"Hey!" Annie shouted over the music, hopping towards Nik with a spring in every one of her steps. The latter sat on a cheap plastic chair near the stage, nursing a can of soda in his hands.

"Hey." Nik replied calmly, but without the usual warmth of his voice.

Annie frowned. They were finally getting to celebrate at prom, after a year of supernatural chaos. Why on earth would an extrovert be sitting alone in a corner?

She squatted in front of Nik, gently folding her dress over her knees, and forced him to look her in the eye.

He didn't seem particularly sad, Annie observed. She had witnessed Nik's 'holding back tears' appearance after the volleyball team's lost their semifinals match back in the ninth grade. He wasn't particularly angry. He'd be scowling much more if he was, and looking for a way to cool off instead of just sitting there. Was he tired after the fight? No way, not with this many people around. He thrived off of positive energy. His expression was neutral. Exhausted, but not physically. Nik looked... disappointed.

"Where's Erin?" Annie asked. "Shouldn't you be dancing with your girl? I know you love to dance." she teased, waving her arms in time with music to encourage him.

"I-" Nik sighed, lifting his head away from Annie. "No. She went to the hospital with Aspen."

"Oh." Was all Annie managed to come up with. She'd never been good with words, or at comforting people.