It was dark.
That was the first thing Roman noticed when he woke up. Then he shivered and realized it was cold. The fabric atop him felt coarse and unfamiliar.
“Where am I?” Roman asked aloud, wondering if perhaps someone was in here with him. Or something. Roman shuddered at that intrusive thought, but there was no response to his call. It seemed Roman was alone here.
Roman got up, pushing the fabric off him and feeling around for some sort of light switch. He felt the wall and began dragging his hand along it to try and feel, well, anything. The texture was strange. Rather than the familiar smooth paint of his apartment, this felt like planks of wood.
Roman kept walking, trying not to feel uneasy as he guessed at where he might be. Had he been kidnapped? Drugged? But if those things truly happened, why was nobody guarding him?
Now Roman kept his hand along the wall with the pure intention of not getting lost. Though he could not see his surroundings, the acoustics made it clear that the hall was very long and the ceiling very high. Roman didn’t wish to get turned around in a room so vast.
Just as he had begun to wonder if perhaps he had gone blind, Roman spotted a light up ahead of him from around the bend. Roman all but sprinted towards it, finding it a bit difficult to keep his footing in whatever shoes were on his feet.
Unfortunately, the site that awaited him was not at all what Roman expected. Roman blinked, rubbing at his eyes to try and make sure he wasn’t hallucinating.
What was before him appeared to be the room of a literal Giant. A dresser, desk, and bed all towered high above his head. Roman gasped, realizing that this wasn’t any old giant room. Though it was hard to recognize from this perspective, Roman noticed the familiar details of the furniture. This was his own room!
“Am I a…borrower?” Roman questioned, timidly stepping out into the light to view his bedroom. Was this what it was like for Virgil and Patton? Was everything truly so big?
A loud rumbling made Roman’s heart almost stop. Clutching his hand to his chest, Roman turned to see the source of the noise. Though it had shaken him to his core, it seemed as though it was merely the sound of someone snoring. A giant was sleeping in hisbed!
Roman couldn’t fully see the sleeping form from his view on the floor, but Roman could tell they were massive. The figure also wore Roman’s pajamas as though they were trying to steal Roman’s identity entirely.
But what exactly could Roman do about it? He was too small now to do anything to stop this gargantuan from doing exactly as they pleased.
The giant in question shifted, and Roman flinched. He was ready to bolt back into the hole in the wall at a moment’s notice, ready to once again brave the dark if it would save his life. However, the person merely turned over, and Roman was now able to see their face.
Recognition dawned on Roman’s features. Though he had often seen those facial features on a much, much smaller scale, Roman could have cried of relief at seeing a familiar face.
“Virgil!” Roman yelled, running towards the bed and waving his arms above his head.
Virgil groaned, shifting in bed again, eyebrows furrowed. He couldn’t be sure, it sounded far away, but he thought someone shouted his name? “Hmm…Patton?” He mumbled out, sitting up in bed and opening his eyes.
Only to immediately close them again at how bright it was.
His hands covered his eyes, rubbing at them. Why was it so bright? He should be in the walls where it was dark, right? They…had escaped last night, hadn’t they? Unless it had all been a dream and he was still trapped with Logan.
Now that he thought about it, his bed was far too comfortable to be anything he owned at home.
He forced his eyes open again, getting used to the brightness by blinking and taking in his surroundings.
…This was definitely a human’s room. No question about that. But, it was his size. The dresser, the desk, everything looked to be human-made and, again, his size. Virgil’s mind raced with panic as his eyes darted around the room. What was happening, was…was he in a dollhouse?
It was the only explanation. Where else would furniture this human-like be his size? But that meant, that meant last night had been a dream.
Virgil practically threw himself out of bed, heading straight for the window. He took in a deep breath, at least hoping Logan wouldn’t be right there, and pulled the curtain back.
He was met with a view of the outside, sunny and bright, with people walking all around. With humans walking around, but the humans…they didn’t seem as big as usual. “W-What…?”
Roman’s eyes widened, quickly launching himself to the side to keep from being trampled as Virgil didn’t even notice him. Roman threw himself against the bed frame, chest heaving. He could have died. It would have been an accident (he hoped) but just one false step and… Roman shuddered, feeling a wave of terror threatened to overwhelm him.
“No way.” Virgil turned back towards the room with a new perspective. Finally seeing what was there all along. This wasn’t a dollhouse, this was an actual human’s home. An actual bedroom used and owned by a human that Virgil now fit perfectly. He didn’t know how, but…but he was human-sized now.
