It's late, and she's cold and tired and hungry, but she's more concerned of the way he limped as he came down the long corridor and how he crawled the last few feet to her cell.
So she lies down on the other side of the bars and reaches out to take his hand.
It's clammy and trembling and she can feel that something is not quite right in the way the bones shift but he grips her hand as if it is a lifeline and he's drowning.
'tell me a story' he pleads and she looks at their entwined hands, feeling his palm rough and damp against her soft, dry one, and she notices that he bites his nails.
And she tells him a story.
"There lived at the foot of Mount Olympus a very old, very poor, very happy couple. and he was named Philemon, and her name was Baukis..."