You sleep with your phone under your pillow and turned up full volume out of habit. Even though he never calls. Even though it's been months since he last rang you at three am.
(You're still 'there'. You're still 'his'. And you've a horrible gut feeling that no matter how many types of fiery hell he drags your friendship through, you always /will/ be.)
So when your mobile suddenly rockets Ian Brown into your dreams to rouse you from sleep, it's a damn good job you're a man of routine.
Rolling onto your back, screen flashing 'Elvis' pressed to your ear, your mouth wrestles with both a 'yes?' and 'what?' at the same time, as your half-awake brain tries to find the right greeting.
Even working at barely twenty percent brain capacity, you don't think he deserves it.
Only it's not Elvis who speaks. The voice mumbling down the line is way too soft, way too lilting, a little bit gormless round it's edge like the voice of someone who might forget their own name, and it takes you much longer than it really should to place it.
"Noel..." Your stomach sinks.
As far as your aware, the last time Elvis and Noel spoke to one another was the day Elvis moved back to his mum's.
And the last time you saw Noel, the sketchy little bastard had been E'd out of his tree.
You don't think it's unreasonable to have a bad feeling about this.
"Come pick your lad up..." Noel's voice is muffled into the mouthpiece as though he's trying to eat it, but his words are distant somehow. Faraway. Like he's speaking on autopilot and his brain isn't engaging.
Somehow, you're not surprised. Somehow, you'd expected this.
You snarl down the line, as you cram knuckles into your eyes.
"Fucks sake, Elways. It's two in the morning. Just stick him in a taxi, or somethin'. Can you lot not wipe yer arse without me?"
Quiet on the other end. Just snuffled breathing and distorted trance waves on the wind.
"No can do, mate..."
"And why not?" You scoff, his incompetence sparking you enraged. Even ten storeys high on a mixture of what's likely MDMA cut with dog wormers, he should be able to shove Ellie in a taxi. "Knob stuck in a sheep?"