hand just stay there.

Louis removed his arms, one ended up covering the one on the cheek, and the other one found his other hand. He signed it: "Do you need anything?"

Louis and Albert must have been talking. Still, the thing he needed to ask Louis with was a bit embarrassing. But nothing he could not now. Better Louis than Moran. "I need a chamber pot." he said.

Louis nodded, something he could feel because of his hand. He then helped William raise himself and let him to the bathroom. Which fine, he was still not sure how much strength he regained, so maybe he needed the help.

But when Louis started to unsash his clothes, is when William started to protest. "I think I could do this myself."

Louis paused, but did not remove himself. Sort of like asking 'are you sure?'.

Which yes he was. "I just need help locating the chamber pot, not help with the actual act." The walk there also told him, that as long as he is slow and careful, he does not need help moving.

Louis finally removed himself, and then let William to the place, and slid something to him. Most likely a chamber pot. He did check this himself, but kneeling and touching it.

Louis stepped away, be William was sure, that he was still looking over him. Once he undressed enough to pee, he needed to also kneel down, to make sure he was hitting the right place. He was hoping he was hitting the right place, but there is no way he is going to ask Louis about it.

He hoped he did not make more mess just for Louis to clean up later.

After he finished, he was gripped to the forearm and gently let to the place with the water for washing.

William tried to figure out, what part will he need help with. "I want to go to the lounge. Will you help me pick out my clothes? I don't think I can feel right now, which parts belong together."

Louis led him back to the bed and sat him there. After that he left, most likely to fetch clothes.

The next things was, that Louis was starting to undress him. William had to still his hands. "I think I can do this myself."

Again, the feeling of 'Are you sure?'. It he did not know, suddenly the mode shifted. Louis gripped his hand. Then he signed "Not the first time."

Which, true. William will give him that. The most recent one had to happen after his rescue, as he did not have the memory of changing his clothes or being that clean. Still, it is a bit different, when a person is not capable of doing it for different reason and right now. "I am alright, Louis."

They waited like that for a couple of seconds. Usually by now, Louis would be pulling back, but for some reason, this was not happening. Instead Louis signed back. "Just let me."

William wanted to remove his hands, but Louis gripped them more. So he stopped.

Then Louis started to sign. "It took almost a week, before we found you. Albert did not allow himself any sleep, as long as he had any kind of lead. It seemed like Fred had sometimes been on multiple places at the same time, with information that he was bringing. Moran was responsible for so many distractions, that police is now looking for him. At least he is smart enough to not get caught. When Patterson was not dealing with Moran mess, he was trying to talk to all the constables, trying to figure out if they had any information. Herder was trying to invent something to help you find you. Moneypenny even infiltrated one of the human auctions to try and find you there."

William filed some of this information away. It was absolutely something, that will need to be addressed, but there was something more important right now. "What about you?"

"I will do anything to save you." Louis now signed.

William was thinking over the words, and then he nodded. "Alright, if that will make you feel better." he acquiesced.

Louis made sure he was gentle, when he started to undress him. Removing each piece and then gently indicating with the leather light touch, when he did want William to move.

William followed him. "Albert did mention, that you needed to be ordered to sleep. I guess he needed the same order."

He could not detect any change in Louis, as he continued to dress him in his shirt. So he continued. "I never intended for any of you to worry."

Now Louis paused, as he gripped his hand for a second. Then continued to do, what he was doing before hand.

When they were finished, Louis led him out and down the hall and down the stairs. William was sure, he could feel his way around - after all, it is a house he lives in. It seemed Louis needed this for some reason, so William just let him do what he wanted.

When they came to the lounge, at least based on the inner map William was referencing, they stopped. The next moment somebody looped him on the shoulder. If he would not be ready for something based on Louis stopping, this would be sure to startle him.

He could feel Louis tensing, but not in danger but in annoyance. So even before somebody could confirm it for him, he could guess the identity of another person. "Moran. Lively as ever."

There was no reaction. Not from Louis nor from Moran. At least not something William could notice right now.

He was hoping Louis and Moran and not glaring at each other. It would not be the first time and it would not surprised William. But the image of it made William giggle a little.

