Laundry Day
Rosalinda StMatthew

Ethan leaned heavily on his cane and watched with barely veiled irritation as Bogdan gathered the mess from the spilled hamper that covered the bathroom floor. Bogdan hummed and smiled as he worked, even though Ethan was fairly sure Bogdan had to know that the cheery mood was not mutual. It was... well, humiliating, in a word. But trying to get down to the floor to take off his socks was difficult enough for Ethan right now - picking up a river of clothes was out of the question, and probably would be for a few more weeks. And to make it worse, his self appointed nursemaid was just as chipper as he could fucking be to help out. Ethan wasn't sure who he should feel more embarrassed for.

"All done, Sergei!" The clothes were piled high into the hamper again, mocking Ethan, waiting for him to turn clumsily and knock the whole affair over and start the process up once more. But Bogdan was reading his mind. "Now stand back, I'm taking this to the back." He hefted the hamper up, and several socks and undershirts went fluttering to the floor. "Leave it, Sergei. I'll take care of it. Why don't you go sit-"

"I don't want to sit," Ethan snapped. "All I do is sit."

Bogdan's perpetual smile finally faltered. "Well... alright... Maybe you could get me a glass-"

"And don't try to give me busy work." Ethan stomped out of the bathroom as best he could, sighing loudly as he jostled more dirty clothes from the top of the pile in Bogdan's hands. "If you want me to get the hell out of your way, just say so."

He shuffled into the living room and plopped himself down on the sofa, winded from his tantrum. When he finally caught his breath, the silence seemed loud and unpleasant. He couldn't hear any more cheerful humming.

Ashamed, Ethan struggled to his feet again and made his way to the back of the kitchen, where the washer and dryer were tucked away into a corner. Bogdan was back there, sorting clothes quietly. The cheerful expression was wiped clean, and his face was now the picture of blankness. On anyone else, it might have looked like anger, but Ethan had lived the transformative experience of incarceration: never show weakness, never let anyone see your pain, lest they use it against you. The blanker the look, the harder the hurt. And, right now, Bogdan couldn't have looked more devoid of emotion if he'd surgically removed the features of his face from his head.

Ethan leaned against the counter and watched Bogdan work, his own face sliding into the visual silence of a well matched poker game. He wanted to say something, but he felt awkward, off kilter. He'd been off kilter since Bogdan had come to live with him, and it was wearing him down to be so unable to just relax and enjoy the company of a lover. Isn't this what he'd wanted, for years? So what if he was busted and broken in places? He would heal, it was temporary. But if he didn't get a handle on his rage over being temporarily helpless (and, really, he wasn't that helpless), then his love affair would be equally temporary, and that was the last thing he wanted. But... still awkward.

The washer began to fill with water, and to Ethan's surprise, Bogdan cupped a hand under the flow and brought it to his lips. Guilt settled over Ethan like a cloud of dust, filling the cracks of his ironclad will and seeping under his skin through the fine lines that etched his age on his face. He pushed off the counter and found a glass, filled it with ice and water until it sloshed over his shaking hand, and shuffled up to Bogdan. "Dani. Don't drink from there."

Bogdan jumped with a yelp, and clothes went flying everywhere. A hoodie landed on Ethan's head and he chuckled and shook it off. Bogdan just glared and snatched the glass from Ethan's hand. He chugged the water down in one go, bumping the ice against his nose as he drained the glass. He thrust the glass back into Ethan's hand, and scowled. "Come to get in my way again?"

Ethan smiled softly and swiped at the rivulet of water running down Bogdan's chin with a thumb. "I'm a jerk. Don't let me kill your good mood."

Bogdan's expression eased just the tiniest bit, but he just shrugged and turned his attention back to the washer. "I'll be done with this in a second. I don't want to do chores anyway." He seemed to hesitate when he reached for the detergent, but he squared his shoulders and resumed clothes washing without further comment.

