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Half Naked in a Laundromat

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http://vagrant-of-love.tumblr.com/post/165776824523/i-love-laundromats

Lance does not do laundry often. Sure, he only has two pairs of pants that are different enough looking that people hopefully aren't thinking he's wearing the exact same pair of pants to class every day, while being similar enough looking that people hopefully aren't realizing he only has two pairs of pants. See, he's thought this through. What does his mom mean he needs to get his life together?! This is college, Mom. This is what having your life together in college looks like.

...Speaking of his mom, maybe he should just take all this laundry to her. He stares through the car window his face is currently smashed against at the laundromat he's currently been parked in front of for five minutes. He's already here now. He groans. There's no one else in there. At least he won't have to make awkward conversation with any strangers. Not that he normally minds talking to strangers. He's a friendly guy. Plus, they could be, like... cute strangers. But he's been up since seven, he just got out of work, it's already eleven, and he doesn't feel like talking to any strangers, even if they are cute. ...Already eleven. Ugh. It's now or never. With one final groan, he turns his car off and gets out, dragging his laundry into the laundromat as dramatically as possible, just so the zero people there can really see how much he feels like doing this right now.

It's about ten minutes after eleven and he's still the only sign of life in this laundromat, as usual when he comes after work. So he throws his shoes off, peels his socks off his feet and throws them in too, cause hey, there's no one here to judge him and he's not trying to do his laundry any more often than necessary. He'd throw his pants and shirt in too, if he could. Actually, thinking about his two pairs of pants, that's probably what he really needs to be throwing in. He purses his lips. When he thinks about it... there's no real reason he can't. He turns to look at the door. No one has come in still... Yolo. He shrugs and pulls his pants off and throws them in, followed by his shirt, because why not, he might as well give himself a full extra day free from this laundry hell. He shuts the door and starts the washer and it's not two minutes before he regrets this decision.

He's standing in front of the washer still when he hears the laundromat door open. He stands completely still. He made a mistake. He watches his pants swirl around in the laundry machine in front of him. He made such a mistake. Oh god. What does he do now? Just... just don't turn around, maybe. Just stand here until they leave. Oh god, what if it's a girl and she thinks he's some kind of pervert? What if she calls the cops? Does this count as indecent exposure? Shit. He needs to turn around at least enough to see if it's a girl. Maybe it's just the old dude that locks the doors every night and always yells at him for being in here past twelve. Maybe he's early. Maybe he'll just get another rant about stupid college kids and he'll leave him alone. He just needs to turn around enough to make sure. He squeezes his eyes shut and very slowly starts to turn his head just enough to see from his peripheral vision who's behind him. Don't be a girl, don't be a girl. He forces one eye open and looks at the row of washers over to the side, where he heard the footsteps stop.

It's a dude. Oh thank god, it's a dude. It's not the old guy, but it's a dude. Lance relaxes a little and turns to get a better look since the guy isn't facing him. It seems like he might be about his own age, maybe. He can't tell if he's cute... but he's got a cute ponytail. Let's just assume not cute, for his dignity's sake. He can live with this, if he's not cute. Maybe he'll just turn around and laugh and Lance can be like "HA, yea, thought I'd be the only one in here..." and explain the two pairs of pants situation and the guy will just laugh again and turn back around and they can comfortably ignore each other until they leave.

Lance starts to realize, through all this introspection, the guy has remained... completely still, staring at the washer, laundry basket held against his side. Maybe he's wondering if he should leave..? Should he say something to him? Just as he thinks that, the guy finally moves to sit his basket down beside him. Unfortunately, that involved turning toward Lance, so he quickly snapped his head back around to face his own swirling clothes that should have been on his body.

The guy takes his sweet time throwing all his clothes into the washer, from what he can hear anyway, as he's still intently staring into his own washer. He wonders if this dude knows the laundromat closes in forty minutes. Forty minutes... That's a long time to stare into this washer. He presses his lips together and starts to think maybe it's time to turn around. Facing this washer for a full hour is only going to make him seem like more of a weirdo, right? He clenches his fists and takes a deep breath and turns around, and........ there is the guy. Standing at his own washer, waiting, with his hands on his hips. Oh, and with no pants on.