This must have broken something that was happening in the room, as Louis let William to the chair and sat him there. He then signed quickly the word 'tea' and then left him there.

He then felt a small touch on the hand. It was smaller than either Louis' or Moran's and the smell of the person made it more likely to be "Fred?" he asked. Then he raised his other hand. "Mind if I touch you face to make sure?"

He could feel Fred move based on the turning of the hand, that was in his. He moved himself until William's hand hit his cheek. He raised that hand up, until he could feel the spiky hair and he moved his hand around, until he padded him on the top of the head. He raised the other hand up, until it could feel his cheek and ear and forehead.

It felt about the same as the mental picture of the Fred. He wondered, if he will have to do this with every person from now on. He hoped not. He knew they were indulging him now, but this is not something, that he could depend on long term.

Better to work on the people recognition bz the touch of the hand and by smell and maybe he should find some other one.

William dropped his hands, letting one of the hands drop down the arm until it could gripped Fred's. "I am alright."

He felt Fred gripping his hand and he tried to sign something. But he seems to have been thinking hard about how to, and it was therefore hard to follow.

"Fred, lets try something else." He moved his hand, so Fred's hand was on his palm. "Try writing it in the block letters instead."

Fred did not needed to be told twice, as he started writing. And William was surprised, how quickly could he understand it. 'I am glad you are back safe.'

"True. I am also glad to be back."

He started to write something else, but he only got to "We were all...", when he stopped. There was a pause, and then Fred's hand moved away.

And was replaced by the hand, which was harder, metallic under the glove. It wrote on his palm 'Don't do this again.'

"I will try to make sure to not get kidnapped without a prior plan again." William said.

They were just staying here, enjoying each other company, until Moran wrote on his palm 'Go ahead.'

William was sure this was Moran, but if he was given explicit permission, then he going to use it. He let it explore every inch of the face and hair, memorising it.

It was interesting, how much rougher his hair felt compared to Albert's or Louis' or Fred's. Maybe Albert should give him some pointers? He would suggest it, if he could see this ending up in any positive way.

Maybe one day, if he would need some entertainment.

The aroma of the Ceylon tea reached his nose. Moran finally put the hands away, and he could feel a cup with the saucer being placed in his hand.

When he took the first sip of the tea, it was finally as all the pieces came into place. This is home. He is safe. Everything is going to be alright.

That allowed him to notice one thing missing. "Is Albert sleeping?" Now that he took a minute to ponder, what time of the day is it anyway?

It was Louis, who took his hand and wrote 'Picking up breakfast.' on his palm. Which answered both of the William's question. So he just enjoyed the tea for a while.

He just finished the tea. Before he could put it back on the table, it was taken out of his hands. He wanted to object to this, but it was at that time, that he could feel Albert's hand gripping him. There was also a smell of freshly baked bread in the air now.

"Did you bring scones?" William asked. He could feel hunger in his stomach.

The bag was placed in his hand. Based on the weight and the shapes in it, there were multiple scones in it. He just took one out for now na then offered the bag back.

Once that was removed, he took a bit from it. It was still hot, moist, and soft, so it did not crumble. Instead, what he was tasting inside was... "I like the blueberry ones." He then took another bite.

He hoped the others were eating their own, and not just looking at him eating.

Once he finished eating and could pull it down with another cup of Louis' excellent tea, he started to ask the question, that was on his mind. "What did you tell the university?"

It was Louis hand, that wrote the answer on his palm. They told the university, that he is recovering for sickness. Since it is holidays between the terms, they told him to rest until the start of the term.

He could feel Albert's hand touching his next. When he gripped it, he could feel Albert sign his question to him. "Can you tell us what happened?"

William nodded, as he become more serious. He did not have a way to keep track of the reactions of the people around him. He also did not have a good way of them getting all the information they collected to him - both the writing in the hand and the signing with the Morse code took too long for info dumps. But at least he could be sure he got their attention. "This is what I know."

He had already go over all the information he had before being rescued. Not like he could do much else towards the end of it. So it was not hard to share all the information he had about it.

When he finished talking, he could feel the tiredness taking over him. He was not even awake for that long.

