[I don't wanna hear nothin' from nobody about how long it took me to get this out of my head and onto paper. It's here, and the next part should come fairly shortly. Comments other than that are wonderfully appreciated.]
"Thank you so much," I said over my shoulder to Jo. She was carrying my clothes basket of socks behind me. My backpack was on my back - I was more or less stuck down there until I had washed and dried what I needed to. Jo would get a text when I was done to come back and get the basket.
And the reason I had not told Murph where I was was due to the fact that I had thrown some underwear into the basket, too. The boy was my boyfriend, but I was not ready to share my underpants with him. Didn't matter that I wasn't wearing them - not that I wasn't currently wearing a pair - just...not going to go there.
I flopped into the chair and propped my cankle on the overturned basket once I had everything started. The Tudors made another appearance. The only thing I had forgotten was my mp3 player. Maybe Devan would get it for me.
When the hell had Devan come in? How had I missed this?
He had an armful of wet jeans and t-shirts. "Hey, Ollie."
"Dev." Articulate as ever, that was me. "Laundry."
"Yeah. Murph and I do laundry every other Thursday." He shrugged. "Generally. Otherwise the room starts to reek."
Which is logical. If I left my soccer stuff too long it was disgusting beyond words. I made a sound of garbled distress in the back of my throat, the Tudors momentarily forgotten.
Murph entered as though on cue from the universe. He detoured on his way to the washer to kiss my cheek. Pretty sure I was in a mild form of shock. Not shock, really, but...with my luck (or lack thereof) this was sure to happen. He had an armful of wet clothes - everything mixed in together as most college kids did. My mama trained me well, though - I separated my clothes.
Were those clouds on that pair of boxers?
And I thought my underpants were interesting.
He got them in the drier and started, and leaned against the machine to look at me. I stared dumbly back.
"You need some help getting stuff out?"
Obvious answer? Yes. Ollie's freaking-out answer? A garbled, indistinguishable sound that threatened to appear.
Pretty sure I blushed scarlet from my collar to the tips of my ears. "It's not just jeans." There weren't any jeans in that load at all. It was only underwear and socks. Mostly socks, but still some underpants.
And mine didn't have clouds on them, either. Not. Even. Close.
If I'd missed Dev arriving, I'd missed him leaving, too. Normally I'm a little more observant.
"Ollie?" Murph stuffed his hands in his pockets as color crept up his neck. "It's underwear, isn't it?"
Damn that boy and his ability to read me. Then again, that might be a good thing.
"Yeah." I drew out the word and trailed off with a sigh. "But I am going to need some help." I couldn't carry a basket on crutches; I had enough issues crutching in a straight line, thank you very much.
"How about if you put them in the basket - I won't look - and I'll carry it over to the drier. Won't look. Promise."
I knew Murph - if he promised he wouldn't look, he wouldn't. Still blushing furiously, I nodded.
When the washer was done, I hopped over; Murph moved and got the basket. He looked at the ceiling as I filled it, and he walked - slowly and carefully while dutifully counting the dimples in the ceiling tiles - to the driers. He continued to stare upwards while I unloaded the basket, looking at me only when he heard the machine kick on. He smiled, taking my hand to lace our fingers together.
"Did you ever watch Boy Meets World?" he asked, that gleam in his eye that warned me something fairly funny or ridiculous was about to come my way.
"Yeah." Truthfully, I absolutely love that show. And if he was going to do what I think he was going to do, in reference to the episode I was thinking, I was already fighting not to laugh.
Murph leaned in with a grin, pointed to the drier I had started and said, "Underpants," much like Cory had that particular episode.
Couldn't help it - I cracked up.