Keith has not done laundry ever. That was his brother's job. Sure, he's been moved out for over a month, but... he owns a lot of black shirts. And dark gray shirts. And dark navy shirts. He basically has a closet full of endless dark shirts. Pants, however, are a different story. I mean, he owns pants, but not to the extent that he owns dark shirts. So... eventually, the day came, where he thought he probably needed to find a laundromat.

Unfortunately, as he's never done laundry, he has never used a laundromat. He would ask one of his friends to come with him and show him how to use the laundromat, if he had any friends. But... whatever, he doesn't like asking for help anyway. He'll figure it out on his own. He looks up laundromats near him and finds one that's open til twelve, so he figures he can go late at night when no one else is there and figure it out without having to worry about anyone else. Sounds good, he decides, before shutting his laptop and going to pack all his dirty laundry up.

Upon entering the laundromat, the first thing Keith notices, is that his plan, so far, isn't going well, as there is another person here. The second thing he notices, is that the person is naked. Well... not completely naked. But definitely more naked than Keith was expecting anyone to be at the laundromat. He stares for a couple seconds but then thinks that's probably rude so he just gets a better grip on his basket and goes to stand in front of a laundry machine.

The longer he stands there, rereading the directions and trying to figure out where he's supposed to get soap from and what exactly fabric softener is and if he needs to use it, the more stressed out he gets that this guy is going to start to notice he doesn't know what the hell he's doing. He quickly figures it out as best he can and opens the door and starts throwing his clothes in. Thankfully, there isn't much color sorting to do, so... at least that part's easy.

After he throws his last shirt in, he turns to look over at the other guy to see if he can pick up any tips from what he's doing, but he's still just... standing there, watching his clothes. Which, oh right, he's not wearing any. He stares at the guy's blue boxer briefs before turning to look down at himself, face heating up. He doesn't wanna look like a weirdo. Like when he wouldn't change in front of other guys in gym. But... ugh. It's kind of embarrassing. He scratches the back of his head and turns to look at the other guy again. He doesn't seem embarrassed... and he's the expert. He reaches down and takes his boots off, followed by his pants. He starts to pull his shirt off too but remembers he still has a few clean shirts at home, plus... there's only so much he can handle, ok? He decides the pants are enough, for now. He can work up to the shirt next time, maybe. He throws them in, successfully starts his machine and then faces it quietly, just like the other guy is doing.

Lance's mouth has been hanging open so long that the fans this laundromat constantly has running have dried it out to the point where he probably couldn't say anything even if he weren't speechless right now. He blinks again, as if this time when he opens his eyes he'll realize "OH, this guy isn't standing here pant-less with me right now. My bad." But... alas. Still standing here, alone, in this laundromat, with a half naked guy.

Ok. He finally manages to stop staring and turn back to his washing machine. He realizes the irony of him being freaked out by this half naked guy standing here in the laundromat, when he, himself, is a half naked guy standing here in the laundromat. The original half naked guy standing here in the laundromat. BUT. LIKE. WHAT THE FUCK. He had a reason! What possibly could this guy's reason be?! Did he just see him and think "ah, a naked guy... the perfect excuse to get naked myself." Or... was he a pervert?

He squints his eyes suspiciously and slowly turns back to check on the possible pervert. ...Still just standing there. He's tapping his foot once in awhile... but that's it. Wait. What's he doing now? He's kneeling down and... Ok. He's putting his boots on. He hobbles around a little, trying to get them on while standing up. Finally, he gets them both on and goes back to standing silently with his hands on his hips, only now he seems a little out of breath. Honestly, what the fuck?

Well, now that this guy has for some reason put his boots on with his underwear, he seems content to go back to staring at clothes and... not trying to attack or flash him. So... maybe not a pervert? Too soon to tell. Unfortunately, after getting a slightly better view of him as he wobbled around, Lance has realized, he actually is cute. NOT THAT ANY OF THAT MATTERS ANYMORE.

