"You can't move them at all?"
"What the hell do you think I'm doing now? You think I'm enjoying this? Don't flatter yourself!"
"No, I didn't mean that, really this is just very uncomfortable."
"You're telling me."
"Damn it, I'm going to fall."
"I can't stand like this."
"Well, you can…sit."
Are you ready for the part where this innocent accident looks horrendously bad to the unknown outside viewer? Here it comes.
"Sit? But I don't want to hurt you."
"Hurt me? Please, my gunblade is heavier than you. Just sit on my stomach and let's figure something out."
I sat down.
"Oh God! My back!"
"Shit! I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" I tried desperately to stand up again.
"Heheheh, just kidding."
"That's Mr. Asshole to you Instructor," he chuckled.
"I'm glad you are finding humor in this, personally I think I'm going to have to undergo serious therapy for being this close to you for more than five minutes."
"Yeah…well…you and me both!"
"You know you can be such a…"
"I can hear voices coming down the chute…"
I listened intently. Sure enough I heard two female voices nearing the chute. So it all came down to getting help out of this mess, or getting seen in this incomparable position. It was a really tough call. In the end we decided to try and get their attention…we could pay them to keep quiet.
"I'm serious Kristine, I heard voices coming from the laundry chute."
"Nicole, your socks aren't coming back…it's time to let go."
"Damn it I loved those socks! But no, this is not about my socks this time, I swear there's something in the laundry chute!"
"Okay fine, fine, lets go look."
We heard the small hatch open near the top. I could feel the beam from the flashlight warm on my hands a bit. Seifer was about to say something, but his words were muffled by the shrill screams above.
"Oh my God!! It's a severed head!!!"
"Commander Leonhart! There's a severed head in the laundry chute!!"
We listened dumfounded as the boots of our rescuers resounded against the floor and faded as they went in search of more help…from people we knew…this would not turn out good…no…not at all.
A simultaneous sigh echoed in the laundry room. And then the power came back on. This further infuriated the man below me.
"This is all your fault Quistis!"
"My fault? Ha!" I barked, "My fault…sure and how do you figure that?"
"You could have told me I'd get stuck!"
"Damn you, I tried! It just didn't seem to reach past the walls of your enormously thick head!"
"That's it!" he fumed. "Get your thick ass off me!"
"Believe me, I would if I could! Hyne knows what kind of parasites live on a parasite!"
"And what is that supposed to mean?"
"You know damn well what I mean!"
Indeed, we were bonding quite well don't you think?
"Oh please, I'm sure you find yourself in this situation nightly," he snorted, "This should be nothing new for you."
My hands…they could almost reach his neck…yes just a little farther and I could strangle the bastard!
"Gak! Quistis…I can't breathe!" He wheezed.
"Please let go, I was…kidding…urk…I'm…sorry."
I let go of him. After all, murder wouldn't really look good on my record. Tempting as it was. And anyway, about that time we were interrupted once again.
"Seifer?" Came a deep voice from above. "What the hell are you doing?"
"Puberty boy," Seifer growled lowly.
"Squall, we need some help!" I yelled, knowing Seifer would rather die than ask him for help.
"Quistis? Where are you?"
I wiggled my hands so he could see them. "I'm…right here."
There was a long silence then. Followed by an "eeeeeeee" and then more silence. Its very weird to hear Squall laugh, I mean really laugh, and its not just because he doesn't do it a lot. It's because he has one of those silent laughs. The only sound he makes is that "eeeeeee" when he gasps for breath. This continued for several minutes…apparently he found our situation very amusing. Seifer on the other hand was quaking beneath me, no doubt gruesome murder of the commander on his mind.
"Squall what's going on?" Ah, here came Rinoa.
"Seifer…Quistis…stuck…together in the laundry chute! Eeeeeeee!"
"Quistis?" she yelled. "Are you okay?"
Ah, Rinoa, Hyne bless her. "Yes! I'm okay! Just…stuck!"
"Don't worry, we'll have you out of there in no time!"
"Yeah, I'm okay too Rinoa, thanks for asking!" Seifer spat.
"Your concern for my well being overwhelms me."
Rinoa didn't seem to hear the last remark as she began discussing the situation with Squall.
"Squall! You big louse stop laughing! C'mon, they need help!"
"Camera, must…find camera. Eeeeeeee!"