He could feel a grip on the shoulder. He had to touch the hand to realise, that it was Louis'. But that also made him realise, that he was shaking. It was barely noticeable, and if not for the physical contact, maybe he would not notice it at all.

He tried to turn into the direction he was thinking Louis was standing and smiling. He gripped his hand more strongly.

But that was about what he could do, before he lost his consciousness.

When he woke next time, based on the consistency of the place he was lying down, he was still in the lounge. There was a pillow behind his head and the cover over him.

His hand was hold in another. Moving it, and exploring it, he could see it was Louis'.

Louis let him for some time. In that time he also checked his temperature on the forehead. He then turned his hand around and started to barrage him with the questions: 'Do you need water? Food? Toilet? Rest? ...'

William let his go for a while. Then he said. "Some food would be nice. Was there any of that porridge left?"

There was no movement, and William had to question about it. Maybe there is no of the soup anymore. But then why is the Louis not answering? "If there is none left, something else would also be good."

There was just a squeeze of the hand, but no actual information. William just let his hand cover Louis' and squeeze back.

A short while later, William could smell the porridge. So there was some left, and somebody else fetched it. He tried to smell it behind it. He had to concentrate, but that was Fred?

Whoever it was, that person did not make himself knows.

He raised his hands, expecting to receive the bowl and the spoon. Instead of that, he got a Morse code tapping on his wrist to open his mouth.

William was not surprised. "Are you planing to feed me like a baby?"

As he was thinking this over, the answer came over with the spoon at his mouth.

William took it, but then he tried to take a hold of the spoon. But the spoon was not where he was expecting it. It took a couple of seconds for the spoon to be at the mouth, and he grabbed it there.

It was just enough information for him to be sure, that it was Louis doing this, and not whoever brought the soup. "Louis, I think it will be less of a mess, if I eat myself."

He expected Louis to just pass it to him, but nothing happened. So he tried to just take the spoon, but his other hand was gripped. They just stayed like this for a moment.

Then Louis tired to jerk away, and William was not prepared for it, so he reacted by instinct. That meant, he used too much power, and that caused both of them to tumble to the ground.

Louis ended up on top of William. It seemed he had the soup somewhere safer, since he could not feel any wetness. At least for the first moment.

Louis just rested on him, his cheek on his neck. Both of them were still gripping each other hands, so William released his hand.

Louis did not. Instead William could feel a wetness on his neck. It took him a couple of seconds to realise the most likely reason for this.

He gripped Louis head. "Louis? What is wrong?"

He could feel Louis shake his head, but there was no communication. He would need to release his hand for this, and so far it did not look like, that is going to happen.

So William just started to mummer a tune. One that Albert used to sing to them, when they were living at the Rockwell. At least he hoped he was murmuring, and it was not just some soundless exercise.

They stayed there for a while. It was on the fifth repetition of the song, that he could feel Louis releasing his hand and raising himself up.

William let his hand fall down. "Are you alright?" he asked Louis.

He did not get any answer. He eventually slowly raised his hand, until he found Louis cheek, and he slide the thumb over it. It was moist, but not wet. Still, not much he could without having any idea about the reason.

He could feel Louis say something. Not that this helped, as he could not hear him. "Louis."

Louis' face movement stopped at this. He then slowly raised himself up and away from William. But soon afterwards, gripped William and helped his raise back to the chair.

William let his, as he did not know what else to do. Just as he let Louis feed him afterwards. Even when it made more of a mess, Louis made sure the wipe it as soon as possible.

When they finished, William just sat there, extending his hand for the Louis to take. It took a while, and he was not sure if Louis was still there. But he eventually took it and William pulled him to him, until Louis was curled next to him.

They stayed like that for while. William let himself hug Louis closer to himself. He wanted to know what was wrong, but at long he and Louis will stay together, there is going to be a time later to fix this. And if not...

He noticed a smell of sewer water in the air, that made it hard to distinguish anything else. He could feel Louis' hand move up and turn. Did he notice something? There was William relaxed his arm, in case Louis will need to move quickly, but Louis did not move.

Instead, William could feel a touch on his hand, that he was having on Louis. He could feel both of Louis' hands, so it was from somebody else. And tapping the Morse code on his hand of Albert's name made everything but the smell make sense.

