Wash & Tumble

Cast: date: 'September 2, 2012'
place: 'Whitechapel Laundromat'
participants: 'Amy, Nathaniel, Teresa, Tucker'
synopsis: 'There''s loose wires and live fires in the Whitechapel Laundromat. '
log: "It's the early evening, and as dusk falls over London people begin to get off work and remember that they have errands to run. Like doing their laundry so they have something to wear for work the next day, because they'd forgotten to get it done before work. The little things like that can escape people sometimes.\n\nThe rhythmic rumbling of washing machines and dryers carries all through the room, making it a bit humid although the fans that circle slowly overhead help a bit with that, keeping the air moving. The chairs are faux-antiques, stained wood and fake velvet, and there's a community corkboard not far from the door.\n\nTucker's crouched down behind one of the machines that's been pulled out, all that's visible of him the back of his jeans and the waistband of his boxers - and a little of his back before his shirt begins - as he futzes with the wires, muttering, \"Bloody malfunctioning pieces've shite…\"\n\nEveryone has to do laundry and little one room flats, don't tend to have hookups. Teresa is a standard fixture at least once a week here with her bag of laundry strapped to the back of her motorbike and few hours done doing it all for the last six months. And right on time, she's dragging a cheap laundry bag through the place, heading for the machine that she likes, making sure to avoid Tucker and his muttering. She's likely in just as foul a mood if the sunglasses and scowl are any indication.\n\nEvery so often, you get someone who's the ray of sunshine. Amy pulls up, by contrast with the others, in an excellent mood, a large pair of duffel bags hoisted over her shoulders and a large basket full of laundry stuff carried in front of her as she edges her way into the laundry somewhat behind Teresa. \"Oi, Tucker,\" she calls. \"I come bearing bribes. Stick a hand up, I got you those new crisps you said you liked.\" Those who may have ever met Amy before might know this kind of upbeat air is a little hard-maintained when she's not in a car; must have been a good day.\n\nNathaniel has a washer and dryer. They're made by a very good brand, known for the durability of their product. They're paid for. So what's he doing at a laundromat? Simple. His dryer's broken. Not seeing to his affairs for three weeks has been difficult on a lot of things. Apparently that includes his household appliances. But at least it's still under warrantee. So there's hope on the horizon. Sadly, that's not going to do anything for the dirty clothes he's got now. Thus it is that Nathaniel is laundromat bound! A mesh bag is in his hand as he enters the place as well. For the moment he's quiet, keeping his head down as he looks for a washer that's free (his washer's fine, but it seemed pointless for him to send his clothes through the wash cycle and then drive through the city with wet clothes in his car for a dryer).\n\n\"They should fuckin' canonize you, luv,\" Tucker's voice lifts from where he's digging in the wiring, lifting one slightly oil-stained hand up and back without looking, \"I haven't eaten anything in ruddy minutes.\" So he's working with one hand. This has predictable results, as there's a brief zzt sound and he's jerking back with a yelp, \"FUCKER!\"\n\nThere's a washer, located one down from Teresa's chosen machine that Nathaniel can claim, even as she herself is dumping in clothes, fishing out the coins she needs and adding in the necessary detergents. 'Hey\" polite offering to Nathaniel as she looks past him to see if the proprietor of the place hadn't gone off and gotten himself electrocuted. \"You okay over there?\" A glance to Amy for confirmation. Be nice if she doesn't have to go use her nursing skills. Failing nursing skills.\n\nWhoosh. \"I brought three bags. Thought it's a nice start. There's one, Tuck, don't start a fire in your shop, there's a love,\" Amy calls merrily, perhaps assuming there is no electrical mishap or physical disaster Tucker could be facing that could not be solved with awful junk food. She doesn't start her laundry straight off, instead setting those other two bags atop the machine whose guts Tucker is trying to fix. She starts patting her pockets, her purse, with an absentminded air thereafter; checking for something, like someone on the hunt for keys for reassurance.