Author's note: Set when Niko is fifteen or sixteen and Cal is...eleven or twelve? Changing age differences consistently fuck me up. ._. Anyway, please enjoy, and if you do (or if you don't), please consider leaving a review. 3


Underpants

"What the hell are these?" I pulled a plastic package of neatly folded briefs from the bag Niko'd brought home from the dollar store.

"What do they look like, Cal?" He didn't bother looking up from his homework, some essay or other for his junior English class. The only other item in the bag had been a pack of cheapass black pens, and those were already in use, helping Nik write about Ophelia's madness in Hamlet. His would probably be the only handwritten essay handed in on Monday. Welcome to the Leandros household: no word processor, no problem.

I shot him a dirty look, which he didn't notice--or more likely, just didn't bother responding to--and clarified. "They have the days of week printed on them, Nik. Nine year old girls have day of the week underwear."

He sighed, set down the Bic knockoff, and looked over at me. "When did we last go to the laundromat?"

"Last Sunday." And what a treat that was, sitting in the middle of a stuffy room and being forced to do math homework under the watchful eye of my big brother.

"And how long had it been since we last went?"

"A week." It was turning into a tradition, so long as Niko had the quarters to pay for our spin cycle. After a few summers of never having our clothing washed once, I think he felt very Scarlett O'Hara about the whole thing. As God as his witness, he'd never go smelly again.

"And how many pairs of underwear did you wash?" Niko inquired, an eyebrow raising as he spoke.

I didn't have an immediate answer for that one. "How the hell am I supposed to know?"

He turned back to his essay with the tranquility that came half from being the older sibling who knows everything and half just from being Niko. "The correct answer was 'one.'"

"So?"

"Those should help you keep track of your hygiene and what day it is. You're welcome."