The fresh smell of laundry detergent and fabric softener hit Ethan like a truck. He closed his eyes and swooned - he was instantly transported to a damp, sticky, windowless warehouse, full of huge machines and giant baskets, and a tiny, tidy hidey hole that no one ever seemed to notice. He wanted nothing more than to be hidden away, waiting for the giant laundry cycle to complete, relishing the warmth of his lover's arms. But that was another time, a time when he had other responsibilities pressing on him every second, a time when he couldn't just sit with Bogdan for hours, uninterrupted, alone and free. It was a time when he would have killed for the opportunity he had here, an opportunity he was squandering.

The light brush of fingertips against his collarbone brought him back to his surroundings. The look in Bogdan's eyes was soft, forgiving, hopeful. They said nothing, simply watched each other as the washer filled with water and suds, and breathed in the aroma of soap and each other. And then the moment was broken, when the water shut itself off and the washer waited patiently for the lid to be shut. Bogdan turned away with a sigh and finished loading the machine to his satisfaction.

When he was done, and the lid was shut, Ethan made his move - he wasn't going to let such a perfect moment go to waste. He set the glass aside, yanked at his shirt and threw it at a random pile of sorted clothes. He reached for Bogdan's arm and spun him around to face him, and pressed himself against his lover, leaning all his weight against the taller man.

Instantly, Ethan was rewarded with a deep kiss, cool and slick from the ice water. Large hands circled his waist and squeezed gently before moving to the front to fumble with his fly. Ethan leaned back to give better access, and to begin stripping Bogdan of his own clothing. Before long, they were naked and pressed against each other, hands and mouths searching for the perfect place to express everything they ever needed to say to each other.

Those same warm, large hands circled Ethan's waist again, and squeezed once more, before he found himself being lifted none too gently from the floor. He was spun around and plopped on top of the washing machine, where he was now a head taller than Bogdan. Before he could do more than gasp at the sudden change in position (and the chill of metal on his bare ass and balls), he found himself wrapped around Bogdan, writhing and pleading for... he wasn't exactly sure what. Stop licking there? Don't stop using teeth? Not enough hands? Too much? He was going into overload as he was suckled, bitten, lapped, pinched, stroked and kneaded everywhere Bogdan could reach.

The spin cycle began, just as a cold mouth, newly chilled by another sip of melting ice water, closed over Ethan's hardened form. Between the rough, shuddering action of his makeshift seat, and the cold, wet softness that was sucking him down, Ethan found himself unable to do more than cry out and hold on. He felt himself tightening everywhere, from his brow to the tendons in his fucking toes, as if he was getting sucked down into a vacuum of pleasure and pain. The pressure was almost too much to stand, and just when he thought he might really and truly fucking die of pleasure, he tipped over the edge and slid down into the abyss of mindless abandon. He could vaguely hear himself screaming hoarsely as his body imploded, taking the majority of his higher brain function with it. Slowly, his vision began to clear (and only then did he belatedly realize he'd whited out), and the sounds of someone sobbing plaintively furrowed their way into his haze.

It took several seconds more to hear Bogdan's soft endearments and words of comfort to realize that the sobs had been Ethan's own. He slowly leaned back from Bogdan, panting and swallowing down the last of his tears, and tried to think of something witty to say.

But Bogdan shook his head and kissed him softly on the lips, before pulling completely from Ethan's four-limbed embrace. He disappeared for a little while, leaving Ethan feeling suddenly awkward and alone on top of the now silent washer. But Bogdan returned quickly, with an armful of bedclothes - the bedding they'd slept in the night before. He arranged them in a corner away from the dirty clothes, next to the dryer, and held his hands out to Ethan, waiting for Ethan to slide himself down from his perch. "I thought..." Bogdan cleared his throat and tried again. "Not everything in Rankow was so terrible, was it?"

Ethan took the outstretched hands and slid gingerly to the floor, favoring his bad leg. He limped closer, folding himself into Bogdan's arms and looked up in his big soft eyes, blue as sky. "No, Dani. Not everything."


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