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Brotherhood, a sort-of fanfic

pixel painting, me
This was inspired by a conversation with dwg over on a_sporking_rat. We were talking about a certain potentially awesome plot point that had gone unused, and the idea sort of ... mutated from there.

Please note that this is completely raw and un-beta'd, so there may be some errors I haven't caught. Think of it as fresh-squeezed prose.

A certain canon character does something in this that may be considered OOC. To that I say, consider who he's been spending time with and the effect she has on peoples' morals and motivations. Trust me: to her (and thus, to him), this is probably totally justifiable.

Pie Jesu domine ...Collapse )

Short Story: The Laundromat Ninja

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Steven Tremerus was a laundromat ninja. Within the four sacred walls of the Wash 'n' Go Bubble Blast on Lexington Avenue, his chi was at an all-time high; he turned cartwheels on the yellow linoleum, hung from the ceiling lights by his heels, and crouched catlike atop the detergent-vending machine in utter silence. He practiced the Way of the Powdered Soap Flakes with New Peach Scent, striving for the universal peace of the laundromat at early dawn, when all the machines were stilled and only his footsteps would echo between the banks of gleaming metal.

I am like the washer, Steven would chant, sitting cross-legged on the ancient bench exactly between the banks of washers and dryers. I will take the evil of the world into me, and I will destroy the evil and bring the world forth, clean.

I am like the dryer,
he would say to himself as he meditated behind the desk from which he dispensed tokens for the machines. The heat and force of my passage shall reshape the world and bring it forth, rejuvenated.

The washer and the dryer are as one, two halves of one soul, yin and yang. Neither can exist without the other.


None of the customers understood his Way, often telling him to “get the hell off that thing” or making rude suppositions about the nature of his relationship with his dog. But try as they might, their reticence and scoffing didn't bother Steven; a true laundromat ninja knew that the cosmic lint would always cling to the cashmere sweater of the world, and it remained his task not to let the lint clog the outtake filters of his serenity. Besides, he didn't even own a dog.

His boss was especially unsympathetic. Janet Ross was fifty-two years old, chronically divorced, and had a mole in the corner of her mouth that she liked to chew on. She considered her position as Wash 'n' Go's regional night manager an insult to her experience and talent (hadn't she spent thirteen years overseeing three different Safeways? In San Francisco, no less!), and especially liked to take out her frustration on the three hapless employees at the Lexington outlet. Whenever she found a certain ginger-haired young man practicing the Stance of the Wise Discarded Quarter in the break room, she would spew insults and curry breath at him and send him to sweep behind the washers where the dust always gathered.

She thought it was a punishment, but Steven didn't mind. The rhythmic thrumming of the laboring machines, and the constant jets of steam from leaky valves, always had a calming effect on his fundamental serenity. The laundromat ninja must be at peace with the temple of his laundromat, and Steven was.

Only a few times had the flow of his chi had been disrupted. Sometimes the nighttime heathens would defile the laundromat with their presence, bearing offerings of leather pants or stained lingerie that would only get caught in the machinery. A few of these inserene animals knew of his devotion to the laundromat, and would purposely jam wads of gum into the coin slots of the washers. They did not know that chewing gum was a negative object, and should only be brought into context with positive objects in order to balance their universal chi; a mouth was a positive object for gum, whereas the slot of the #4 washer (Cold/Cold, Oversized for Heavy Woolens and Blankets, Manu. 1978 by Hemler-Price, Model #1776-AB) was possessed of fundamental negativity and was not an auspicious choice for the placement of a particularly large wad of Bubble Yum.

But the nighttime heathens were swiftly dealt with, as were their unenlightened leavings. Some quick work with a bottle of acidic cleaner and a sharpened chopstick would rid the slots of the obstruction, leaving the feng shui of the laundromat free to flow. The greatest challenge to Steven's universal oneness (aside from the boss's curry breath) was the Housing Council.

The Housing Council—! His teeth ground just thinking of it. They were curs, heathens, unenlightened boors who neither understood the Way of the Soap nor cared for it. They did not understand that the cleaning of clothes was the symbolic act of cleansing their wearer of the day's evils, sending them forth with auras untarnished by previous deeds. The Housing Council was too busy trying to build a block of condominiums and bringing up the property values of the neighborhood.

I am like the washer, he told himself, striving for oneness within the universal stream of bubbles. I am like the dryer. I shall not let them break the harmony of the Laundromat.

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