Rating: PG - Gen - Alec & Cindy
Spoilers: General (for all aired episodes)
Disclaimers: DA & characters are owned by their various creators.
Summary: Alec’s suspicious look narrowed on the overstuffed duffel bag that was about to tip her over. She followed the shift of his gaze to an extremely red pair of underwear hanging from its ripped zipper. Before she could stop him he snagged it free to study the large satin heart sewed on the crotch.
“What the hell is this?”
Cindy watched the digital display slowly blink through floor numbers.
“Come on,” she muttered with a sleeve over her nose and mouth. “Let's go already...”
There was nothing like the combined scent of boiled cabbage and stale cigarette smoke to make a long elevator ride move faster. Happy that the ride up was brief, she fought the need to breathe until the doors rattled open to the dimly lit fourth floor.
It took a moment to identify the correct door in sparse bulb light of the long corridor. Hefting her heavy bag under one arm, she freed a hand to knock firmly on the door. She had no idea how to pick Alec's weird locks so she had made sure of the likelihood of his presence well in advance. But there was no accounting for any unforeseen prior engagements. For all she knew the boy might spend his evening hours down the hall playing Canasta with the neighbors.
Waiting in an anticipatory silence, she strained to hear the fall of foot steps that would confirm what she already hoped.
Alec was home.
“It's me!” She knew he'd probably heard her coming a mile away but it always helped to be polite. “I was in the sector and… uh, I thought I’d stop on by.”
The whir of multiple electric deadbolts disengaging was pure music to her ears.
Cindy wanted to bounce up and down a little when she finally heard the click of the doorknob turning. Hindered by the weight of her duffel at her side, she smiled a big smile of greeting.
The transgenic didn't seemed to be as excited by her appearance. Slightly disheveled and missing a shirt, he glanced up and down the empty hallway.
Cindy gave an extra small wave.
Alec’s suspicious look narrowed on the overstuffed duffel bag that was about to tip her over. She followed the shift of his gaze to an extremely red pair of underwear hanging from its ripped zipper. Before she could stop him he snagged it free to study the satin heart sewed on the crotch.
“What the hell is all this?”
“Did I forget to meet you somewhere? Is it Live Ladies Shower Night or something?” Alec checked his watch as if that would help. "I thought that was only on Fridays--”
“I'll just need 380 minutes,” Cindy explained. “45 for each cycle and 20 for foldin'.”
Alec blinked as she shook the sack of dirty clothes for emphasis.
“I dunno,” he rubbed at the back of his head. “I’m kind of in the middle of something—“
“You won't even know I'm here.”
Alec looked down at her in sincere doubt.
Leaning to her side, her eyes widened at the sight of the glorious washer and dryer crammed into his living room.
“Move aside, Alec.”
“I really wish I could,” he attempted to shrug apologetically. “But no can do.”
Cindy still felt the pang of envy from the first time Alec had first mentioned he'd had the machines stashed in his apartment. He'd dropped the statement so causally she knew there was no appreciation for the gravity of such ownership.
She could almost smell the liquid bleach already.
The thought of such appliances sitting around with no coin slots to speak of had made Cindy dizzy with desire. Her longing didn't wane even after Alec explained that his building had no reliable flow of water and even more power outages than her own crappy city block. In fact, the entire pilfered system only worked once a month.
And today happened to be the magical day.
Alec abandoned the remorseful approach and went for genuine.
“Look, you can't come in here right now. But ya know when the sun is gonna come up? Tomorrow. So see ya then. Thanks and bye-bye--“
Her foot stopped the door from shutting.
“I ain't gonna say it again.”
The pristine machines beckoned her from the shadows of the apartment. No more mysterious pet hairs from previous users. No inexplicable extra sock at the end of the day. Most importantly no homeless opportunist making off with her best bras.
“I warned ya.” Cindy shrugged.
It wasn't the first time she'd used the old knee and shoulder combination to gain forceful entry. The maneuver had gotten her past plenty of doormen from office buildings to night clubs and they all had a lot more security than one measly X5.
“And Alec honey, why don't you make some coffee. I'd like a cup with lots of sugar and milk--”
Cindy abruptly stopped when she saw the young lady seated on the sofa. More like sprawled. Like Alec, she too was missing a shirt and her makeup looked a little worse for wear. Upon seeing a visitor she sat up and didn't bother trying to cover up her naked chest. The bottle blond seemed more annoyed than embarrassed by the interruption.
“You only paid for one pal,” she smacked pink glossed lips and yanked her skirt back down to her thighs. “I don't do parties.”
“Ew.” Cindy backed up a step.
“No, no, no.” Alec tried to dissuade her from putting back on any clothes. “She’s my… my maid! And she's just leaving!”
Cindy felt about one hundred responses come to her mouth and fists but the aroma of fresh dryer sheets gave her pause.
“You heard the man, sugar,” Cindy said. “I'm here to do some woman’s work but you can get back to your own in 'bout 380 minutes.”
The girl yanked on her pink python skin jacket and fled the apartment.
“That's good. That's just great.” Alec slammed the door shut behind his date. “Thanks a lot!”
“You got any delicates?”
Alec watched her dump her wadded wardrobe onto the floor.
“I'm starting with my silks and then I'm doin' knits.”
“Y-You do them all separate?”
Cindy eyed a heap of Alec's unmentionables overflowing out of a hamper in the corner. The boy was neat but she had a feeling Sunday night chores weren't a huge part of his previous military repertoire.
“Honey, you'd better put on that coffee,” she suggested. “We lookin' at a long night.”