Originally written for the Daily Prompt community prompt 'laundromat'. Bringing up 'boxer briefs' in Google Images is an eye opener and no mistake! Who knew?
Sean doesn't like being a living cliché for the 'Newly Divorced Man Incapable of Doing His Own Laundry', but sadly he is. He'd committed the cardinal error of allowing first his mom and then his ex to do all his laundry for him, and now he's going to have to suck it up and figure out this clothes washing shtick.
He carries his overstuffed olive drab duffle bag into the empty laundromat, certain that some measure of humiliation will accompany the learning process. Why should this be any different from the other Adventures of Newly Divorced Man that he's embarked upon? But he's wearing his last pair of clean boxers, and unless he wants to throw out all his dirty underwear and buy new (a tempting idea if he didn't have such hefty alimony payments), he simply has to accept whatever disaster lies in store for him. And hope that no one else comes into the laundromat while he's bumbling around.
A long rectangular white table bisects the laundromat, with banks of washers on one side and dryers on the other, and uncomfortable looking tan plastic chairs scattered here and there. Sean heaves the duffle bag onto the table and sets the box of Tide he'd bought at the supermarket next to it. So far, so good. He'd loaded up on quarters, too. The front pocket of his khaki shorts is bulging with them, in a slightly suggestive manner that makes him self-conscious, so he quickly empties it, stacking the coins next to the laundry detergent. Then he unzips the duffle bag, and contemplates the mishmash of clothes he'd crammed into it. Some of them smell pretty ripe. Shades of Oscar Madison, he thinks. If only Felix Unger would come along and rescue him.
Whites and colors get separated, of course, even he knows that much, but what about the stuff that's mostly white with a little color, like the polo shirt with the navy blue stripe in the collar? Then there's the vexing issue of material. Does it really matter if polyester gets washed with cotton? And what water temperatures should he use? He's pretty sure that does matter.
"You look lost," says a soft male voice behind him.
Sean jumps and turns his head, and he's lost all right, but with no inclination whatsoever to find his way out of the ocean of bright blue into which he's just plummeted. The ocean of bright blue resides in the eyes of a young man holding a white plastic clothes hamper. Ocean Eyes is without a doubt the most gorgeous human being Sean has ever beheld. It's almost incongruous, the juxtaposition of such beauty with the mundane environs, like a bird of paradise accidentally wandering into a chicken coop. But Sean isn't complaining, oh no. In fact, he's feeling like the fox in the coop, but with a ravenous appetite for bird of paradise, not chicken.
The young man sets the clothes hamper on the table next to Sean's duffle bag and gives him a sympathetic look. "First time?" he asks.
"Yes," replies a dazed Sean, not certain what he's agreeing to, but hoping it has nothing whatsoever to do with laundry and everything to do with foxes and birds.
"Been there, done that. I can give you a hand if you like," offers Ocean Eyes.
"That would be great," Sean says, and has a sneaking suspicion he sounds like a teenage girl trying to act cool when the cutest guy in school asks her to the prom, but failing utterly. Who knew that Felix Unger would turn out to be so gorgeous?
"Okay. But if I'm going to help you wash your underwear, we should be properly introduced first." The young man grins, revealing an enticing little gap between his two pearl-like front teeth. "I'm Elijah."
"Sean. And I really appreciate this, Elijah," Sean adds for the sole purpose of being able to say Elijah's name aloud. He feels more high school than ever. If he had a notebook with him, he'd start doodling little hearts on the cover with 'Sean & Elijah 4 Ever' written inside them.
"No problem," Elijah replies. "I'll show you how to sort your clothes first. It's not rocket science, but there are a few tips you need to know. Before you sort you have to turn everything right side out, unless the label says otherwise, and then you have to make sure nothing's left in the pockets." He picks up a pair of Sean's jeans and demonstrates.
There's an unreality to the sight of the most gorgeous human being Sean has ever beheld handling his dirty laundry, but it's an unreality that Sean could easily grow used to. The effect is intimate and very, very sexy. What does it say about him that he finds it sexy? Sean wonders. Is there such a thing as a dirty laundry kink? If so, he apparently has it.
Sean tries to pay attention and retain what Elijah tells him, although he's so mesmerized by the sight of the young man's beautiful, obviously sensitive hands (he must be an artist of some kind, or possibly a brain surgeon) going through his pockets (and rescuing a five-dollar bill, a ball point pen, and the spare key to Sean's apartment that he thought he'd lost) that the advice drifts in one ear and straight out the other without pausing to be memorized.
All too soon for Sean's liking, his laundry is sorted into whites and two piles of colors (dark and light), placed in three different washers with the appropriate amounts of Tide, and a sufficient number of quarters are deposited in the metal slots to get things rolling.
"There," Elijah says when the machines have rumbled to life and Sean's clothes are merrily tumbling around in a sea of white suds. "That wasn't so difficult, was it?"
"Not difficult at all, Elijah," Sean agrees. "Thank you, Elijah." It's such a beautiful name, Elijah. Biblical, he thinks, and if he's lucky, it translates as 'Destined for Sean'.
"You're welcome, Sean." Elijah smiles a little as he says this, and Sean realizes that maybe he has overused Elijah's name. Oops!
"Can I help you with your laundry now? It will be good practice for me." Sean valiantly refrains from tacking an extraneous Elijah on to the end of each sentence.
"Sure." Elijah inverts the laundry hamper, dumps his clothes on the table and steps back. "It's all yours."
