"Jack!" Crutchie stopped in the doorway and called back into the house. A messy brown-haired kid was sleeping on the doorstep. "Jack!" Crutchie called again, and was answered by his friend's annoyed grumbling.

"There's some kid sleepin' on our doorstep!" Crutchie yelled, hoping to rouse Jack.

Jack thudded down the stairs, rubbing his eyes tiredly with one hand. He blinked, joining Crutchie in looking at the boy collapsed outside the house. Without a second's thought, Jack picked him up (he was as light as a feather), bringing him to the couch. The boy coughed weakly, and Crutchie gave him a blanket.

"Is he okay?" Jack asked, and Crutchie shrugged.

"I'm not okay," the boy whispered. "I'm Colin."

"Are you sick, Colin?" Jack asked.

"No. I'm Colin." Colin coughed again.

Jack shook his head. "I mean, are you feeling good?"

"No, I'm Colin!"

Crutchie was about ready to crack up, and Jack gave him a withering glance.

"We know you're Colin, Colin. But is you sick?"

"No, I'm Colin."

Jack rubbed his hands over his face, and started walking back upstairs.

"Wait, Jack! You can't leave me here with 'im!" Crutchie said desperately.

"Yeah, I can," Jack disappeared upstairs. Crutchie sighed.

"I'm sick," Colin said, and coughed again. He looked to be only five years old. "My mom told me to get some money. Can you help?"

"Yeah," Crutchie said, sitting next to Colin. "Yeah, we'll help, kid."