Maybe it was his wrinkled nose, maybe he showed it in some other way, or, most likely, Albert was just aware of the smell, as he tapped the word "Work."

"You really should let the people in your company do this kind of work sometimes."

"Maybe." Tapped Albert in agreement. "I need to get changed and it is late. I was surprised to see you still awake."

"Is it that late? It feels like I just woke up a short while ago." William now said. "Alright."

He started to unwrap himself from the William-Louis bundle to raise himself up. Louis gave him the space to move, but he did not move away from him.

He was not sure what gave him away, but Albert simply tapped on his hand. "Let Louis mother you. It will make him feel better."

William knew Albert was right, which is why he let so of it happen. But he did not want to imagine him being a burden needing constant supervision. He especially did not want to burden Louis. And if this will be his permanent condition, he might as well get used to it as soon as possible.

Even if part of him wanted the support right now.

William was prepared to let Louis led him to his room. Still, Louis took some time to started to move. Did he had to talk to Albert about something? Just as William wanted to comment on this, they made their way, out of the lounge, up the stairs and in William's room. Where William let Louis undress and dress him in the sleeping grown.

Louis then wrote on his palm. "Is there anything else you need?"

William had a list, but decided to concentrate on the practical ones. Actually, there was probably just one, that could cause the problem until morning. "I don't think I cleaned the chamber pot after using it. And maybe a glass of water."

"I cleaned it. I will bring it here." Louis wrote, as he released his hand.

He returned a short time after. He guided William's leg, until he could hit the chamber pot, and then let his hand, until he could feel the glass and the pitcher. There was also some tissues? Toilet paper? next to it.

"You can just call for me." Louis wrote on his hand, before letting William lie down.

William let Louis tuck him to bed. "You need to sleep as well, Louis." There was no answer and William could imagine the look on Louis face right now. He is not going to confirm this by touching his face. "Your room in right next door. You will hear is something happens."

There was nothing, but then Louis eventually writes back "Alright." Still, he stays there, gripping his hand.

William was sure it will take him longer to fall asleep. But even if his mind did not need the rest, his body did. So it did not take much time at all.

He woke up after a while. He raised himself from the bed. It is not like ne needed anything, he just naturally woke up. But unlike all the times so far, there was nobody there to support him now.

He did ask Louis to get some rest. He is perfectly fine being here alone.

There was a feeling of somebody gripping the insides of his chest, knowing that the feeling came from him.

If something happened right now, there is nothing he could do to even find out about it, let alone protect the people in this house. Sure, there were Albert and Moran. And good as they are, his own kidnapping proved, that they are not without some blind spots. Even more, it clearly showed how big his own blinds sports actually were.

If these same people came for Louis, he would have no way of knowing.

Even as a part of him tried to talk him out of it, he started raising from the bed. He found the slippers next to the bed and slowly made his way to his doors of his room.

One positive side of his condition was also, that not having a light does not make much of a difference.

As he opened his door, he noticed a weird stink in the air. Like the mixture of puke and blood and piss? Mixed with the sewer stink from the evening. What was happening.

He made to the door on the other side of the hall. He knocked on the door. He tried to be as soft as possible. He then put the hand on the door, so he could feel if it started to open. And he started to count. One, two, three...

He waited until the count of sixty, yet there was no change. So he opened the door.

In Louis room, the stink was even worse. The fear now gripped William's heart. Did anything happen here? If anything should happen to Louis, he will...

He felt somebody gently grab his hand and raise it to the face. As soon as he recognised the familiar shape of the scar and hair, he sagged. Louis. He let himself lean forward, until their foreheads touched.

Louis' other hand hugged him, making him accept more of William's weight. They just stood like that. William waited to stop feeling his heartbeat in his body.

After a short while, William raised himself. He tried to explain himself. "When I woke up, it smelt horrible. I was worried something had happened."

Somebody else put a stead hand on his shoulder. He reached hand up, and then tracing the bare forearm, the raised up shirt sleeved, then the west and ended up with the familiar slightly curvy and soft hair.

Did Louis call for Albert, as soon as he saw William? Was it already morning, for Albert to be dressed? He slowly lowered his other hand to check Louis' clothes and also felt west and the shirt underneath. No sleeping grown.