Keith is embarrassed. He almost fell over at least three times trying to get his boots on in front of this stranger. But he had realized, after a few minutes of standing in silence and contemplating whether or not he should be trying to make some sort of casual conversation with this guy, that he probably looked ridiculous standing here without his shoes on. I mean, he wasn't washing his shoes. It made no sense. He huffed a little, annoyed with himself. Who would want to casually converse with him after witnessing all that? No... he should still try. If for no other reason, so he could try to seem like he knew what he was doing.

Lance was suddenly startled when the guy turned around. Definitely cute, yes... but not the point. What was he doing all of a sudden? He had his arms crossed now with a very serious look on his face. Almost... determined? If there were any reason to look determined in a laundromat. He stares straight across at the dryers for a moment, before slowly and robotically turning his head to face him. WAIT. AH. HE WAS FACING HIM. HE WAS LOOKING RIGHT AT HIM. WHAT DOES HE WANT? He would be afraid but thankfully the guy's face, although still frowning, is too cute to really find frightening. He gulps and makes eye contact with him, doing absolutely nothing to hide the confusion he's feeling right now.

"So..."

Here he goes. He's saying something.

"Fabric softener."

Alright. Not what he was expecting.

"...Yea." Is all he can manage to get out.

Did he want to borrow some?

"It's good."

Alright. Nope.

What does he say to this? He just stares for a few seconds, waiting to see if maybe he'll elaborate or something, or, I don't know, MENTION WHY HE'S NOT WEARING PANTS. WITH BOOTS.

...Nothing.

"Um, yup. It's... cool how it... makes fabric soft?"

"Oh."

Wait, what does he mean "oh"? Did he not know that it made fabric soft? What does he like about it, in that case? Why did he bring it up at all? He remains just as, if not more, confused than he was at the start of this. He sighs. So much for not having any awkward conversations with strangers.

Keith frowns and turns his head to look at the silent tvs in the corner of the room. He doesn't feel like that went well. Maybe he could do better if he weren't in his underwear? But then he'd look like a weirdo. He was just trying to think of something laundromat related to say to this stranger but admittedly was thrown off a little when they made eye contact and he realized... he was kind of... good looking. He feels his face get hot and glares harder at the tv. At least he knows what fabric softener is for now.

After a good twenty more minutes of awkward silence, his washer finally buzzes, which catches him a little off guard, even after hearing the other guy's go off a few minutes ago. He tries to play it off and get to work so he can seem like he knows what he's doing, but when he opens the door he grabs his clothes and...

"They're still wet?"

"Huh?"

Oh great. He hadn't meant to say that out loud. He was just... very confused. He put them in the machine as long as it said to and kept them in the entire time. The timer said they were done but... everything... is still wet.

Lance turns around and looks at the back of the pant-less stranger, as he seems to be holding up a wet item of clothing. He guesses he must have heard him correctly, in that case, but... what? Why would he feel the need to point out that it was still wet? Wait. Wait a minute. His comment about the fabric softener. Had this guy done laundry before?

He turns around, looking dejected, still holding his dripping piece of clothing. His face is getting red like maybe he's angry, but mostly he just seems... embarrassed. That's when Lance realizes maybe he's been totally wrong this entire time. Maybe this guy isn't a weirdo at all. Well, maybe not a perverted weirdo. Maybe he's just an awkward weirdo... who has never done laundry before. Which is kind of cute... in a way.

Lance laughs a little and asks "have you ever done this before?" just to get a confirmation of his suspicions. The guy's shoulders drop and he looks away a little before shaking his head finally. Lance laughs harder, because oh my god. That explains... so much. When he looks back, the guy looks kinda pissed though.

"Sorry, sorry. Why didn't you say anything? Want some help?" He walks over without needing an answer, because... it's pretty obvious.

"I'm somewhat of an expert. I have four siblings. And only two pairs of pants."

"Thanks... I'm Keith."

"And I'm Lance. Alright, I know it's your favorite, but we're gonna save the fabric softener for next time. For now, let me explain to you the concept of a dryer."

Keith still looks a little embarrassed, so Lance figures he will save the "keeping your clothes on" lesson for next next time. Or, you know, never.