“This…How…?” Virgil found himself walking around the room, taking everything in. He couldn’t decide if this was a good thing or not. It was certainly strange, seeing things normally a hundred times your own height now smaller than you. He ran a hand over the desk, blinking in surprise at how smooth it was. There was clearly wear and tear on it, but he couldn’t feel it.
“This is weird…” He said out loud.
Roman took a few deep breaths, trying to calm himself down. Of course, that was difficult when every time Virgil took a step the floor shook and threatened to throw Roman off his feet.
“V-Virgil!” Roman cried out again, still desperate to get his attention and make all these horrible overwhelming things stop.
Virgil stopped, hearing the voice once again. He had thought it had been part of his dream, but now it was clear the voice sounded a lot like… “Roman?” He called out, looking around, but not seeing the human anywhere. His eyes glanced towards the door. Could he be out there?
He walked towards it.
“Virgil!” Roman yelled louder, only able to look on helplessly as Virgil walked away from him. “Virgil, I’m down here!”
Virgil stopped again, now it sounded like the voice was behind him. He turned around and at being told to look down, did so. His mouth fell open and his eyes widened in utter shock as he saw Roman, standing near the bed.
The size of a borrower. “W-What?”
Roman could have cried of relief when Virgil finally seemed to notice him, although his body seemed to have a different reaction. As soon as Virgil’s eyes were focused on him, Roman felt incredibly tense. His legs shook as though they were made of jelly, despite the fact his brain was also telling him to run.
“I must be dreaming,” Virgil muttered, slowly walking towards Roman.
“I…ah…” Roman found his mouth felt too dry to articulate real words. He pressed himself further into the bed frame, beginning to inch around it as if the leg of the bed would provide some protection from the approaching giant.
Virgil knelt down about a foot away from Roman, taking in his tiny form. Was that…really how small they were. Was that how humans saw borrowers? Virgil knew he was small, but actually seeing the size difference from the human’s point of view was…well, it was something new altogether.
“Roman? Is that really you?” He asked, tilting his head. He still wasn’t fully convinced this wasn’t a dream.
“Y-Yes.” Roman nodded, able to finally find his voice but unable to hide the stutter brought on by nerves.
“Holy crap.” Virgil rubbed at his eyes, before looking at Roman again. It was then that he noticed the stutter and the very clear fear on Roman’s small face. “H-Hey, it’s okay…” Subconsciously, Virgil reached a hand out for him.
Roman let out an unmanly yelp, unable to fight his subconscious fear any longer as he bolted under the bed.
What was he doing? This was Virgil, who was probably just as confused by this whole situation! Roman needed any help he could get to figure this whole mess out. And Virgil was nice, he wasn’t going to hurt Roman.
Roman paused. No, wait a second, Virgil wasn’t nice. He was sassy, sarcastic, headstrong, and… when Roman had last seen him before this mess, Virgil was angry. Angry at him.
“Wha-? Hey!” Why was Roman running? He was the one who called Virgil over here after all. Virgil surged forward, sticking his hand under the bed and placing it in front of Roman to stop him. He blinked at how easy that was. Even though he was big, he found himself seemingly faster than before.
“Ah!” Roman couldn’t stop himself in time and crashed right into the giant palm that suddenly blocked his path. It felt thick and leathery beneath his own tiny palms. Roman shuddered, quickly backpedaling away from it. Looking around frantically, Roman dashed to the side.
Seeing the change in direction, it was all too easy to move his hand to once again block his path. But this time, Virgil wrapped his hand around the shrunken human, pulling him out from underneath the bed. Virgil sat up, staring down at Roman with awe.
He couldn’t believe he had an entire person in his hand. Was this what it felt like for Roman? For Logan? The feeling was unlike anything else he had ever held and a wave of power swept over him. “Whoa…”
Roman gasped, all the air knocked out of his lungs as he was suddenly caught up in a giant fist. Roman struggled to make more room for himself, but his feeble pushes and kicks did nothing to loosen the iron grip around his body.
His hands felt clammy as Roman looked up at Virgil, incredibly nervous of the borrower’s…no, the human’s intentions. What was Virgil going to do to him? Was Virgil still furious? Would he try and seek justice now that the cards were in his favor? Roman liked to think that Virgil wouldn’t kill him, but… well, if Virgil did, there was nothing Roman could do to stop him.
