Laundry Day

Laundry Day

max_icon.jpg owen_icon.jpg

Where: Casa del Sol Apartments
When: July 2, 2020
What: Laundry and small talk in the middle of the night.

Laundry Day. See you there. Underthings tumbling. - Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog

Living in an apartment complex with a mere ten washers and ten dryers (if all are working, which is unlikely) for approximately 300 residents means learning to either do one's laundry at odd hours of the day or learning to love the laundromat around the corner. Weekends? Forget it. Early evening? Not a chance. The best time to snag one of the machines is sometime between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. and that's why one Max Piper is spending her Tuesday night perched on top of one of the units reading a book.

The petite girl sits cross-legged, the book in her lap and headphones in her ears — probably not what experts on self-defense would recommend. Still, every few seconds her green-eyed gaze moves to the door and the world beyond; her hearing may be overwhelmed by the sound of her iPod, but she's not completely oblivious to her surroundings.

While she won't hear the footsteps or the carrying of a rather tall basket of clothes, the way the light shifts as a rather tall young man sneaks in may be noticed. Oddly enough, under a mass of damp curls that hangs onto his forehead, Owen Graham wears a pair of sunglasses. Indoors. At night. Some people have quirks.

Like the fact that he grins a bit at the sight of the young tiny woman perched ontop of her claimed machine. Funny thing about super hearing and other people's headphones, he can still enjoy the music. It looks as if he just got off work and showered, threw on some fresh clothes, and carried everything downstairs. Instead of speaking, he offers her a smile and a wave, as he drops his laundry down nearby.

"Don't use that one," she says, stretching one bare foot out to point (pointe?) at the machine he's closest to. The music is The Ramones, Blitzkrieg Bop's happy melody leaking enough for him to hear it. "That's the one Rosa washes that fat baby's cloth diapers in, and trust me, your super sniffer nose will be able to tell."

Max only offers a smile at the end of the warning, looks back down to her book and turns the page. A pen is pulled out from behind her ear and she underlines a single word and replaces the pen, the Bic disappearing into the dark tangles of her hair.

The mention of a 'super sniffer' draws a longer look, and a small fading of that smile. Just a little. "I don't think it would require a super sniffer to tell the difference," Owen says after a moment, raising his voice a little, even if he's not sure how well she can hear. "Thanks, the smell of some of the hallways is already bad enough." And his sense of smell isn't even his truly heightened sense.

As he lifts the basket again, to choose another one. "You studying?" he asks, gesturing toward the book as he opens up another machine, looking down to check and make sure no one left any undergarmets that might embarass him if he pulled them out later in front of a pretty young lady.

Max reaches to push stop on the music and pulls the headphones out of her ears. "No. Just reading. It's a pretty crappy book. I don't think I'll finish it." She closes it and sets it on the washer next to her — it's no Pulitzer Prize winner nor something completely trashy, just some typical best-seller fodder for the masses, from the looks of it.

She looks up at him in full, studying him a little longer than might be polite. "I didn't mean to offend you," she says in a tone that's not exactly apologetic. "I haven't seen you before. Which building are you in?"

While she may be a faerie, she's still a cute young lady and under her scrutiny, Owen looks away sheepishly. Or perhaps puppishly would be more appropriate. As he begins to move clothes from his basket into the washing machine, he lifts his sunglasses up onto his forehead. It's not bright, and he doesn't expect her to suddenly shine a flashlight in his face, so he should be okay. He just doesn't like reminding people of his wolf-ness when his eyes catch the glint of light.

"Uh, C. I haven't been here very long, but it's better than my last place," he admits, with a grin and a glance over. "I don't actually have a super sniffer, though." There's a pause. "Well, not really."

"Disillusioning me already, and I don't even know your name," Max says with a shake of her head and a mock-rueful smirk. "I'm over in D. It sucks, but the price is right, right?" she says with a shrug, watching him move laundry into machine. Hopefully there's nothing embarrassing in there.

"I figured it was a 50-50 chance, the super sniffer thing. Anyway, I didn't mean to make you feel bad or anything." This time it sounds a little more apologetic. She uncrosses her legs to swing them over the side of the machine, then crosses them again at the ankle. The bottoms of her feet are definitely not clean, but she's running around barefoot in a laundry room. "You shouldn't be embarrassed," she adds, a little abruptly. "It's not a bad thing."

"Sorry about that," Owen says with a small grin pressing his lips together as he quickly hides dirty underwear with a shirt as he drops it in. "I'm not really embarssed, I just— thought for a moment that— you know. Who knows what you guys know, right?" he says, not even hiding his embarssment very well. But it isn't his not super sniffer he's embarssed about. Well. Not only.

Let's just say it's been a while.

"It's Owen Graham. And I'm actually really glad I don't have a super sniffer. Though if I did I doubt I'd wait this long to do my laundry," he adds after a moment, quickly dropping the lid. He knows they're a little overdue without having to inhale.

