A/N: This vignette is a tad bit mature, but not so much to merit the M rating. ;D
Disclaimer: Characters (c) James Patterson.
Piles of clothes, every single one color coordinated and separated into delicates and cottons. Fang never knew that a monotonous chore such as the laundry could be so… relaxing. What with all the usual flying and running away, he was never exposed to this sort of normality. It was weird. It was refreshing. It felt oddly right. The flock was lucky that they had rest stops such as Max's mom's place. They had been staying in the cozy house for almost a week now.
Dr. Martinez didn't even have to ask him. When Fang saw the laundry hampers overloaded with the Ella, Jeb, and the flock's dirty clothes, he silently took the job of commandeering the laundry room and resigned himself to completing the task until it was done.
Wash the darks, then colors, and then whites, he had been told. Dr. Martinez had given him a grateful smile when she saw him carrying the hampers down. Fang was suddenly bothered into slight embarrassment when he realized that the rest of the flock hadn't done much to help Max's mom around the house.
Guilty conscience aside, he thought it would be at least useful to know how a washing machine and dryer worked. Golly, he was seventeen now and it was about time he'd learn.
Surprisingly, it was easier than he thought it would be. After getting through the dark piles of clothes, he moved on to the colors, and pretty soon he was starting with the whites.
The sickly sweet smell of bleach soon filled the laundry room and Fang had to nudge the door open to let the air vent out. Ignoring the fact that the majority of white clothes included dirty underwear, he picked up an armful and unceremoniously dumped it into the washing machine.
"Mom!" came Max's voice as she slid into laundry room, speckled feathers drifting behind her, "Have you seen Fa-"
Her voice trailed off as she saw Fang, not her mom, doing the laundry. "There you are!" she exclaimed, looking about ready to put her hands on her hips if it wasn't for the six soiled shirts she was carrying. Max herself looked as if she's been rolling around in the grass and possibly a mud puddle.
Fang was busy picking up stray clothes from the floor before he glanced at her. "Max, I just got done with washing the bright colors."
"Fang, what are you doing?"
Well, aside from the lack of macho manliness of the activity, Fang was a little miffed that she had to ask. He almost gave her one of his 'I-don't-think-your-question-deserves-an-answer' looks, but since it was Max, he treated her to a sarcastic remark instead.
"Gee, I don't know. You tell me," he said, piece a piece of white cloth with a strap around his finger.
Max couldn't possibly look any more red, "Stop waving that around."
Fang looked at his hand, finding that he was twirling something that sort of resembled a bra around his finger. His face went blank, carefully studying Max, who looked like she was going to die of embarrassment or laughter.
"What? Is this yours?" he asked politely. Fang was mature enough not to dissolve into fits of giggles or screams of horror over a bra. Besides, the bra didn't even look like one. No frills, no lace, only a pretty pink flower design that made Fang want to cross his eyes. Definitely not Victoria Secret material.
Oh, but Max suddenly looked angry. Her mouth opened and closed several times before she could get the right words out.
"That… would be Angel's training bra," she snapped, grabbing the thing and tossing it into the washing machine. Fang was mildly taken aback by her sudden viciousness. He stepped back.
"You don't need to get all uptight about it," he said, shrugging.
"Honestly, Fang!" Max was muttering, helping him pick up the fallen dirty clothes and putting it into the machine. He noticed that she left the boxers and briefs untouched and only took the girly undergarments.
"Dude, Max. It was just a mistake. I didn't even know training bras existed," Fang said hastily. He could tell that she was genuinely upset. Tough, flock-leader Max freaking out over a bra? Weird to the power of ten. "I'm sorry."
Max was already on a roll, turning and jabbing a finger on his chest. "How could you get Angel's training bra mixed up when I have these freakin'-"
Max stopped, blushing furiously. Fang turned away, pretending to grab more baking soda while hiding his own pinkish cheeks. The mechanical droning of the dryer and watery hiss of the washing machine seemed to fade away. Fang swore that there was a full minute of silence before he decided to break it with his usual humor.
"Well, as much as I would love to talk about how big your chest is compared to Angel's, I'm afraid I have some dirty clothes to wash," he said dryly.
Max gave a disgusted sigh and threw the clothes she had been holding at his face. She turned to leave, but not before replying, "Wash your dirty mind while you're at it."
The comment didn't mean to sting. Fang could hear the hint of a smirk in her voice. He grinned to himself, lifting up another girly piece of cloth. This time it looked more like a bra than a floppy rag.
"Size thirty-two A," he read the label out loud before tossing it into the machine, "That one yours, Max?"
Max slammed the laundry door behind her, almost leaving Fang with damaged eardrums.
"That's Nudge's!" she yelled out, "The next thing you'll probably dig through and read is my mom's and Jeb'll probably go ape-shit crazy. Give it up, you pervert!" Her exaggerated stomps descended and she was gone.
Fang chuckled, finally shutting the washing machine's door closed. He shook his head, feeling the temperature of his cheeks rise. Max was right. He probably should clear his mind.
After all, he hadn't been planning on going through any dirty laundry to find out her bra size. A little mystery was good for him. It made the discovery so much more worth it.
Reviews mare my happy crack!