Rex and Melissa spend a lot of time laying awake in bed together after they both change; Melissa grows into her mindcasting abilities, and Rex grows into a body and mind darker than he could have ever thought he could survive. They spend a lot of their nights in crappy motels together like that, metal chains by the windows and doors that Dess always manages to find good names for. One night she blesses them Radiobiologic and Cytomembranes, the next Digitalizations and Anticommunist. Other nights, they camp out in tents guarded with whatever metals Dess can find- they sleep two to a tent and always have weapons on hand. Rex always keeps the wrench named Apocalyptical right next to his pillow at night, no matter how much the smell of it bothers him, because Melissa insists that he do it. Rex always listens to Melissa like she's the voice of reason in his darkness.

Or the Cowgirl in his midnight.

Rex spends hours holding her hand, letting her taste him as he talks about his new darkling thoughts and darkling feelings. They don't need words but it feels good for Rex to say them, to decide to share them instead of merely letting her invade his mind. Instead of her previous blunt wanderings through his mind, she skims his thoughts, smoothing the rough patches as he process and speaks. In a way, it's like therapy for both of them: Melissa learns to heal from her old self and to perfect her new skills, and Rex learns to speak about the skin he's in.

One day, they're camped out in three tents in Kansas, clear in the middle of a walmart full of electronics and so many stiffs that they'd resorted to picking a few up and moving them just to make room for their tents. They don't keep their tents clustered together this time, because there's no way darklings are going to get them when they're surrounded by this much daylight noise. They lay awake on an airbed that they stole along with a pump from isle 16. Dess had gone off on her own to collect a kiddie pool and gallons of water for them to shower in when they woke up, and Jessica and Jonathan had brought them all back new blankets and pillows. In the morning, they'll throw everything out just incase midnight really does end some day and the world comes back to life.

Rex can't even try to sleep, and spends the late evening (or at least their version of it- they don't keep time normally much anymore) talking to Melissa instead, only taking a break to steal some coffee for Melissa's sake around the time they've declared bed time.

In the darkness and the pounding noise, Rex confesses his guilt for his feelings. He confesses guilt for the hatred he has of the daylight world, for the violence in the thoughts he puts her through. Melissa rubs his arm for a minute while she tries to find the words to say, words she didn't know they needed to share. "I like your darkness, Rex. I like who we are. I like the violence, and I like knowing that you'll never act on it because I am the only person or being that could possibly truly possess your thoughts."