Laundry Day

“You have six washing machines and dryers in your building downstairs,” Kate protests, trying to see over the shoulders of the man she’s trying to walk beside.

Clint turns around to face her, nearly taking her out with the massive bags across his shoulders. He shrugs.

“I like this place.”

“But it’s a dump. I did mention you own that building, right?” The younger Hawkeye rushes forward to catch the door and hold it open for him.

The place is humid with hot water, smells like human bodies and clean lint. Kate Bishop tucks a dark piece of hair behind her ear and tries not to think about the state of the floor, or what disease she might pick up from it.

How are laundromats even open anymore, anyway?

“Oh god, it’s so fucking hot in here,” she mumbles, watching Clint pick a washing machine up the back.

The bowman drops the huge sacks of laundry to the floor and empties the contents of the clothes inside.

“Hey! What are you doing? You need to separate those, you idiot!” She stops him before he can insert his coins and starts to separate his black pants from his white shirts, trying to find a pair to several mismatched socks.

“Did you just pick these up last time you were here?” she asks, watching him pull out several quarters from his pocket and start the cycle.

“Probably,” he replies, with all seriousness.

He hops up on the machine and lets it rattle beneath him.

Kate checks her phone, thumb flicking upwards impatiently.

For the other Hawkeye, the hour melts away into watching people walk by, loiter by the door, cross the road. He counts six cabs.

Kate realises, after a time, that he comes here to think. She only hopes he isn’t thinking too much.

When the loads of washing are all done and dried, hot with static, Clint stuffs all his clothes into the two bags again.

“There’s a payphone over there,” Kate says, pointing with her chin. “You wanna use it?”

“That’s not a bad idea, Hawkeye.”

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