At first, Colfax wasn't sure why Charlie grabbed at him so earnestly. Sawyer answered the question so quickly that the flurry of motion and shifts of gravity ended before he could ask. His breath was caught in his throat for a few seconds more, even as Sawyer's steps carried them all swiftly away. "I see," he muttered after a while, realizing what must have happened and wishing he'd had a bit more of a warning. He was beginning to realize he might make that wish a lot if he kept hanging around Sawyer. Even so, he relaxed a little, breathing hard from what he'd managed to do. "I've never cast that before."
Charlie relaxed as well, letting go of both Colfax and Sawyer’s finger even as Sawyer’s other hand returned to cup underneath them and give them a bit more room. The leprechaun was a bit breathless as well, though he’d been well aware of what was about to happen. Sawyer’s… stunts weren’t as uncommon as one might wish; though in this instance it had been entirely helpful. At least they were mostly on their own again, back to only the occasional second glance as Sawyer passed through the crowds deeper into the market. “What did you cast?” Charlie asked Colfax curiously. “I wasn’t able to see from that far away.” There had been too many tall people around for Charlie to see much besides the occasional reaction and the human wizard storming off with an accumulation of curious followers.
Colfax shifted his bag around so it rested on him instead of squishing underneath him, and shrugged. "Simple but intensive spell to make something out of nothing," he explained, absently watching the tops of buildings go by in Sawyer's wake. "Luna moth. They're bigger than I thought."
Charlie’s eyes widened appreciatively. “You made a whole moth?” he repeated, sounding entirely awed. Sure, he’d grown up around magic, but nothing on the level of creating something real out of nothing at all. He hadn’t even known that was possible. “No wonder you’re exhausted.” With a concerned expression on his face Charlie glanced around. They were still walking through the market, Sawyer wandering around and keeping his hands mostly cupped to delay passerby spotting the two in his hand. Everything still looked as interesting as it had earlier, but Charlie for one hadn’t exactly been paying attention to it. “Do you want to head home and rest, then?” Charlie asked Colfax, looking up at the tired wizard. “We can always come back.”
Colfax sighed and glanced past the edge of Sawyer's hands wistfully. His first trip to the wizarding market had been quite eventful. He couldn't say that surprised him that much. He wished he'd been wiser about the spell he chose to demonstrate, but that was beyond him now. There was no taking it back now. "That... may be for the best," he admitted almost sheepishly, dragging a hand down his face. "Perhaps next time that old fool will be easier to talk to, but I doubt it."
Charlie gave him a relieved, and slightly pitying, smile. “Well, maybe he’ll avoid you altogether,” the leprechaun said optimistically. “From the way he walked off I think you certainly made him think twice.” Also somewhat tired from the day, it was with no reluctance that Charlie tapped a nearby fingertip to get Sawyer’s attention. The dustdevil stopped walking and looked down at them expectantly. Charlie smiled up at him. “I think it’s time to head home, Sawyer,” said Charlie. “We’re pretty worn down.”
Sawyer smiled back. “Sure!” he agreed, already walking off towards a side street where he could start the trek back to their house. “It’s close to dinnertime anyways. I for one was getting hungry.” He could only imagine the smaller two felt the same. Though, he would honestly be surprised if Colfax made it home and through a meal without falling asleep; the small wizard looked absolutely wiped after his spell. Not surprising, considering the energy it must have taken.
As if in agreement, Colfax's stomach yowled with hunger of its own. He scoffed at it. Complaining as if it was three days since his last meal when he'd actually had breakfast that day for once. Really.
"Is life in your household always this... eventful?" he asked Charlie honestly, arching one eyebrow almost imperceptibly. Colfax very much liked having a place that he could sleep, and he liked the access to food that they offered, but there was definitely more excitement than he'd ever sign up for on his own. Then again, if he'd gotten to the market on his own once upon a time... he certainly wouldn't have a very tall dustdevil defending him from harm.
Charlie hummed thoughtfully, giving the question due consideration. “Well, yes, I suppose this is about normal whenever we visit somewhere new,” Charlie admitted. It wasn’t easy to live in a city full of larger folk, as Colfax well knew. “And Sawyer does like the new. He’s good at keeping everybody on his toes.” Sawyer glanced down and winked at them, cracking a grin; he had neither the evidence nor the desire to contradict Charlie’s claim. Charlie smiled more sheepishly, and quickly added, “But really, for the most part our schedule ends up being just as mundane as everybody else’s. I have classes most of the time, and we’re both familiar with most people in the area. It’s not all that exciting.” Once people got used to him, Charlie’s life really became about as thrilling as any other student’s. Which wasn’t to say that it was boring by any means, but Charlie doubted Colfax’s lifestyle before then had been a walk in the park either. People would get used to the tall wizard, too, given the time and opportunity.