"You guys?" she echoes, her brows rising to disappear into shaggy bangs. "Well, I know what I know, for one. Which isn't a lot, admittedly. Can't tell you about all those other guys, though."

When he gives her name, she tilts her head. "What's Owen Graham?" she asks, as if confused, but then offers her hand and plays nicer. "Max Piper."

At first he looks surprised and confused, perhaps taking her question a little too seriously. He's just about to say something embarassing like 'it's me?' when she gives her name. That makes him laugh. Owen rubs his palm over his shirt for a moment before taking hers, meeting her eyes as he shakes her hand. "Well, I know a lot more than I want to sometimes. Like when anyone in the entire building C is having an argument." Or— worse, really.

"But I also don't really know a lot of…" He trails off. "You know not ten years ago I got really mad when someone called me a fairie, but they meant something different, cause that was before— you know— Not that I— I mean." He trails off. "Sorry, I'm rambling. And— I forgot to put soap in the wash." And with that, he quickly turns away to do just that.

Max snorts a little. "They don't like to be called that. The real ones, I mean. They're from Faerie, they're of Faerie, but somewhere in our folklore we got it screwed up to call them a fairies." She picks up her iPod, swiping the screen to pull up some app or another, then looks back to him, one brow raised.

"Are you? You know. The other kind of fairy." There's an impish sparkle in her eyes as she watches him for his reaction.

"Yeah, we messed up a lot of things," Owen mutters quietly in response as he quickly pours some of his laundry detergent over his clothes. He didn't do a lot of splitting his clothes up, so either he doesn't care much about fading colors, or he doesn't expect to have time to use the machines to be picky like that. Probably both.

The door clothes a little too loudly as he looks back at her, pretty much punctuating his initial reaction. "Um, no," he responds after a second, rubbing at the back of his still damp neck. "I imagine I'd be in a very different place if I had been."

"What, like West Hollywood?" she quips, citing the neighborhood that is popular among that particular crowd. Her own machine begins to spin cycle, so she hops off of it, opening up the adjacent dryer to prepare for the transfer.

"I don't think they care about that stuff. The wolves, I mean. Do they? You might have still ended up one. Or a vamp or like me." She leans against the dryer, waiting for the washer to stop spinning.

As the machine gets turned on and starts running, Owen leans against it, adjusting his sunglasses so that they stay in the perch. They don't disappear into his hair like her things seem to, but they do blend into the darkness a little. "I don't think that would matter to them, never really came up, but…" He trails off. "Let's just say I wouldn't be a werewolf if I didn't like women," he adds after a moment.

Despite that, he still seems embarassed. Perhaps because he's saying so much. "What about you?" he asks, regaining his smile with an innocent pry. "Do you like women?" He's already embarassed, might as well get a laugh out of it.

"I'll leave that to your imagination," Max says, finally opening the lid of the washer to pull out the wet laundry within. It's mostly towels, but there are some bras and underwear in the mix as well, though she doesn't try to hide them. The damp mess is just shoved into the dryer without much care.

"But my preferences had nothing to do with my being what I am. It was a female that turned me, if that gives you any fodder for your dreams tonight. But unfortunately, there wasn't anything sexy about it. Hate to burst your bubble." She hops up onto the dryer, recrossing her legs.

"A guy's imagination can be a pretty dangerous thing to let wild," Owen warns quietly, as he moves away from the washer. It's done filling with water now, and is starting to make noise. He's going to need to focus to drown out all the noise with what she's saying. And "Mine was a female too, and it definitely wasn't sexy at first, even if she did ask me to take my shirt off before she bit me," he says, rubbing his arm a bit over the place where he was bitten.

"How did that work , anyway?" he pries curiously, tilting his head to the side. "I don't imagine they bite— It didn't involve dust or anything, did it?"

She tips her head, almost comically. "Dust?" she echoes, then catches on. "You been watching too many Disney movies or something. No, they just touch you." She hops off the dryer, stepping toward him and reaches to touch his heart. "Like so."

She holds her hand just a moment then drops it. "And voila. Suddenly you're all green glowy and can see into people's souls and shit." She says this bit like it's no big deal.

As she touches his chest, Owen takes in a slow breath. The shirt is just a t-shirt, a small design on the back, but otherwise without anything else but fabric. He's not overly muscular, but he doesn't have to be, really. One of the perks of his bite came in a sudden ability to lift more than he ever could without even having to go to the gym. Among less nice perks.

"Just like that?" he asks, finally meeting her eyes. Even without the sunglasses, he's been looking down and away rather suddenly most the time. Puppish, really. "That doesn't sound bad at all. Not having to be all weak and sick with a fever while you waited for the next full moon, either. Really, it sounds like a bargain. Unless you hate the color green, I guess."

Her eyes widen just a touch as his gaze meets hers, and she tips her head with a smile. "I guess we win the lottery on that one. But we're a little squishier than you and the Vees."

Her eyes widen just a touch as his gaze meets hers, and she tips her head with a smile. "I guess we win the lottery on that one. But we're a little squishier than you and the Vees."