Where they cleaning then? And what exactly was that smell in the air? It was stronger in Louis room than on the hall.

He let both Louis and Albert let him to sit on the bed, as they each took one side of him, with Louis leaning on him, and Albert talking his hand. He still asked. "What is that smell?"

Albert took his hand and tapped. "Just soaking some dirty laundry."

Which would be a perfectly acceptable explanation, if they would be doing it in the room below dedicated to this, and not in the Louis' room. Also, how much of a mess did the clothes had to be, for the smell to be that strong.

He could feel something distract Louis, and he turned his head. Yet it was Albert, that tapped his hand, and then stood up from the bed and left.

He gripped Louis' hand. "Is something happening?"

He could feel Louis now turn to him, and he repeated his question. Was he not loud enough before? Was there some noise present?

"Nothing is happening." Louis wrote on his palm. William very much doubted that, even if he had no way of knowing it for sure. Louis' was relaxed, so whatever it was, it was not dangerous.

William felt himself yawn. He could feel Louis writing. "Do you want to go back to sleep? It is still before dawn."

"I feel like all I do is sleeping." William said. Still, Louis and Albert seemed to be alright. Or at least safe. Even so "What is Albert doing?"

Then somebody tapped on his hand. "Just dealing with a small mess."

William mind started to churn all the information he had, because he as sure that Albert and Louis were not telling him something. But that just made him more tired, and he was aware, he does not have long before simply losing his awareness. He yawned again.

"You are right, maybe better to return to bed." he said, as he stood up. Albert let him, while Louis helped him. It did not take long for him to be tucked back in.

When he woke up next, he could feel something else on his bed, and upon investigation, he felt Louis' head on the bed. He did not react to William's touch, so he must be sleeping.

Crunched on the bed could not be a good way to sleep. On the other hand, how much did Louis sleep in the previous days? Probably not much. So William was deciding between walking Louis up or simply letting him sleep.

Well, it is not like he had a need for moving now. And at least he could not smell the stench from last night. And Louis hair was nice. He was not allowing himself these indulgences much.

He then felt tapping on his hand. "Lou..."

William jerked his hand away, and gripped it. He was not expecting anybody to see him. Then he realised, from the start of the word and the tapping used, that it was most likely just Albert.

He reached up until he could confirm that and then let his hand fall. "I am sorry, Albert, you just surprised me."

He then felt, a slower grip on his hand, before the message was tapped. "Just commenting on Louis finally sleeping."

So Louis had not been sleeping much. "True. It would be a shame to wake him up now."

"Then let him sleep." Albert tapped, as he then helped William maneuver out of the bed.

William then felt the need to take a toilet. The chamber pot was still next to the bed. At least he could pretend, that nobody was watching him. Even when, by the time he finished it, he was given a moist towel in his hands to wipe them.

He put in next to the pitcher after finishing.

Then Albert simply tapped on his hand. "Clothes on the bed." He could feel the collection, just as he could feel Louis now lying on his bed under the covers. So he did not need long to change his own clothes for the new ones.

"I will need to reorganise my wardrobe." William now said, as he finished dressing up. "I can't depend on you or Louis picking my clothes every day."

He did not get an answer to that.

They made their way downstairs. But instead of going to the lounge, they ended up in the garden. Apparently, it was a nice, sunny weather outside.

When they stepped outside, William felt like he was blinded and had to close his eyes. He made his way to the bench. There he slowly opened his eyes again. He could still not see anything, yet it felt like he was in a brighter place.

Well, he could still enjoy the breeze and the fresher air. And the sun on his skin felt really nice.

He felt tapping on his hand. "I have a lunch obligation, but Fred and Moran are in the garden, if you need anything."

William nodded, as he did not let himself be disturbed. He felt the squeeze of the hand in answer and then nothing.

William let mind ruminate on the whatever it stroke it fancy. He continued on the Mercury position problem, he taken the note on all the things he still needs more information about, from Moneypenny human trafficking to whatever Louis and Albert were doing.

He felt somebody timidly touch his hands, recognising them as Fred's, before writing the message on his palm. "I made some mint lemonade. Do you want some?"