Colfax sighed, weighing his options while staring vaguely upwards. It wasn't as though he didn't expect exactly the reactions he got in the market, and from the guards earlier. The only difference being, of course, that he might not have had those interactions if left to his own devices. He'd at least avoided getting hurt, even if he was now magically exhausted, probably until the following day at least. It was worth every labored breath to see that old wizard struggling to come up with something to say.
"I ... will sleep on it as I think over my options," he decided.
Charlie smiled, and above them Sawyer allowed a smile of his own too. It hadn’t been all that long, but by now they both knew Colfax well enough to tell that the wizard was coming around to the notion of staying with them. In his own way, of course. “That sounds like a good plan,” said Charlie brightly. “I’m sorry we don’t have better accommodations than the couch…” Charlie gave Colfax an apologetic, and certainly abashed, smile. He would have offered his own bed to Colfax, but honestly the leprechaun thought the wizard would be too tall to sleep in it comfortably. They were going to have to figure something more suitable out soon.
Colfax wrestled with his expression to keep a smirk from appearing on his face. He nearly succeeded, though his exhaustion didn't do him any favors. "The couch is fine," he replied dismissively. It sounded especially inviting in his current state, and Colfax looked forward to getting some rest before a headache settled in between his temples. Wizarding was hard work.
"It's certainly a step up from my usual," he admitted in a quieter voice. Colfax's pride wouldn't normally let him accept this much hospitality two days in a row. He didn't even like letting Adrian send him off with extra food. He'd have to figure out a way to earn his keep, really earn it, or he wouldn't feel right about it at all.
Charlie sighed lightly in relief, glad that Colfax seemed to still be alright with the couch. The slightest smile on his face didn’t go unnoticed either, much less his words, and Charlie smiled timidly in return. “Well, there’s plenty of room,” the leprechaun said reassuringly.
“Got that right,” Sawyer chimed in, glancing down to grin at the two of them. “Ain’t like you take up much space, oh mighty wizard. Or eat much for that matter, either.” Having two tiny roommates was about the same as having one, or none really, at least as far as supplies were concerned. Sawyer wasn’t exactly strained for resources with Colfax sticking around. Not to mention both the wizard and Charlie were thin as blades of grass, even if Colfax was noticeably taller.
Colfax shot Sawyer a half-assed glare for his comment. "One of the joys of being me," he quipped grimly. Mighty wizard, indeed. He was laid low after expending all of his energy showing off. He could probably sleep the rest of the day and the whole night away after a stunt like that, and the plan sounded more and more appealing the more steps Sawyer took towards home. Hopefully they'd be there soon.
It didn’t take much longer to reach the small house. Sawyer shifted Charlie and Colfax to one hand to open the door, holding them up against his chest until they were inside and he could move the other hand back. The dustdevil set them down on the kitchen table and headed over to the drawers of food. “I’m too hungry to cook anything. How does bread and cheese sound?” Sawyer rummaged through the drawers, coming up with a loaf of bread, a small block of cheese, and a knife to cut it all with.
“Sounds like you’re more lazy than hungry,” Charlie quipped, earning himself an eye roll from the dustdevil. “Only joking, Sawyer.” Mostly, at least. Charlie didn’t mind eating sooner rather than later either; he usually ate something small after classes, but they’d gone straight to the wizard market instead. While Sawyer worked on the food Charlie pulled out a chair, setting it on the table and offering it to Colfax. “You should sit down,” he said quietly to the wizard, giving him a friendly, concerned smile. The tall man looked dead on his feet after his stunt and the decently long walk back.
This time, Colfax wasn't as thrown off by the sudden appearance of the furniture. Despite it being a strange phenomenon, he was getting used to Charlie apparently pulling things out of thin air.
Getting used to it. That was a strange thought all on its own.
He murmured a quiet thanks before accepting the seat, shifting his bag so it rested on his lap. He had to sort through the events of the day and decide whether waking up that morning had been quite worth it. In the meantime, he absently watched as the light danced off the blade in Sawyer's hands as he prepared the food. "I don't think I've had a more eventful day in a long time," he mused tiredly. "Seems like a bad habit to get into."
Charlie laughed lightly at that. “Well, to be honest, that’s the most eventful day I’ve had in a while too,” he admitted, though he left out his thoughts on the wizard himself being the reason for that. After all, Colfax hadn’t exactly asked to become the center of attention, though his actions therein were certainly of his own accord. “Not Sawyer though,” Charlie added, pulling a table from the air before scooting it closer to Colfax’s seat with a light huff. “He likes his days to be eventful.”
