"What, like, you met someone who was blue and just -- thought -- ?"
<NYC> Village Lofts Laundry Room - East Village This laundry room looks as many laundry rooms do. Fluorescent lights a little too-bright, linoleum floor is chipping, lint-dusty and occasionally stained sticky with spilled detergent. A broom and dustpan in one corner encourage its users to contribute to its cleanliness, which they do with intermittent conscientiousness. A bank of quarter-fed washing machines along the wall have clear windows on their doors to watch the laundry spin and turn within. On the wall opposite, a matching row of dryers near-perpetually has at least one out of commission. A rickety folding table and chairs at one side provide a place to sit and wait. There's a dispenser on the wall that will provide single-use sized packets of detergent or fabric softener, but it is hit or miss whether it is ever in stock.
It's warm in here, two of the dryers chugging away; there's a very faint citrus scent in the room. A tiny blue person is perched cross-legged atop the folding table, barefoot in capri-length leggings swirled with a pastel pink and blue and white floral design, and a long tunic-length tank top with gauzy white lace layered over a solid blue base. There's an empty black laundry basket at her feet, a large tool chest near her elbow. B's head is bowed over a pale sliver of bone held in one webbed hand; she's using a very fine pointed metal tool to carve a notch out of the end of the bone before slotting it, delicately, into another piece of bone. Then adding both of those to a small white spiderlike creature sitting beside her on the table -- the delicate sculpture itself seemingly made entirely from bone as well.
The laundry basket coming down the stairs is definitely not empty. Other than a pair of short legs, clad in jeans that are more pen ink than denim, not much of Sarah can be seen past the dangerously balanced pile of reds, blacks, and vibrant pastels. Said laundry-person wobbles on the bottom stair for a moment, before step-step-step, hurrying steps toward the washers--trying to set the basket down before the avalanche can start.
B looks up, huge black eyes tracking the moving pile of laundry. "Do you need a --" she starts to offer, but subsides when Sarah successfully reaches a washer. "The middle one there is broken," she adds with a small nod toward the row of machines. "It'll just eat your coins."
"Thanks!" Sarah chirps with a smile, stretching her arms over her head once they're free. It never seems like that long of a trek when she first leaves the apartment. How quickly we forget. Opening the closest washer--not the middle one-- she starts tossing in anything red and black, finally looking over at B. "Oh! Hey, you must be related to Shane, huh?"
B's solid-black eyes widen, her head tipping slightly to one side. "Sorry, to who?"
Sarah's own green eyes widen back before heat starts to flood her face, cheeks turning red. Stupid. She shouldn't just assume people are related because they are both blue shark people. "Oh no, I'm sorry, I just-- I met someone the other day who looks a lot like you. Dumb of me to ask," she awkwardly answers, turning back to her laundry.
"Looks like me?" It seems improbable that B's eyes could widen further; they're already taking up a good deal of her narrow face -- but they do, growing uncannily large and dominating the rest of her elfin features. "What, like, you met someone who was blue and just -- thought -- ?"
Well, not just the blue, but Sarah is not Angie. She knows not to say that. Face reddening even more, shoulders hitching around her ears, she nods.
B stares steadily at Sarah through the blushing, the nodding; the hairless ridge of her brow climbs upward. Until, abruptly, she dissolves into a giggle, webbed hand lifting to press her fingertips against her mouth. "Sorry," she doesn't sound sorry at all, her eyes crinkling up, "but what's the fun in being a twin if you don't get to mess with people sometimes?"
A breath that Sarah didn't even know she was holding whooshes out of her in one long sigh, shoulders lowering with it. "Oh my gosh, I thought so, but then you-- I mean, you are right, I really shouldn't just ask that." She grins sheepishly. "I'm Sarah."
"I mean, we are identical so it was a pretty safe bet." B's giggles subside but the crinkle of amusement in her face lingers. The slitted gills along the sides of her neck flutter, her smile quick and closed-lipped. "I'm B. I've heard about you. My Ba says you like to bake. Between you and him this building is all going to have diabetes soon."
"Really?" Sarah brightens at the idea of people hearing about her. Like she's some kinda famous or something. "Who's your ba?" she asks, starting to throw laundry into the machine again. "I do really like to bake, so hopefully people will let me know if they start getting diabetes. I would hate to send someone into some sort of sugar shock."
"Jax Holland. Up in, um, 303? We used to all live together before Shane and I went to college and got the apartment next door." Nevermind that Jax hardly seems old enough to have college-aged children. "He's a really good cook." B hops down off the table as her dryers buzz, kicking her empty basket towards the nearer one to start unloading her clothes into it. "I guess a lot of people in this building are good cooks but nobody has any time so I'm sure people appreciate -- I mean, who /doesn't/ appreciate free food?"
"Oh, I know Jax! He's wonderful." Sarah does not like to play favorites, but it is very very difficult to not put Jax near the top of the 'Best Neighbors' list. Once she has enough clothes in the washer, Sarah rummages through the remaining clothes to find a small ziploc full of washing powder. "And that's what I say! If free food can't win someone over, absolutely nothing will." And who wants to hang around someone like that anyway?