Maybe what he has is more of a fetish than a kink, Sean decides. He can't wait to get his hands on Elijah's dirty laundry. Especially his boxer briefs. Hopefully he won't embarrass himself by drooling on them, although the trace of musk wafting to his nose from the pile isn't helping matters. Trying not to act disturbingly eager, Sean gets started.
Elijah has extremely funky taste in underwear, Sean discovers as he sorts through the pile, doing his best to separate things properly, although Elijah does have to correct him a few times. He does this with a grace that Sean wishes his ex could witness, her style having run more to rolling her eyes in disbelief and calling him an idiot when he was stumped by any of life's little roadblocks.
Sean refrains from commenting on Elijah's underwear choices, it not being any of his business, until he reaches a pair of white cotton briefs with a familiar-looking pink kitten splashed across the seat. "Hello Kitty?" he exclaims involuntarily, holding them up. Weirdly, a jolt of lust streaks through him as he pictures Elijah's ass adorned in pink kitten. Is this another newly discovered kink (or possibly fetish) of his, guys wearing Hello Kitty boxer briefs?
Elijah giggles. "A joke gift from a friend. But you know how it is when you're running out of underwear. A guy's gotta do what he's gotta do."
Sean nods. Life as Newly Divorced Man has certainly taught him that.
"Or go commando," Elijah adds.
Oh shit. Oh shit. If Elijah's been forced to wear his Hello Kitty boxer briefs, does that mean right now...? Sean swallows hard and manages somehow not to steal a glance at Elijah's crotch, but snatches up a random piece of clothing.
Then he swallows even harder when he sees what he's holding. It's another pair of white boxer briefs, but these are sheer lacy white with a blue satin crotch designed to make a guy's assets stand out - literally. Holy fuck. Sean does steal a glance then, at Elijah's face, and his cheeks look rather red, or so it seems to Sean. As if the lacy briefs are on fire, and they might as well be, considering the fire they've lit inside him, Sean quickly tosses them onto the whites pile. But he thinks that if he dies without a chance to see Elijah wearing those briefs, his entire life will have been a waste.
Thankfully, only a few more garments remain to be sorted, none of them underwear. Sean isn't certain how much more he can take without making a massive fool of himself. Of course he's considered reentering the dating pool as part of the ongoing Adventures of Newly Divorced Man, but wanting to take a guy you met less than an hour ago, dress him in lacy white briefs, then strip them off him and have sex with him on top of a pile of dirty laundry in a laundromat is probably not the recommended way to begin.
"All done," he says, relieved to be finished - if not for the reasons he probably should be.
He and Elijah gather up an armful of the sorted laundry each (Sean lets Elijah take the whites, not trusting himself with those lacy briefs) and deposit them in the washers on either side of Sean's. Elijah adds detergent, pops in some quarters, and soon his clothes are merrily tumbling around in a sea of white suds, too. It's rather romantic, really, Sean thinks, watching their clothes wash side by side.
"What now?" he asks, manhandling the entirely inappropriate answers to his own question that are flooding his brain and diverting them away from the part that governs involuntary speech.
"Well, I usually go get a cup of coffee across the street," Elijah replies, indicating the coffee shop opposite the laundromat. "If you sit by the window, you can keep an eye on your laundry, not that people are likely to steal your clothes."
Oh no? Sean's mind conjures up those lacy white briefs. Not that he wants to wear them himself, just bury his nose in them and breath deeply, or maybe wrap them around his dick and use them to get off.
"But sometimes, if all the machines are being used, some asshole will take your clothes out and put their own in. That happened to me a couple times when I left and came back later. So it's better to hang around." Elijah cocks his head to the side. "We could have coffee together if you like." An imp of mischief appears in his ocean blue eyes, making them sparkle like sunlight on waves. "After all, we've already handled each other's underwear, so that practically makes us boyfriends."
Sean chokes and goes bright red.
Elijah turns red, too, but with embarrassment. "Oh shit. Sean, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable. It was only a joke. I thought..." He stops, then goes on quietly, "But obviously I was wrong. Just forget it, okay? I promise, I won't bother you anymore." He turns as if to leave.
Sean quickly gathers his wits before Elijah can venture any further down the Path of Totally Wrong Conjecture. "No, no," he hastens to reassure him. "You didn't make me uncomfortable, Elijah. At all. In fact, you thought absolutely right. I'd love to have coffee with you. I mean, if we're already practically boyfriends, it makes sense to get better acquainted, don't you think?"
Elijah visibly sags with relief. "Oh man, I thought I'd totally misread you and fucked things up big time." He briefly closes his eyes. "I know we only just met, but you have no idea how disappointed I'd be to end things here."
"I think I probably do have an idea," Sean replies. "Because I'd be just as disappointed if we didn't have coffee together and... maybe dinner later?" And maybe after that a chance to see you in those lacy boxer briefs before I slowly strip them away...
"Dinner sounds fantastic," Elijah says, but from a certain glint in his ocean blue eyes, Sean suspects that he, too, is thinking past dinner. Hopefully his fantasies involve lacy white boxer briefs, but if not, Sean will happily clue him in.
Sean holds the door for Elijah as they exit the laundromat, amazed that little more than an hour ago he'd entered the premises with a sense of impending doom. Looks like the Adventures of Newly Divorced Man don't always have to end in disaster.
Fancy that. Sean definitely does, and in lacy white boxer briefs, to boot.