They next passed Junie’s room, and Fipps’, but neither was there, which didn’t surprise Elliott. Junie had, perhaps more than any of them, been adopted by the staff and civilians on base. They loved her, and they loved her coffee. Elliott didn’t think she knew how adoringly everyone here looked at her. And where she was, Fipps was as well. Elliott could hear Roger and Aubrey in his room, arguing, though about what this time he had no idea. Whatever else their relationship was, it was certainly contentious. Roger cared about her, but he was just so damned shitty at ever showing it. And Aubrey… well, Elliott had his doubts about her. Not about her character, but about her strength. She’d proven her worth but she simply didn’t have the stomach for the apocalypse. She was going to get Roger killed someday.
Elliott’s room had deliberately been moved all the way to the back of the barracks. They wanted to make sure he had to pass a lot of folk to even make it out the door. He walked in to what he was beginning to consider home, despite himself. He had a home, on the other side of the mountains but that seemed so small now. In literal terms, his room here was much, much smaller but he was part of something bigger.
His room consisted of a bed and a nightstand with a lamp. All their rooms were identical. This wing had private bathrooms, for which he was grateful. Every time he walked more than ten feet from his door he was greeted by a gauntlet of, “What are you up to?”, “Where are you going?” and “Can I bum a condom?” That last one wasn’t so bad. All he had to do was try not to blush and reply, “Sorry man, had a twelve pack but used ‘em all up last night.” It always got a laugh no matter how many times he said it. But he didn’t think he could ever bring himself to say, “On my way to pinch off a number two.”
There was also a small area rug, and he’d been given a desk and a chair as well. He sat down on the bed and offered the desk chair to Thomas, who shook his head.
“Sorry, Lio, got to get back to my watch.” Elliott had known but he really wanted company. Maybe he’d go look for
Junie once the guards calmed down from his latest escape attempt.
Thomas paused in the doorway. “Think about what I said earlier, huh? If there’s one thing I know, it’s girls.” He winked and rolled his eyes at himself, then turned to the door. “Oh, and don’t forget, tomorrow’s a big day.”
Elliott added that to the list of things he didn’t want to think about, but he nodded. He didn’t trust himself to say anything.