“Damn straight,” Sawyer agreed. He came to the larger table with a plate of bread and cheese in one hand and a saucer of the same in the other. He set the saucer of tiny bread and cheese pieces on the smaller table, where it looked more like a platter, before settling into his own chair and putting his own plate in front of himself. “Ain’t no use in having a boring day when you don’t have to.”
Colfax stared at the plate of food that Sawyer had prepared for them, noting that he'd cut it into small enough portions for Charlie and Colfax with remarkable ease. He had more practice, Colfax supposed. It would follow taking on a leprechaun roommate. Colfax picked up a piece of bread and cheese, weighing it absently in his hand. "I suppose that depends on how you define 'boring,'" he countered before eating.
Sawyer snorted in amusement at that, and even Charlie smiled as he ate his dinner. The small leprechaun leaned against the table, his shirtsleeves rolled up, obviously unconcerned about being out of a seat. All the same, Sawyer made a mental note to figure something out soon enough. After all, it would seem the wizard would be staying with them for a while. “‘Boring’ is a day without meeting somebody new or doing something you’ve never done before,” Sawyer said, helpfully giving his own definition. “Or running across rooftops for any reason.” Charlie rolled his eyes at that, knowing that Sawyer didn’t need much of a reason for that one.
Colfax couldn't help but disagree with almost every facet of Sawyer's definition, but then again he had predicted that. Colfax didn't get bored by many things so much as worn out by them. To him, trying new things and meeting new people was exhausting (and the thought of running across a rooftop where any damned crow could see him was laughable). At least Sawyer's definition suited the tall extrovert perfectly.
"I suppose you would say so," he mused wearily, despite having food in front of him. "What will you do if you run out of people to meet?" he asked, playing something of a devil's advocate.
Sawyer scoffed at the notion. “That’s impossible,” he confidently retorted. “We live in the capital city of the largest human kingdom on the continent. Even I couldn’t meet everybody that lives here, and definitely not all the people that come through and visit or sell things.” The city was certainly big enough that its fluid population was not a laughable number. There were all sorts of reasons to be in the capital, and all sorts of people there. It was part of why Sawyer loved it.
Colfax sighed, the reminder calling up images of packed avenues and shops, with business and conversation and life in general all happening over his head. Colfax spent his time improving his wizarding skills. That kept him in or around the city more than the people did. But, he had quite a different view of everything from Sawyer's or even Charlie's experience. At least he always somehow managed to keep himself out of trouble, though his latest trouble-avoidance measures were more exhausting than he cared for. "Yes," he finally said, keeping with the conversation before his train of thought got away from him, "I have seen a few merchants from time to time bringing things from very far away. Sometimes they even drop things and who am I to let that go to waste?"
Sawyer smirked at that, knowing Colfax’s glib tone was hiding something not joking in the least. From the sound of it, that was pretty much what the little guy depended on. “Oh yes, you’re a real saint,” the dustdevil joked, grinning at the wizard. “Cleaning up after all those merchants, relieving them of their valuable property… what a good guy.”
“Sawyer, be nice,” Charlie chastised him, barely refraining from rolling his eyes. The leprechaun wiped off his hands casually on his pants, feeling rather full after their poor man’s supper. “I’m sure they don’t miss anything that they drop. It doesn’t matter if Colfax takes it or not.” Though, Charlie had to admit, one or two of those merchants probably took issue with the notion. Humans of their nature weren’t exactly known for their giving demeanors.
Colfax nodded, though privately he was thinking along similar lines. Some merchants put up a great fuss when things turned up missing. Usually, Colfax heard them accusing some passing urchin of theft when in reality, he was already several booths away. He knew better than to stay close when he found things of interest. Sitting still was a good way to get caught.
Caught faster, anyway. Running didn't do him much good either, in the grand scheme of things.
He blinked a few times and a second wave of exhaustion hit him. "As fun as it is deconstructing my shopping habits," he quipped. "I've put on a couple shows today and I should rest that off."
A couple? thought Charlie, wondering what he had missed. He sent a curious glance up at Sawyer, who predictably just grinned and shrugged noncommittally. Shaking his head, the leprechaun turned back to the exhausted wizard. “I’m not one to argue,” he said, actually glad that Colfax was willing to go to bed and get the rest he so needed. “The couch is all yours.” Charlie still wished they had a real bed to offer him, but it was the couch in the tiny houses above or sleeping with Sawyer. Somehow, Charlie thought Colfax would likely prefer the former. The leprechaun gave Colfax a friendly smile. “Do you want Sawyer’s way or mine?” he asked, meaning of course how Colfax was even going to get up to the house in the first place.