Now that he got this question, William noticed that he had been thirsty, and that he was also getting hungry. "Lemonade would be nice." He said with the smile.

It took about a minute, but he could then feel the cold glass next to his hand. He raised it up and explored it, finding the straw in it. He smelled it before drinking it. It was a good mint lemonade.

That was refreshing. When he finished it, he put it back on the bench next to him. He could feel somebody remove it to the safer place most likely meant, that Fred was still there.

"What is Moran doing right now?" William asked. He did not get any kind of attempt of communication at this, so he hoped he was right in Fred still being there, and this was not just him talking in the air. "I just feel a bit bored right now."

His hand was gripped started writing. Moran was sitting some place away, lazing around. He has been like that for over an hour. Then they changed to the requests, that Fred collected and not yet passed on. How Albert asked for a leave of absence from work. Then the status of the rose garden. William made sure to keep the questions going, to get Fred talking more.

Fred then paused at one point. For some reason, he felt more more tense then before.

William used his other hand to lightly cover him. "Is there something wrong?"

There was pause. Since Fred did not remove his hands, William decided to just wait him out.

Eventually, Fred wrote on his palm: "I shouldn't..." the writing paused. "It is not..." the writing paused again.

"Fred." William now said. "You don't have to say it. But whatever it is, nobody is going to hold it against you." After William said his piece, he expected that Fred will simply let it go.

After a couple of seconds, Fred started to write: "Albert and Louis can be..." he paused. Then after a longer pause, the finished: "scary."

William had to think over this sentence. Putting it in the context of where they first met Fred. "If Albert allowed you to recognise his scary side and live, then this just means he considers you one of the rare people he trusts and likes." He then smiled. "And Albert would never turn against anybody he likes, which makes his scary side safe and comfortable."

Fred did not say anything, when William though he heard a gunshot? Fred tensed, but then Fred just wrote on the palm. "Moran just shot the bush."

William would like to know why. But before he could ask this, he heard some very muffled noises. It was like somebody was screaming very far away. He could not recognise any words, yet there was something familiar at it.

It was only then that it hit him. He could hear something.

Fred wrote on the palm: "Louis started to admonish Moran. I am going to go clean the remains of the lemonade."

With this Fred had released the hands. William instead concentrated on the muffled screaming. If he really concentrated, he though he could even distinguish the Moran's cadence from Louis'.

Still, it did not take long for it to stop and William ended up back with no perceived sounds. He leaned back.

It was not long, until he could felt Louis' hand in his. After a grip, he started writing: "Are you alright?"

"I am fine, Louis." William said. "Fred mentioned Moran shot the bush?"

"Moran is Moran." Louis wrote.

Before he could write something more, William stood up. "I think I will take a nap in the lounge."

Louis helped him and William let him. They ended up in the lounge and William willed himself to sleep. He would usually have a lot of problems with sleeping until he was on the point of exhaustion. and yet, it did not take him long to fall asleep.

When he woke up, it was to the hand moving some strains from his face. He put all his mental ability into not reacting to it.

"He looks so cute and at peace, when he sleeps like this." Albert. He could hear Albert's voice. It was muffled and William had to strain himself to understand it, but he could. Hear it.

"He... always... that." Louis. He could hear Louis voice as well, but even straining, he could not understand everything.

"I agree." Albert said.

He then brushed the hair in a way, that tickled William and he could not stop the twitch. Albert removed his hand from him.

".. awake?" asked Louis now.

"I hope I did not wake him. He needs rest." Albert now said.

Louis now said something, but William could not understand a single word.

"I will rest once William is back on his feet and the danger is passed." Albert said.

"... them ... left."

"I will have to leave soon." Then was a pause, and then William felt the hand on his, and then tapping. "Are you awake?"

There was no point in hiding his wakefulness. He moved a bit, like he wanted to snuggle to his covers more and said "Still sleepy." He then said "You were playing with my hair, right?" He tried to pick with one eye from the cover.

Then he realised, that he can see Albert. He could only see a small part of it, like looking from the scope. The colours were off, since he was sure, that Albert's eyes used to be more vibrant. His smile was still as kind as always. And he could see it.

