His back itched.
Which in itself was a terrible fact, considering the state of his arched back. Though his arms were long and his reach was far, the misshapen lump of bone prevented him from touching one spot on his back. It was the spot that always itched.
He grunted, trying in a fruitless effort to relieve the itch. It was starting to hurt now, in the way itches do when they aren't scratched immediately.
He was certain that the certain part of his back must be very unclean, seeing as he could never reach around to clean it. It was likely why itched so much.
"Agh!" He said in frustration. He face planted onto a clear part of his work bench. Just then, footsteps where heard walking up the staircase to the tower.
"Quasimodo?" Phoebus' voice called. "Esmeralda sent me to come visit you. She's busy today so she couldn't come herself, so you get some nice bonding with me instead! Quasimodo? You here?"
He reached the platform where Quasimodo spent most of his time carving, and found the poor man laying on his table. Now a bit concerned, he swiftly made his way over to the hunchback.
Quasimodo, in the blink of an eye, sat up and turned to face Phoebus.
"Phoebus. P-Phoebus you need to help me." He said.
"What? What is it?" Phoebus asked. Quasimodo seemed to squirm where he stood. He seems to wince as the next words tumbled out of his mouth.
"Can you... Can you scratch my back...?"
Pheobus' expression was blank for half a second before he burst out laughing.
"It's not funny!" Quasimodo said.
"Ha ha! Just- here just... turn around." He said between laughter. Quaismodo did so, not looking happy about it.
"Where's the spot?" Phoebus asked, his voice still full with amusement.
"It's right under... It's under it."
"Ah, I see." His fingers gently grazed the bottom of the hunch and then started to scratch roughly.
"It's a little higher- oh my..." Quasimodo seemed to melt as soon as the itch began to subside. Phoebus noticed the change in his friend's demeanor, and focused on his task.
"Tell me when to stop." He said, raking his nails over the spot. As he was scratching, he noticed how the skin under the cloth seemed almost blistered. It was a sign of cleanliness to have your skin smooth, and he's seen many of children with patches of warts and pimples who did not have the luxury of bathing.
"Can you not wash this spot? No wonder it itches, Quasimodo."
"Yeah... I've... Never been able to reach it. You can stop now."
Phoebus removed his hand, now deep in thought. He stared at the spot on Quasimodo's back, and stood. He had decided.
"Take off your shirt. We're gonna wash your back." He said.
"You heard me. I'm going to go get some water. Take off your shirt."
Quasimodo stammered as Phoebus stood and ran off. He returned a moment later with a bucket of surprisingly warm water. He found Quasi almost frozen to the spot, as if he couldn't believe what was going on.
He took the shorter man by the arm and led him over to a bare part of the floor. He sat pushed him gently to the floor, and Quasimod sat. He took his seat behind him, and sinse Quasi had failed to remove his shirt before, he lifted it high enough so that it was at least lut of the way.
He then surveyed the damage. It was Quasimodo's usual bumps and bruises, nothing too unusual for the bellringer. But right underneath the prominent hunch there seemed to be a rash of acne. He dipped a dry rag into the warm water, and then gently began to dab it onto the rash. The many pimples weren't the angry red pus filled dots he had expected them to be, but they seemed much more like they had spent much too long growing there.
Quasimodo was shaking, like he usually did when someone was looking at his bare back. Phoebus knew that the only thing he could do was be gentle and give an encouraging word or two. Quasimodo wouldn't accept anything more.
When he was done, or as done as he could be, he dropped the now almost bloody rag into the bucket. The green shirt was lowered back to it's rightful place, and Quasi let go a sigh of relief.
"There. That wasn't so bad, now was it?" Phoebus asked. Quasimodo turned around and faced his friend.
"N-No... Th-Thanks..." He stammered out, looking genuinely grateful.
Phoebus clapped his hand on his friends shoulder. He stood an doffered his hand to Quasimodo. He took it and with a little effort, Pheobus pulled Quasi up as well.
"It was nothing. I mean, what are friends for?"