A puff of smoke created a haze around them, fading gently into the weak, flickering light before being replaced by another. Glasses and bottles lay scattered over the tables and on the floor. Faint music buzzed in the background as the clock hit 3am. There weren't many people left in the pub. Just a few quiet, angry men, standing alone or huddled in pairs, not speaking. Drinking the night away, just like they did every night, because they'd nowhere else to go. Nothing better than this. Apart from that, it was just them.
They were lost in that state of confusion where nothing matters. Not even your confusion matters because, for the moment, it's not important. That state where you don't have to think. Just be. Too far gone to notice the mess around you, too drunk to care. The state of being content. Relaxed. Free. The state of 3am.
Pandora lay asleep on Thomas' lap, resting their heads against each other. Naomi and Emily giggled quietly in the corner, finishing off their last drinks, not really knowing why they were laughing. They just felt like it. Katie was subconsciously flirting with one of the men at the far side of the room. Probably something they'd both regret in the morning, as the man was in his early thirties at least, but for now, it didn't matter. It was that time of the night when everyone new looks the same. No inhibitions, no worries. You just do what your heart tells you to because your head is practically disconnected. Effy was asleep. Her arm resting across Freddie's warm body, her hand gently held in his as he traced his finger slowly up and down her soft skin. He was awake, but only just. Not asleep, but still unaware of his surroundings. He didn't have to dream. He was just content. Tony had fallen asleep hours ago in the middle of a game. His head was face down on the table, which was littered with playing cards. No-one noticed the faint dripping of his pint on the floor. Cleanliness doesn't matter at 3am. JJ sat on a stool at the bar, the only one in the group who was still alert. He smiled to himself, observing his friends. They were all together again and he couldn't ask for more than that. Where were they? They didn't know. Somewhere. They'd nowhere they needed to be, so anywhere would do. They were taking each moment as it came. Living for the moment, forgetting the rest for now. Cook had fallen asleep on Effy's other side, his fingers running through her hair as she leaned against Freddie, intertwined between the two boys. It wasn't wrong at 3am.
In a strange way, things were normal again. It hadn't been easy to convince Cook to even come. JJ begged him for hours without success. However, one look into Effy's calm eyes, and he was in the car with the rest of them. They ended up wherever they felt like stopping. Somehow, everything was alright. Nothing was resolved. Things probably weren't how they should be. Two boys and one broken girl. But that was how they were. It was probably how they were going to be as well. They didn't really know how things had ended up like this. A year of confusion, a few weeks of hell, and then an irrational trip to the middle of nowhere. A crowd of beautiful disasters, lost in the state of 3am. It was wrong, probably, but at 3am, it doesn't matter.