William sat up, and he looked forward. He could now see Louis. Worried, with the colour of his eyes greenish instead of red, but there. Seen.

Instead of commenting on this, he turned to Albert. "How did you lunch appointment go?"

"As expected." was what William got back on the taps of his hands.

"And Louis?" he now asked.

He could see Louis' face relaxing, before he made his way to William. Gripping his hand in his own. "I am here, brother." he said.

William let himself sag.

He could hear Albert's voice now from a bit further away. "Louis, are you going to be alright?"

William could not feel anything different in Louis' hands. But his voice was sharp as steel. "Don't worry."

Louis turned back to him, so William assumed that Albert had left. Louis wrote on his hand. "Are you alright? Do you need anything? Food? Drink?"

"I am fine, Louis." William then said. The he decided to tease and gather some information at the same time. "I would just like to spend some time with my two brothers."

Louis looked down. Only after a moment, did the squeeze of his hands followed. "Albert had some other appointment." he wrote on the palms.

"Is work keeping him busy?" William now asked.

"Yes, there is..." Louis started to write, but William stilled him by placing another hand on his.

"We don't lie to each other, do we?" William now asked.

Louis had now out his hand over the William's. He said: "I don't want to live in a world without you."

"As much as I understand the feeling, I don't think leaving me in the dark with help it."

William could both feel and see Louis tense. He slowly raised his head, until his eyes met William's. William could see the fear in them.

Instead William smiled. "I am not angry at you, Louis."

Louis looked down and swallowed. "Since when?" he said.

William waited for Louis to answer his question first, but after a while it seemed like Louis was waiting for his answer. "I still can not hear everything. But the first sound was Moran's gunshot today."

Louis nodded. "Albert found the place, where some of them are meeting tonight."

"Where is it?" William asked.

"Brother, you are in no state to go there."

"Louis, please."

Louis looked at him. He seemed to be fighting against something inside himself, but then he nodded. "I am coming with you. And I am not taking no as an answer. You are probably still not in a state to be going alone."

"I could ask Moran..." William started, but stopped on the Louis glare. He had to carefully think this over.

Normally, he would not want to involve Louis into any actual crime activity. On the other hand, Louis was right. He could not go alone in his current state. He needed somebody he trusted to at least keep a look out for danger, that he could still not perceive. And he trusted Louis.

Also, as Fred had mentioned, Albert can be intense and scary in certain situations. Especially when he is thinking it is protecting any of the people he considers him. Which includes William, as much as he does not feel like is should. Maybe he should not be involving the people, that he is not sure Albert will react positively to, or they to him.

William nodded. "Alright."

They prepared. William made sure to take his sword. It was not long, when the two people, hand in hand, dressed in black, made their way through the city, until they came to the right building.

William had to move his head a lot to keep looking over the situation. But so far it seemed like somebody, probably Albert, already dealt with all the people present. Permanently.

After some time, when they walked another turn, they could see somebody on the hall, already pointing the gun in them.

But even before William, or Louis, reacted to this, Albert was already lowering the gun and making their way to them. "William. Louis." Then he reached his hand over William's, indicating his presence.

Then he suddenly took the gun from his pocket, and shot something behind him. Then turning, and just as another person came from the corner, he shot them dead as well. "Wait here a bit. This should not take long." he both said and tapped on the hand, before releasing the hand and moving away, as he would disappear into the darkness.

William and Louis waited in silence. They did not want to give their enemies any easier job to finding them. And it did not take more than a couple of minutes for the Albert to come back.

"Done?" asked Louis, when Albert just stood there next to them.

Albert looked at the door on the other side of the hall. He then reached with his hand to William. And then tapped and spoke at the same time. "The supposed head of this should still be in that room." He then moved William's hand, so William could feel himself pointing to that door.

"Let us proceed then." said William, as he started to walk towards the door.

Before William could reach the door, Albert already arrived there. He paused, waited for William to come closer and stopped him by holding his hand.

"You know there is no need for that anymore, right?" William now asked.

Albert nodded, but still did not release his hand. Instead he tapped. "I do. Still, let me go first."

William nodded. And therefore let Albert get in first. He still stayed by the door and watched together with Louis.