\n\nThe yelped curse has Nathaniel looking up with surprise, almost wincing at the volume and suddenness the expletive was uttered. However, it'll only be a moment before Nathaniel returns to his task and heads for that washer one down from the washer that Teresa's using. He offers a polite nod and a \"Hello\" in return to Teresa's greeting, though he won't say much more. He doesn't make eye contact with her, but instead merely glances up. Almost like he's afraid to look at her. Notably, he's been trying not to really look at /anyone/ except to note where they are so he won't run into them….\n\n\"M'fine,\" Tucker reports, muttering around the fingers that he's stuck into his mouth, body rocked back onto his heels, \"Thmks, b'm'fine.\" After a moment he's grabbing the edge of the washer and hauling himself up to his feet, \"I think I need a break from this, is what I need. Where's that bag've crisps, luv?\" He waves his hand - fingers just a little burnt - in Teresa's direction, as if to show that he's alright.\n\nSatisfied that he's fine, Teresa's turning back to her own laundry, shifting on her feet, dragging piece after piece of clothing out of the bags, tossing them into the machine. That is until there's a flicker of flame, and with her hands grabbing clothing, that flame catches the clothing easily. \"Shit\" There's a glance over her shoulder to the others present, a shift of feet to place the bulk of her body between them and the flame, trying to squelch the flame.\n\nUnsuccessfully given that her hand is being slowly covered with it inch by inch. \"Fuck\" She's clearly American and it's not that hard to smell smoke, if not see the tendrils of it wafting up. \"Shit\" Muttered under her breath, dropping the bag - it's caught too - and trying to stamp it out with her foot. It's not a good day for Teresa.\n\n\"Someone smoking in here?\" Amy, oblivious to anything but the bag of crisps she offers down to Tucker. \"Two more where that came from. I had a suspicion on your part. Is that asshole who throws his smokes down here?\" she wonders aloud, mostly to the proprietor. \"I'll take 'im for a ride if you want him gone,\" she proposes, a little wicked.\n\nThe paper sides of the bag crinkle a bit in Tucker's hand as he accepts it, pulling the sides open to pop it open with a rustling tear of paper. Two fingers dip inside, closing on the crinkly edge of one of the crisps, drawing it out. Jalapeno cheese crisps, from the smell of them, and he pops one into his mouth eagerly. Crunch crunch. \"You're a goddamned saint, I tell you, Ame',\" he mutters around it, \"And if he is, I'm gonna take you up on that\" He cranes his neck, calling, \"Everything alright over there? Somethin' on fire? It's not the damn wiring is it?\"\n\nNathaniel is also looking towards Tucker to see how he's doing, as that hand is raised to show he's fine. He starts to close the washer and put his change in, but then…. Sniff. Sniff sniff. Smoke? Doesn't /smell/ like cigarette smoke. Nathaniel starts to look around, trying to find the source of it… and then his eyes widen at the sight of Teresa stamping out a burning bag with her foot. AND WITH HER HAND ON FIRE! The bag can wait for now. He opens the washer and pulls out a heavy sweater that — he hopes, anyway — won't burn too easily, and moves to assist her in trying to put out the fire on her hand. He doesn't ask how it happened; he just tries to help her put it out.\n\n\"Don't!\" A caution offered up to Nathaniel as he's trying to smother the flame that crawls across her hand and now her wrist. Perhaps if it wasn't an unnatural flame, it might smother but as it is, it too is catching on fire and being consumed. The bag is left alone, no more attempts to stamp out that flame that has now naturally taken hold and instead focusing on trying to regain control. \n\n\"We're fine here!\" Voice strained and high, cracking in horror at what's happening. Sure, in her flat it's not a big deal. She's got extinguishers and her furniture and clothing is cheap for a very good reason. But here, neither is true. Well maybe the extinguishers. \"Stop, just sto-\" She pushes off the sweater, flames still very much present despite the smothers and she's darting around him for a washing machine in use. \n\nWhich makes her very much visible to Amy and Tucker. A woman with a flaming arm - now up to her elbow - who is lifting lids of machine in desperate search for one with soaking clothes so she can plunge her arm in.\n\nThere's a sizeable pause from Amy as one eyebrow leaps up at the sight of Teresa on fire; she starts forward, then pauses when Teresa gives her nothing-to-see-here speech, waits several seconds before turning to look at Tucker. \"Your shop's on fire from way more than someone's cig,\" she observes. \"Or the wiring. I'm gonna need to buy you more crisps.