A loud smack echoed down the chute.
"Ow! That hurt! Okay, okay I'm going! I'm going! Zell has a blowtorch, I'll go get him."
"Don't you dare bring chickenwuss down here!" Seifer yelled, apparently to deaf ears, or to ears that were already long gone.
This did little to quell his rage.
"Seifer calm down before you give yourself a brain aneurysm," I said in the best calm voice I could muster. I could feel the heat seething off him like an unstable furnace about to explode. I thought perhaps if he did then maybe I could pull my hands out. Yes, I know, that wasn't very nice. But it was a nicer statement than the ones he would be getting I assure you.
Yes they began as soon as soon as we heard the whoosh of the elevator door.
"This has got to be the best damn day of my life!" Zell's loud voice echoed in the small room.
"Oh Hyne, its even funnier than I imagined," Squall laughed.
"You two cut it out!" Rinoa said.
"Guys…please," I pleaded. "I was trying to help him out…it didn't exactly go as I'd planned."
"No Quisty we're not laughing at you," Zell said. "We're just enjoying a good laugh at Seifer's expense. Got caught with your moron pants on eh pal?" He chided as he kicked Seifer in the leg.
"No, really, he's on the verge of spontaneous combustion," I said, "Please, I would like to survive this if possible."
"Ah, don't worry," Zell said as he flipped a button on the torch. "We'll have you out in no time."
"That's what I'm afraid of," I replied. "He is definitely going to try and kill you two when he gets out of here."
"Well, that's why we brought Rinoa."
Rinoa waved from behind the two of them.
My question was cut short as Zell's torch started cutting into the metal wall, and Seifer finally regained his ability to speak in his anger.
"Damn it chickenwuss, you're getting a little too close for comfort with that damn thing!"
"Hey, how bout shutting up while I work hmm? I could always burn you a new belly button."
Zell was enjoying this immensely, and really could you blame him?
When he was nearly finished cutting the piece out of the wall he motioned to Squall.
"Okay Squall, You come and lift this off."
Squall complied and lifted the hunk of metal that hindered our freedom. I sighed in relief as I could once again move my wrists.
My God did they hurt!
Quickly remembering I was sitting on a time bomb I jumped up and backed away, strangely Seifer remained motionless. My concern instinct took over…damned if I know why.
"Seifer, are you okay? You can move now."
I heard him sigh as his fists clenched tightly. "Kill you…," he whispered venomously. "I…am going to…kill you two!" He jumped up in rage and immediately lunged for Squall and Zell. Rinoa stepped casually in front of them.
"Stop," she said, and he froze in mid-lunge. Then she snapped her fingers together and said, "Sleep."
Seifer fell to the floor with a loud thud. I was sure he would be feeling that in the morning.
"Okay, Zell you get his feet," Squall said. "We'll haul him back upstairs."
"No," I interrupted, not really sure why. "It's okay…I'll stay here with him until he wakes up. He's been through enough for one day, I think you need to leave him with at least a shred of his dignity."
I couldn't believe I said that.
I looked up at the three of them whose mouths were agape with shock. Apparently they couldn't believe it either.
"No really, it's fine. I'll just wait here."
"Quistis," Zell said. "He's gonna be dangerous when he wakes up."
"I can deal with it. Just go back upstairs, it definitely would do you good to keep a safe distance from him for a few days."
"Okay…you remember this is the laundry room don't you? The sanctity of evil!"
"Yes Suds Stud…I mean Zell! I know, I think I've had my taste of it for tonight. I'll be fine, just go."
Zell looked hurt. "I thought we agreed never to mention that name again."
"Well, if you're sure Quistis," Squall interrupted. "Just be careful okay?"
"Yeah," Rinoa winked and unconsciously scratched at the scar on her forehead. "Don't hurt him too much."
I smiled and watched the three of them leave. Why the hell was I watching them leave? Damn it, I should be riding the elevator back up with them. I almost shouted at them to wait up, but I didn't. Stupid idiot Seifer… Why did I suddenly develop a conscious where he was concerned? I had no idea. I still don't.
