Gail D'Eon
May, 2004

A Very short little scene from a moment in the life of Mel Porter. Cole decides to help Mel with the laundry, and is met with disastrous results.

Back Into The Bleach

"COLE........ Laundry"

Cole listened and considered her voice carefully from his safe chair in the war room. Yes, he came to the undeniable conclusion that Mel was most certainly not pleased about something. There was just something about her tone that gave him that impression.

"Yes, Mel, I'm coming." Came his reply, as he squared his shoulders and prepared to face her. He could face dangerous alien fugitives without reservation. They had nothing on Mel Porter when she was having a domestic crisis.

Cole walked hesitantly into the laundry room where Mel was crouched on the floor over a pile of clothes, all of which were a sickening shade of what could only be described as grey. In her hand was a pair of lacy panties, the same unattractive colour.

"Cole, I see you did my laundry for me." Mel appeared to be smiling, but she didn't fool the Tracker for a millisecond.

"Yes, I did Mel. I knew that you were really busy lately, and your laundry was piling up, so I thought I'd help you out and do some for you."

Mel was smiling, that nervous smile she usually smiled when she was just barely hanging on to her temper by a very thin, very weak, thread.

"Well, that was.... very nice of you to try to be so helpful Cole, and I do appreciate the gesture, but see, there's this, oh, call it a rule about laundry.

"A rule?" Cole asked, a puzzled expression evident on his handsome face.

"Yes Cole, a rule" she responded. "It goes something like this. The clothes should actually come OUT of the washing machine the same colour they were when they went IN to the washing machine!"

"I see Mel."

"These are my white's Cole. Well, they WERE my whites. Now they're....some other colour." She held up a lacy bra which Cole examined.

"It's very pretty Mel. I'm sure you look beautiful in it."

Mel covered her mouth to hide the grin that his remark drew from her.

"Cole, what exactly did you wash with my stuff?" Mel inquired.

"Just a couple of pairs of pants of mine that needed washing. I thought I'd throw them in with your things."

Mel closed her eyes and put her hand over them. "Cole, never put dark clothes into the same load as whites. Think of it as, oh, putting a Cirronian and a Vardian together in the same room. You won't like the results!"

Cole tried to form a mental picture of Mel's analogy and he had to admit, it wasn't attractive at all "OK Mel, I'll try to remember that in future."

"Better yet Cole, why don't you leave the laundry to me in future." Mel suggested. "I know you were just trying to be helpful to me and I do appreciate it."

"Well yes, Mel, I did think it would help you out but if I ended up just upsetting you, then it really didn't help you out much at all did it." Cole stood there, looking at her with his characteristically childlike smile, and that stubborn single dark lock of hair falling forward and curling in the centre of his forehead. God, did Cole have to be so damned irresistible when he rationalized?, Mel thought to herself.

She could feel her anger evaporating, like it always did when Cole looked at her like that.

She sighed with resignation. "It's OK Cole. Don't worry. No one sees my underwear anyway."

"Well I should hope NOT Mel." He grinned at her, turned, and headed back to the war room, leaving her crouching by the washing machine as she watched his retreating back, shaking her golden curls and smiling.