\" Then she's moving towards a hand-wash sink, and calls to Tucker, \"Extinguisher, yeah?\" It's not blase; it's said on real edge, gaze traveling to Teresa with scrutiny.\n\nAt the sight of the woman ''on fire'' there's a sudden spray of spicy crisp bits that sputters out of Tucker's mouth everywhere. Quickly wiping his mouth, he's turning to wave frantically over in the direction of the fire extinguisher where it's tucked surrepitiously out of the way beside one of the machines at the end. Then, well, he realizes that he's the owner, he should probably be getting the bloody extinguisher himself, and he rushes over there, jerking it off its mount and fumbling to get the hose free.\n\nEverything is happening quickly, and Nathaniel is not sure where it all started. However, with Tucker rushing over to put out Teresa's arm, Nathaniel knows that if /he/ runs over there too, he's just going to get in the way. So he turns his attention finally to the bag that is (presumably) still burning on the floor. He'll be trying to put it out, while tilting his head up every so often to check on Teresa. Burning tends to be hazardous to one's health, after all….\n\nBut not so to Teresa's health as everyone enacts some sort of plan involving how to get flames out. But Teresa's plunging her arm into a washing machine filled with clothes in the soak cycle that someone has left while out to get a little something to eat. Down as far as her arm will go, and even then she's curling it around the spinner, the blonde is trying hard to cram nearly the whole of her arm into the washing machine and douse the few licks of flame around her bicep and threatening to carry on to her shoulder.\n\nIf she wasn't already stressed, she will be now as she slides into that awkward moment where Nathaniel is stomping out flames successfully and looking at her. Where everyone else is looking at her and she's perched ever so strangely with almost half her body forced into the machine. \n\n\"You didn't see this\"\n\nThere's a bucket; Amy fills it. There's another; she grabs it. \"I'll douse,\" she tells Nathaniel, \"Then we'll starve it out. Don't catch fire, mister.\" She doesn't look twice at him, study him for oddness, only calls towards Teresa, \"How much for us not to have seen it, exactly?\" Mercenary little thing, for that question, but it might be kidding on her part.\n\nThe hose has been worked from its clip and Tucker's stumbling over his own feet on the way to Teresa. Oh god she's on fire. \"Don't worry,\" he's shouting, \"I've got you, luv!\"\n\nSure, she may be mostly put out by the wash cycle. But now? Now she's been put out and she's covered by extinguisher foam as he sprays it over her, \"CLOSE YOUR MOUTH I THINK THIS STUFF IS POISONOUS.\"\n\nNathaniel looks up, nodding once as Amy gives the instructions of how she wants to put the fire out. He'll back up from the bag and let her do her thing. Then Teresa's words reach him, and he looks up at her again. He tries not to look too well at her; he doesn't want to see anything strange. And there really are some things better left unseen. So, he nods. \"Right. Didn't see a thing,\" he agrees.\n\nWhat Tucker does, takes care of the few tendrils that were above the waterline, though Teresa is turning her face away from the extinguisher and it's spray when she realizes what he's about to do. No answer for you Amy, not quite yet, but at least her face will be safe from it all. This is not her first time being covered in the fine white foam and nor will it be her last. The awkward moment is still an awkward moment, to the inth. Now is when that hole in the floor to hell should open up and swallow her whole. Or so she wishes.\n\nAmy douses what's on the floor and stamp, stamp, stamps it. \"If I can fit it under the bucket!\" Amy suggests, no longer paying overmuch attention to the poor doused Teresa. So there's that. She's not ''staring'', but attending to the trouble. \"Tucker, is that thing empty? STill got some burning over here,\" she calls, trying hard not to catch fire too.\n\n\"You alright…? What? More fire?\" The fire extinguisher's nozzle is swept over in their direction, released in a spray-shower of foam across Amy as well. And across the burning fabric on the floor. Probably the second one is more important than the first, but Tucker is kind of spraying indiscriminately.