Virgil was snapped out of his awe at the feeling of Roman struggling in his hand, and well wasn’t that a weird feeling, but it reminded him of his own experiences. He was suddenly in Roman’s shoes, fighting against a grip he knew would not let up and Virgil opened his hand like it had burned him.
“S-Sorry.” He apologized. It was like he had gotten caught up in instincts that were not his own. “Are you okay?”
Roman paused for breath, looking a bit like a fish out of water as he gasped for air. He knew he probably looked pathetic in Virgil’s hands, but Roman found he was too preoccupied to care about that.
“I…” Roman struggled to answer the question, not able to look Virgil in the eye. “I’m okay.”
“You don’t look okay,” Virgil said, seeing clear signs of panic. Virgil bit his lip, before setting Roman down on the bed. Virgil decided to remain on the floor. “There, now just…control your breathing. Like this.” He started to breathe in the familiar 4-7-8 pattern.
Roman tried to focus on timing his breathing to Virgil’s, rather than focus on how unsteady the bed was beneath his feet or how loud Virgil’s breathing was or his own exhaustion or-
Breathe in, hold, breathe out.
Roman closed his eyes, slowly feeling his nerves rejoin his body. This was fine.
…Well, it was far from fine. But Roman could take comfort in the fact that Virgil was helping him, and didn’t seem to immediately want to murder him on sight. Whatever was happening was scary and confusing, but with the two of them combined surely they could find a solution to bring Roman back to his normal self.
“Thank you, Virgil,” Roman said, sheepishly rubbing his arm as he sat down cross-legged. “I’m…not sure what came over me.”
Virgil hummed. “Yeah, course.” Virgil knew all too well what had come over Roman, but he decided to stay quiet on that. “So…do you have any idea what is going on? Why are you borrower sized and why am I-” He motioned to his body. “-human-sized?!” The moment Virgil held Roman, he knew it wasn’t a dream. He could never dream something that felt that real.
“Of course not,” Roman admitted. “Why do you think I came to you? I thought you knew what was going on!”
“Why would I know?!” Virgil exclaimed.
“Well, I don’t know!” Roman threw his arms up in the air. “Maybe it’s some sort of borrower legend or something! You guys have a lot of secrets, it’s not impossible.”
“Borrower legend,” Virgil repeated, deadpanned. “Yeah, no. Are you sure this isn’t some human myth?” Virgil asked, glaring at Roman in slight irritation.
Roman shivered, finding Virgil’s glare a lot more intimidating at this height.
“I…certainly don’t know of any.” Roman let his arms fall back down, feeling much less passionate about this debate than he had a moment ago.
“Of course,” Virgil said, rubbing a hand down his face. “Well, this is just great! We’ve basically just switched…sizes…” Virgil blinked, slowly looking down at Roman again as if for the first time. “I’m the human now…” Virgil thought back to the past day, remembering everything Roman had done to him and Patton.
Roman cautiously got to his feet, now even more aware of how uneven the blanket was. He didn’t like the look on Virgil’s face. Nope, not one bit.
“Virgil?” Roman attempted to snap Virgil out of this unsettling trance, getting ready to make a run for it once more.
Virgil blinked, looking at Roman again. Hearing the fear in Roman’s voice…it gave him satisfaction. After everything Roman had done, he deserved to at least feel a little of the fear himself and Patton had.
Virgil smirked. “What’s the matter? Scared?” Virgil reached out a hand and poked Roman in the side.
Roman tried to scramble back away from Virgil’s approaching fingers, but tripped over the thick folds of the blanket and landed on his back.
“C-Cut it out!” Roman felt that familiar wave of terror just below the surface, his heart beginning to pound once more.
“Did you cut it out when Patton asked you to?” Virgil shook his head. “In case you’ve forgotten, no, no you didn’t.” Virgil put a single finger on Roman’s chest, pushing down slightly. He couldn’t believe how easy it was to hold Roman down. To stop him from just doing anything. He grit his teeth. Humans had way too much power for their own good. “I’m just returning the favor.”
Oh my god, I’m gonna die. This was the only thought continually running through Roman’s head as he desperately pushed at Virgil’s finger. His finger, for goodness sake! Just one little finger had reduced Roman to a struggling mess, chest painfully heaving as he fought to take even the most shallow of breaths.
Virgil’s going to kill me. Roman’s pushes became even weaker as his strength dwindled, spots beginning to appear in his vision from a lack of enough oxygen. Virgil, someone he had once considered a friend, was going to crush him into a stain on his own giant bedspread.