Colfax sighed quietly while he thought about it. In truth, either way didn't make much of a difference to him at this point. He'd still probably be dragging his feet until he could settle on the couch and sleep for a good long time. He needed the rest and his body was more and more insistent with each passing moment. "If you don't mind," he answered Charlie quietly, thinking that the teleportation would be a quicker option for him despite how disorienting it could be.
“Not at all,” Charlie replied, giving Colfax a reassuring smile. The poor man seemed absolutely exhausted. The leprechaun quickly put away the table and the chair as Colfax stood up, with Sawyer taking their dishes so he could do so. Then, with one more smile as a way of warning Colfax, Charlie put his hand gently at the wizard’s elbow. They vanished off the table and reappeared on the porch, where Sawyer grinned up at them. Charlie let go of Colfax but kept an eye on him, ready to latch back onto him if the tired wizard needed the support.
Colfax swayed in place, closing his eyes and taking a breath while the dizziness from the teleportation wore off. He'd get used to that... maybe. The thought didn't cross his mind that he'd have to keep hanging around Sawyer and Charlie to get used to the teleporting.
Before he made his way to the door (the door that he was almost too tall for, a fact that still boggled him), he glanced back down at the room. He lifted a hand in a noncommittal wave at Sawyer, not even sure why he offered such a greeting. Things were getting hazy as sleep came closer and closer, and he let Charlie lead the way into the little house.
Sawyer grinned and waved back, thinking the gesture almost adorable. The ornery little wizard was apparently too tired to even keep up the stoic nature he always attempted to have. He watched as Charlie opened the door and let Colfax shuffle in before following, the door closing both of them away from sight. Inside, Charlie hovered in the hall as Colfax wandered into the living room, the blankets still on the couch from the night before. “Let me know if you need anything,” Charlie told the tall wizard with a small smile, though he figured that once Colfax was asleep he wouldn’t be getting up for anything short of necessity. Magical exhaustion was its own brand of tired. “If I’m not down the hall I’ll be down with Sawyer, you can just shout to get his attention.” It wasn’t hard; the dustdevil was highly attuned to listening for sounds coming from the little house on the ceiling.
"I'm sure I'll find you if I need to," Colfax mumbled. He set his bag down by the couch, blinking owlishly. The dishes from the breakfast Charlie had left him that morning were still there, and it struck Colfax all over again that he had found a perfectly hospitable place to stay. Sawyer and Charlie didn't seem to mind it at all. So, naturally, his tired mind logged the whole idea away as "a possibility to dwell on".
"Thanks," he finally mumbled out. When Colfax finally let himself lie down on the couch, he was out like a light in seconds. Magical exhaustion gripped him and forced his body into a deep slumber to recover from his antics of the day.
Charlie smiled at the tall man sprawled out on the couch, not bothering to reply to the tired thanks. The wizard was obviously lost to the world. Charlie knew the feeling; Colfax wouldn’t be waking up any time soon. The leprechaun made sure Colfax had enough blankets before wandering back out to the porch, looking down to see where Sawyer was. The dustdevil was finishing cleaning up from dinner, so Charlie took the opportunity to teleport back down to the table. He pulled out a chair from thin air and took a seat in it, crossing his legs comfortably even as Sawyer returned and sat down with a smile. “Did our wizard friend make it to the couch?” Sawyer asked jokingly, his voice quiet.
Charlie nodded, a slight smile on his face. “Yes, though he didn’t last long after that,” he replied. They both knew how tired Colfax must be, after using up so much magic in such a short span of time. “We really ought to get him a bed,” Charlie added, still feeling bad about not having more than the couch to offer the wizard; and really, despite Colfax’s stoic nature, they both thought he would likely be staying with them for a while at least. After all, the poor man would be homeless otherwise. It just made sense. Sawyer nodded, making a mental note to look for one the next day, and the two of them moved to more casual conversation. The night passed quickly, and soon they were both asleep as well, ready for whatever the morning might bring.
This chapter had no comments after almost a week, so I made a dA account specifically to fix that because that's an injustice for a story this good.
Seriously, you guys have an excellent series of stories here. They're fantastic and I always flip out when they update. There aren't enough Tuesdays in a week.
Seriously, you guys have an excellent series of stories here. They're fantastic and I always flip out when they update. There aren't enough Tuesdays in a week.
Oh man, thank you so much! That's so flattering wow. : We're so glad you like them, thank you so much for commenting! Especially since you made an account just to do so. Well, welcome to deviantArt! We'll keep on updating haha, and we hope you continue to enjoy the stories. ^^