\n\nNathaniel seems relieved when Teresa seems to be mostly put out as far as the burning goes. He's trying to help Amy get the burning remains of the bag under the bucket when Tucker aims the extinguisher their way. Nathaniel's probably close enough to get sprayed partially, but he does scoot back pretty damn fast. Fact, he's probably faster than he should be….\n\nAnd Teresa is bolting. Extricating herself from the washing machine - Pity that the person who belongs to those clothes will likely return with a very WTF look at their face from the goings on. But She is bolting none the less, wishing not to stick around and explain what the hell has happened and why exactly is bare arm still healthy and whole looking. Nope, she's slipping and sliding in her flats while trying to dig into her back pocket for her keys and GTFO out here. \n\nNot that slipping and sliding is making that easy as she body checks into a washing machine and is trying to get back up. Abandon ship, abandon ship, leaving the clothes behind if she can.\n\nAmy is not faster than she should be. \"That shit's going to ruin the leather!\" she barks at Tucker, splattered right across the front before he manages to aim properly, shaking it off her hands. Then Teresa is running from them, and she turns in that direction. \"Are we stopping her? Tuck?\" She tries to lunge in that direction, anyway, but she too is slip-sliding along; she nearly falls straight into a bench. Nowhere near as graceful as Nathaniel over there.\n\n\"Oi!\" Tucker, who was looking around the laundromat for more things that might be on fire - and is that a little bit of a grin on his lips as he's yelled at? - raises his head as Teresa starts to break for the door, \"Blondie! Get your cute arse back over here, your clothes're still in the ruddy wash!\"\n\nAnd as Teresa breaks for the door, Nathaniel moves. He's going to try to help Teresa as she has apparently stumbled into a washing machine. But also notably, he will /try/ to gently but firmly take hold of her arms. Why is he doing this? Simply put, her sudden bolting seems to tell him that she… might know a little more about what's going on than she's wanting to say (considering she's not saying /anything/ about it).\n\n\"Hey, hey… it's all right,\" he'll offer quickly, hopefully before she gets away. He has a naturally quiet, smooth voice anyway, but over the past few days it's gotten even gentler-sounding! \"Look at me. Look good,\" he coaxes, tilting his head to try to catch her gaze. And he'll be trying to do the same, to see if she's… got similar issues. To comfort her. To note that she's not alone. His voice is so quiet, in fact, that the others might not hear it, depending on how far Teresa gets before Nathaniel catches up to her (presuming he does).\n\nIf Teresa /does/ look real good at Nathaniel? She may just see the bright yellow eyes of a cat where his own normal human eyes are supposed to be….\n\nCompliments about her ass won't get her to stay. Pointing out that her clothes still remain will not get Teresa to stay after the very public display in front of the trio leave her with really truly, no sane way to explain what she's just done. For her, it makes more sense to bolt. But Nathaniel is helping her up, steadying her even as she clutches her bike keys in hand. \n\nAnd she sees the eyes, holding her breath at the inhuman sight. She too does have issues that he can see in her own eyes, the flames that flicker and dance that the mundane and ordinary won't see. \n\nAnd then she's on the move again, spooked even more it seems, by Nathaniel. She uses him to gain momentum, pushing herself away and towards the door, grasping onto things for leverage before she's elbowing the door open and bolting out. Presumably, heading for her bike.\n\nAmy, sprawled on a chair awkwardly, pulls herself up with stiff dignity as Teresa motors out of the laundromat at speed. \"Well.\" She looks at Tucker. \"Where does that one rate? Not as stark raving mad as the time you had the awful robbers. A bit more loony than the woman who only washes knickers here? Is that where it lands?\" Her aura is somewhat diminished, gone from ebullient good-humor to something a little more faded; she once more pats her pockets as if to check some things, satisfied after a second.\n\nDamn. Tucker lets the extinguisher fall to the side in his hand, the other hand raising up to rub against his jawline slowly, fingers brushing through the half-inch of facial hair that he's calling a beard these days and the short edge of fingernails rasping against them. \"Somewhere in the middle there, yeah,\" he replies drylythen he's shouting, \"Alright! Clear the fuckin' shop, we've got a fire, we need to clean up. Everyone's laundry'll be fine, I'll pay for dry cycles. Shoo. Come back'n an hour.