Albert started to make a quick work of everybody protecting the person in the middle of the room. But just before Albert finished one of the last people, William recognised her and "Albert, leave her alive."

Albert fluently changed his movement, so he made sure, that the only woman in the group ended up just defeated at the wall, but not dead. The rest of them were not that unlucky.

William walked in front of her now. He could feel Louis behind him, but he was only looking at the crunched form of the woman. He kneeled in front of her. "There is just one thing I want to know. What was the point of it?"

She looked up at William's face. It was then, that the recognition bloomed on it. "I see. They died because of you."

Louis stepped forward, but William stopped him with his hand. He was studying here, but he could see, that she is not going to give him the information he wanted. He will just have to hope Albert found it instead.

So he raised his hand towards Albert. "You gun."

It took a couple of seconds, but William could feel the gun in his hand and Albert hand holding his. He tapped. "This is not the sin you should bear." before releasing his hand.

William did not agree with Albert. All of this were his sins to bear. There is no way he is letting Albert, or worse Louis, bear it. They did enough.

He pointed the gun to the person. "Any last words."

She just grinned at him. "Thank you for proving my research."

William narrowed his eyes, but there was nothing else that she said. So after about half a minute, he shot her in the head.

He let the hand fall down. She was the head of the research. And the one personally doing the research and torture.

He could not let anybody else kill for his own personal vendetta. He did not even want them to know, that this was for his personal feeling.

He could feel somebody took the gun from his hand.

"Louis, take William home. I can do the cleanup myself." Albert said.

William let himself be let outside. But there, he redirected Louis to the nearby place. He had every intention to see this to the end.

And as expected, it did not take long for the house to be enveloped in the fire. It did not take more than three minutes, for Albert to make their way to them. He just took one look at them, and then found them a carriage to take them home in quick order.

Once they came home, Louis made sure William was comfortable, and then started to prepare a drink for everybody. William and Albert therefore ended up sitting and facing each other.

"I won't apologise." said Albert.

"I don't expect you to." William then paused for effect, before continuing. "But did you really needed to use Louis' room?"

"I was not about to leave you alone." Louis said from near the cart, as he poured the three glasses of apple cider and put them in front of them. "And my room is closer than the room we usually use."

William looked at both of them in turn. "You did not have to do anything."

William finished looking at Albert, and he could now see Albert look at Louis' direction. Then he stood up, and he could feel Louis grabbing his shoulder. Albert grabbed the hand on the other side.

William looked from one to another, trying to figure out what they were planing. But all they did was close their hands around his and leaned their heads to Williams.

Then he could felt the tapping on his hand by Albert. "Just let us show our appreciation for you. We won't feel better, if we don't make up from our blunder."

"That was not your fault." William now said, looking at Albert.

Albert shrugged. But he did not avert his eyes. He tapped. "Bad luck would make me feel even worse. I want to think, that if I was better, I could prevented this."

"Brother." now Louis said, and waited for William to turn to his side, before continuing. "None of us wants to live in a world without you. Is it so bad, that we want to make sure you are alright and that any danger to you is nonexistent? Isn't that what you are doing all the time for us?"

William wanted to refute this. Just because they were worth of protecting, does not mean that he was. But he was also tired, so he just leaned towards Louis head.

He then squeezed his hands, feeling both of his brothers here with him. On the end, that was what was important right now. All of them being here, alive and safe and fine. He had no energy to convince his brothers right now, so he only ended with one last thing.

"Thank you."

He could practically feel the energy beaming from both of them even with his eyes closed.

I got the original idea from reading the book Perfume. The original idea was how William would be surprising people with how much he could detect through touch and smell alone.

If you had read so far, you could see that this is not the idea that came out of it. When I was writing it, I realised that the three Moriarty brothers most likely depends a lot on reading each other when communicating. If one of them loses the ability to read them, how would that effect their communication.

I have used this article as inspiration to how would William communicate and what could he be expected to sense. Still, all wrong descriptions are of my own making.

Also, I wrote about half of this in the IndieWeb Black Friday Build don't Buy Event. That even was fun and it was thanks to all of them, that this was finished when it was (would be much later without them, and it might end up a different story).

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