Max steps back, eyes dropping. "It was after she saved me from a Soul-Eater. Pretty epic night, all told." Her tone says it definitely wasn't all good. "People always think we're playing mind games with them and stuff, so there are some downsides, I promise."

"You mean you're not?" Owen says, jokingly. Or at least mostly. "Honestly I used to think all women were playing mind games with me, and that was before a small percentage of them turned out to be…" he waves his hand. "From Faerie." See, he listens.

With her looking away and stepping back, he turns a little himself, arm raising to touch his shoulder with his hand. "So what do people's soul's look like, anyway? Is it colors or smells or sounds or— do you just… know?"

"I don't know how it is for most people. For me, it's just… instant knowledge. Sometimes it's different, with a sense or something, but that's rare," she says, with a shrug, the last word interrupted by a yawn that blurs its pronunciation on the tail end.

"I guess the same way we know what everyone is. You just… know." She shrugged. "It's weird, isn't it? I mean… we didn't always. But I can barely remember what it was like, not knowing. It seems so normal now." She leans back against the dryer.

"Hmm," Owen says with an interested look on his face. "Kinda like how as soon as I turned I knew everything that I could do," he says quietly, looking up toward the ceiling for a moment instead of back at her. "Though sometimes I wish I could just look at anyone and know things…"

He looks back at her as he trails off, hesitating. He looks as if he's about to ask a question, a very obvious and self-centered question, (What do you know about me!?) but he looks away and begins to look around the not very hospitable room. "Wish I'd thought of bringing a book to read…"

She studies him a moment, then shakes her head. "No, you don't," she says very certainly. "Or you might wish it, but it wouldn't be good for you." This is said with a somewhat knowing air, like a big sister to a little brother, or a teacher to a pupil.

She picks up the book she'd brought and hands it to him. "I was going to leave it in here, anyway."

"You're probably right. Knowing a little is already bad enough," Owen says with a small smile, understanding. Even if he still has that look of wanting to ask questions. It's like a kid in front of a fortune teller trying to resist asking about his own future. Or something.

Taking the book, he turns it over in his hands. "Was it that terrible?" he has to ask, a joking sound to his voice as he turns it over to look at the back cover. He doesn't get very far into his reading of blurbs and quotes that are meant to get people to take the book home after they grab it off the shelf before he adds, "At least I know you didn't get 'this is a creep, run away' from looking at me." Cause he's not a creep— he doesn't think.

And she's still here, talking to him. Plus.

"I rarely run screaming even if I should," Max says with a shrug. "I've met some not very nice people that way. But running and screaming is probably terribly impolite, and it would make me pretty unpopular at parties." She peers at the timer on the dryer, stifling another yawn.

"The book's not that bad. Ignore the notes, though. They weren't intended for you." If he flips through the book, there are single words underlined here or there or random words in the margin that don't seem to correspond to the context in any sort of way.

"Oh I wouldn't expect you to run screaming— find a convienant excuse to leave until you're clothes are dry, maybe— unless my soul made me out to be a panty thief, which I most certainly am not— but…" Owen trails off, having caught himself rambling again, and spilling things he probably shouldn't.

To distract himself for a moment, he skims the pages, catching weird random notes before he decides to not try to figure them out. At least not until the timer beeps and she goes back to her building to sleep.

"So… Max…" he looks back up. Okay, he has to ask. "What did you get from me?"

There's an outright laugh at 'panty thief,' but Max shakes her head. "I don't get details like that. No historical events or a rap sheet or anything like that. You're a nice guy, plain and simple. Laid back. Lover, not a fighter, I guess. A little uncertain of yourself, but I didn't need a special ability to tell you that, did I?" She taps the top of her head, to indicate his sunglasses.

She pulls a basket from the shelf above the washer and drops it in front of the dryer. There's still some time left on the timer, but another yawn makes it clear why she might be taking them early… not because of anything scary in his soul, at least.

As she describes him, Owen can't help but look away again, perhaps even blushing a little. A few words likely stood out louder than the others. "Well at least that's not too bad." He hesitates, glancing over the book.

"At least it didn't tell you that I wish this book had your phone number in it." Despite the sheepishness, that does seem to have been a line. Maybe he realizes his chance to ask for it is probably fading as fast as she is— considering her yawns.

Max chuckles, bending to open the dryer door and pulling out the still-damp clothes and towels, letting them plop into the basket.

"Maybe it is," she says with a smirk over her shoulder before lifting the basket and balancing it against her hip.

"Have a nice night. Enjoy the book." With that she waggles her free hand's fingers and heads for the door.

Oh, now he's definitely reading the book. And paying attention to the underlines and the margins. Even if she said they weren't for him…

"It's worth looking," Owen says outloud, even if part of him expects that 'maybe' to be a 'maybe not' instead of a 'maybe yes'. Cause there's two kinds of maybes. He'll hold out hope for 'maybe yes'. "Sleep well, Max, and try not to step on anything," he says with a wave.

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