\"\n\nNathaniel huffs out a quiet 'oof' as Teresa pushes against him to propel herself out of the laundromat. But he doesn't try to stop her. He knows how it feels to see something like that. He will turn to watch her leave, though, nodding once. Ah-ha. He'd thought as much.\n\nAmy's statement draws his attention back to the others, and he turns, casting his gaze back to the ground so his eyes can't be seen. He's about to go back to where his clothes are, but then he hears Tucker's instructions. He frowns a little, and then steps over a little closer, so he can talk to Tucker. \"I hadn't started up the machine yet, do you mind if I go ahead and get my clothes out?\" he asks.\n\nAmy pulls herself upright, trying to brush off foam with a nose-wrinkle of distaste. \"Could try to follow blondie,\" she suggests almost sleepily to Tucker. \"And catch up to her or no, could whip round to the chip shop if you wanted, Tucker. After that, I'm guessing you'll want something more than crisps.\" She chin-tips towards Nathaniel amiably. \"I'm gonna be wearing what I don't want to be wearing this week, at this rate.\"\n\n\"No need,\" Tucker mutters under his breath as he watches the door for a moment, then slants a look over to Amy with the edge of a smile crooking up at the corner of his lips, \"I know who she is. She's a regular. S'a report at the home office I'm pretty sure relates…\" Then the smile fades as he looks around the place. Foam everywhere. Bits of burnt cloth. Sloshed suds everywhere. \"Well. Shite. Guess I better get a mop.\"\n\nNathaniel glances up to return the chin-tip from Amy with a nod. He didn't get an answer to his question; perhaps the departing woman is someone that the other fellow knows, and her appearance is distracting him. So, that in mind, Nathaniel just goes to the washer he'd put his things in — he hadn't started them yet, so collecting them shouldn't be a problem — and starts to put them back in the bag he'd brought them in. While he does, he notes, this time to them both, \"Do you need any help?\"\n\nAmy, meanwhile, gathers her own things. \"Well, fine, no fish and chips for you,\" she says to Tucker, with far less joy than when she enters. It's not hostility; it's like a slowly settling quiet over her. \"Though I hope the crisps help as you're cleaning up. It's my night off, half don't know what to do with myself.\" That's almost certainly the God's honest truth, too.\n\n\"I didn't mean you, woman, you sit your arse down. Or go get me some fish and ruddy chips, because I'm starving here,\" is Tucker's observation, and then he slants a look at Nathaniel, a single brow arching upwards for a moment. \"Well. If you care to handle a mop, mate?\"\n\nStanding at the washer he had planned to use before all Hell broke loose, Nathaniel glances up to Tucker as he's addressed. Can he handle a mop? This actually pulls a bit of a smile from him, but it's a small one. He nods. \"I can, yeah. Pretty good with one, I'm told.\" Tiny bit of a joke, but he's still offering assistance, nonetheless.\n\n\"Fine! Fish and chips it is,\" Amy announces. \"Won't be but a minute, too. Hope you have a taste for them, fella,\" she calls to Nathaniel, then casts a wave. And if her expression has a hint of relief in it? Well, it's probably some private issue of her own. It's not being set on fire…not quite, anyway.\n\n\"Well, keep an eye on the door, then, won't you, mate? I'll nip in the back and grab one,\" Tucker says, tossing the extinguisher over onto a bench with a clatter before turning to stroll towards the back, shaking a bit of foam off his hand as he walks. He calls back, \"Don't skimp on the fish, luv!\"\n\nNathaniel glances up again as he's addressed, blinking a little. It's a moment before he remembers to look down again. But he does nod. \"I can pay you back,\" he offers as Amy heads out. And to Tucker's statement, he nods. \"I will,\" he promises. He'll move to take up position at the door as Tucker's heading for the back of the place.\n\nAmy waves cheerfully back at Nathaniel as he takes up watch at the door, and she gets in one of the city's many black cabs, just any other vehicle. But she's perked up the minute she's behind the wheel…and that one, she drives like a maniac, if a well-intentioned one. Off to the chip shop she goes, wherever that happens to be, her cab marked off-duty.\n"

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