He looks different…when he sleeps. He's like an entirely different person. That cocky smirk is gone, taking with it that superficial 'asshole' aura which is more a defense mechanism than anything. Shoot, I sound like I'm defending him now. But, well, he was pretty adorable lying there in that crumpled heap. I quietly walked over to the laundry machines and grabbed his duster. Ugh…that was the nastiest bunch of rags I had ever seen! I quickly threw that down. I took one of my jackets in my clothesbasket and waded it up into a makeshift pillow as I walked over to where he was. I sat down cross-legged near him and carefully slid the jacket beneath his head. And I just sat there, and watched him sleep. He seemed so peaceful and his breathing was hypnotic. Before I knew it I was leaning against the wall, near slumber myself. I had no idea how much time had elapsed when I heard him begin to stir.
"Ughh…stand up straight when I'm trying…to kill you," he mumbled before his eyes opened slowly.
I slid over so that I could meet him eye to eye. "Have a nice nap?" I questioned.
He tried to move. "Shit! My head is killing me."
"No surprise," I said. "You hit the tile pretty hard. I'm sure it's in more pain than you are."
"Oh ha ha. That's right Quistis poke fun at the man on the ground. Hyne knows you rarely see them in any other position."
I searched my mind…wishing desperately that I had another sleep spell. None. Oh, but I did have an Ultima. No, Quistis, remember reputation…more important.
"You know Seifer, here I was just thinking how nice it was for that big mouth of yours to be closed shut. I almost felt a slight twinge of pity for you. I have no idea why the hell I decided to stay here with you. I should have left!"
"I missed you too," he smirked.
"Hyne you are hopeless!" I said getting to my feet. "Don't expect me to do any more favors for you!" I started to storm towards the elevator.
"Hey! Wait a min…OW!"
I sighed and turned. He was in a sitting position now clutching the back of his head with a hand. Gullible? Yes sadly, I am. I walked back towards him and kneeled by him.
"Let me look at it."
"Okay…OW! You said look! Not poke!"
"I didn't poke! I barely touched it! I felt the back of his head again and I heard him draw a sharp intake of breath through his teeth.
"Well you do have a nasty knot. I can't fix the one on your shoulders but maybe I can do something with the one that's on top of that one."
"Ten thousand comedians out of work…" he sighed.
"Cure," I said as the green light poured from my hand and enveloped him in the healing aura.
"Um…thanks," he said as it faded.
He doesn't say that often. I took it for all it was worth.
"Yeah, you're welcome."
"Now…," he said standing up. "Which way did puberty boy and chicken wuss go? They have a date with the ends of my fists."
"You leave them alone. They did take the time to come down here and get us out. You should thank them."
"Oh I will 'thank' them repeatedly. I will 'thank' them till they are on the ground begging for me not to 'thank' them anymore."
"Do you ever get tired of carrying that enormous ego around? I'm sure its massive weight is astronomical."
"Weighs less than all the bodies that's been on top of you in your lifetime I'm sure."
I just wasted a cure spell on this man. Reputation be damned I was going to spill blood right then and there…until.
"Hey," he smiled gently. "You know I'm just kidding. Thanks for um…staying with me. I really…appreciate it."
"You're welcome," I said again, flabbergasted.
"You um…wanna go get some food with me tomorrow night?"
"Are you asking me out for dinner?"
"Well, yeah, but not a date or anything…just…something. I'm sure you are committed to several more dates tomorrow, I don't want to add to the burden."
I laughed. "No Seifer, I'm free."
"Cool," he said with a smile. "Me too."
Awkward silence time. I shuffled my feet nervously.
"Sounds fine with me."
"Great, um, see you then…have…a good night Quistis."
"You too," I said and waved to him as he entered the elevator, wondering what the hell just happened. What a night it was in the land of downy soft curses.
And there you have it. My experience from beginning to end on the pros and cons of cursed laundry rooms. I'll let you sort out which is which for yourself. Thank you for listening. It helps when one gets these things off their chests. I have to get going now, I have to get ready for my dat…I mean dinner with Seifer. I have no idea what I'm going to wear…I don't have a thing that's clean… Shit. Maybe Rinoa or Selphie has something. I can only hope.
Tha end! heheh, thankyou for baring with me through this realm of no fade bleach weirdness. I blame it all on those late nights at the laundry mat near the apartment where I used to live. Thank you, sock eating dryer. Thank you for reading! Comments and suggestions much appreciated! And after much revelation during the writing of this fic...I've decided...I still hate doing laundry. ^_~