Sock Tales by devra

I love this. I know, there's something wrong about it, but I can't help myself. There's just something so normal about watching Daniel do laundry. Because it's, well,*normal*. And let's face it. Our lives, what we do for a living, isn't normal. So sometimes, I enjoy the normal. Going out for dinner. Movies. Going to bed early. Sleeping late. Shopping. Doing laundry.

Daniel's done the Laundromat route and I had to agree with him, that place, with its banks and banks of machines and the inhabitants that live there, was too creepy even for me. While the laundry room in his building is a step above the Laundromat, Daniel has the tendency to forget clothes in either the washer and/or dryer. And then the cute old lady next door would be delivering his clothes. I thought it was hysterical. Daniel, for some strangely obscure reason, didn't.

He'd even done the sending the clothes out and we'll wash, dry, fold and put them in clear plastic bags route, but the woman behind the register had a fetish for good looking archeologists in jeans and tee shirts and things began to disappear. Like his boxers. Weird.

Which is why Daniel ended up at my house. Using my washer. My dryer. My soap powder. Because of allergies, only the dryer sheets are safe.

At the moment, I'm standing in the doorway assessing the situation, keeping every comment on the tip of my tongue under lock and key. Daniel's practically knee deep in piles of clothes strewn the length of my mudroom floor. Lockdown, off world missions, a visit or two in the infirmary. Yup, it's been a while since laundry day.

There's a navy sock wadded up in Daniel's right hand and with his left, he's searching through the piles. He's obsessing, I mean really *obsessing*, meticulously picking through each pile.

"Damn it!" Daniel slams the sock on the washing machine. "Where the hell—" Bending down, this time his search through the piles is frantic with clothes flying every which way.

"Something I can help you with?"

Daniel picks up the sock and waves it at me. "What do you see?"

"A sock?"

"*A* sock. *A*… singular. One. Socks are meant to come in pairs. A sock for each foot."

"Ah." I nod slowly like I've a clue what Daniel is talking about.

"You don't have a clue what I'm talking about."

I wonder when Daniel gained telepathic powers. "Something about a sock?" I fudge. Daniel's standing in a sea of boxers, jeans, tees and socks. I glance downward. "For your information, there's a stack of socks…"

He growls. Exasperated. "I know there are socks here, but not the mate to this one."

"Ah." Got it. Time to share my expertise. "See this?" I point to his no longer neat piles. "It's a well known fact that laundry breeds."


"Breeds," I repeat with a sharp nod. "Think about it."

"Inanimate objects don't breed."

I pick up a pair of bright yellow boxers from the floor. "When did you buy these?"

"I don't know."

"Hah! That's my point. You never bought them. They just appeared. Hence the breeding conclusion."

"You're using *my* faulty memory to prove a totally unscientific scientific point?"

"Daniel…" I toss the yellow boxers at him. They catch him midsection and he allows them to fall to the floor where they land atop a pair of blue checkered boxers. "You don't have such a thing as faulty memory. It's not in your genetic makeup."

"Was that an insult?"

"No. I'm just saying you would've remembered buying yellow checkered boxers."

He shrugs.

I'm obviously chipping away at his belief regarding inanimate stuff. I point to the blue checkered boxers. "When did you buy those?"

Without hesitation, he answers. "On the way home from PX678… I remembered that I hadn't done laundry in a while and I had no clean underwear, so I went to Walmart—"

Due to the visual of Daniel going to Walmart commando style in jeans, I lose everything else he says.

"Jack, are you listening to me? I hate when you ask me a question then—"

"Yeah. Yeah, I'm listening. Do you see what I'm saying?"

"See what you're saying? You can't *see* what anyone's saying… you *hear* what they're saying."

"Stay on target, Daniel. Focus." I tap my forehead. "We were discussing socks, not English colloquialisms."

"We were really discussing boxers—"

"Boxers breed. Socks split." A few turns and twists but we're back on target.

"Split? Like in rip?"

It's very rare that I have the upper hand in a Daniel-driven conversation so I want to extend and savor the moment as long as possible. "No. Not split like in rip. Split as in vamoose. Go bye-bye."

"Socks leave?"

"Not socks, plural. Sock." I pick up his lone navy sock. "His mate took off for greener pastures."

"How the hell would a sock leave?"

I appear shocked. "When you least expect it. They sneak into tee shirts and try to make a run for it when you leave the house. They hide under beds hoping to get swept up and thrown in the garbage. And then the garbage man will…"

Daniel plucks the sock from my hand and flings it over his shoulder. "You're scaring me."

"You, who's traveled the galaxy and seen amazing things, dare to question the ability of socks." I shake my head. "It's all about freedom. Aren't you the one who always roots for the underdog? I guess I was mistaken."

"It's a sock, Jack."

"It's a sentient being."

"A sentient sock?"

"How else do you explain their disappearances? Or better yet, when they turn up in the linen closet fooling around with the towels."

Daniel gives a visible shudder. "So now my stray sentient sock is having sex with the towels?"

"You didn't hear it from me."

Daniel pushes up his glasses, a habit he uses when he needs an extra second or two to process. "You're telling me that my underwear is leading a more exciting life than I do?"

"Hey!" I take exception to that comment. "Well, if you consider having sex with towels more exciting—"

Daniel waves his hand in front of his face. "This discussion is getting too weird even for me."

"Well, you do know what socks are doing when you roll them up into those…" My fingers mime pairing up socks. "…Ball things?"

"No!" Daniel shouted. "I don't know. Nor do I want to know."

"Heck, don't shoot the messenger. I'm just giving you food for thought."

"As productive and informative this conversation is, it doesn't help me find the mate to my navy sock."

"Well, it's a well-known fact that socks have been caught trying to escape their doldrums, because think of it, how sucky is it to always be at the bottom of things."


"And they will sometimes try to hide out in the sheets, just trying to catch a few zzz's."


"Catch a few moments of happiness with the towels or other socks—"


"But you know they've reached the end of their threads when they take the plunge and allow their lives to be cut short in the dryer, trying to save their mate."


"Probably what happened to your other navy sock."

"What happened to my other sock?"

"Sockrifice, Daniel. Pure and simple. It sockrificed itself."


The End!

Authors' Comments:

This silly, fluffy, slice of life fic is the result of flurry of early morning emails. A huge thank you to jo, babs and amy for prodding the muse. Thanks to my wonderful beta extraordinaire, jo, who always manages to put up with my plot bunnies.


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Since 22 June 2007