Trust Contest 2021 Prize - Survey Mission

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Literature Text

Colfax let Adrian lead. So far, the walls hadn’t given either of them ideas, though Adrian looked around with interest far more than Colfax did. “I can’t believe you haven’t looked for a spot to build in here yet,” he mused.

Colfax rolled his eyes. He’d originally come to Sawyer’s apartment as some kind of prisoner. He hadn’t picked the place for the structure available in the walls, and counted himself lucky that he’d worked past that initial introduction of the place. “Never got around to it."

Adrian paused to glance over his shoulder, an amused glint in his eyes even in the low light. “You didn’t feel like putting in the effort, since Sawyer lets you sleep wherever in the main apartment,” he corrected.

Colfax blinked down at him and let a pause draw out. “In so many words. Maybe I don’t want a human knocking on the walls looking for me.”

Adrian snickered. He couldn’t deny that Sawyer, if he got bored enough, might just do that if it meant flushing Colfax out into the open. “I don’t think it’d be that much of a big deal,” he countered. They continued on, looking for a spot that caught his eye. “Besides. It’s nice to have a space that’s just yours. I still keep a bunch of my stuff in my house in Charlie’s walls, even though I come out to visit a lot.”

“Your human is much calmer,” Colfax reminded him. “But you already convinced me. We’re looking.”

They paused to contemplate a perpendicular support board above their heads. Adrian shrugged as he retrieved his string and grappling hook from his bag. “Sure, we’re here. But I’m not gonna build you a bunch of stuff if you’re not even gonna use it.”

“Oh, you’re building for me, are you,” Colfax teased wryly. “I thought you’d draw up a plan and leave me to it.”

“Keep up that enthusiasm and I just might,” Adrian shot back, grinning in spite of the banter. He paused to give his grappling hook a spin before tossing it up. “C’mon. It’ll be a fun project. Sawyer and Charlie have midterms coming up. They’ll be busy with that for a bit, and working on something like a home base will be like …”

He trailed off, but Colfax understood where he was going with it.

Like before. Before they both were discovered and their lives took a series of wild left turns. Not all bad, but not all good either. Before, they’d planned to go about their lives as any other viri would. Settling down somewhere, making a life hiding away from the humans that provided the supplies and food they stole away to survive. Now, such a life didn’t seem possible. Charlie and Sawyer certainly wouldn’t stop them from going back to that, but … it wouldn’t feel quite right. Colfax didn’t regret befriending the humans, as much as it baffled him, and Adrian didn’t regret it either.

“You know I never built anything in the university building,” Colfax reminded him as Adrian started his climb up the string.

Adrian grunted quietly in exasperation. “Yes, I remember, and it drove me nuts. No insulation! Just a mitten to sleep in! No storage!”

“I managed just fine,” Colfax countered. Soon enough Adrian had finished his climb, and Colfax followed after.

Adrian’s pale face appeared over the edge of the board above. “Colfax, you got trapped in a supply closet.”

Colfax rolled his eyes yet again. “Nothing to do with it.”

Adrian rolled his eyes. "You're lucky it was Sawyer that found you and not some random human. We'd never have run into each other if it was someone else, even if they were just as nice."

Colfax didn't have a counterargument to that one. He was lucky. Instead he surveyed the board they'd ended up on. It wasn't all that far off the ground level - only three feet or so - but it had a lot of space on it. It was decently wide and long, and by his mental map it was in the hall close to the bedroom door. He'd have access to water in the bathroom nearby.

Adrian shuffled a foot over the dust coating the wood (it coated them too by now). "It's quiet here," he noted. Predictably, he'd noticed the feature Colfax liked best about a potential home. "You'd be able to sleep when stuff is going on out in the main room."

"Quiet," Colfax echoed. "Sleeping or not, I don't care to hear all the bustling around."

Adrian's smile was a hopeful one. "Well, we might have found the spot for you, then," he mused, already rummaging in his bag. When his hand emerged once more, he had a blunt chunk of graphite, mostly wrapped in cling wrap to provide grip and avoid it staining everything it touched. "Let's sketch out some wall partitions, you'll need at least a main room and a bathroom, and it'd be good if you kept the storage tidy ... oh and the first thing is I should probably put in a pulley in case your arm bothers you-"

"Adrian," Colfax interrupted. His friend was already crouched down and drawing a faint grey line on the support board. "You don't have to do so much just for my house." Colfax didn't want Adrian to overwork himself, especially not for his sake.

Adrian smiled up at him, then returned to his line work. "I like stuff like this, Colfax. And even if it wasn't as fun for me as it is, I want to help you. You're my friend. You should have your own space, and not just some alcove with a mitten."

Colfax smirked. "Will I ever live that mitten down?"

Adrian shook his head. "No one would live that down. If you had an actual room it wouldn't be so silly."

Colfax knelt down near where Adrian diligently marked out a potential wall. "Here, then. Let's make this part over here my room you insist I need."

A prize for RandomArtHQ for placing in the 2021 Trust Contest!

This time we have Adrian and Colfax on a mission to find Colfax a home in the walls of Sawyer's apartment. These dorks and their banter will never get old! Set sometime after the events of A Little More Trust.

Adrian and Colfax are my characters, and the wider Trust Multiverse is shared by myself and LaEscritora !
© 2021 PL1
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tp32's avatar

Congratulations @RandomArtHQ!! Great story @PL1

RandomArtHQ's avatar

Ahh you finished it! I literally can't get over ALMT, Colfax and Adrian's comradery after their trauma with you know who (and as viri friends in general) is just so sweet! I love how thoughtful Adrian is about Colfax's needs when designing his new home, he really is such a mother hen ;w; Also, I can just imagine poor Sawyer getting bored without Colfax (especially during midterms) and knocking on the walls all the time to coax his viri out XD This whole snippit made me smile so much, thanks again!!

PL1's avatar

The post-ALMT boys are some of my favorites, too. They've been through a lot, so their already-strong friendship is so much greater! I love writing them, thank you for the prompt~

LaEscritora's avatar

I love this so much. XD They're such good friends.

Just don't let them tell Sawyer where exactly Colfax's room is lol.

PL1's avatar

Sawyer is not allowed to know. For... reasons XD

LaEscritora's avatar

The viri have set noise ordinances in place and Sawyer would inevitably break them if he knew. XD

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